It was a time when telling off your boss, showing nudity and doing segments considered cutting-edge was commonplace. Flipping off another person or using crass, crude words to get your point across … you were capable of doing just about anything. During the Attitude Era there were instances of fires and garbage cans being used, and being thrown off of scaffolds was a common practice. But, that doesn’t mean the era always provided the best quality of wrestling or wrestlers at the time.
At times the Attitude Era shot and misfired when it came to those wrestling at the time. So while we may have been blessed with the likes of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin, we were forced to watch rather large and plodding performers that didn’t do much in the ring outside looking as though they were good. Unfortunately, with the rise of hardcore at the time, bad wrestlers could get away with being bad because it was surrounded by so many other distractions. However, if we really looked hard at WWE at the time, there were wrestlers that weren’t as good at wrestling as fans would have hoped. Here are 12 of the worst wrestlers of the Attitude Era.
15. The Blue Meanie
He has a wrestling background and trained in a prestigious wrestling school, yet if fans were to look back at his time with the WWE, could they say that he was a good worker? From a fan’s perspective, it would be a real challenge to say that he was. His ability to hit a moonsault considering his size, while being impressive, doesn’t mean he was consistently able to work a good match against others in the ring. He was certainly likeable, and had a certain amount of charisma in the ring, but as a worker there in lied the challenge. Despite associations with the likes of Raven, the Blue World Order and The Job Squad, Meanie would otherwise not be very memorable for his work in the ring.
Big wrestlers always stand out. And some are capable of standing out for elements besides their height. In the case of Kurrgan, the rather large man is actually noted more for having a meaningful acting career than his wrestling career. His wrestling career stood out because he wasn’t all that good in the ring. It’s one thing if a tall wrestler is agile and has that working for them. A combination of height and agility often stands out because they are not only physically imposing but also possess wrestling skill. Despite being a part of two different factions, The Truth Commission and The Oddities, Kurrgan’s career didn’t last long in the WWE or on the whole. We have suspicions as to why that possibly might be.
When John Tenta competed previously in the WWE, he presented a large and imposing figure because of his size and weight. But something seemed to get lost along the way. He had been reinvented from his days as Earthquake, and later Shark in WCW, to a simple-minded man who wore a mask and had an affinity for the character Cartman from South Park. What happened to the former sumo wrestler, who had been able to do more? He didn’t demonstrate what had previously made him formidable when he returned to the WWE as Golga, part of The Oddities faction. His skill set wasn’t necessarily bad, but he wasn’t going to succeed either.
He was the master and the ruler of the world. He had height, muscle and presence, but hitting your opponent with a powerbomb or showing your strength doesn’t make you a good wrestler. In Sid’s case he carried all the qualities both WCW and WWE hoped would lead to the main event. However, when you put him in the ring with other poor workers, he didn’t perform well. After all, if he’s in the ring with a good worker it will be up to the opponent to ensure they do their best to sell Sid’s offense. While the visual impact of his offense was never in question, his ability to sell, or use a variety of different wrestling moves, left a lot to be desired.
T10. Public Enemy
Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock were two guys that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way during their brief time in the WWE. If that was the only concern about them, then we’d say sure, they could get a pass. However, the former WCW and ECW tag team really didn’t offer much in the way of wrestling skill. They were popular at the time because of their ability to use items like cookie sheets, stop signs and steel chairs. But that really doesn’t say much for their ability to use actual wrestling maneuvers. While their gimmick was popular at the time that doesn’t mean to say they offered much in terms of wrestling ability, even if they had some personality.
9. Big Daddy V
Big Daddy V was a large wrestler that was reinvented a number of different times during his career. Whether he was known as Mabel, King Mabel, Viscera, Big Daddy V or The World’s Largest Love Machine, Big Daddy V was quite limited with what he could do in the ring. As Mabel, he found success as one half of the tag team Men on a Mission. He was also guilty of breaking bones in The Undertaker’s face; during one match many years ago when Mabel did his leg drop finishing move, he actually landed on The Undertaker’s face full force. If he had reduced the impact or protected The Undertaker, the Dead Man wouldn’t have caused him to have to wear a face shield for a period of time.
8. The Cat
Miss Kitty (aka Stacey Carter) wasn’t a wrestler; her role was never to be a wrestler, and in fact she hoped that she wouldn’t have to step into the ring. But she did step into a ring, and when she did all fans were privy to catfights. And while a catfight can certainly be entertaining, it doesn’t say much about how you can or can’t hold your own in the ring. When you’re not a wrestler, but you do step in the ring, you’re being put in a position where you need to show what you can and can’t do. What the Cat could do wasn’t wrestle. She could entice a crowd, and do all the things that would garner the male demographic’s attention, but wrestling wasn’t something she was particularly skilled.
7. Terri Runnels
Runnels was known more as a manager, but there were a number of instances where she had to roll up her sleeves and step into the ring. Whether it was a gimmick match like a lingerie match or gravy bowl match, Runnels was often put in a position where she had to compete. So while we could blame the booking at the time, it should also be noted that her ability in the ring was lacking. When put in a position where she could be a manager or mentor she excelled, but she was put in a ring on more than one occasion to defend herself and it was something we’d like to forget.
He had all the physical tools that suggested he would breakthrough. Unfortunately, as it turns out, tools and booking need to go hand in hand. The gimmick of being a male sex slave would probably be OK for someone who was able to move past this and do more in the ring. He was exploited (not unlike a number of females on the roster) for being a sexual tool. It said very little about him when it came to wins and losses, but rather how he looked. His time with the WWE wasn’t memorable as the second generation wrestler also had the unenviable task of having to live up to his father’s achievements. Bad wrestler or bad circumstance? It could be considered a combination of the two.
While I remember this name, it is a challenge to think of anything memorable he did during that era. Brakkus came into the promotion and then was “traded,” for lack of a better word, to ECW where his character was never heard from again. It was considered a talent exchange. Could appearance alone substitute for being a talented wrestler? It really does come into question because there was nothing that he did that stood out in the company. We would be hard pressed to name a match he was a part in during the era that stood out.
4. Ahmed Johnson
He was big, strong and he certainly stuck out. Johnson’s imposing stature made fans stand up and take notice. But the problem was that as a wrestler he was pretty bad. One of the things that plagued Johnson was the numerous claims he was dangerous to compete against. When we say dangerous, we aren’t talking about how he was dominant in the ring and anyone that competed against him would go down in defeat. When we say dangerous we’re talking about someone that didn’t protect his opposition and often put them in scenarios where they would get legitimately hurt. He would later work alongside Stevie Ray as part of Harlem Heat 2000 in WCW after leaving the WWE. His time there was also limited as he left the promotion not long after starting there.
T1. Mean Street Posse
As one third of a group that was presented as friends of Shane McMahon, Joey Abs helped represent the “mean streets” of Greenwich, Connecticut. Now I’m sure there are probably parts of Connecticut where you don’t want to walk into a dark alley. But if you did, these three sweater vest wearing guys wouldn’t be the ones to feel threatened. What is interesting to note is that Abs had competed for five years prior to his opportunity with Rodney and Pete Gas in the Mean Street Posse faction. Once the attitude era drew to a close so did Joey’s wrestling career.
Pete Gas stood by his buddy Shane McMahon, and much like his allies Joey Abs and Rodney represented the mean streets of Greenwich, Connecticut. Now I’m sure there are probably parts of Connecticut where you don’t want to walk into a dark alley. But if you did, these three sweater vest wearing guys wouldn’t be the ones to feel threatened. Despite being trained by the legendary Dr. Tom Prichard, these three men didn’t seem to show the same kind of wrestling skill that their trainer did. What is interesting to note is that all members of the faction were retired by 2001. While Gas and Rodney had very brief careers.
Rodney is the one member of the faction that stands alone as arguably the worst wrestler of the attitude era. Despite being part of a notable faction alongside Shane McMahon with Pete Gas and Joey Abs, Rodney appeared mismatched both in the ring and in the faction. While it would have been nice to see what could have come from him with time that sadly wasn’t in the cards for the sweater vest toting Mean Street Posse member. Just as mentioned with fellow Pete Gas and Joey Abs, Rodney appears to have vanished from wrestling altogether and back to Greenwich.