The 1990s was a transition period for professional wrestling. Hardcore pure wrestling fans might say that it was the time that wrestling went from a sport to strictly entertainment. Sure wrestling was fake previous to that, but organizations went to great lengths to hide that fact and did everything they could to make things look as real and believable as possible.
In the late 80s into the 90s things started getting out of hand and Vince McMahon was the leader in this. The WWF eventually took over the entire wrestling world, changed their name to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), and no longer tried to hide the fact that things weren’t always real in the ring. During this time a lot of those pure fans were turned away and would not come back. But droves more came in and on a business level it made sense and was a successful transition. Even though they had to abandon their original fans to get there.
During that transition period several gimmicks and characters were tried and a good amount of them failed. There are so many failed attempts at gimmicks from that time period, which included some of the worst wrestlers ever to climb into the ring, that we could probably put together a list of 100 without a problem.
Some of the people on this list are not considered bad only based upon their skills or lack thereof in the ring. Some of them are based on the character that they were forced to play. Some pretty good athletes from that time were ruined because they were forced into roles that didn’t even come close to fitting them.
Here we will take a look back at the 15 worst wrestlers to climb into the ring during the 1990s.
15. Razor Ramon 2.0
Rick Bogner wrestled in whatever organization would give him a paycheck during his career. He never hit the big time but he came the closest in ECW when he performed as Big Titan. But he will always be remembered for the time he tried to take over Scott Hall’s role of Razor Ramon. The fans didn’t buy it and Bogner was nowhere near the talent level of Hall. The experiment died off quietly, much like Bogner’s career.
14. Bastion Booger / Friar Ferguson
Mike Shaw wrestled under a bunch of different names over the course of his career. Aaron Gundy, Makkan Singh, Norman the Lunatic, and Klondike Mike were a few of them. The WWF finally gave him the role of Friar Ferguson who was a ‘mad monk’. The Church had an issue with this and forced the organization to go in another direction. That’s when Bastion Booger was born. He had a short feud with Bam Bam Bigelow but he wasn’t good enough to make any of his names stick around for too long.
13. The Shockmaster / Tugboat / Typhoon
Fred Ottman had some really bad luck in his career. His lack of skills didn’t help matters but that coupled with the roles that he was given, land him on this list. First he was Tugboat which was a forgettable character, and then he was Typhoon. That one wasn’t too bad and could have been better if he was better at his job. The worst though was The Shockmaster while he was with WCW. He wore a silver storm troopers helmet and during a live interview he actually fell through the wall while making his entrance. That alone sums up his career.
12. Earthquake / The Shark
John Tenta became Earthquake when he joined the WWE. It wasn’t a bad role but he just wasn’t a very good athlete. When he moved over to WCW he became The Shark which was funny only because it was so weak, much like his skills in the ring. He came back to the WWE and became a member of The Oddities before thankfully calling it a career. If you never saw him in action you really didn’t miss anything.
11. Brian Lee (Fake Undertaker)
Brian Lee didn’t spend a lot of time with the WWF but the little time that he did spend there, is forever etched in the minds of fans. And it’s not for good reasons. When The Undertaker vanished from the scene for awhile the organization wanted to do something for his return. So they brought in Lee to play the role and set up an Undertaker vs Undertaker match. He was clearly shorter than and not as thick as the original, and after he lost to the real Undertaker he was never mentioned again.
10. The Goon
Barney William Irwin was a member of the WWF for only a few short months. Named “The Goon”, he portrayed a hockey player that had been “kicked out of every league he had ever been in.” He entered the ring dressed like a hockey player and his boots were actually kind of cool, painted up like hockey skates. If he wasn’t a good hockey player he was an even worse wrestler. He did get to take part in WrestleMania XVII but after that he was never seen again.
9. The Brooklyn Brawler
Steve Lombardi played a few different roles while in the WWE. He was one of many that took the place of Matt Borne as Doink the Clown, but he is more remembered for his role as The Brooklyn Brawler. The name indicated that he could fight. He couldn’t. At least not inside the ring.
Steve Keirn joined the WWF in 1991 and became Skinner. He was supposedly an alligator hunter from Florida and he would spit chewing tobacco on his opponents. He was also one of the men to play the Doink the Clown character. Keirn didn’t have what it took to be a regular in the ring, but he did make a good name for himself outside of the ring.
7. The Yeti
Ron Reis joined WCW and was introduced as The Yeti. It was a character that was all wrapped up like a mummy. That could be a reason that his career never took off, but he just wasn’t very talented inside the ropes, and that’s the main reason. When The Yeti failed he played several more roles with the organization before he disappeared.
6. The Berzerker
John Nord joined the WWF in 1991 and was introduced as the Viking. He was a giant of a man at 6 foot 6 and he weighed over 320 pounds. His name was changed later to The Berzerker and the big man never really accomplished much in the ring. He had a decent match at the 1991 Survivor Series and had a short rivalry with the Undertaker, but the big man just lacked the skills to be able to move up the ladder.
Raymond Lloyd spent less than 2 years with WCW and he never had what it took to become a star. Outside the ring he was a highly qualified martial arts expert but in the ring he portrayed the character of Glacier, who was created after a ‘Mortal Kombat’ character. The fans never bought into it and he was never a very good wrestler so his career inside of the ropes was a short one. As a matter of fact, it lasted longer than it should have.
4. Sycho Sid
Sidney Eudy, AKA Sycho Sid, Sid Vicious, Sid Justice, and Sid, is a four-time World Champion. He won it twice with the WWE and two more times with the WCW. While he was an intimidating being to look at, his technical skills in the ring were nothing to write home about and his interviews were just horrible. He never seemed to know what he was supposed to say and many times it appeared that he had just totally forgot. His screaming babble preceded The Shockmaster falling through the wall. It was a match made in heaven for the under skilled.
3. Lex Luger
Lawrence Pohl was known as Lex Lugar. He spent time in both the WWE and WCW and he talked a good game but he couldn’t walk the walk in the ring. The fact of the matter is that he was carried most of his career by his opponents who sold him well. He did accomplish a lot but it wasn’t on his own merits. But hey, he DID live with Miss Elizabeth so he got something right.
2. Disco Inferno
Glen Gilberti was known as Disco Inferno. And he was just flat out bad. He wore bright flashy attire into the ring and carried a disco ball with him. He even used it as a weapon many times. That’s correct, one couldn’t possibly make that one up. Disco had long been dead when he was around, much like his talent in the ring.
1. Hulk Hogan
There are a lot of bad wrestlers on this list but none of them are as bad as Hogan was. The whole Hulkamania thing, and the ‘hulking up’ after taking a beating for 15 minutes got old and stale very quickly. The only thing that made any Hogan match not boring was his opponent. When you can predict what’s going to happen four moves ahead of time, there is no excitement to be had. Everyone around the world knew that when he was down, he would come back, shake his finger at his opponent, throw some punches, maybe a boot to the face off the ropes, and finish it off with the leg drop. It was as if the beating he had taken never even happened. The ‘Hulkamaniacs’ would always come and save the day for him. But the thing they couldn’t change was that Hogan was predictable, boring, and by far the worst wrestler of the 1990s, brother.