In mid-1999, WWE was hitting its absolute peak, with the popularity of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and the Attitude Era so extreme WWE needed a second major TV show. Monday Night Raw had been the flagship program for six years at that point, and quite frankly, it’s remained that way even after SmackDown debuted. In 2002, the WWE Brand Split made half of the roster exclusive to each show, and for a few years, that actually brought SmackDown up to Raw’s level on the success of several incredible workers and Paul Heyman’s booking strategies.
Unfortunately for SmackDown, the success didn’t last. It wasn’t long before Raw was the clear ratings winner between the two brands, and that meant the big names went on the big show (not to be confused with the Big Show, who was all over SmackDown). The feeling was solidified at last when Booker T, on television, said he didn’t want to be on SmackDown because it was the second rate show. That was about 10 years ago, and somehow SmackDown has survived a decade of forgettable stories and questionable moments since.
Although Booker was pretty much telling the truth, Raw has had some pretty horrible moments in its run. At the same time, SmackDown hasn’t been exempt from truly stupid wrestling angles, either. The worst moments seemed to happen earlier in SmackDown’s run, but that could be related to the fact most people just completely stopped caring about SmackDown after a certain point, including WWE writers. The show just got so boring it’s been a long time since anything interesting enough to even get called “bad” has happened. With that said, here are 12 moments from when people were still watching Vince McMahon probably wishes we’d forget about.
12 The Big Show Gets Sprayed With Poop
WWE has tried its hand at comedy many times, and it often has resulted in unmitigated failure. One of the main reasons seems to be Vince McMahon’s sense of humor is pretty, well, gross. In 2003, Eddie Guerrero was feuding the Big Show, and tricked him by having free burritos delivered to his locker room. Of course, the burritos were somehow laced with laxatives, and Big Show ran out of the ring during a match while holding his ass, to the amusement of Vince McMahon, Eddie Guerrero, Michael Cole, and virtually no one else. Things somehow just went downhill from there.
11 Natalya's Gastrointestinal Problems
10 The Big Bossman Interrupts The Funeral of The Big Show's Father
9 Daniel Puder Almost Breaks Kurt Angle's Arm
8 JBL Hates Mexicans
7 The Big Show Attempts To Murder Kurt Angle
6 Kurt Angle Shoots The Big Show With A Tranquilizer Gun
Attempted murder is a pretty serious crime, and turnabout is generally considered fair play, so it makes sense that last one would have a pretty direct follow-up. Several months after Big Show tried to kill Kurt Angle, Angle was back in the ring and teaming with Luther Reigns. The main event of the September 23, 2004 episode of SmackDown saw the duo pair up against Big Show and Eddie Guerrero, and the match had one of the most unique endings in SmackDown and WWE history. After Mark Jindrak interfered on behalf of Angle’s team, Angle ran out of the ring and assembled a tranquilizer gun, which he used to shoot the Big Show.
5 Everything About Al Wilson
4 Stephanie McMahon Comments on 9/11
WWE received a great deal of praise for the September 13, 2001 edition of SmackDown. Airing live just two days after the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the event was one of the first major gatherings in the United States since the country was under attack. Opening with a powerful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” and featuring superstar testimonials on patriotism and their love of America throughout the night, SmackDown elevated itself beyond a wrestling show and presented itself as a force standing tall against terrorism. Until Stephanie McMahon started talking.
3 Billy and Chuck Don't Get Married
In 2001, Billy Gunn was a lifelong tag team wrestler known for his time in the Smoking Gunns and the New Age Outlaws. Chuck Palumbo was a new face in WWE, making the jump during the Invasion but not really having any kind of personality of his own until he teamed with Billy. As Billy and Chuck, the two performed under one of the most blatant “gay lovers” gimmicks in wrestling history. Rico was added as their “personal stylist” and before long, the two were engaged to be wed as part of wrestling’s first ever gay marriage. WWE was actually receiving positive media attention for the angle being presented fairly tastefully, and representatives from GLAAD were invited to attend the September 12, 2002 SmackDown, where the wedding would be held.
2 Randy Orton Says Eddie Guerrero Is In Hell
On November 13, 2005, Eddie Guerrero passed away due to heart failure. WWE and the wrestling world at large were devastated by the loss of one of the greatest and most beloved performers in recent memory, airing multiple tribute shows and inducting Eddie into the WWE Hall of Fame almost immediately. Unfortunately, not everyone felt like praising a legend shortly after his early and unexpected death. On February 3, 2006, Randy Orton insulted Eddie’s best friend Rey Mysterio by telling him Eddie wasn’t in Heaven, but in Hell.
1 Muhammad Hassan Martyrs Daivari
July 7th, 2005, the public transport system in London, England suffered a terrorist attack carried out by suicide bombers. Taped two days earlier and airing that night, WWE wrestler Muhammad Hassan rather explicitly martyred his manager Daivari on SmackDown after a group of “terrorists” attacked the Undertaker. Although the word terrorism was never said, anyone paying attention to the angle, WWE, or Hassan’s character over the past year completely understood the implication.
Removed from the context of WWE, it actually looked even worse, considering the men attacking the Undertaker were all dressed in a manner not unlike the people in actual beheading videos, and they attacked Taker by choking him with a wire. While they didn’t use the word “terrorist,” they did use the word “martyr” to describe how it looked when the masked men carried Daivari away from the ring. SmackDown was nearly canceled following the incident, but ultimately only Hassan lost his job (which isn’t exactly fair, since it wasn’t his idea to film the angle or broadcast it). Some other SmackDown moments may have been embarrassing for the company or the performer, but this is the only one that nearly cost them the show, so it has to be on top of the list.
Sources: WWE, Wrestlecrap
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