Recently the WWE attempted to intensify the Divas Division by making them close out RAW with a contract signing between Charlotte Flair and Paige. To make the rivalry that much more intense, WWE’s creative team thought it would be a good idea to a take shot at Charlotte’s brother that passed away, Reid. Many were very offended by this including the mother of Charlotte and Reid, Elizabeth Fliehr. Elizabeth Tweeted about the angle, calling it lazy, cruel, disrespectful and disgusting.
This wasn’t the first time (nor will it be the last time) that the WWE crossed the line though. The WWE has crossed the line many times before, and this is what this article will focus on. Many honorable mentions that didn’t make the list include Chuck and Billy’s wedding, Heidenreich “touching” Michael Cole, Stephanie being crucified live on RAW, Vince using the “N” word, and so many others.
With the new PG-Era of wrestling, these situations thankfully have subsided (till recently that is). Let us now go back in time and take a look at 13 times the WWE crossed the line. Enjoy!
13 Boss Man Crashes The Funeral
Not really sure what the WWE was thinking with this one (the creative team must have had a really hard time coming up with something for the newly signed Big Show). Creative thought it was a good idea to have a fake death of Big Show’s father. The goal was apparently to turn Big Show into the company’s top face with this storyline.
The storyline featured Big Show’s “father” extremely ill battling terminal cancer. The story was extremely tasteless with the Big Boss Man interrupting a ten-bell-toll for the fake passing of Big Show’s dad.
The angle was topped off with Big Show giving an emotional speech and being brought to tears at his father’s funeral. The Boss Man would end up crashing the funeral and stealing the casket. I’ll never forget the tasteless scene of Big Show jumping on top of his father’s casket as the Boss Man was driving away with it. Despite how offensive the storyline was though. Big Show used it as a time to mourn the real death of his father who had passed away a couple of years before.
12 Piggy James
This storyline was not only embarrassing, but also made no sense pertaining to what the WWE represents. The storyline saw former WWE employees Layla and The Undertaker’s wife Michelle McCool, absolutely embarrass Mickie James week after week. The duo would later nickname her “Piggy James”. This angle was everything the WWE does not want to represent, especially with all its anti-bullying campaigns. Some believe this storyline was done as a shot to James for focusing on her music career as opposed to her work with the WWE. Regardless of why, this storyline was disturbing to watch. A cheap way of getting heat if you ask me.
11 The Kiss My A$$ Club
Oh Vince, how do you come up with an idea like this one? At the time this was going on, I truly did not comprehend how disturbing this storyline really was. McMahon literally had wrestlers kiss his bare a** on live television. The six members of the club included Jim Ross, Shawn Michaels, Shane McMahon, Mick Foley, Hornswoggle and the first ever member William Regal. With the PG-Era taking over, I’m quite happy we won’t be seeing this story any longer.
10 Shawn Michaels Tag Teams With God
9 McMahon Cheating On Linda
Even though it was just a storyline, many were disgusted by McMahon’s antics with Linda McMahon. Vince demanded a divorce on the December 7th episode of Smackdown. He proceeded in the next couple of weeks to emotionally abuse her, and she ended up getting heavily sedated at one point. McMahon continued his reckless ways with an extramarital affair with Trish Stratus. This wasn’t the first time over the course of the years that McMahon got his family involved in a storyline though. It was rumored that Vince even wanted to work an incest type storyline with his daughter Stephanie, but thankfully she declined.
8 Hawk’s Suicide Attempt
We're pretty sure this was the worst Kayfabe storyline ever used in pro wrestling history. It was truly disturbing. The Road Warriors went through some real life hard times down the road turning to drugs and alcohol abuse. The WWE later attempted to use this as a storyline. A “drunken” Hawk climbed on top of the TitanTron in an attempt to kill himself. He was apparently saved by his new partner Puke. The story was absolutely absurd; instead of helping the guy, the WWE thought it was a good idea to use it as an angle. Truly disturbing to say the least. Hawk later passed away at the age of 46 after suffering a heart attack.
7 Trish Stripped and Forced To Bark Like A Dog
This was one of the many angles Vince worked with a WWE diva throughout the course of his career. Trish probably got it the worst though, being ordered to walk around like a dog and bark. As if this wasn’t enough, she was forced to strip down on live TV. McMahon later referred to Trish as “daddy’s little toy”. You've got to give it Trish, who went from working that type of angle to becoming one of the best in-ring women competitors in WWE history.
6 Tim White Suicide
No, the WWE did not learn with the Hawk incident. Former WWE referee Tim White would attempt to kill himself on various episodes of his own show on wwe.com, entitled Lunchtime Suicide. What made matters worse is that this storyline took place shortly after the passing of Eddie Guerrero. The storyline began when a “drunk” Tim White tried to take his life away after claiming that a 'Hell in a Cell' match ruined his life. WWE later scrapped the storyline ending with White having a friendly beer with former WWE employee Josh Matthews. White would end up shooting Matthews. Following this event the storyline was mercifully put to bed.
5 Vince Pokes Fun At JR
Many fans were furious when WCW made a character poking fun at Jim Ross. Years later, McMahon would add fuel to fire and go down the same road, this time tastelessly imitating JR and his Bell’s palsy condition. This was just one of the many times Vince McMahon had ridiculed Jim Ross on live television, but this one was by far the worst situation, and it's easy to understand why .
I seriously have no idea what the WWE was thinking with this gimmick. Eugene portrayed a character with mental disabilities; what made this gimmick even worse was the fact that he was bullied week in and week out by different WWE superstars. Shockingly enough, the Eugene character actually lasted 3 years, from April 2004 to September 1st 2007. Eugene was released after failing his second drug test with the WWE. Dinsmore was later hired as a trainer for NXT, only to be once again released by the company.
3 CM Punk Throws Paul Bearer’s Ashes
I understand the writers wanted to draw some heat here, but come on now; really? Did they have to go as far as to get some heat on CM Punk who was already the company’s top heel at the time. Fans were outraged when Punk threw the ashes of Paul Bearer on top of The Undertaker. Many viewers were shocked claiming the WWE had gone way too far this time trying to capitalize on a real life death. Despite the controversy, the WWE asked the consent of Bearer’s family before working the angle. Regardless, this story infuriated many wrestling fans.
2 Vince Fakes His Own Death
Never one to shy away from controversy, McMahon somehow thought it would be a good idea to kill off his character with his limousine exploding during an episode of RAW. McMahon went as far as paying homage to his fake death over the course of the week. Networks like CNBC needed to be warned by the WWE that this in fact was only a work.
This ludicrous idea came to an end two weeks later following the actual death of Chris Benoit. During a Chris Benoit tribute show, the event opened with McMahon explaining that his “death” was a storyline.
1 Katie Vick
This one certainly takes the cake as one of the most disgusting storylines in all of pro wrestling. Not only did this storyline involve a dead woman, but in addition, throwing necrophilia into it put it in a class of its own.
The storyline saw Triple H reveal Kane’s troubling past. During this storyline Hunter revealed that Kane killed his girlfriend Katie Vick, in a car crash. The story took a disturbing twist when Triple H molested Katie Vick in her casket with Kane’s mask on. This story forever stands alone as the most disgusting angle ever worked in WWE history.