I choose to dwell on the positive. We can all do ‘worst of this, worst of that’ lists but it is often nice to celebrate unsung moments or matches or characters instead. Well, recently I have seen a great many people calling certain matches the worst ever or wrestlers the worst ever. And it got me thinking. You guys need a reality check. Because trust me, when it comes to WWE, there is a difference between a disappointment with ageing stars in Saudi Arabia or a match riddled with unfortunate mishaps, and TV that truly is irredeemably rancid. So I went through my PPV disc collection and managed to assemble the 10 worst matches WWE have ever placed on a pay-per-view (now Premium Live Event) card. And some of these turds in the punch bowl will make you really relish seeing a real match, even if it isn’t working out right.
John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis (Over The Limit 2012)
There is a place for wrestler/authority figure matches, and when they are done well and booked well, they can be fantastic highlights to a show (see Vince McMahon vs. Shawn Michaels WrestleMania 22 or Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Eric Bischoff No Way Out 2003) but to have this stuff main event, you need to go all out or have a red hot feud to work off of (Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon St Valentine’s Day Massacre), this had none of that. John Laurinaitis’ baffling ascension from backstage to front and centre on camera authority figure was one of many damn near unwatchable moves made by WWE in the problematic 2010s. His charisma-less “People Power” character and story was never worse than here either, when John Cena faced (and lost) to the gravelly voiced divisive suit in a No Holds Barred match. Funny for all of 15 seconds (if that), this 17-minute snooze main evented the show over CM Punk and Daniel Bryan’s barnburner of a match. This has legitimate claim to being one of the worst WWE PPV main events ever penciled in.
Batista vs. The Great Khali (SummerSlam 2007)
Making The Great Khali WWE World Heavyweight Champion back in 2007 was not a well received decision but looking back, WWE did pull a few moves to hide the Punjabi Nightmare’s limitations and maximise his strengths in the ring, placing him in Triple Threats and against faster moving foes and whatnot, but this marquee SummerSlam title match was when things in this title run hit their lowest point. Despite running at 7 minutes, this match felt triple that. Slow, lumbering, lethargic and badly booked, with a deflating DQ finish. Few remember anything about it, other than its infamous reception. The worst match in both men’s respective careers.
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Goldust (In Your House 7: Good Friends Better Enemies)
This was not a match, it was a segment stretched further than people’s patience was at the time with Warrior’s unchained ego. I believe there was about one move hit in the near 8 minutes of, well, whatever this was. Ultimate Warrior’s last WWE run ended badly but never really got going at all, and this match was not just one of many examples but the worst example. Apparently a reason was a pre-show mishap that meant they could not go through with the match and/or plans, but surely we could have come up with something other than Warrior sat smoking a cigar in the ring, Goldust hitting on fans, stalling, staring, and wash, rinse, repeat for minutes on end. Count-Out result being the cherry on top of this past its sell by date trifle.
Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long (Survivor Series 2005)
Thank god for The Boogeyman…bet you’ve never heard that before! Because were it not for him coming out and mercifully leading to the end of this battle of the general managers, then this dreadful spectacle may still have been twisting in the brand warfare breeze to the crickets of the audience. On a show built around Raw vs Smackdown, back before WWE killed that trope stone dead over years of forcing it down our throats, this was the lowest point. Now, yes, neither are wrestlers in any logical sense but by jeez, did we need this on the show at all? Over 5 minutes of rotten “comedy” and a definition of a waste of time, made all the worse by the terrible, false, bickering commentary (a night long flaw sadly) that accompanied it.
Hog Pen Match - Vicky Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero vs. Santina Marella (Extreme Rules 2009)
At times in many careers you almost feel you could hear people thinking, “how did it come to this?”. Such a moment occurred at Extreme Rules 2009 in the Hog Pen match between Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero against Santina Marella, when Chavo seemed to die internally with every passing second. This stipulation never is supposed to yield a mat classic but the Santina saga had long since sunk into crap before this point, but WWE dragged this Miss WrestleMania madness on for weeks and weeks and weeks. Unfunny, embarrassing and, by this point, even calling this muddy mess a toilet break was far too fair. For shame for putting this on PPV WWE.
Hardcore Championship Kennel From Hell Match - Al Snow vs. The Big Bossman (Unforgiven 1999)
Crazy in concept, infamous in build up, head-slappingly calamitous in delivery. The idea of placing a hardcore title match within a Steel Cage, within a Hell in a Cell structure seemed perfectly acceptable but the idea of ravenous dogs on patrol between the structures set an expectation that could not be delivered on in reality. But, that notwithstanding, on the night nothing at all seemed to go right. The Al Snow and Big Bossman feud was in piss poor taste anyway, but the action in its own right was plodding heartlessly tame hardcore fluff below the level of those competing, and the “trained attack dogs” were more interested in humping, peeing and defecating than ripping arms off…and really who can blame them?! This disaster marked the first and last time this gimmick match was used, and this one is in the history books for very very wrong reasons. Cruel, unwise and frankly inevitably terrible.
The Mystery Woman (Steven Richards) vs. Tyson Tomko (Unforgiven 2004)
What even was this? Christian’s satan-beared, tattooed, bodyguard against "The Mystery Woman" was never a “rivalry” we were tuning in to a big show for but when it got an impromptu match on 2004’s Unforgiven PPV, you have to ask what creative were smoking? The Mystery Woman was Steven Richards, duh! The crowd reacted to it like a prolonged loud fart at a funeral! And this clothes-tearing scuffle felt to go on forever and even the commentary could do little but question why we were seeing it. This feud was nonsensical, unexplained, and this match was one of the most pointless to be ever penned on a PPV line-up.
Hardcore Championship Evening Gown Match - Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Briscoe (King Of The Ring 2000)
All you can fathom is that the executives were laughing their nips off at getting wrestling legends Gerald Briscoe and Pat Patterson to get their nips out for a stunned capacity crowd in this Evening Gown Hardcore Championship match. Embarrassing is not the word, and it even got a promo package to further revel in the indignity!!! Like watching two drunk pensioners, who got dressed in the dark, fighting in a charity shop, there is almost a car crash watchability about it, due to the fact that you cannot quite believe this was booked, is happening and you paid for it. Though Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler on commentary deserve a medal, they even reach a point when they just so clearly say “sod it”, and can do nothing but laugh at the reality of the hideous spectacle they, like us, are being forced to endure. Crash Holly mercifully ended the match by coming in and taking back his title. Oh the humanity!
Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal (WrestleMania 25)
Women’s wrestling would wait a long time after this for a respectful revolution but no gravy bowls, bra and panties or playboy bunny matches were quite as bad as this, because we knew what they were ahead of time, but this, this was simply insulting on a different kind of level and stage. Thrown together at the last minute for the show with all the care of a kid lobbing wet sponges at a dunking stool, this battle royal for the Miss Wrestlemania tiara and sash (yep, that was the prize) took place as Kid Rock’s panned musical set was dying, and I do mean dying, down. The women as a result got no individual entrances, instead entering to his last track on the set, so no announcements were made, and returning stars (like Sunny and Molly Holly) got no acknowledgement despite this being a big moment for them, commentary and crowd alike knew sweet FA about who was involved and what they were doing, because they were not told, and worst of all the chaotic indecipherable action went largely ignored because the crowd were still reeling from that musical "performance". Nothing in this worked in any way and it was all a great big slap to every woman and talent involved. And after not even getting six minutes to work with, we were treated to the victor, Santino Marella in terrible drag as character “Santina”. A further slap to the face. WWE could not have treated its competitors with any greater professional disrespect than they did on this night.
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole (WrestleMania 27)
Blimey…where to start? What should have been an overdue WrestleMania moment for Jerry Lawler, a wrestling legend, was transformed into a travesty on every level. After Heel Michael Cole’s television-spoiling rottenness was already unleashed, for weeks we had waited for them to do the shenanigans and have Lawler obliterate Cole in a minute and shut his mouth, with special referee Stone Cold Steve Austin likely throwing in a stunner for good measure right? Right?! Oh boy were we wrong! Not only did this go 15 minutes! Yes, 15 minutes!!! Cole controlled the match mid-way for a few of them. Lawler had the indignity of having to sell for a commentator who had as much business being in the ring as a random fan, if not less so. Hell, when Lawler even won the damn thing after interference and all manner of “fun” and games, the anonymous Raw General manager (aka a laptop) overturned the decision. Michael Cole beat Jerry Lawler, at WrestleMania, and he remains undefeated as a result. Not only that, this garbage proceeded to stretch on across PPVs into the summer with Cole getting the constant wins. Finally at Over The Limit 2011 we got the squash (though not nearly as squashy as it should have been) match that this should have been to begin with. Watching this match now is nigh on impossible because it is one of many times in history when WWE let the wrong person win, but not only that, they let the heel character that mocked Lawler’s real life mother’s death win. They refused to let a legend have a moment. They dragged Steve Austin into it and wasted his time, and showed off two of their worst ever storylines and chapters proudly (heel Michael Cole and the anonymous RAW GM). This was the worst WrestleMania match in history, at one of the worst Manias of all time actually. And as far as PPV bouts go, could you really have done any worse of a job booking this? Or any match for that matter?
That's our list, any other worst matches ever we have forgotten about? Let us know in the comments below: