Wrestling occasionally unleashes some awesome gimmicks – see Hulk Hogan joining the NWO for an example parodied even today – but for every Hogan heel turn, there’s the stuff that flops. Whether it’s a crazed…uh, IRS Agent, Robocop suddenly deciding he’s going to chill out with Sting, or Karl Malone hyped as a wrestling star when he’s notable for collapsing every time he played Jordan, wrestling is full of ideas that flopped. These are some of the best of the worst ideas and gimmicks in the history of professional wrestling.
Accountants haven’t caused much terror since Herbert Kornfeld was lost to gang violence and while everyone may hate the IRS, they hate them in the way they hate minor annoyances like stepping in dog crap or losing your keys only to find them again right where you thought you left them. Apparently, the WWE is enamored with this gimmick, since he’s recently been popping up on Raw, though nobody quite knows why an IRS agent is supposed to intimidating, even a rogue IRS agent known to be a Shyster. “I’m taking your calculator, Shyster! You’re gonna be doing 1040EZs until the end of time!” doesn’t quite have a ring to it.
Robocop Saves Sting
Not that “My God, that’s Robocop’s music!” shouldn’t fill villains with terror, but Robocop lurching out to save Sting and chase off the Four Horsemen was more bewildering than awesome. Was Robocop a big wrestling fan? Do robots understand wrestling? Why Sting? There were so many questions left unanswered, like what exactly are the duties of a law enforcement robot during a wrestling match?
One of the big gimmicks of late 90s and early 2000s wrestling was getting guys who weren’t necessarily wrestlers to come in and act like wrestlers. And there was a time when Karl Malone was more than an answer to “Whose life did Michael Jordan routinely ruin?” While the legendary weirdo Rodman fit right in in the wrestling world, the relatively strait-laced Mailman was an oddity, though there’s a certain irony in the fact that Malone’s nickname–The Mailman–also sounds like a bad wrestling gimmick. That said, Jordan running out of the back to hit Malone with a steel chair would’ve made this completely worth it.
The Insane Clown Posse
Before they were a massive internet joke for making songs about f*cking magnets and cell phone stealing pelicans, the Insane Clown Posse was a bunch of clown rappers that occasionally liked to get in the ring. That’s not to say they didn’t have the cred, as both were active in backyard wrestling – rednecks hurting each other – before their rap, ah, careers. But here we have a perfect example of two trashy flavors that go great together. America watched, somewhat bewildered, as a bunch of clowns not named Doink rampaged around. The group is still active in the wrestling world and still somewhat confusing to those not obsessed with quasi-Christian clown rappers.
The Brawl for All
For no readily apparent reason, the WWF – back before they got destroyed in court by a bunch of panda lovers – decided to institute a boxing tournament where a bunch of guys who don’t know how to box fought in boxing matches. If you’ve never seen guys that don’t know how to box trying to box, what happens is about 30 seconds of frantic flailing until they get tired–those gloves are surprisingly heavy–and then they either circle around each other panting heavily or tied up in a clench. It would take UFC to legitimize sweaty men hugging each other, but that was years away.