7. The Undertaker vs. Big Bossman – WrestleMania XV
It’s because it features a man being hanged live on TV. That’s like, something the Victorians would look at and think, ah a bit much, and they bloody loved murder.
It’s a match and moment infamous in all the wrong ways.
It was the first famously terrible Hell in a Cell match (although there had actually been two shit cell matches on raw before this which no one remembers).
It’s one of Grimdark GrimMark’s top 3 worst matches of his streak, and once more with feeling, after the match was over, they ran a segment which involved the Big Bossman being hanged and I guess killed (?) live on TV with just bloody loads of children watching.
Some of whom in the crowd who no doubt had just a BUNCH of questions for their parents.
What do you say to little Timmy when he asks you why Undertaker just murdered a man in front of you.
‘Er… it certainly does appear that way son. But to look at it another way… off to bed??”
It’s super grim and horrible, and evidently WWE agree, because even when they did include the match on The Undertaker’s Streak DVD, they cut the footage right after the bell.
6. John Cena vs. Kurt Angle – No Mercy 2003
This one’s a little sillier, but with the benefit of hindsight, you can absolutely bet that WWE would have liked to have never booked this match.
See, a cornerstone of Big Match John’s Big Match Character is that he Never Gives Up, and you know he doesn’t because he wrote it on a little towel. You can’t write lies on a little towel, it’s against Hitchhiker’s law.
True to his little towel words, Johnny C would back that up in the ring, not once ever tapping out in a wrestling match, in what’s almost been 20 years.
For real, nearly two full decades and the man has never tapped, which must really annoy WWE that John Cena has actually tapped out on camera, not once, not twice, but thrice, and this match, Cena vs Angle, that was on pay-per-view.
Look. Look at John Cena tap out, look at him give up.
This isn’t the only time Cena has tapped out, also submitting to Chris Jericho on SmackDown in 2002 and Chris Benoit in 2003, but they all will be tucked away underneath a mountain of little towels, all of which forever tainted by Kurt Angle and oh I really don’t like how I phrased that.
5. Big Show vs. Batista – ECW (August 1, 2006)
Talk about a wholesale rejection of everything your company stands for. Now it’s no secret that WWE ECW didn’t work.
Hell, WWE said as much when Vince cancelled the show live on Raw. However, WWE would very much like to project the narrative that the reason why ECW failed was because ECW itself was terrible.
It’s all the extremists’ fault, nothing to do with Vince McMahon Doorag Champion, or firing Paul Heyman, or matches like Big Show vs. Batista.
Oh man, it’s a pure schadenfreude trainwreck, the August 1, 2006 episode of ECW was filmed at the Hammerstein Ballroom, a pretty important venue for old school ECW fans.
The main event of that show was ECW Champion Big Show vs. Batista, two men who both epitomised the bigger is better model of sports entertainment and couldn’t have been more the antithesis of classic ECW if they’d come to the ring carrying big signs that ready ‘careful now’ and ‘down with this sort of thing’.
What happens next is ECW fans spend about 20 minutes bluntly informing WWE that their product was bad and they should feel bad, with chants of ‘boring’, ‘change the channel’ and a never-ending background noise of boos that made it sound like the match was happening in a field of a thousand cows.
Am I so out of touch, asks Vince, no, it’s the ECW fans who are wrong.
4. The Rock vs. Mankind – Royal Rumble 1999
Just a little bit of a heads up, pun definitely not intended, the rest of the list gets a bit serious from here on out.
We’ve already mentioned earlier in the video that WWE has had to come to terms with its own actions when it comes to the long-lasting effects of concussions on its wrestlers.
Frankly, in any concussion lawsuit against the big dub, you’d ever need to provide one bit of evidence, and it’s this match, because it’s a f**king snuff film.
At the 1999 Rumble, Rock fought Mankind in an I Quit match, and throughout the course of the match, the rock hits Mick Foley with ten full force steel chair shots to the head, including some from behind, which is the most f**king dangerous kind of chair shot you can do.
It’s absolutely horrendous for a number of reasons. First, the rock went off script with the number of shots, and Jesus Christ how terrifying is that.
Second, you can actually see Foley utterly out on his feet, trying to protect himself, but he can’t because he’s handcuffed, he’s in a dangerous environment and physically unable to stop the punishment, again terrifying, and third because foley’s wife and kids were there in the crowd, in floods of tears. Just.. urgh.