Wrestling has always been controversial, for many reasons. The main reason is that wrestling actively attempts to court controversy as part of their ongoing story lines, in an attempt to receive mainstream attention. Theoretically, wrestling operates under the theory that any publicity is good publicity, because it gets people talking about what is generally seen as a niche product. Unfortunately, that line of thinking can backfire, sometimes disastrously, as even a company as big as WWE has found out repeatedly over the years. Here are just a few of the times that WWE tried to get people talking, only to have it blow up in their faces.
10. Fake Razor Ramon and Diesel
With the WWF New Generation failing on pretty much every level (beyond Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels having great matches), and WCW taking off with the nWo, Vince McMahon decided to strike back. However, they way in which he chose to do so was baffling, to say the least. First of all, he sent respected announcer Jim Ross, who is one of the best play-by-play commentators in wrestling history, into the ring and had him denounce WWE for treating him badly since he came into the company. It was an odd move, since as mentioned, the fans loved Jim Ross and seemed inclined to take his side. The second part of this plan, after promoting it for a few weeks, was to have Ross claim that he had brought back Razor Ramon and Diesel, even though the wrestlers who had portrayed them, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, were under WCW contract (in fact, in a move so dumb it could only be true, WCW gave them new contracts with nice raises, just to make sure they were locked down). Ross proceeded to bring out two wrestlers dressed like Ramon and Diesel, except clearly played by different people. As a joke, it might have been okay, but this was pushed as if they were legitimate replacements. The logic behind it, apparently, was that Vince was trying to prove that Hall and Nash were nothing special and he could make stars out of anyone with the same gimmick. Of course, that was absolutely not true, and the fans rejected pretty much every aspect of the angle. It did lead to several months of Jim Ross making sarcastic comments to Vince on commentary about how bad an announcer the owner of the WWF was, but that wasn’t enough to make it worthwhile.