This Sunday the WWE is giving us Extreme Rules: The Horror Show. As fans of pro wrestling, we have seen plenty of horror shows throughout its history. There have been plenty of matches that have made us cringe.
So for my column this week, I made the ultimate sacrifice: I sat down and watched some of the worst matches I could think of. These matches are a handful of the many horrors we have seen in the world of pro wrestling.
Halloween Havoc 1998: Hollywood Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior
I’m sure this is the first match that came to mind for many when you saw this title. Everyone praises their match from Wrestlemania 6. Of course that was laid out in advance with the help of Pat Patterson.
This match is Hogan needing to feed his ego. He never got his win back over Warrior from Wrestlemania, and that was all he cared about here. WCW wasted over a million dollars just to feed Hogan’s own ego to bring in the Warrior. Must be nice to throw around money like that.
And one point in this match Tony Schiavone actually calls Hogan’s offense good. It is far from it. This is a 1940s match down in 1998.
We of course have the botched flash paper spot and the infamous log roll by Warrior that looks like crap. Ref bumps, nWo run ins and whipping with Hogan’s weight belt ruled this awful match.
Halloween Havoc 98 looked like a great show on paper (Nash/Hall, Warrior/Hogan 2, Bret/Sting, DDP/Goldberg) but only the last match delivered (imagine ordering the PPV and having the last match cut out! – Ed). I actually had to watch DDP/Goldberg again after this one to cleanse my pallet.
Royal Rumble 2003: Triple H vs Scott Steiner
We all loved crazy Scott Steiner in the dying days of WCW. But the problem was that there was no way we were going to get that version of Scott Steiner in the WWE at the time. Not only that, but Scott Steiner came into the WWE right in the middle of Triple H’s reign of terror.
Here’s the thing with this match: It actually started off fine. Steiner was beating the crap out of HHH all around the ring and floor. But then both (yes both) men got blown up. And Steiner took HHH to suplex city. But they were the laziest over head belly to belly suplexes you will see. Top that off with a handful of rest holds and it is just the shits. There is even a bear hug!
These two are just lucky they went on BEFORE the Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit match that happened next. That match is a five star classic. This one got one star in the Wrestling Observer. Probably for the first two minutes. The crowd turns on the match once the suplex spots start. This was pretty much the end of Scott Steiner’s status as a main eventer.
November to Remember 1997: Sabu vs The Sandman
This match received NEGATIVE 3 stars in the Wrestling Observer. That may be a little bit harsh. But this match is painful to watch for more than it just being a Tables and Ladders Match.
Sandman was never a great wrestler and it really shows here. The match is just setting up one spot after the next. That is not a good professional wrestling match. And this is 20 minutes of that.
Some spots are just awful. Sandman dives over the top, looking to catapult a ladder off a railing onto Sabu but completely misses the ladder. A table breaks when Sandman simply places Sabu on it.
It fit in ECW’s hardcore era but if you try to watch this back like I did you just see blown spot after blown spot and some really bad spot set ups.
Halloween Havoc 1992: Masahiro Chono vs Rick Rude for the NWA Heavyweight Championship
I was quite surprised when I saw this match was the worst rated match of 1992 in the Wrestling Observer. After watching it I completely understand why.
You have to remember that in 1992, Ric Flair was with the WWF. So the match is filled with “We Want Flair” chants. And the first 10 minutes of the match contain nothing but mat armbars between both men. The crowd could not give a shit about it. I don’t mind using mat holds at points to build up to a crescendo. But that never happened here.
The crowd finally hits the match with “Boring” chants at about the 12-minute mark. I normally hate that chant but I would have done it after two. If you are suffering from insomnia, this match might cure it. Rude actually goes to the top for an axe handle and Chono just moves, I don’t think that was meant to happen as Rude goes right back to punches.
Something happens in the crowd that gets more attention than this match. Then we get a controversial finish between the American ref (Harley Race) and the Japanese ref (Kensuke Sasaki). It all results in a big pile of horse manure.
Great American Bash 2006: The Undertaker vs The Big Show – Punjabi Prison Match
Think about this: Originally this was supposed to be The Undertaker going up against The Great Khali. But this was that whole PPV where everyone had elevated liver enzymes. So they put Big Show in this match to make it quite possibly not the worst match of all time.
The Punjabi Prison match was touched upon earlier this week when Paul Benson looked at some of the silliest gimmick matches of all time. The rules around it are just stupid. Not only that, but the structure makes it impossible for the viewing experience to be anywhere close to good.
Undertaker and Big Show have the slowest match you could imagine here. Big Show throws Undertaker back inside the first structure before the last door is locked. Nothing of note happens at all in this match. It is two slow-moving big guys plodding around, trying to catch their breath after five minutes.
Uncensored 1995: Meng vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan – Martial Arts Match
Trying to get Jim Duggan to do anything close to good during his time in WCW was a tall task. And he never really sold for anyone.
First of all Duggan comes out in jeans and a cut-off t-shirt for this match. He also has cowboy boots on. Sonny Onoo is the referee for this match. Two seconds in, we have fists and kicks flying, pretty much throwing the martial arts rules out the window. Duggan also uses his boot as a weapon.
I understand the PPV is Uncensored but if you are going to call a match a Martial Arts match then make those rules stick. I mean this is literally just a regular wrestling match that is about as boring of a Jim Duggan match you would find during this time. It may be his worst WCW match, which is saying something.
1992 Royal Rumble: The Beverly Brothers vs The Bushwhackers
The 1992 Royal Rumble match is the greatest Rumble match of all time. But if you like to watch the whole show in the build up before the Rumble like I do, this match is a chore to watch.
The match is only 15 minutes long, but it feels like 60. The Beverlys are good wrestlers, but the Bushwhackers by this point were all gimmick and nothing else. The match brings the show to a grinding halt as it kills the heat in the crowd.
Not only that, but you have the shenanigans of The Genius and Jamison on the outside that added nothing to this match. It’s a snoozefest slowing down the build-up to a great main event, and is just painful to watch.
2019 Hell In A Cell: Seth Rollins vs The Fiend
I remember when this match was booked. I thought for sure it would be a five minute Fiend squash match and he would walk out as Champion.
Instead we got what was quite possibly the worst Hell In A Cell match of all time. We had the debut of The Fiend’s red light gimmick that made the match unwatchable. We had the Fiend kicking out at one of every move. We had the Fiend’s giant hammer that looked riduclous.
Oh, and we had the referee call off a HELL IN A CELL match because they couldn’t find a way to book the Fiend lose. They rushed into things without having a set plan with the Fiend at all. It was a terrible decision and the whole feud killed Seth Rollins as a babyface.
So I named a few. What are some matches you consider horror shows? Add to the discussion and comment on our social media pages!