Vince McMahon has pushed some Superstars before they were ready

6 WWE Superstars who failed to take off despite Vince McMahon's push

Vince McMahon has often had a soft spot for wrestlers of size over smaller, more technical guys. This has come to the fore many times in WWE and we often see him try to push someone as a top star when they are nowhere near qualified enough inside the ring for such a position on the card.

Despite Vince McMahon doing his best to push these wrestlers, they just didn't make the cut for the WWE Universe. Here are 6 terrible wrestlers who Vince McMahon tried to push as a top guy but failed.

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#6 Jinder Mahal - Vince McMahon's failed gateway to India

India is one of the largest growing markets for WWE, with a massive fanbase. When the promotion decided to tour India in 2017, Vince McMahon decided to go all out by having an Indian WWE champion. As a result, Jinder Mahal went from losing random matches to winning the prestigious WWE Championship at Backlash.

While WWE tried its best to turn Jinder's reign into something great, fans were not buying it. An unnecessarily long feud with Orton only made things worse. The last straw was a horrible rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura, post which Mahal lost the title to AJ Styles.

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To his credit, Mahal is a great wrestler and was able to bring enough attention to WWE's India tour. Sadly, he couldn't become the massive heel Vince McMahon wanted him to be.


#5 Mason Ryan

The first thing you’ll notice about Mason Ryan is how close the man is to being a spitting image of ’The Animal’ Batista. Muscular and standing at around 6 feet 5 inches tall, you can understand why Vince McMahon was high on him early on and saw him as a potential star.

After spending time in developmental, the former Gladiators star was quickly drafted up to the main roster by Vince McMahon. Mason made his WWE debut in 2011, interfering in a match between two of WWE's biggest stars of the modern era – John Cena vs CM Punk.

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The strange segment saw Punk knock Cena out with a head kick, before Ryan hit a big boot to Punk himself – causing Punk to win the match by DQ. Ryan then laid Cena out with a sidewalk slam before aligning himself with Punk and the New Nexus.

It was all downhill from there, though, for Ryan’s WWE career. Although he had the look Vince McMahon wanted, he was just too awkward and limited inside the ring – clearly called up too soon. Ryan went on to have feuds against Kane and Randy Orton but his push soon fizzled out and he left WWE in 2014.

Barring the Nexus angle, Ryan really did not have much on his resume to show. He was unable to establish himself as a singles wrestler and faced a similar fate to other such predecessors.


#4 Mordecai

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The best thing about Mordecai’s push was that WWE ended it at the right time. The man debuted in 2004, playing a religious zealot who was basically the yin to The Undertaker’s yang. Mordecai was clad in all white, a stark contrast to the darkness of The Undertaker’s character.

Mordecai was set to enter a high-profile feud with the Deadman soon after his debut, something he hinted at in one of his early vignettes, promising to rid the WWE of its sinners.

However, things never truly got underway for Mordecai. His PPV debut saw him squash Scotty-2-Hotty at Judgement Day PPV. He moved on to a brief feud with Hardcore Holly next, but the program with The Undertaker never materialized, mostly due to how limited Mordecai was inside the squared circle.

He was released a month after the Great American Bash where he faced Hardcore Holly. Mordecai returned to WWE for a second failed run in their version of ECW as Kevin Thorn.

Vince McMahon invested heavily in this gimmick, but it failed to take off despite having feuds with the best in the business.


#3 Nathan Jones

The Colossus of Boggo Road was just never meant to be a pro wrestler. WWE signed the giant Australian ex-con in 2002 and Vince McMahon immediately saw dollar signs. After being fast-tracked to SmackDown, he was immediately thrust into a high-profile storyline alongside The Undertaker as he feuded with Big Show and A-Train.

Jones was supposed to be Undertaker’s tag-team partner at WrestleMania 19 but he was written out of the match after being attacked on Sunday Night Heat. This was because Vince McMahon and other backstage officials realized they just couldn’t put him in the match. The match was turned into a handicap match with Jones coming out at the end to help Taker get the win.

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Jones ended up leaving WWE shortly after, saying that life on the road just wasn’t for him. Since leaving pro wrestling, Jones has transitioned successfully into a career in film.


#2 King Mabel

The business was down in the New Generation Era and Vince McMahon thought he had found his next big heel in one half of Men On A Mission – Mabel. Mabel quickly won the King of the Ring 1995 and was rechristened as King Mabel. But, he was still a disaster.

Mabel faced Diesel for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam 1995 but fans just didn’t accept him as a top guy. Diesel retained the title and Mabel moved on to a high-profile feud against The Undertaker, but it was this feud that would be his last as a top guy.

Even The Undertaker failed to get Mabel over. What was worse was that Mabel, who was quite clumsy in the ring, injured The Undertaker during one of their matches, breaking his orbital bone.

Vince McMahon reportedly wanted to fire Mabel after the incident but Undertaker’s intervention helped save his job. He was let go in 1996 before returning during the Attitude Era as Viscera.

Viscera later became Big Daddy V, but remained a part of the mid-card table. Vince McMahon even converted him from a fearsome goth to that of the 'world's largest love machine'. However, Viscera just couldn't do justice to the gimmicks.


#1 Giant Gonzalez

It’s scary to think how close Giant Gonzalez came to ending the streak at WWE WrestleMania 9. It was the only match in the streak that The Undertaker won by DQ after Gonzalez used chloroform on the Deadman. The two met again at SummerSlam but even Undertaker couldn’t make the lumbering giant from the Pampas look good inside the ring.

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Gonzalez didn’t last much longer in the company. His last appearance came in a 20-man battle royal for the WWE Intercontinental Championship on RAW. Three days after the match, WWE announced that Gonzalez was leaving the company.

It’s hard to see why Vince McMahon saw Gonzalez as a wrestler qualified enough to face one of the company’s biggest stars, apart from the fact that he was almost 8 feet tall.

The gimmick could have been a menacing one, but WWE got both the booking and the apparel wrong.

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Edited by
Arvind Sriram
 
 
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