5 WWE gimmicks the world hated but Vince McMahon loved: Anonymous RAW General Manager, a stuttering giant
Former WWE CEO Vince McMahon is responsible for some of the greatest moments in wrestling history. His rivalry with Stone Cold Steve Austin was legendary and allowed every fan to live vicariously through The Rattlesnake as he battled with his boss.
However, there have been several gimmicks that have fallen completely flat in front of WWE fans that the former CEO was fond of.
Listed below are five examples that Vince McMahon loved but the WWE Universe hated.
#5. Vince McMahon loved Santina Marella in WWE
Santino Marella dressed up as a female superstar to portray his "Santina Marella" character. He claimed that Santina was his sister in the ridiculous storyline. At WrestleMania 25, Marella entered and won a Battle Royale meant for the women's division.
Many fans were not happy to see a male superstar win the match and most didn't enjoy the gimmick. Speaking to Steve Fall on Ten Count, Santino disclosed that the only reason the gimmick lasted so long was because Vince found it amusing:
"Santina was supposed to be one night only, and it was just so funny. Like, you know, people that were in gorilla, like Vince was p***ing his pants, it was so funny and so she stuck around for a few months." [H/T: WrestlingNews]
#4. The New Day's original gimmick
Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E have made The New Day their own and have been a staple of the WWE tag team division for almost a decade. The original idea for the gimmick was that they would be "positivity preaching preachers" and Vince McMahon told them to make it work.
Vince's idea for the gimmick left a lot to be desired but the talent in the group was too much to be denied and eventually they figured it out. Kofi Kingston spoke about when the former WWE CEO pitched them the idea for the gimmick on Ryan Satin's Out of Character podcast:
“We told him, ‘Whatever you give us, we’ll make it succeed because of our chemistry. We believe in it.’ He’s like, ‘Alright, I’m going to put that to the test. You guys are gonna be positivity preaching preachers. Go get it over.’ We’re just like, alright, this is our chance and we supported each other.” [H/T:Cageside Seats]
#3. Stuttering Matt Morgan
Matt Morgan is a seven-foot tall elite athlete who was saddled with a terrible gimmick by Vince McMahon back in the day. In 2005, Morgan portrayed a character that stuttered during promos and would get angry about it. Since retiring from wrestling, Matt has found a career in politics and is currently the City Commissioner in Longwood, Florida.
The 46-year-old disclosed to Post and Courier that he wasn't a fan of the character but tried to make it work for McMahon:
“I tried to do it to the best of my ability,” says Morgan. “I didn’t talk like other big guys. I talked very quickly, and while some things I said might have gotten lost in translation, I wrestled on a television show. I always thought that separated me because now you’ve got a thinking man’s giant, you’ve got a guy that is well educated and well-rounded and doesn’t have his weaknesses, and I thought that would look like a ‘Mr. Perfect’ of the giants.”
#2. Rusev/foreign heel
The WWE Universe grew to love Rusev and Lana, but his character felt like it was out of the 1980s for a while. Vince McMahon had several gimmicks he would always go back to, the foreign heel, the rich guy, the male or female superstar that is obsessed with their looks, etc.
He recently tried to morph Apollo Crews into a wealthy Nigerian heel character that didn't connect with current WWE fans. Apollo has since returned to NXT and Commander Azeez has disappeared from television.
Rusev was at his most popular when he was having fun with the crowd as they chanted "Rusev Day!"
#1. Anonymous WWE RAW General Manager
Vince McMahon unveiled the Anonymous RAW General Manager in 2010 after he fired Bret Hart. An email was sent from the mystery GM and a very loud notification sound would blare through the spearkers in the arena. Michael Cole would then saunter over to the podium with the computer and read the demands of the GM.
WWE had no plans to identify the Anonymous RAW GM and the storyline eventually went away. It was revealed that Hornswoggle was the superstar behind the emails as the mystery GM. Hornswoggle was also revealed as Vince McMahon's illegitimate child in another failed storyline.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated in 2017, Hornswoggle revealed that he would love to do the storyline over because he was originally supposed to portray a mob-boss character:
"I would love to do the whole “Anonymous General Manager” storyline again. The way it was supposed to turn out was that I was supposed to be this almost mob-boss style character with this Napoleon complex, throwing his power around while running Raw. Obviously things didn't work out that way."