The 15 absolute WORST ring names in history
The goal of every young sports-entertainment hopeful is to hear their name announced as they strut down the aisle in a WWE arena. For a select few, that dream comes true. But for others, the name that ends up being announced is a complete nightmare.
WWE Classics looked through the history books to uncover the 15 absolute worst ring names of all time. These unchantable, unfunny monikers have soured even the most talented competitors from tasting success. Because for every “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, there’s a Ringmaster just waiting to happen. See who made the list, presented by Totino's Bold.
No, he didn’t smell of roses, but what do you expect from a guy who was saddled with the surname Booger from birth? The 6-foot-3, 400-pounder was perhaps the most disgusting and gluttonous Superstar in the history of sports-entertainment — and that’s saying something. Booger did live up to his name, though, as he stained the mat during his matches and once munched on a pizza during a bout. Unfortunately, he didn’t eat his way to many wins and was gone from WWE the following year.
WWE Tough Enough head trainer Bill DeMott is regarded as one of the squared circle’s most hard-nosed competitors, but his WCW moniker of Hugh Morrus hardly struck fear in his opponents. Debuting as a member of the campy Dungeon of Doom in 1995, DeMott tried out The Man of Questions and The Laughing Man, which were apparently too corny. Morrus used a moonsault dubbed “No Laughing Matter” to finish off his opponents, but his punny name was a complete joke. Just make sure DeMott doesn’t hear you snickering about it.
Phineas I. Godwinn & Henry O. Godwinn
The two sloppy farmers from Arkansas known as The Godwinns fit right in during WWE’s era of colorful personalities in the mid-1990s. In fact, Henry and Phineas worked so well together that they scored two reigns as World Tag Team Champions all while dressed in dirty overalls. Despite their unconventional ring attire and down-home demeanor, no one could deny The Godwinns’ ring prowess. But what was up with those initials? H.O.G.? P.I.G.? The two slopsters weren’t fooling anyone. These guys had names that deserved to be locked up in a pen.
Project Gemini was a NASA program during the 1960s with the intention of progressing science and launching men into outer space. Project Gymini was a short-lived 2006 tag team made up of two muscle bound twins. Talk about devolution. Brought to WWE by fitness guru Simon Dean, The Gymini (Get it? They’re twins and they work out.) were burly dudes with impressive physiques and identical mugs. After debuting on SmackDown to take care of Paul London & Brian Kendrick, they were shipped off to Velocity, where they caused anything but an explosive supernova, before departing later that year.
When a grungy competitor with an angry streak arrived in ECW in the late 1990s, Paul Heyman was so enamored with the wrestler that he dubbed him Justin Credible. Rumor has it that “Wild” Bill Wiles came up with the name for himself, but the ECW mastermind bestowed the new arrival from WWE with the moniker instead. The success of the intense former ECW Tag Team Champion and ECW World Champion speaks for itself, but the name was perhaps a bit on the nose. After returning to WWE as a member of X-Factor and succumbing to CM Punk in the future WWE Champion’s debut, the goateed grappler didn’t quite live up to his name.
Before Booker T became a five-time (five-time, five-time …) WCW Champion, he wrestled under the name G.I. Bro, a moniker quickly abandoned when he arrived in Atlanta. The dynamic competitor soared to spectacular heights as Booker T, winning the WCW Tag Team Championship, Television Championship and the United States Championship. But just as Booker was beginning to pick up some serious momentum as a bona fide main eventer, he linked up with the wayward Misfits in Action and rechristened himself G.I Bro. It was one of the most head-scratching decisions in sports-entertainment history, but thankfully it didn’t last long. Bro dropped the fatigues soon after and started picking up World Title wins.
Thurman "Sparky" Plugg
The name Thurman Plugg might not be instantly recognizable to most members of the WWE Universe, but his face should be. That’s because Plugg’s name was so awful it went through several incarnations over the competitor’s 15-year WWE career. When the racecar driver sped into the ring as one of WWE’s hottest young stars in 1994, he told fans that his friends called him “Sparky.” Unfortunately, even the skills of the speedway couldn’t help ol’ Thurman cross the finish line in WWE. He soon changed his name to Bob Holly, using “Spark Plug” as a nickname. During WWE’s Attitude Era, Holly dropped his racetrack getup all together and went totally hardcore, erasing all memories of his Talladega nights.
When a balding tough guy with bland, black trunks arrived in WWE in 1995, he was dubbed The Ringmaster. Not because he was a carnival barker, but because he was simply that: an expert in the squared circle. But other than being handed the Million Dollar Championship by “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, The Ringmaster was as boring as his attire. Nothing separated him from the pack besides the competitor’s obvious grappling skills. His name might as well have been “The Good Wrestler.” Thankfully, his talent was impossible to deny and he soon morphed into the one and only “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Otherwise, we all might have been wearing “Ringmaster 3:16” T-shirts.
Master of the windpipe-crushing Heart Punch, Stan “The Man” Stasiak became the fifth-ever WWE Champion in 1973 by unseating longtime Latino fan favorite Pedro Morales. So when his son arrived in WWE in 1999, it only made sense for the young man to tout himself as the former champ’s second coming, right? Wrong. The young Stasiak became Meat, a chick-obsessed muscled stud wearing tighty-whitey trunks. Instead of going after the title that once belonged to his father, Meat went after the gals of Pretty Mean Sisters. But once Terri caught her boy toy kissing another Diva via security footage, Meat abandoned his carnivorous moniker and embraced his lineage. Live on television, the hunk told the world he was no longer Meat and would now be known as Shawn Stasiak. Well done, Shawn.
( WATCH MEAT)
Jimmy Wang Yang
In the later years of WCW, a thrilling trio known as The Jung Dragons dazzled fans in Ladder Matches with their spectacular high-flying maneuvers. One of those competitors was known simply as Yang. But when Yang came to WWE in 2006, he added a “Jimmy Wang” to his name. The talented cruiserweight now sported a Fu Manchu mustache and wore cowboy attire. It was the perfect persona for an all-American redneck, but Yang was actually a half-Korean from California. Still, despite his ridiculous handle, the WWE Universe got behind the talented and charismatic cowpoke before he rode off into the sunset in 2010.
The Red Rooster
Superstars like Jake “The Snake” Roberts and The British Bulldog adopted animal monikers to intimidate their opponents, and they became ring legends in the process. Terry Taylor must’ve had something similar in mind when he took on the persona of the most dangerous creature in the barnyard: The Red Rooster. Complete with crimson garb and a fowl strut, The Rooster only intimidated those folks who liked to sleep in while scoring less than notable victories over perennial also-ran The Brooklyn Brawler and Bobby Heenan. By 1990, The Rooster had flown the WWE coop. Cock-a-doodle-don’t.
Skip & Zip
Chris Candido was considered to be one of sports-entertainment’s most promising young talents when he ventured from Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling to WWE in 1995. And what name did the former NWA World Heavyweight Champion go by in WWE? Skip. As one-half of the fitness obsessed Bodydonnas, he was paired with another talented Smokey Mountain alumnus named Tom Prichard. What name was given to him? Zip. That’s right. Two of the most talented young stars were handed names that were as forgettable as your last hiccup. Thankfully, Sunny was always there to brighten up the ordeal.
When a burly competitor in a colorful luchador mask arrived in WWE in 1996, he went only by the name of Who. But who was Who? Who hailed from Who Knows Where, weighed in at the astounding weight of Who Knows What and seemed to merely be an excuse for Mr. McMahon and Jerry Lawler to re-enact their favorite Abbott & Costello routine. Thankfully, the broadcast duo didn’t butcher the famous comedy bit for very long and Who fell out of WWE faster than an anvil.
( WATCH WHO)
In the early 1990s, WCW was a land riddled with colorful personas that seemed to be lifted straight out of the pages of comic books. While the entire Justice League never arrived in Atlanta, Robocop certainly did, along with plenty of other characters that were dangerously close to some well-known heroes. The worst offender was Arachnaman. A blatant rip-off of Peter Parker’s alter-ego, the closest he ever came to Uncle Ben was a box of rice in the WCW cafeteria. Debuting in late 1991, the two- (not eight-)legged competitor faced off against a young Mick Foley and “Stunning” Steve Austin. But Arachnaman was so similar to Marvel’s meal ticket, legal action was threatened and the vigilante lasted all but three months in WCW.
Dr. Isaac Yankem
In 1995, Jerry “The King” Lawler was looking for the upper hand in his increasingly heated rivalry with Bret Hart. To find the secret weapon he needed to defeat The Excellence of Execution, Lawler went to … his dentist? WWE fans may have thought The King had lost it, but the nearly seven-foot Dr. Isaac Yankem pulled more than just teeth. The imposing doctor inflicted a root canal’s worth of pain onto the “Hit Man” during their intense encounter at that year’s SummerSlam. Still, despite his daunting stature, Yankem didn’t yank many victories and departed WWE in 1996, leaving destruction for other monsters.