“You only get one chance to make a first impression” isn’t strictly true in wrestling circles.
Someone who tanked during their debut in the old WWF, for example, could make their merry way to WCW for a hasty repackage job and give it another go years later. The same could be said in the modern era – if WWE mishandles someone, that’s not to say AEW will do the same (and vice versa).
That doesn’t excuse promotions for totally bungling what should’ve been some of the hottest debuts in industry history though. Seriously, some of the introductory ideas included on this list are enough to make one feel queasy, and they’re still annoying today.
WCW’s legendary f*ck ups get a lot of attention, as do Vince McMahon’s most iconically poor debuts/re-debuts. TNA muscle even in on the action, and Tony Khan doesn’t get a pass either. There are two All Elite arrivals here that should remind everybody what happens when your roster is bloated.
Are these the worst wrestling debuts ever? Not necessarily, but they were gross miscalculations that should’ve been better thought out.
Enjoy the carnage…
When: June 18, 2001 (Raw).
Why It Was A Waste: Might as well start with a biggie.
Diamond Dallas Page captivated WCW fans by opposing the nWo and presenting himself as an everyman “People’s Champion” who battled the odds to become a pro wrestler in the first place. He was one of the company’s most popular babyfaces for a reason, and must’ve been looking forward to defying expectations yet again in the WWF.
Page came crashing back down to earth with an almighty thump when he found out what Vinnie Mac and pals had in store for him though. They planned to turn him into a stalker-he was feuding with The Undertaker, sure, but only as a cowardly creep who apparently wanted ‘Taker to kick his ass from him.
It didn’t take long before this flopped, obviously. DDP was married to the smoking hot Kimberly at the time too, which only made the situation more egregious. Christ knows what the WWF’s creative forces were thinking when they cobbled this together.