Over the years, WWE has had several success stories, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Whether its down to booking decisions, in-ring work, or just overall presentation, sometimes things just don’t work out for certain people in WWE.
Taking that into consideration, the team over at WhatCulture published a list last year, looking at the worst WWE Superstar from every single year from 1990 to 2021.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right in and look at that list, which to be honest features some rather surprising names, and see if we agree or disagree.
1990 – Mike Rotunda
The issue with Mike Rotunda in 1990 was his in-ring work, and that, to be honest, is why he was rated as the worst WWE Superstar that year.
WhatCulture explained their decision with the damning statement below, and upon reading it, it’s hard to argue with their decision.
Unfortunately, wrestling is meant to be entertaining, and Rotunda’s amateur-inspired grappling while legitimate-looking was just so punishingly dull.
1991 – Oz
Before joining WWE (then WWF) in 1993, Kevin Nash worked for WCW under the name of ‘Oz’.
The gimmick, to say the least, wasn’t very good. It was a far cry from the Diesel/Kevin Nash characters that he’d go on to portray and have a great deal of success with.
The wacky gimmick just didn’t work, being a play off the Wizard of Oz, but it wasn’t just the character that was lacking.
Nash went on to improve in the ring, but as Oz, he really wasn’t good, with a match in 1991 against Sting standing out as being particularly poor.
While things weren’t great for Nash in 1991, it’s great that they eventually worked out for him, as he’d go on to become one of wrestling’s biggest stars.
1992 – Nailz
Again, when you read WhatCulture’s summary of Nailz’s work in WWE in 1992, his final year working for the company, it’s hard to agree that he was the worst Superstar that year.
Nailz may have had a somewhat interesting character, with an intimidating voice, but his work in the ring really wasn’t up to scratch, with WhatCulture having the following to say:
Once the kiddies stopped being scared of Nailz’s modulated voice, they became bored sh*tless by his work
1993 – Giant Gonzalez
Yeah… Giant Gonzalez really didn’t work out in the WWE.
You can see why WWE wanted to give him a go. He stood at 8ft (at least that’s what WWE said), and was one of the most physically imposing people we’ve ever seen in a WWE ring.
WWE did give him opportunities too, pairing him with The Undertaker at WrestleMania IX in what was, without doubt, one of ‘Taker’s worst WrestleMania matches ever.
While Gonzalez’s size may have been what attracted WWE to him, it was ultimately also his weakness, as he was simply too big to be able to move around the ring well.
Honestly, if you don’t believe it, just watch one of Gonzalez’s matches. They weren’t great, and as such, it isn’t surprising to see him ranked as the worst WWE Superstar in 1993.
1994 – Bastion Booger
Bastion Booger deserves a spot on this list just for his ridiculous name and ring gear alone.
Just like some of the other names on this list, Booger wasn’t the best in the ring, and really struggled to move around with any semblance of agility or athletisicm.
As bad as his in-ring work was, his gimmick was arguably worse, earning him the rightful spot as the worst WWE wrestler of 1994.
1995 – Bertha Faye
Speaking of Bastion Booger, WhatCulture has described Bertha Faye as the Bastion Booger of the women’s divison.
Faye was presented as a comedy wrestler, but the issue with that was, what she was doing in the ring wasn’t funny.
Like many of the other names on this list, she lacked the athleticism and skill in the ring to really get over with the fans, and to be honest, is probably rightly ranked as the worst WWE Superstar of 1995, a pretty bad year for WWE altogether.
1996 – Loch Ness
The former Giant Haystacks was deemed the worst wrestler of 1996 due to his work in WCW in as Loch Ness, and to be honest, it’s not hard to see why.
Loch Ness was simply too big, weighing over 650lbs and standing at close to 7ft, to really be able to do anything well in the ring.
Rather than just being a not-so-pretty wrestler, Loch Ness was actually pretty dangerous in the ring too, with a match with Scotty Riggs on Nitro during this year nearly going badly wrong.
1997 – Crush
Other than his friendship with The Undertaker, things didn’t really go too well for Crush in WWE.
Again, in the ring, Crush wasn’t very good, and he doesn’t even have the sheer size excuse that some of the other men to feature on this list do, as we’ve covered.
Crush was pretty sluggish with his offence, and that made his matches rather missable, and he very much lacked the edge that Superstars in the Attitude Era required.
As a bit of a side note, WhatCulture explain that they were close to giving this spot to Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Triple H), but ultimately settled on Crush.
1998 – Kurrgan
Kurrgan is one of the tallest wrestlers to ever step foot inside a WWE ring, standing at a staggering 7ft tall.
It was perhaps this size that lead to his downfall in WWE, which is seemingly becoming a bit of a theme on this list.
Despite his size, Kurrgan was portrayed as a comedy giant character as part of the Oddities, and if we’re being honest, it really didn’t work.
The character wasn’t there, and neither was his in-ring work, so it’s really not hard to see why he was voted as the worst WWE Superstar of 1998.
1999 – Mideon
The way Mideon moved around the ring was quite unique. Seriously, if you haven’t seen one of his matches, go out of your way to watch one, they’re bizarre.
The strange part was, Middeon did some of the most complicated in-ring moves decently, but it was the basics that he really struggled with.
This one is really hard to put into words. Seriously, just go and watch one of Middeon’s matches from 1999, and you’ll see why he’s ranked as the worst WWE Superstar of that year.
2000 – The Wall
With characters such as ‘The Wall’, it really should come as no surprise that WCW went out of business in 2001 and was bought by WWE.
Like many people on this list, it was The Wall’s size, and in this case his height, that earned him a spot on WCW’s roster, more than his in-ring ability.
His punches looked pretty shoddy, and he was really quite poor in the ring, and as such, you won’t find many people complaining with WhatCulture’s assertion that he was the worst wrestler of 2000.
2001 – Kronik
WCW was bought out by WWE in 2001, and during the first year of the new era, Konrik were voted as the worst wrestler.
Kronik was a tag team comprising of Brian Adams and Brian Clark, and it really, really, REALLY didn’t work out for them in WWE.
There isn’t much to talk about here, other than Kronik’s showing at Unforgiven 2001, where they faced The Undertaker and Kane, and things fell apart.
You may not like ‘Taker and Kane’s work, and they aren’t the best wrestlers ever, but they were solid in the ring, and somehow Kronik were able to give them a bad match here.
Seriously, the pair’s performance in the match was so bad that Paul Heyman can be heard shouting instructions to them during the bout. It wasn’t pretty.
2002 – The Undertaker
You’re reading that right. The Undertaker, one of wrestling’s best ever characters, was deemed was the worst WWE Superstar in 2002.
His work as ‘The Deadman’ was legendary, but as ‘The American Badass’, things didn’t exactly work out too well for the WWE Hall of Famer.
The Undertaker wanted to mix things up and try out this new character, but fans really didn’t get behind him in this new role, which explains the viewership during 2002 rapidly falling.
The issue was, this version of The Undertaker wasn’t anywhere near as good as the version fans had seen previously, and they didn’t like it.
This entry is perhaps slightly harsh, but considering he’d been one of WWE’s top stars with a different character for over a decade prior, this was a big switch up, and it didn’t work.
2003 – Nathan Jones
WWE really wanted Nathan Jones to work, so his place on this list as the worst WWE Superstar of 2003 wasn’t for the want of trying.
Jones was paired with The Undertaker heading into WrestleMania, and was supposed to tag with him against A-Train and Big Show at the big show, but WWE realised it wasn’t going to work, and pulled him.
He did have the look to make it in WWE, with a background in Strongman competitions, but Jones couldn’t work in the ring, only really being able to do the most basic of moves.
Less than a year after making his debut in WWE in April 2003, Jones quit the company, in what was a disastrous few months for him and this experiment.
2004 – Mordecai
From one failed WWE experiment to another, WhatCulture has dubbed Mordecai as the worst WWE Superstar from 2004.
Mordecai was supposed to be brought in as a rival for The Undertaker, being his pollar opposite, but things didn’t exactly pan out that way.
He was brought in with a great deal of expectation, and if we’re being honest, was never going to meet that. Due to his poor in-ring work, he really was doomed to fail right from the start.
2005 – Heidenreich
As we’ve seen with the last few entries, WWE really chucked s*** at the wall during this period to see what would stick, with Heidenreich being an example of that.
As we’re seeing a lot more now in WWE, Heidenreich looked incredibly impressive, and WWE was attracted to him after his career in American football didn’t quite work out.
His gimmick didn’t work, and his in-ring ability wasn’t much better. If we’re being honest, he was brought into WWE solely because of his look, and it wasn’t enough to carry him through.
2006 – The Boogeyman
Okay, The Boogeyman really was unique, with a look that really stood out, and to his credit, he had an incredible physique to match.
The Boogeyman’s biggest criticism in the ring was that he almost tried too hard, with WhatCulture saying that he “oversold everything”, and it really didn’t match his character.
The Boogeyman oversold everything. Every punch between the shoulder blades caused him to double over in pain, every punch to the stomach compelled him to flail wildly.
There was a real disconnect between what The Boogeyman was doing in the ring, and what he was doing outside of it with his character. It just didn’t work well.
And as such, it’s not too surprising to see him ranked as the worst WWE Superstar of 2006.
2007 – Deuce
Deuce is literally another word for human excrement… are we really surprised that someone effectively named poo was the worst WWE Superstar of 2007?
Lacking the charisma to make their 1950s inspired gimmick work, Deuce and Domino didn’t enjoy a lot of success in WWE, despite what their reign as WWE Tag Team Champions may say.
The reason why Domino is in this spot alone and not with Deuce is because of how poor the latter’s in-ring workn was. He was quite athletic but lacked any real conviction in his offence.
In fact, WhatCulture use the fact that multiple WWE stars complained about working with Deuce as evidence to support this ranking, and when they bring that up, it’s hard to argue otherwise.
2008 – Manu
Manu was brought into WWE alongside Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiaise as part of the Legacy faction, but to put it lightly, he wasn’t nearly as good as his three stablemates.
He’s also part of the legendary Anoa’i family, meaning he’s related to the likes of The Rock, Roman Reigns and The Usos, but was also not as good as them.
There was clearly a lot of expectation heading into his debut, and perhaps it was that lofty expectation that led to his downfall.
Manu has been described as bland, and beyond relying on his base level of being a powerful wrestler, he didn’t really impress anywhere else.
WhatCulture sums it up perfectly when they say he was too big to be a small guy but too small to be a big guy. He was bland, and he really struggled to carve out his spot on the roster.
He was too small to be big and too big to be small. He was OK, fundamentally – but that was the problem.
Manu did the basics well, but beyond that, it didn’t work out too well for him, so while putting him as the worst WWE Superstar of 2008 may seem harsh, it’s probably the right call.
2009 – The Great Khali
The Great Khali worked decently for his first year or so in WWE after debuting 2006, but by 2009, the novelty had very much worn off.
There’s no denying that Khali was an impressive figure, and his sheer size did make him a spectacle, but that’s kind of where it stopped.
He wasn’t very good in the ring, and it showed. In an era with some of the most impressive wrestlers in the world, WWE fans had no real interest in seeing Khali in top storylines.
2010 – Sean Morley
Sean Morley worked in WWE as Val Venis, but it was his work in TNA that earned him the spot was the worst wrestler in 2010.
TNA desperately tried to overtake WWE in 2010, and how did they go about achieving that? Attempting to essentially rehash the Attitude Era from the 1990s.
Sean Morley was brought in to do his Val Venis schtick, and despite being once popular, fans really didn’t get behind the redo.
It’s not hard to see why, he put a lot less effort into the rehash of the character, and fans saw right through it.
2011 – Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly, so good they named her twice.
If we’re being brutally honest, Kelly Kelly was brought into WWE purely based on her appearance, rather than any skill she had in the ring.
She couldn’t really hit any offence with any sense of conviction, and her attempt at running the ropes was rather comical. Her in-ring work just wasn’t there, especially when compared to the quality of women’s wrestling right now.
She worked for what she was doing in WWE at the time, and how they were presenting the women’s division (not very well), but it’s not unfair to say she was the worst WWE Superstar of 2011.
2012 – Brodus Clay
Pretty much immediately after his debut in WWE, things went downhill for Brodus Clay.
The worst part was, it seemed like WWE still wanted to push him, giving him PPV wins over some top stars, but fans just weren’t having any of it.
Brodus’ monster character was soon dropped and replaced by a dancing dinosaur character, and that just about sums up his time in WWE.
2013 – The Miz
The Miz, to his credit, has been a pretty good heel in WWE for over ten years now. However, he simply doesn’t work as a babyface.
His actual work in the ring has never been his strong suit, but that’s what made The Miz great. In a world of brilliant wrestlers, he was almost the anti-wrestler.
However, in 2013, WWE had the genius idea of trying to turn The Miz into a babyface and the next Ric Flair, who is widely recognized as one of the best wrestlers ever.
It just didn’t work, and soon after, The Miz was turned back into a heel, and the world rejoiced once again.
2014 – Cameron
Cameron is the prouder owner of one of the funniest moments in WWE history (her interaction with Stone Cold during the 2011 Tough Enough), and was also the worst WWE Superstar of 2014.
There’s not much to say about Cameron, but so sum up her in-ring work, she tried to pin Naomi when her opponent was lying on her stomach… Yeah…
She wasn’t really trained very well and it showed…
2015 – Eva Marie
During a time when NXT featured some of the best wrestlers in the world, Eva Marie’s time with the Black and Gold brand stood out like a sore thumb.
Eva had a great look, and did generate quite a good heel reaction, but she wasn’t very good in the ring.
NXT was a developmental brand, so Eva not being the best was okay, but the issue was she never actually improved.
Her matches seemed incredibly scripted, which was very much not the style for NXT. She did try, but wrestling just wasn’t right for her.
2016 – The Ascension
The Ascension were, essentially, WWE’s attempt at recreating the Road Warriors, and like they always say, the sequel is never as good as the original.
The group enjoyed some success in NXT, but Vince McMahon seemingly didn’t get on board with their act, and they never worked on the main roster.
The Road Warriors style didn’t work for WWE in the modern era and that was proved with the Viktor and Konnor’s run in 2016.
2017 – Jinder Mahal
2017 was one random year for Jinder Mahal.
Previously a jobber in WWE, Mahal was inserted into the WWE Championship picture just after WrestleMania 33, and to the surprise of many, beat Randy Orton for the belt.
The move was WWE’s attempt to break into the Indian market, and they persisted with Mahal as champion for seven months, although it was obvious that it wasn’t working.
Beating the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura during his reign, it was clear that WWE was going to persist with Mahal as champion despite the fans clearly not liking it.
He dropped the belt in November, just before a Survivor Series match with Brock Lesnar, and the world rejoiced again.
It’s harsh on Mahal, but he was simply pushed far beyond his means during 2017. The experiment just didn’t work.
2018 – Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon’s non-wrestling son, was crowned the ‘Best Wrestler in the World’ in 2018.
The angle sucked. It tried to get Shane heel heat with the fans, and while the fans hated the move, the heat was more on WWE than the 52-year-old.
Shane’s matches weren’t particularly good, and he was pushed in a spot that fans just didn’t want to see him in.
Again, not his fault, but WWE fans just didn’t want to see Shane booked in the spots he was in, and to say he was the worst wrestler of 2018 wouldn’t be harsh.
2019 – Goldberg
His match with The Undertaker in Saudi Arabia was one of the worst WWE matches ever, and if we’re being honest, both men were quite lucky to walk out without serious injuries.
Again, this isn’t Goldberg’s fault. If WWE offered most of us a stupid amount of money to come in and wrestle The Undertaker, we’d probably take it.
The issue was, the match may have been a dream match in 2000, but in 2019, there just wasn’t a desire to see it.
Both men couldn’t move like they used to, and it resulted in an utter car crash, with Goldberg ultimately responsible.
2020 – ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt
‘The Fiend’ had a disaster of a year in 2020, the year before he was ultimately released by WWE.
At the beginning of the year, he dropped his Universal Championship to Goldberg in Saudi Arabia, in a decision that turned several fans off WWE.
He also had a forgettable feuds with Braun Strowman and Randy Orton, dropped the Universal Championship (which he won again) to Roman Reigns, and had a pretty awful partnership with Alexa Bliss.
The issue wasn’t with The Fiend’s work, he was fine in the ring, but WWE just didn’t get his creative vision for the character. To put it lightly, the character, which had a lot of potential, was a massive failure, and that is ultimately WWE’s fault.
2021 – Nia Jax
2021 was the year that Nia Jax was released by WWE, reportedly due to her unwillingness to get vaccinated.
Jax had generated a lot of heat with fans over the years, mainly due to her perceived recklessness in the ring, with several wrestlers getting injured during matches with the former Raw Women’s Champion.
Fans had no interest in seeing her pushed over the likes of Bianca Belair, Asuka and Kairi Sane, all of whom fans thought to be more deserving of slots in the main event scene.
Her in-ring work was sluggish and, to be honest, not that great. Her matches were largely missable, and she was pretty deserving of the spot as the worst WWE Superstar in 2021.