Wrestling has been around for generations. From Bruno Sammartino to Hulk Hogan to John Cena, every era has had their stars. Of course, not every star can shine so bright, and some wrestlers have had gimmicks that are hard to look back at fondly. For some, like Max Moon, a costume could be a career ender. For others, like Kane, it was just an unfortunate bump in the road of life. We’ve left no bell unrung in digging up the costumes that should have never seen the light of day. These are the worst looks professional wrestling has ever seen.
The Rock Never Looked So Bad
It’s been over 20 years since Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson made his debut with the WWE (then WWF) as Rocky Maivia. The character was adorned with what can only be described as party streamers. Surprisingly, this odd gimmick didn’t hurt his chances at success.
As Maivia, Johnson won the Intercontinental Title, beating Hunter Hearts Helmsley on Monday Night Raw. Two years later, Johnson rejected the Maivia persona and turned into the Rock, one of the most popular WWE personas of all time.
Max Moon Never Landed
The story of Max Moon and the WWE is an odd one. The character was originally designed and created for Konnan, one of the promotion’s more controversial figures. When he butted heads with Vince McMahon after the $13,000 moon suit was created, Konnan was shown the door.
Not looking to waste a “futuristic” looking suit with built-in pyrotechnics, the character was given to Paul Diamond, the only other wrestler who would fit into it. Over the short course of his existence, Moon was rarely used in fights.
Oz Was Named The Worst Gimmick Of 1991
Kevin Nash is lucky that dressing up as Oz didn’t ruin his WWE career. The character was designed to look like a mean version of the wizard, although he ended up being far from intimidating.
At the end of 1991, Wrestling Observer Newsletter named Oz the worst gimmick of the year. The ranking marked the end of the Oz persona for Kevin Nash, who would go on to reach great wrestling heights as Diesel, a much scarier in-ring presence.
Shockmaster Didn’t Get The Intended Reaction
The only thing shocking about Shockmaster was how badly his WWE debut went. The man behind the bedazzled Storm Trooper mask never stood a chance, especially after he blew through a wall to reveal himself in all his glory.
Unfortunately, the mask obscured the wrestler’s vision, and as soon as he made his entrances, he tripped. When he hit the ground, his mask fell off, and every wrestler around him broke character and began laughing.
Farooq Was Supposed To Be A Gladiator
Farooq accomplished many incredible feats during his WWE career, including becoming the first black World Champion in history. Sadly, he wasn’t very good at picking out his costume. He was supposed to look like a gladiator, but instead, he looked like a villain from a Nickelodeon cartoon.
Costume aside, Farooq proved wildly popular with fans. Unlike other characters you’ll see on this list, his run, costume and all, lasted for years. Ron Simmons only left the persona behind when it became culturally insensitive to the Middle East.
The Gobbledy Gooker Hatched From An Egg… Literally
Did anyone ever think this gimmick was a good idea? The Gobbledy Gooker is easily one of the worst ideas the WWE ever conceived. And we do mean conceived. In 1990, random eggs began appearing during matches, until one day one of the eggs hatched.
What emerged from the egg was a wrestler in the most horrendous chicken suit known to man. The new creature was booed raucously by the crowd, but somehow, beyond belief, managed to live past its first appearance.
Corporate Kane Was A Glimpse Into The Future
Kane was one of the most feared WWE superstars before before putting on a suit and tie. It’s not that the outfit looked bad. No one really looks bad in a suit. It’s just that the outfit was the polar opposite of anything Kane had ever been or needed to be.
Oddly enough, Glenn Jacobs, the man behind the character, was more comfortable in a suit than anyone could have predicted. In 2018 he ran for, and was elected as, the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.
Friar Ferguson Crossed A Line
Friar Ferguson lasted less than one year with the WWE. Early into his run, the Catholic Church of New York contacted the promotion and complained that he was a culturally insensitive caricature and needed to be modified.
The WWE responded by putting an end to the character altogether. The man behind the costume, Mike Shaw, would go on to become Bastion Booger. Unfortunately, his run with the promotion would end in 1994 with a loss to Koko B. Ware.
Lord Tensai Was Ready For Halloween
Is it just us, or does Lord Tensai’s entrance outfit look like he could have bought it at a Halloween costume store? There’s just something about it that screams “cheap!” to us.
Despite his terrible costume, Lord Tensai had a solid WWE career. Once the robe was off and he was in the ring, no one was laughing. He could flat out fight, and he wasn’t afraid to go as far as he needed to go to win.
Johnny B. Badd’s Was The Promotion’s Glammed Out Rock Star
Johnny B. Badd was a mix of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. His name is a take on the classic “Johnny B. Goode,” while his look is pure rock and roll glamour. As strange as his costume was, however, it worked for him.
Known as Johnny B. Badd during his WCW days, Marc Mero eventually made the jump to the much more highly publicized WWF. Once there, he was forced to use a different name, as WCW owned the rights to his glamorous past.
Mystery Man Had No Name
Kind of like the Gobbledy Gook, Mystery Man was a strange gag pulled off by the WWE in 1991. There was no warning for his arrival and no backstory given to his character. He just showed up wearing a mask and what we think is a giant cheese grater, and wailed on his enemies.
The “mystery” of who was behind the mask didn’t last long. The gig was up when it was leaked that Brutus Beefcake was the crazed lunatic all along.
Glacier Was Cold As Ice
Looking like a mix of Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Mortal Kombat character Sub-Zero, Glacier turned heads when he made his WCW debut. The promotion made a huge push to make him the next superstar, even giving him the most elaborate entrance at the time.
Fans weren’t buying what Glacier was selling, though, and he never made it past midcard fighter. In 1999, Glacier gave up the gig and sold his armor on air to another wrestler. The character was never seen again.
Isaac Yankem Was Kane’s First Mistake
Before Glenn Jacobs was known as Kane, he was Isaac Yankem. The idea behind the character must have been that no one likes going to the dentist. As an in-ring personality, the dentist gimmick wasn’t very scary, though.
The character of Isaac Yankem only lasted for one year. After that, Jacobs took over the character of Diesel while his next alter ego was created. Kane made his official debut on October 5, 1997, helping introduce the next era of heavy metal-inspired wrestlers.
The Bunny Ruined Easter For A Generation
One of the more recent wrestlers to make this list, the identity of the Bunny was kept shrouded in secret until just a few years ago. Originally a part of Adam Rose’s entrance posse, the Bunny was just a wrestler dressed in an Easter Bunny costume.
In 2015, Justin Gabriel revealed to Chris Jericho that he was behind the highly athletic and controversial character. The Bunny was short-lived, although will remain in the nightmares of teenage boys for years to come.
The Mountie Was The Promotion’s Take On Canada
Always known as an equal opportunity offender, the Mountie was the WWE’s take on Canada. Played by Jacques Rougeau Jr., the Mountie only lasted for one year. Fans turned on the caricature who apologized to his opponents in the ring.
The Mountie only lasted one season, and Rougeau Jr. took a break from the WWE for the next year. When he returned, he was a member of the tag team group The Quebecers, who were still Canadian, but not as stereotypical as previous characters.
Dusty Rhodes Didn’t Let This Costume Define Him
Dusty Rhodes is one of the most legendary wrestlers to ever grace the ring. After his passing, WWE even named a tag team tournament in his honor. With such a long career, there was bound to be one mistake his years of wardrobe changes, and we found it.
In this outfit, Rhodes looks like a polka-dotted bumblebee. We’re not sure what producers said to convince him that he was going to look scary, but it worked. Or maybe the goal was to make his opponents laugh, then destroy them in the ring.
Vito LoGrasso Wore A Dixie Cup Dress
After being a professional wrestler for nearly 14 years, Vito LoGrasso took a big chance in 2004 when he chose to cross-dress as his gimmick. He would wear dresses into the ring, then “expose” himself to other wrestlers, giving him a perceived advantage.
As strange as it was, the gimmick put LoGrasso on an undefeated streak starting in 2006. For four months he was untouchable, but after Elijah Burke took him down, things started going downhill. In 2007 LoGrasso was released from his contract, effectively ending his professional career.
Zack Ryder Never Found A Good Costume
Zack Ryder has been one of the WWE’s top wrestlers since 2004, and in that time has rarely entered the ring in what we would call a cool costume. Almost always over-the-top and bright, Ryder’s costumes are typically “in your face,” just like his Long Island attitude.
In this costume, he looks like a human Slim Jim, which isn’t exactly scary. He has also worn costumes that include QR scan codes, but we don’t want to know what happens if we scan him.
Cody Rhodes Came From Space… Or Something Like That
It looks like questionable taste runs in the Rhodes family. This is Cody Rhodes, taking on the persona of himself from an alternate universe. In reality, this was really just a play on his brother’s popularity as Goldust, who wore a very similar costume.
Named Stardust, rumor has it that Cody got tired of the gimmick and wanted to branch out on his own. The WWE had no plans to ever let him do so, telling him he would be Stardust for the rest of his career. Rhodes balked at the idea, and left the WWE for greener pastures.
Goldust Became A Baby
This list wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of the other Rhodes brother, Dustin. One of the weirdest wrestlers ever, the man behind Goldust took his career to new extremes when the WWE caught up to his act.
To compensate, Rhodes introduced a whole bevy of new characters, some too inappropriate to show here. The one that stands out to us, though, is the man-baby. Did Rhodes think running around the ring like a baby would terrify his competitors? When that didn’t work, he tried becoming a living Christmas tree.
Chainsaw Charlie Could’ve Been More Intimidating
In 1997, Terry Funk made a long-awaited return to the ring only this time, he returned as Chainsaw Charlie. The production value of this costume seems to have gone out the window, as they pretty much could have picked up any ol’ schmuck from the local gas station, told him to put pantyhose over his head, and carry a chainsaw into the ring.
People knew Chainsaw Charlie’s true identity right away and he would go on to team up with Cactus Jack (aka Mick Foley), only to be defeated by The New Age Outlaws in 1998.
Battle Kat Had Cat-Like Agility
Before he got into the ring, Brady Boone had a gymnastics background and apparently the WWF decided to utilize this by creating a character called Battle Kat. Boone debuted as Battle Kat in 1990 at a house show.
In an effort to showcase Boone’s gymnastic skill set, the WWF’s best idea was to give him a cat mask and a leotard, which truthfully may have helped him move around easier to show off his “cat-like” agility. He still managed to pin down The Brooklyn Brawler and defeat Bob Bradley, despite how ridiculous he looked doing it.
Aldo Montoya’s Mask Looked Like A Jockstrap
With a name like Justin Credible it’s a wonder why you’d even bother coming into the ring as another character named Aldo Montoya. Regardless, that’s precisely what Credible did in 1994. Inspired by his Portuguese heritage, he donned a yellow mask that covered his nose, making him look like he came out of facial reconstruction surgery.
Even though the Portuguese Man O’ War defeated The Brooklyn Brawler, he was still mocked by his fellow wrestlers who said that his unique masked looked like a jockstrap.
The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust Takes On The Holidays
We already know that Dustin Rhodes can be quite a character. When he wasn’t Goldust as a baby, he was The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust. This was obviously a getup for the Christmas season, as he decided to express his festiveness by dressing up as a tree.
Complete with a green wig and a star tree topper, he even wrapped himself in shiny garland and painted his face. As ridiculous as this looks, it was less preposterous than The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust’s usual costume, which you will see next.
The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust Was Dedicated
In 1997, Goldust’s true identity of Dustin Rhodes came to light and not long after, he became The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust, which was a reference to the singer Prince. Managed by Luna Vachon, he would often come out on a leash with a ball in his mouth, like something out of a dominatrix nightmare.
Not pictured is the walker that he sometimes used to walk out to the ring. He was so dedicated to this gimmick that he told Vince McMahon he would get breast implants if he was paid $1 million.
The Yeti Looked More Like A Mummy
If you saw this character debut debut on TV, what would you think his name is? The Mummy? The Zombie? The Toilet Paper Monster? All of these are plausible guesses but all of them are wrong. This is the The Yeti.
Ron Reis debuted as The Yeti in 1995 in World Championship Wrestling. We can only wonder why they didn’t make this costume look more like a mythical mountain monster and less like someone who returned from the dead. But as far as terrible wrestling costumes go, this one takes the cake for inaccuracy.
The Spirit Squad Was Unsuspecting
You wouldn’t think that anyone would be intimidated by five bulky male cheerleaders but then again, you’d be surprised. That’s exactly what the WWE thought when they debuted The Spirit Squad in 2006 on Raw.
Formed by Kenny Dykstra, Mike Mondo, and others, these guys wend ton to win the World Tag Team Championship. As far as WWE costumes go, these aren’t all that bad but they could have at least made themselves look a bit more intimidating. Instead, we kind of just want to go to the mall with them.
Well Dunn Were At The Top Of Their Game
When Rex King and Steve Doll team up, you get Well Dunn. With King as “Timothy Well” and Doll as “Steven Dunn,” these two wrestlers competed for two years in the WWF and were one of the top tag teams of their time.
They dressed up in skin-tight spandex with shirt cuffs and bow ties that make them look like Chippendale’s rejects but at least they had enough manpower in the ring to make up for it. It also looks like they enjoyed these costumes a little too much.
Bret Hart Commits Fashion Crimes In The Ring
Here we have Bret Hart taking on The Miz at a Raw Championship match in 2010. It looks like they had to call Hart to come in from his day off because he apparently couldn’t be bothered to don some traditional wrestling wear for the ring.
Not only is he wearing Jordans in the ring but if you look closely, Hart is committing a crime against fashion with those long jorts. Fashion crimes aside, he went on to defeat The Miz in this match.
From A Mad Monk To A Booger
After the WWF decided to drop the Friar Ferguson getup, they made Mike Shaw into the Bastion Booger. This was reportedly inspired as humiliation for the wrestler’s weight which, we might add, is pretty rude.
But in 1993, Bastion Booger debuted as a “slovenly and gluttonous” man who wore purposefully small singlets to give Shaw a hunchback. Surprisingly, it didn’t hinder his performance too much as he went on to claim his biggest victory over Owen Hart on All-American Wrestling.
Giant Gonzalez Left Little To The Imagination
If you’ve ever seen Giant Gonzalez in the ring then you’re probably familiar with what his entire costume looked like. Dressed in a skin-tight suit that was designed to look like a naked, hairy giant, the costume didn’t reveal anything explicit but it still left little to the imagination.
Despite the fact that his was hailed as one of the worst wrestling costumes ever, Giant Gonzalez managed to defeat The Undertaker and Wippleman on some occasions. He was played by Jorge Gonzalez, who was also an Argentinian basketball player that stood at eight feet tall.
Mantaur Was Inspired By A Minotaur
In 1995, Mike Halac debuted in the WWF as Mantaur and luckily was able to defeat Walter Slow in his very first match. The inspiration behind Mantaur was that of the mythological Minotaur, which would charge and trample its opponents.
This costume wasn’t so much intimidating as it was somewhat stylish, as we must admit that Mantaur’s leotard would make for a pretty cute swimsuit. Mantaur went on to have a small winning streak that fizzled out as he headed into the late ’90s.
The Warlord Was A Real-Life Cyborg
The Warlord debuted in the mid-’80s with Jim Crockett Promotions before arriving at WWF in 1988. His real name was Terry Scott Szopinski and he went through several ideas before settling with The Warlord. He looks like Cyborg from Teen Titans but considerably less powerful.
But as it would turn out, The Warlord had enough strength to defeat in the ring and he would later team up with the Barbarian to form “The Powers of Pain.” They were a pretty successful pair until they split in 1990.
Zeus Would Never Get Your Name Right
If you remember Hulk Hogan’s WWF days then you ought to remember one of his most infamous rivals, Zeus. Billed as “The Human Wrecking Machine,” he wore this pretty impressive vest but never actually brought it in the ring. Perhaps what made him all the more ridiculous was his fake lazy eye and the unibrow.
Part of Zeus’s ridiculousness was the way he’d shout and pound on his chest in interviews, while purposefully botching his opponents’ names. Zeus was portrayed by actor Tim Lister Jr.
3 Count Was The Boy Band We Didn’t Ask For
If there were ever a wrestling stable that made you ask, “why though?” it’d be 3 Count. 3 Count debuted in the WCW in 1999 and were formed by Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, and Evan Karagias.
The gimmick was a boy band that wore matching cargo pants, while singing and dancing in unison before losing considerably in the ring. The WCW was apparently trying to capitalize on the popularity of *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys at the time but they ought to have just left the boy band stuff to the professionals.
Too Cool Was Anything But
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than 3 Count, it did. In the late ’90s, the WWF debuted Too Cool, a tag team comprised of Grandmaster Sexay, Scotty 3 Hotty, and Rikishi. They were meant to be a hip-hop gimmick that could dominate in the ring but failed on all accounts.
Often, while one was going head to head with a rival, the other was dancing to their music. The last anyone ever saw of them was in a 2014 episode of Old School Raw.
Arachnaman Was Too Familiar
In 1996, the WCW debuted Arachnaman which was pretty much just a poor man’s Spiderman. The WCW couldn’t come up with something more original apparently but at least they made an effort to switch up the color scheme for this dollar-store costume.
Arachnaman was one of the gimmicks of wrestler Brad Armstrong. He didn’t last too long in the ring as Arachnaman after Marvel threatened the WCW with legal action, which was okay because Armstrong was better off without it.
Doink Was Clowning Around In The Ring
In 1992, Matt Borne debuted Doink the Clown to the WWF. Possibly an evil clown, Doink wears bright traditional clown makeup, a green wig, and brightly colored spandex to look like a literal clown in the ring. This costume was more distracting than it was intimidating and we’re pretty sure people were laughing for all the wrong reasons.
Though Borne was the first person to portray Doink, other wrestlers in the WWF, and later the WWE, have taken on this clown persona.
Big Van Vader Had To Take It Off
Many people were intimidated when Vader came out to the ring underneath this demonic metal mask. But as threatening as it seemed, it was more or less impractical for the fact that he couldn’t even fight in it. So he had to remove the mask to reveal a smaller mask that looks to serve no purpose.
Vader, formally known as Big Van Vader, was played by Leon Allen White and despite the costume was known as one of the best super-heavyweight pro wrestlers of his time.
Hillbilly Jim Wore Overalls And A Horseshoe
Another wrestling costume that could have benefited from a little more creativity was Hillbilly Jim’s overalls. Portrayed by pro wrestler James Morris, Hillbilly Jim came out in just overalls and a dirty-looking hat. Sometimes he wore a giant horseshoe around his neck, which did add to the intimidation but Hillbilly Jim needed only his strength to throw down on his opponents.
Hillybilly Jim’s career started in the early ’80s and he chose to be mentored by none other than Hulk Hogan. At Survivor Series ’88, he teamed with Hogan, Randy Savage, Hercules, and Koko B. Ware to defeat Big Boss Man, Akeem, Ted DiBiase, King Haku, and The Red Rooster.