The biggest era in WWE history was arguably the Attitude Era, a period where business was way up thanks not only to a shift to edgier content than its previous kid-friendly stuff, but also big stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. But not everyone in the Attitude Era was huge, including many projects that WWE tried to get over.
Ahmed Johnson is a well-known example of a WWE project from the period that never quite made it, but there are loads of ones that fans remember far less. Let’s take a look at 10 of these forgotten projects.
10/10 Tiger Ali Singh
The year 1997 saw the debut of Tiger Ali Singh, the son of Tiger Jeet Singh, a legendary heel who worked in Japan and Canada. While Tiger Jeet was known for his chaotic persona, Tiger Ali Singh was your bog-standard wealthy heel in the vein of Alberto Del Rio and other heels who followed in Ted DiBiase’s footsteps.
After serving as the manager of the equally forgettable tag team Lo Down, Singh sustained a career-ending injury in late 2001 and retired from the business.
9/10 The Truth Commission
Originally debuted in the United States Wrestling Association, which had a working relationship with WWE that involved developmental work and talent exchanges, the Truth Commission made their WWE main roster debut in 1997.
While their South African militia gimmick wasn’t a bit left-field for North American pro wrestling fans, the group seemed to offer something new, especially with a charismatic leader in The Jackyl. However, they failed to really make a mark during their time together aside from showing up near the end of the big Gang Wars storyline.
There was an obvious breakout from the Truth Commission, however, in the form of Kurrgan (a.k.a. The Interrogator), a seven-foot man with a great look. As the Commission kept losing in the ring, The Jackyl began to show preferential treatment for Kurrgan, resulting in the breakup of the group.
However, his post-Truth Commission run saw him become a part of the comedy faction The Oddities with other would-be monster heels, and most of the group was released from the company in 1999.
7/10 Beaver Cleavage
It’s tough to imagine a more Attitude Era concept than Beaver Cleavage, a repacking of Headbanger Mosh that involved bizarre, innuendo-laden vignettes that parodied the classic sitcom Leave It To Beaver, albeit with way more incest themes.
When it came time for the character to debut, WWE shifted gears and the former Mosh abandoned the character on-screen in a worked shoot, leaving fans to wonder just what the point of it was. From there, Beaver Cleavage performed as Chaz until he reunited with Thrasher.
While the Golden Era was well into the rearview mirror, in the Attitude Era WWE still occasionally attempted to roll out a guy with a ridiculous bodybuilder physique and limited in-ring abilities.
One of the more forgettable projects in this genre was Brakkus (or Brakus), portrayed by German bodybuilder and 1990 Mr. Universe winner Achim Albrecht. It’s understandable if fans forgot about Brakkus, considering he only wrestled four televised matches for WWE, including a loss in the Brawl For All tournament.
5/10 Mr. Hughes
The year 1999 saw Chris Jericho jump from WCW to WWE, though there were some growing pains as Jericho was establishing himself in the new company.
One such pain was the forgotten addition of an enforcer for Jericho in Mr. Hughes, who had two previous runs in WWE: first in 1993 where he stole The Undertaker’s Urn and then in 1997 as Triple H’s enforcer before Chyna came onto the scene. He mostly stuck around for Jericho’s feud with Ken Shamrock before Jericho betrayed him after about a month.
4/10 LOD 2000
After spending a couple of years in WWE in the early 1990s, The Legion of Doom (a.k.a. The Road Warriors) returned to the company, enjoying a 48-day run with the World Tag Team Title before receiving an ill-advised repackaging. They were still Hawk and Animal, but were “modernized” to become LOD 2000, with new outfits.
However, this version of LOD lasted about a year, with the duo’s most memorable storyline being that angle that uncomfortably played on Hawks’ real-life substance abuse problems.
3/10 Just Joe
Otherwise known as Joe E. Legend, in WWE this Canadian performer was known under the ring name “Just Joe.” A very minor heel character in execution, Just Joe had a hilariously simple gimmick: sowing the seeds of discord in WWE by playing messenger between other more important wrestlers, causing said wrestlers to start feuding.
His run with the WWE would last from mid-2000 to the spring of 2001, though most fans were probably unaware he was even there at all.
2/10 Tom Brandi
One of the various bottom of the barrel gimmicks to come out of the New Generation Era was that of Salvatore Sincere, a New York gangster type whose gimmick mostly amounted to claiming he sincerely loved people, but was obviously lying.
This persona didn’t really go anywhere until late 1997 when Marc Mero revealed his real name of Tom Brandi before a match, resulting in a character change for Brandi. However, he still remained a jobber, and left the company by the following spring. He still wrestles today.
1/10 Steve Williams
Already well-established with stints in WCW, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and even ECW, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams came to WWE in 1998 and was set to enter a big feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Williams was such a big deal that WWE organized the aforementioned Brawl For All tournament to establish him as a dominant force.
However, because Brawl For All was a legitimate fighting tournament, things didn’t go as planned, with Williams losing the tournament and getting released in 1999.