The WWE‘s Ruthless Aggression era lasted from 2002 to 2008 and was one of the most important periods in company history, especially given that it came right after the end of the Attitude Era. It was a time when some stars’ runs came to an end, such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and more.
However, it also saw future legends such as John Cena come into their own and make a name for themselves. That being said, for every John Cena, there were multiple signings that didn’t work out too well. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see some absurd Ruthless Aggression-era wrestlers.
10 The Dicks
In October 2005, James and Chad Dick debuted on WWE television. The two had worked together in OVW as a tag team known as the Blond Bombers. However, when they were called up, they got a radically different gimmick, and it didn’t work well.
The two became The Dicks, a tag team that was a parody of the Chippendales. The ridiculous gimmick wouldn’t have worked well with anyone, but also didn’t work well with James and Chad especially. They were closer to raw than ring generals, and the WWE released them just six months after their signings.
9 The Boogeyman
This absurd signing actually kind of worked out. In 2005, the WWE began airing vignettes for a horror movie character, The Boogeyman. Portraying the character that ate worms and destroyed alarm clocks on his head was 41-year-old rookie Martin Wright.
He was previously kicked off Tough Enough due to lying about his age, as he stated he was 30 when he was actually 40. This signing was absurd and should’ve backfired. However, it worked out, as he had a four-year full-time stint with the WWE, and even has a Legends contract today.
8 The Blue Meanie
The Blue Meanie, alongside the Blue World Order, got the call from the WWE to return to the company for the One Night Stand pay-per-view that June. The signing was supposed to be a one-off as he was set to be in the Battle Royale. Instead, after being assaulted during the match, The Blue Meanie got a short-term deal to feud with JBL.
He had a few months’ stint with the WWE, none of which is really remembered. Instead, all that is remembered is his fight with JBL and subsequent no-disqualification match where Stevie Richards landed a brutal headshot on the former world champion. In hindsight, it’s pretty absurd that The Blue Meanie had a stint in WWE in 2005, and even more absurd that it only happened because he was assaulted by a WWE talent.
In 2005, the WWE decided to call back former 90s talent Tatanka. He was originally supposed to compete in a one-off match with Eugene, and end his run there. For some reason, the WWE decided that instead, they would rather bring him back for a multi-year run.
Tatanka getting a random mid-card run is incredibly bizarre in hindsight, especially considering he had done nothing notable since leaving the WWE in 1996. His run ended in January 2007, as he requested his release.
6 Vladimir Kozlov
Just months before the Ruthless Aggression era ended, the WWE decided to bring in a raw, Russian monster by the name of Vladimir Kozlov. He was almost immediately put into the title picture, and even scored a win over The Undertaker just months after debuting.
This signing wasn’t absurd at its face value, Kozlov had a nice look and could’ve been something. However, the timing of his signing and subsequent push was terrible, as he was very raw and bland in the ring, which destroyed any chance of him being a prominent wrestler.
5 Nathan Jones
In 2002, the WWE discovered a former powerlifter and huge monster from Australia named Nathan Jones. Despite just beginning to wrestle a few years prior, he was given the call and quickly placed alongside The Undertaker.
He was supposed to have a tag-team match with the legend against the Big Show and A-Train at WrestleMania 19. However, he was pulled due to his lacking in-ring talent. He was gone from the company less than two years later. This signing was absurd from the get-go, as they signed a super raw wrestler and gave him a push without him even being able to wrestle.
WWE really loves some big men who don’t know much about wrestling. Well, they did, anyway. In 2003, they signed Heidenreich, a former American football player who had started wrestling two years prior. Funnily enough, he had actually tagged with Nathan Jones in Japan.
To his credit, Heidenreich was better than Nathan Jones in the ring, but not by much. The big man was incredibly raw and really didn’t need to be signed when he did. His career highlight is likely being one-half of the new Legion of Doom, replacing Road Warrior Hawk.
3 Scott Hall
In 2002, WWE decided to bring back the nWo for a run. Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash were both in good enough shape to go and put on great matches, but the same sadly couldn’t be said for Scott Hall. While he wasn’t in bad physical shape, he was going through substance abuse issues at the time.
Just three months after his signing, Scott Hall was released, with the last straw being his meltdown on The Plane Ride From Hell. His signing probably shouldn’t have happened to begin with given how unstable he was at the time.
In 2004, the WWE decided to bring back yet another 90s talent, that being the big man known as Viscera. He wasn’t particularly well-liked in the 90s, so bringing him back when he was heavier and even more out of shape was an incredibly bizarre choice.
Well, Viscera’s return didn’t go over too well, and he quickly changed to being Big Daddy V, a hired muscle character for Matt Striker. That gimmick didn’t help his career much either, as his issues were weight and performance related.
In the fall of 2008, the WWE decided to debut an interesting character, known as Kizarny. Later described as a mix of Jake Roberts and Doink the Clown, it seemed like the WWE had no idea what to do with him the second they debuted him.
Signing Sinn Bodhi (Kizarny) wasn’t an issue, but giving him that gimmick and having no idea what to do with him was absurd. He was cut almost immediately after debuting, making it a complete waste of time.