The 10 Most Absurd Pro Wrestling Rivalries of All Time

Wrestling Features Hulk Hogan
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The 10 Most Absurd Pro Wrestling Rivalries of All Time

The concept of rivalry has been at the heart of professional wrestling far longer than the concept of “pro wrestling” or “sports entertainment” as we recognize it. From the moment that grappling contests were first organized, and especially from the beginning of a recognized “world title,” it was the rivalries that truly fueled the growth of what, at the time, was a legitimate sporting competition.

If that last bit seems odd, perhaps we should clarify: Yes, there was a time when wrestling was entirely “real,” and it happened to coincide with the sport’s first legendary rivalry. “The Russian Lion” George Hackenschmidt was the sport’s first real international star, being declared the first true world champion in 1901, a title he held for seven years. That is, until he met his greatest rival, American Frank Gotch, and participated in a series of titanic matches that saw Gotch emerge the victor. But the clear takeaway was that rivalries fueled the sport’s growth and popularity.

In the age of true “pro wrestling,” though, the scripted age of predetermined outcomes and complex, outlandish storylines, rivalries are ultimately even more important when it comes to putting butts in the seats. Because in the end, it’s the personalities—and the clash between those personalities—that people are paying to see, the elemental good vs. evil tropes that have worked in the past and continue to work. Wrestling geeks love to talk about athleticism and movesets and workrates, but in the end, it comes down to characters. And unfortunately, bad wrestling is also defined by bad characters and bizarre rivalries/feuds.

Wrestling is, after all, a form of entertainment that invites the absurd, and that thrives on it. A certain amount of weirdness is inherently necessary, or the whole affair would be unbearably dull. But there are also times when wrestling rivalries have gone completely and utterly off the rails—stories so silly, cartoonish, fourth wall-breaking, bizarre or outright offensive that even an audience that willingly wants to willingly suspend their belief simply can’t swallow what they’re being presented with.

We present to you, then, 10 of the craziest rivalries in the long and storied history of pro wrestling, and their ridiculous aftermaths.


Hulk Hogan vs. The Dungeon of Doom

When I say “pro wrestling,” you probably come up with a mental image that fits one of two eras. Either it’s the crass, somewhat sleazy, provocative and violent programming that typified the WWF’s Attitude Era, or it’s the zany, cartoonish, colorful unreality of the earlier Golden Age of wrestling typified by the Hulkamania years. Hulk Hogan vs. The Dungeon of Doom is a story that comes out of the very end of that earlier period, and it may well qualify as the “silliest” rivalry to ever main event a major league wrestling promotion.

The year is 1995, and former WWF golden boy Hulk Hogan has left the company and embraced their competitor, Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW), while playing essentially the exact same character. Forming to oppose him is a motley crew of bizarre characters and cast-offs, the Dungeon of Doom, sworn to “destroy Hulkamania” forever. This huge stable was defined by its impermanence—wrestlers coming and going on a seemingly weekly basis, until it was impossible to tell who exactly Hogan was feuding with at any given time. All of WCW’s zaniest characters found a home there, including “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala, The Shark, The Taskmaster, Big Van Vader and The Zodiac, played by former Hogan ally/flunky Ed Leslie, whose insane procession of gimmicks we’ve mocked in detail before. Just look at the mass of bodies in this delightfully bizarre promo. To think that this happened only 20 years ago…

The rivalry between Hogan, his occasional allies and the Dungeon of Doom spanned the better part of 1995-1996, and no gimmick was too ridiculous. In the course of a single PPV, Halloween Havoc 1995, Hogan competed against The Giant in a “monster truck sumo match,” pushing each other’s monster trucks around the roof of the arena, before seemingly throwing The Giant off the building to his death, only to have him reappear an hour later for a title match accompanied by a gigantic new wrestler wrapped in gauze. This wrestler, who looked exactly like an Egyptian mummy, was referred to as “The Yeti,” because this was WCW and it was asking far too much of them to figure out the difference between the two. He appeared as The Yeti on one more occasion and then disappeared off the face of the Earth in classic WCW fashion. Hogan, meanwhile, finally put the feud to bed in 1996 when he hit most of the stable’s members with frying pans.

Yes, this rivalry ended with a frying pan attack.


Al Snow vs. The Big Boss Man

In the summer of 1999, WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow, whose character was already known as a loony who would carry a mannequin head (named “Head”) to the ring, became embroiled in a feud with The Big Boss Man that centered entirely around a tiny chihuahua. This little dog, named Pepper, was presented on-screen as the comedic companion of Snow until the dog was kidnapped by Boss Man, who was obviously playing the heel at the time.

Thus began a series of matches between the two for the oft-derided Hardcore Title, with Boss Man promising (and then reneging) to return Pepper if he was defeated. Things came to a head during a segment on SmackDown when Al Snow arrived to collect Pepper at Boss Man’s hotel room, only to be told he must first join his enemy for a truce dinner … in which the main course turned out to be his dog. Yep, this is a storyline that involves a wrestler being tricked into eating his own dog.

How does one get revenge after such a heinous act? Why, with a “kennel from hell” match, of course. The first and only of its kind in the WWF was held at the 1999 Unforgiven PPV and saw Al Snow competing against Boss Man for the Hardcore Title once again in a cage match, except this time the cage was surrounded by “vicious dogs” that were instructed to maul either of the wrestlers who came too close. The only problem was the dogs themselves, which seemed spooked by the large audience and showed zero interest in either of the wrestlers. Instead, they spent their time leaving puddles of urine and piles of shit around the ring in what has been called one of the worst gimmick matches in wrestling history.


Sting vs. The Black Scorpion

Wrestling promotions are adaptive and transient by nature, because so much can go wrong or change on a week-to-week basis, between wrestler availability, injuries, etc. When wrestling is booked well, the audience is never even aware when plans change on the fly, because the outcome still “makes sense.” However, when original plans for a rivalry go completely off the rails, you end up with Sting vs. The Black Scorpion.

The year is 1990, and Sting is WCW’s incredibly popular babyface world heavyweight champion, when a “voice from the past” emerges in the form of The Black Scorpion. Wearing a cloak like some kind of medieval druid, and with a heavily distorted voice, he begins appearing in promos threatening to wipe Sting off the face of the Earth, while implying that he’s some kind of former ally from Sting’s past.

That’s the classic “evil muppet” voice of Ole Anderson you hear in those promos, the man who was booking WCW at the time and also voiced the even more infamous “Shockmaster” … but Ole never actually played The Black Scorpion in the flesh, nor did he intend to. The reason the rivalry ultimately spun completely out of control and into the realm of absurdity was WCW’s indecision and incompetence in choosing just who The Black Scorpion was supposed to actually BE, which resulted in half a dozen or more wrestlers briefly wearing The Black Scorpion mask for one reason or another.

Rumor has it that Ole’s original idea for The Black Scorpion was supposed to be Sting’s former tag team partner The Ultimate Warrior, who was concurrently becoming a big star in WCW’s competitor, the WWF. However, when it became apparent that WCW wasn’t going to be able to pry Warrior away from that organization, they changed the man behind the mask to a wrestling veteran: “Latin Heartthrob” Al Perez. This would likely have salvaged the angle, except for one fact: Al Perez quit the company after competing as The Black Scorpion only once, apparently incensed that Sting was booked to defeat him at WCW’s Clash of Champions XII. At the conclusion of that match, Sting tried to unmask The Black Scorpion (Perez), only to be shocked by the appearance of another Black Scorpion on the entrance ramp—this one played by another former Sting training partner, Dave Sheldon.

Sheldon would go on to portray The Black Scorpion in a series of house show matches against Sting, although wrestler Jeff Ellis also played the character on some occasions. He was likewise played in several televised instances by someone who wasn’t even a wrestler: Stage magician Franz Harary, who tried (and failed spectacularly) in impressing the audience with The Black Scorpion’s “black magic” tricks.

Finally, some five months after The Black Scorpion first appeared, WCW decided they had no choice but to reveal SOMEONE as the true identity of this character, and told Ric Flair and Barry Windham—two guys who already had a stable in The Four Horsemen—that they should decide between them which of the two would have to do the job. Flair, a multi-time world champion, reportedly thought he would be “less damaged” by the now-considerable shame of being revealed as The Black Scorpion, and bit the bullet, losing to Sting at Starrcade ‘90 before being dramatically revealed. Ironically, this ended up kickstarting an actual feud between Sting and Flair that resulted in Flair winning the title less than a month later—doing himself what The Black Scorpion was woefully incapable of doing.


Perry Saturn vs. Raven/Terri Runnels

Perry Saturn was a fantastic competitor and very impressive athlete in ECW (‘95-97), WCW (‘97-00) and WWF (00-02) who routinely ended up stuck in the midcard of various organizations and never quite got a chance to excel and show the limits of his considerable skills. Raven, meanwhile, was a hardcore legend whose best work came as an ECW champion in the mid-’90s, followed by a decent run in WCW as the leader of The Flock. By the time they feuded in the WWF in 2001, however, it wasn’t exactly the high point of either career.

Following a match wherein Saturn injured another performer, the company punished him with a bizarre gimmick—a common, if petty occurrence in wrestling organizations. After taking a hit on the head, Saturn’s character underwent an odd change, spouting brain-damaged gibberish and ending exchanges with “You’re welcome!” for no apparent reason. But the angle’s best-remembered aspect was that Saturn also developed a fascination and then infatuation with a mop. As in, he drew a face on a mop and then fell in love with it, carrying his new love “Moppy” with him everywhere.

This rather understandably disturbed Saturn’s onscreen manager and girlfriend, Terri Runnels. After demanding that he choose between Moppy and her (he chose the mop, naturally, this being pro wrestling), Runnels abandoned Saturn and shacked up with Raven, and the two set out to get revenge on poor Perry Saturn.

And what better way to enact revenge than by destroying the one thing Perry held most dear? The two immediately set about kidnapping Moppy, and the results were not pretty, as the ruthless Raven held the innocent mop in place as she was fed into a wood chipper. Warning: Outrageous Attitude Era cleavage abounds in this video.

Saturn, meanwhile, gained some sort of solace for his devastating loss by defeating Raven at the next PPV, whereupon he dropped the brain damage and “You’re welcome!” gimmick entirely. I wish I could say his career improved from there with his punishment complete, but he injured his ACL early in 2002 and was released from the WWF (now the WWE) before he could return.

It’s unknown if Moppy left any family behind.


Chavo Guerrero vs. Hornswoggle

Here’s a rivalry that could have—nay, should have—simply concluded itself with a single match and been instantly forgotten, but instead decided to set up shop long past its immediate expiration date, intent on tormenting audiences for as long as possible.

The year is 2009, and the WWE has no idea what to do with Chavo Guerrero. As a longtime veteran and nephew of the sadly departed Eddie Guerrero, and as a member of the legendary Guerrero wrestling family, he’s the kind of guy you want on your roster, but after 8 years in the company things have gotten predictably stale. Languishing in mediocrity, Chavo (who has a good head for comedy angles) was thrust into a feud with Hornswoggle, the WWE’s resident “leprechaun” mini-wrestler. That is indeed the term that is used for wrestling performers who are little people, by the way—“minis.”

Now, when I say “feud,” I’m being extremely generous. This happened to coincide with one of the lowest and most saccharine stretches of the WWE’s family friendly “PG era,” during a 12-month or so period that RAW was being hosted by celebrity guests each and every week. The entire celebrity guest structure reeked of desperation, but it was made only worse by the fact that every week typically involved the guests booking various comedy matches—of which the Chavo vs. Hornswoggle series was undoubtedly the most annoying.

Because Chavo was presented as “big and mean” here, and Hornswoggle “small and nice,” at least when he wasn’t biting people, the matches in this rivalry all had to be conducted with various stipulations and gimmicks designed to create “a level playing field” … i.e., to put Chavo at a disadvantage. Thus began the unending string of gimmicks. At various points, Chavo was blindfolded, had one arm tied behind his back and was made to compete in matches such as a “sharp dressed man” tuxedo match or a bullrope match that involved wearing a high school mascot bull costume. Suffice to say, the pedantic nature of the matches and bottom of the barrel slapstick humor were embarrassing for a performer of his heritage and experience to endure, and this was a weekly story that continued for months with the exact same results. On any given week, Chavo might end up in a Falls Count Anywhere match against Hornswoggle and chase him through the backstage area, only to be knocked out Home Alone-style by a swinging paint can on a string. That actually happened.

After continuing on in this fashion for what felt like at least a year, the rivalry was finally allowed to die, but not before taking home a Wrestling Observer Newsletter award for 2009’s Worst Feud of the Year. Chavo, meanwhile, somehow managed to toil away working far below his station in the WWE for another 1.5 years before asking for (and being granted) his release. He’s currently one of many wrestlers involved in a class-action lawsuit against the WWE, alleging that the company concealed the risks of traumatic brain injury, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at least part of his ire still comes from memories of the roughly 7,000 matches he was forced to endure with Hornswoggle.


Glacier vs. Mortis/Wrath, aka “Blood Runs Cold”

The arrival and debut of Glacier in WCW was more or less botched from the very beginning, thanks to the unexpected success of the newly formed nWo faction in that organization. Although video packages and vignettes started to appear in April of 1996, proclaiming the arrival of a super-powered martial artist empowered by a mystical helmet, Glacier didn’t actually get his debut until September, some six months later. Fans were literally waiting half a year to get a look at this guy before realizing that his entire concept was a rip-off.

You see, Mortal Kombat also happened to be big in the ‘90s, and WCW wanted a slice of that sweet videogame pie, as wrestling and gaming made obvious bedfellows in terms of audience. One imagines whoever was booking WCW at the time walking into a board room and saying “Okay, who’s the most popular character in Mortal Kombatants? Sub-Zero? Who’s that? Can we give him some kind of mystical helmet?”

Meanwhile, with the introduction and immediate revolution spawned by the nWo, a cartoonish Mortal Kombat rip-off character simply didn’t have a place in a suddenly more serious and mature WCW. That, however, didn’t stop the company from reportedly dumping half a million dollars into the entrance pyro, stage dressing, lights and costume for the Glacier character, who debuted in thoroughly unimpressive fashion in September, accompanied by artificial snowfall and blue lights in the arena. The reaction was so underwhelming that he only kept the full Glacier snowfall entrance through four more appearances. He then literally disappeared from WCW programming for 10 weeks—great way to introduce a new character!

The one thing obviously missing from Glacier’s total package was a fellow Mortal Kombat fighter to feud with, so along came WCW’s next can’t-miss idea: Mortis. It seems the idea was for him to be the yin to Glacier’s yang by having a costume that evoked Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion, but the execution wasn’t even close. I mean, look at him. He’s like some kind of undead medieval court jester. He began feuding with Glacier, losing every encounter, and was then immediately joined by yet another character named Wrath. Who inspired Wrath’s costume? An S&M or Conan the Barbarian fetishist, maybe?

glacier vs mortis.jpg

The crowd, meanwhile, could not have cared less about any of this. Glacier, Mortis and Wrath had match after match with one another, with Glacier winning each and every exchange and the heels settling for repeated post-match beat-downs. Despite the length of this period, there was no character-building for any of them, and the angle just dragged onward aimlessly until Mortis and Wrath randomly prevailed in a tag team match at Bash at the Beach in July of 1997. Soon after, Glacier’s undefeated singles streak was broken by Buff Bagwell of all people on an episode of Nitro in another match devoid of plot. Glacier ultimately compiled one of the least noteworthy year-long undefeated streaks in the history of pro wrestling—the character limped on as a jobber until 1999, when he finally gave it up for good.

This entire angle was seriously so bad that when they considered rebooting it, and aired a “Blood Runs Colder” video package during the Mayhem 2000 PPV, the company’s own announcers shit all over it, saying the following during the live broadcast: “What the hell is this? Dear god, no. What are we thinking, doing that crap again? It didn’t work the first time, why are we doing it this time?”

Classic WCW.


Buff Bagwell vs. Chris Kanyon

Here’s a rivalry that could only happen in the depths of Vince Russo’s 2000-era WCW, in an ephemeral time when one could never be entirely sure if the events they were seeing on screen would even be acknowledged as having occurred during next week’s broadcast.

Buff Bagwell was a fairly generic, although incredibly roided-out muscleman who represented the comical excesses of both major wrestling federations at the time. He had bounced around through different factions, being in the original nWo before joining The New Blood, a stable of younger talent. It was then that he came into conflict with Chris Kanyon—the same Kanyon who previously played Mortis during “Blood Runs Cold”—who was now “Positively Kanyon,” a character that somewhat parodied fellow WCW wrestler Diamond Dallas Page.

In the feud that followed, Kanyon began stalking Bagwell and developed an obsession with his senior citizen mother, Judy. Each week, he would harass and make unwanted advancements toward Judy, in the name of psychologically weakening Bagwell. Judy was even pressed into intergender tag team matches alongside Buff, getting into the ring and rolling around with some of the lovely ladies of WCW. In one such match, the dastardly Kanyon even punched old Judy Bagwell in the face!

The feud culminated with one of the all-time weirdest gimmick matches: The infamous “Judy Bagwell on a Pole” match. Now, bizarre pole matches were certainly nothing new in WCW at the time. They were a favorite of booker Vince Russo, who was known for putting all kinds of absurd items on poles hanging around the ring that wrestlers would fight to reach—tasers, a leather jacket, a pinata full of candy, a bottle of Viagra—these all happened at one time or another in WCW. Still, a human being? That was something especially silly.

judy bagwell on a pole.jpg

Of course, when it actually came time for the match, Judy Bagwell wasn’t put on a pole at all—instead, she was driven out to the ring by Kanyon on a forklift and suspended in the air, because “I couldn’t find a pole that would hold that big, fat battleaxe!” Despite these despicable mind games, though, Buff Bagwell triumphed over Kanyon fairly easily … and that’s despite interference from Hollywood actor, sparkly pants-wearer and brief WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette, who did a run-in to help Kanyon and struck Bagwell with what appears to be a construction helmet for some reason.

Who knows why? If it’s WCW, you don’t ask those sorts of questions.


Big Show vs. The Big Boss Man

Remember Big Boss Man? That guy who tricked Al Snow into eating his own dog in 1999? Well, this was his follow-up act to that previous atrocity. Clearly, Boss Man was no stranger to being thrust into the company’s most absurd and heinous rivalries.

Mere months after he served cooked canine to Al Snow in his hotel room, Boss Man began feuding against WWE’s resident giant, The Big Show, for the WWF Championship. He also brought along his own brand of diabolical psychological warfare, which just so happened to coincide with the (storyline) death of Big Show’s father. In one of the grandest of all the grand WTF moments from the WWF’s Attitude Era, Boss Man showed up at the funeral of Big Show’s father driving what looks more or less like an exact replica of The Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers. He then proceeded to knock Big Show down with the car and use the resulting confusion to attach a chain to the casket, which was then dragged away as a screaming Big Show ran after it. In terms of remarkably silly sights of the Attitude Era, The Big Show clinging to his own father’s coffin while Big Boss Man attempts to drive away with it is definitely near the top.

But Boss Man wasn’t done. Oh no, stealing a corpse is a good start to a feud, but Boss Man was the kind of competitor who needed to go a few levels DEEPER. He followed that action up by interrupting a Big Show match with a live broadcast from … the home of Big Show’s mother! There, he forced a tearful Widow Show to admit her terrible secret: Big Show was her illegitimate bastard son. The shame!

But wait! Boss Man still wasn’t done. He also enlisted the help of a flunky wrestler, Prince Albert, in executing a daring “gas attack” on The Big Show, rolling a tear gas cannister into the room where he was being worked on by WWF medical staff. Just look at the carnage as Show’s mighty lungs vainly attempt to draw breath.

Surely, after such a personal, vindictive build-up, these two must have had a titanic clash for the WWF Title! Except … wait, no. Their title match at WWF Armageddon 1999 lasted a grand total of 3 minutes and 16 seconds, and that’s with multiple attempts at interference by Prince Albert. Despite that, Big Show immediately squashed Boss Man and their blood feud disappeared as quickly as it had come into being. Nice payoff there, WWF.


Triple H vs. Kane, aka The “Katie Vick” Saga

At this point, you may be consoling yourself in the reassurance that “at least none of these rivalries revolved around necrophilia,” but that’s where I’ll have to stop you and say “Woah woah woah … not so fast,” because we haven’t talked about Katie Vick yet. They say that 2002 was a low point for the WWE after the highs of the Attitude Era, and Katie Vick is certainly indicative of that.

The angle began as so many have—with Triple H deciding to be a dick to someone on the roster, seemingly at random. At the conclusion of a RAW tag title match, he strolled down to the ring to bring some bad news to Kane: He knew Kane’s “terrible secret”! Not only was Kane a demonic Undertaker sibling, Triple H warned—he was also a MURDERER. A classic soap opera ending to an episode of RAW, perhaps only missing a long-lost twin with an eyepatch.

Next week, Kane took to the ring to explain the accusation. As it turns out, the Big Red Machine was once a kinder, gentler fellow with a girlfriend named Katie Vick. One night, however, the pair over-imbibed at a party, causing Kane to crash their car. Although he survived, poor Katie Vick was killed instantly. It was all a tragic mistake that has haunted Kane for years! Except Triple H wasn’t about to let him get off that easily.

Instead, Triple H saunters to the ring and says that Kane is lying … and that he also took sexual liberties with Katie’s corpse, after the crash. He promises to reveal all in a video, which cuts to the interior of a real funeral parlor, at Katie Vick’s funeral. In comes “Kane” (obviously Triple H, wearing a mask), who argues with—and then furiously copulates with—Katie Vick’s corpse.

katie vick inset.PNG

Yes. This is a rivalry built around Triple H impersonating Kane, and then stripping down, climbing into a casket and having sex with a corpse. I’m not even going to embed this one because it’s quite frankly uncomfortable to watch, but if you really want to see it, it’s readily accessible on YouTube. Be aware that it ends with Triple H holding up a handful of Spaghettios and proclaiming “I screwed your brains out!” That’s real. That happened.

Kane responded by attempting to kidnap and possibly sodomize Triple H, later the same night. When that didn’t entirely succeed, he instead showed his own bizarre parody video the next week, featuring some guy with a Triple H mask receiving a rectal exam. It’s genuinely difficult to say which is worse: This form of pointlessly bawdy, sophomoric humor or the sanitized, soulless PG era that followed at the end of the 2000s.

Regardless, these murder and necrophilia accusations needed some kind of match to settle them—what better choice than a casket match? Kane ultimately prevailed thanks to interference by on-again/off-again Triple H friend Shawn Michaels, shutting the door on what probably stands as the most disgusting month-long rivalry in the history of the WWF/WWE. Triple H went on to feud against Michaels for the title, while Kane was immediately demoted into the tag division for daring to be a good sport about being stuck in this terrible angle.

The WWE, meanwhile, was shocked to find out that necrophilia did not translate into blockbuster ratings. I say, give it a couple more years, the audience just wasn’t ready for it yet. I look forward to the return of Katie Vick’s embittered revenant in a 2017 feud with Kane and Triple H.


“Broken” Matt Hardy vs. “Brother Nero” Jeff Hardy

The amazing thing here is that I actually had the idea for this piece before “Broken” Matt Hardy gifted us all with “The Final Deletion,” but TNA’s recent spectacle confirmed that the theater of the absurd was still very much alive and well in pro wrestling.

How to even begin to explain this particular rivalry? One needs to know first that the Hardys—or “The Hardy Boyz” back in their early WWF days—consist of brothers Matt and Jeff, and together as a tag team they’ve won championships all over the world. Like any tag team of brothers, they’ve also feuded against each other at times, but this 2016 clash sent them soaring to delirious heights that none of their previous squabbles have ever come close to reaching. The entire storyline has been one of the most outlandish, weird events in wrestling’s past decade.

After losing TNA’s World Heavyweight Title this spring, the veteran Matt Hardy truly went off the deep end. The resulting new version—“Broken” Matt Hardy—is something truly original and strange, the sort of “crazy” character we’ve never quite seen in pro wrestling before. With a dramatic white streak in his now frizzy mop of hair, he began speaking in strange, quasi-accents while inflecting his dialog with intellectual-sounding but incorrectly used babble. His attire morphed into patterned robes, while his entrance music became the ineffectual tinkling of classical piano. He now looks like some sort of homeless Beethoven, and that’s the whole idea—the character of “Broken” Matt Hardy is essentially an idiot who BELIEVES himself to be a tortured genius, egged on by his manipulative wife, who is pulling all the strings. Freshly deranged, he set his sights on his own “Brother Nero,” Jeff Hardy.

After engaging in a series of matches that saw Jeff repeatedly victorious, the “Broken” Hardy decided to pull out all the stops by challenging Jeff to a winner-takes-all scrap for the “Hardy brand.” This titanic clash would take place at the family home where the Hardys grew up, literally out in the backyard in a homemade wrestling ring. The contract signing for said match, with its soap opera theatrics and hilariously poor editing and video production, has to be seen to be believed.

What was left, but for Matt to finally and viciously DELETE the traitorous Brother Nero? The actual event is a torrent of insanity with nearly no resemblance to a classical pro wrestling match—it’s not even filmed the same way. The entire thing flows like a montage rather than a live event, as uninspired grappling quickly gives way to outlandish attacks involving exploding fireworks, flames, tasers, battles underwater and Matt hiding within the confines of “a dilapidated boat!” This is essentially wrestling as camp theater; a presentation so ludicrous that it revels in its own kayfabe-breaking indulgence. And with Matt continuing to harass his now-deleted brother on weekly episodes of TNA Impact, drawing on The Twilight Zone imagery in his constant references to Jeff as “OBSOLETE,” it’s clear that there’s still more madness to come in the rivalry of “Broken” Matt vs. Jeff.


Jim Vorel is Paste’s staff writer, and he can’t recommend enough that you don’t actually watch the Katie Vick segments. You can follow him on Twitter.

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