8 WWE Superstars Whose Careers Ended The Worst Way Possible
2. Muhammad Hassan
In a case of unfortunate timing and an even more unfortunate lack of awareness by WWE's creative team, Mark Copani was introduced to audiences in 2004 as Muhammad Hassan, an Arab-American seeking respite from the prejudices he became a victim of during a post-9/11 world.
It was a fascinating bit of social commentary. Unfortunately, professional wrestling doesn't have the best track record when it comes to delivering social commentary. Hassan's gimmick was no different. In a match against The Undertaker, Hassan began praying to Allah, an action that somehow summoned a group of masked men wearing camouflage pants. Those men attacked The Undertaker, using makeshift weapons to beat him down.
Despite his character's constant insistence that he, as an Arab-American, was unfairly lumped into a category with terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, there wasn't much of a gray area as to who and what those henchmen were supposed to be. To make matters much, much worse, the London bombings occurred just three days later.
These real world acts of terrorism painted the character into a corner. Media outlets around the United States called out the storyline as insensitive and in poor taste. Though WWE initially tried using Hussan as a meta commentary on stereotyping and unfairly associating someone with terrorists because of their nationality, they once again lacked the nuance necessary to pull it off, and the character was permanently shelved.
Copani subsequently retired from wrestling altogether, a fact made more bitter because Copani was being groomed to eventually win the World Heavyweight Championship before the controversy made his future push null and void.