10 Times Vince McMahon's WWE Pet Projects Failed Him

Vince genuinely thought Bobby Lashley was going to be one of the biggest stars ever...

TNA Bound For Glory 2016 Bobby Lashley EC3

According to the Wrestling Observer, Vince McMahon doesn't really understand what all the fuss is about when it comes to Sami Zayn. That shouldn't surprise many who have followed McMahon's career as the patriarch of WWE. Vince definitely has his own ideas in mind for what being a prototypical 'WWE Superstar' entails.

Guys like Zayn don't cut it if that template, one preoccupied with bulging muscles and an emphasis on size, is to be believed. Of regular height, realistic muscle proportions and average looks all round, the current fan favourite lacks the 'larger than life' aesthetic that McMahon generally favours.

When analysing Vince's top pet projects over the years, it becomes clear that muscles and size are important to him. Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Batista and John Cena are all notable examples of men McMahon saw as being instant, face-of-the-company superstars. 

For the most part, it's a system built on what has drawn the company money. Hogan and Cena, for example, are undeniable success stories, pulling in millions for the McMahon family.

Yet, there are those that must be considered failures. These 10 men were all pet projects of Vince, never quite reaching the potential the WWE owner had in mind for them...

10. Nathan Jones

TNA Bound For Glory 2016 Bobby Lashley EC3

It's not difficult to see why Vince McMahon was interested in Nathan Jones. Standing around 7ft tall and with muscles aplenty, the gigantic Australian also had one hell of an interesting backstory: during the mid-1980's, he became involved in numerous armed robberies and was considered one of Australia's most wanted men.

Spending time in a maximum security prison, Jones was the kind of real-life fodder that would have at one point been perfect for The Big Boss Man. WWE didn't have to put too much thought into his character when they signed him in 2002, it just had to be crazy.

An early, Hannibal Lecter-esque persona didn't last long before WWE tried to pair Jones up with The Undertaker. Unfortunately, aside from looking the part, the big man lacked the basic fundamentals necessary to wrestle actual matches. That would hurt him in the end, as he'd show no signs of improvement by the end of 2003, despite time in developmental and working television and pay-per-view matches.

Tired of the hard travel and backstage politics in WWE, Jones elected to walk away from the promotion at that point. He never lived up to the potential his look promised, much to the disappointment of WWE's head hancho.


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood.