10 Wrestling Matches That Pissed Off Fans

Infamous matches and low-key disasters that tell a more alarming story: when WWE is bad, it is BAD.

Damian Priest Kevin Owens THUMB

It's quite difficult to promote a match that actively pisses fans off to the point of audible, widespread disdain.

You don't often see an actively atrocious match anymore. To invoke the words of the great Minoru Suzuki, there are too many "perfectly smooth, grey lumps of boring trash" polluting the landscape. The ***1/4 match is as commonplace in wrestling now as the ten-punches-on-the-top-turnbuckle spot was in the 1980s.

What happened, broadly, was thus: great wrestling became popular in the shadow of the monopoly via the rise of the "super indie", and endless great athletes, with so much available tape to study, learned the rhythms and beats of the back-and-forth epic. The Great Match.

The style became so pervasive that the rubbish, plodding wrestler became extinct, and with them, so did the hilarious disaster. "Rubbish, plodding wrestler" isn't an inaccurate description of the worst wrestlers in WWE to this day, true, but the house style is so rigid - and the instructions to do something soullessly competent so clear - that the truly abysmal, dreaded schadenfreude DUD is a relic. NXT 2.0 offers hope in this respect - more hope than for the future of WWE, anyway. Time will tell.

But WWE, much like life, finds a way...

10. Kevin Owens Vs. Damian Priest - WWE Monday Night RAW, January 24, 2022

Damian Priest Kevin Owens THUMB

This was a match decidedly less infamous than most featured on this list.

It was a match that you'll not remember in three weeks, if you even remember it now. It was a routine, patterned WWE match. Some slow, basic template sh*t to start off with, a few near-falls chucked in near the end, and then, at the finish, a disqualification. Priest was disqualified for kicking too much ass. Or maybe Damian was disqualified for kicking too much ass?

Which side of his personality has evil, uncontrollable urges?

You'd think Damian, given The Omen connotations, but then again, the surname is "Priest".

It was also a match that you'll never watch again in a million years because it was lazy, meaningless content churn. But if for whatever reason you do decide to watch it again, make sure to pay attention to the crowd in the background. The reaction of one fan tells a revealing story.

When Damian Priest goes mad, and the ref rings the bell, a young fan throws his hands up in frustration, as if to gesticulate "Not this f*cking sh*t again".

They were actively pissed off that they'd just wasted 10 minutes of their life. WWE's carny DQ-heavy booking policy has quietly informed its slow decline in popularity.

It's quite something to watch one more person pack it in.

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Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, present AEW World Champion MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!