10 Times A Wrestler Botched During Their Debut

As much as wrestling fans have difficulty dealing with them, botches happen. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the risk of performing in a live setting in a sport/medium that often requires expert timing to pull off a move. Even the best wrestlers of all time have screwed up at one point or another.

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What’s worse, however, is when a wrestler messes up during their debut. This is their chance to make a first impression on an audience -- be it a new show, a new gimmick, or a new promotion -- and it blew up in their faces. Many have recovered, while others have gone down in history for their botched debut.

10 The Shockmaster

Shockmaster

There is no greater disastrous debut than the unveiling of The Shockmaster. At Clash of the Champions XXIV Sting decided to introduce his latest partner, claiming that “he’s gonna shock the world.”

The Shockmaster -- better known as Tugboat or Typhoon -- was meant to burst through a wall, but something went wrong, and Shockmaster tripped, and his helmet clattered across the floor. It was rough, especially once you get a good look at the guy and realize that The Shockmaster’s dome was clearly just a spray-painted Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet.

9 Matt Sydal

Matt Sydal

Matt Sydal was already known to fans thanks to his work with WWE, Ring of Honor, and Impact Wrestling, but in 2020 he made a surprise debut for All Elite Wrestling at their controversial PPV All Out.

Sydal would debut last in the Casino Battle Royale, climb to the top rope to execute his signature Shooting Star Press, and slip, crashing to the floor. It was heartbreaking, but Sydal -- a 20-year veteran -- was okay and had an impressive showing throughout the rest of the match.

8 The Miz

The Miz

The Miz had spent about a month as the extremely annoying MTV host of SmackDown when he made his Raw debut in July of 2006 to host the Divas Search. As he was set to introduce the contestants, he attempted to give fans directions on how to vote, and suddenly began stumbling over his words and forgetting just where voters were supposed to go.

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As Miz started checking the notes on his wrist to get back on track, the commentators began to remark “Aw, he’s nervous.” It was embarrassing, especially for a guy who’s gone on to be considered one of the great talkers in wrestling.

7 The Machine

DDP vs. The Machine

Once WCW stopped caring about their B-show, WCW Thunder became populated with all sorts of wrestlers fans have completely forgotten about. Take, for example, the debuting Machine, who looked like Batista cosplaying as a Shocker from Kamen Rider. In his only appearance under this gimmick, he goes up for a top rope maneuver, only to be crotched by opponent Diamond Dallas Page when Page shook the ropes.

However, The Machine screwed up and jumped way after DDP grabbed the rope, so it looked like he just decided to holler and jump crotch-first into the ropes of his own accord. The Machine lost the match and was never seen again.

6 Ultimo Dragon

Ultimo Dragon

WWE signed the legendary Ultimo Dragon in 2003, expecting the Rey Mysterio Jr. lightning to strike twice. Dragon was great, but he never really worked out in WWE. In fact, his most (in)famous moment was in the gauntlet-style Cruiserweight Open at WrestleMania XX.

In what was supposed to be a huge addition to the star’s numerous achievements, Ultimo Dragon’s big WrestleMania debut saw him tripping on his cape twice. Then there’s the match itself, where Dragon got taken out in two minutes by Jamie Noble.

5 Kizarny

Kizarny

Infamous for being released weeks after he showed up on SmackDown, the carnie-themed Kizarny made his in-ring debut in a lackluster 10-minute effort against a depressed MVP in front of a disinterested crowd.

For fans who saw this match, Kizarny was no big loss to WWE, either, as his sloppy offense involved screwing up a Crossbody. Then there’s his finisher, Tallulah Belle -- a double-underhook DDT with a body guillotine scissors -- which didn’t look like it was executed correctly, either.

4 Avatar

In 1995, WWE tried to cash in on the popularity of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Mortal Kombat with Avatar, a high flying masked ninja character, portrayed by a newly signed Al Snow. Avatar made his debut on Monday Night Raw in October of 1995, and the result was pretty sloppy.

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Snow had been working as an unmasked heel wrestler for 15 years at this point, and clearly struggled with wrestling as a masked character, missing kicks and fumbling through top rope maneuvers. By 1996, Snow would move on to a brief period as “Shinobi,” before becoming Leif Cassidy, one half of The New Rockers.

3 Sin Cara

Sin Cara

The original Sin Cara had been ridiculously over wrestling as Mistico in Mexico’s CMLL, making his signing to WWE a major coup for the company -- at least on paper. The company clearly wanted Sin Cara to be a big deal thanks to the unique presentation of the character, which included him using a strategically placed trampoline to hop into the ring.

Unfortunately, during his debut on Raw in 2011, Sin Cara had difficulty clearing the top rope, establishing the performer’s reputation for constantly botching. However, if you go back and watch the clip, it isn’t as colossal a disaster as it has been made out to be.

2 The Yeti

The Yeti

In 1995, WCW was running a ridiculously cartoonish storyline where Hulk Hogan was battling a supernatural stable of villains known as The Dungeon of Doom. At Halloween Havoc, a new addition to the group debuted: a giant man in a mummy costume, preposterously named The Yeti, who attacked Hogan with the rest of the Dungeon.

The idea was that The Giant and The Yeti were supposed to lock Hogan in a double bearhug. It didn’t work that way, and the result looked like The Yeti was engaged in a half-hearted dry hump.

1 Edge

Edge

Edge really came into his own as a singles competitor in the early 2000s, and by the mid-2000s he was “The Rated-R Superstar” fans fondly look back on. But Edge initially started out as a singles competitor, debuting on a June 1998 episode of Monday Night Raw against Jose Estrada of the stable Los Boricuas.

The match would last a minute, as Edge would attempt a Seated Senton over the top rope only to accidentally land foot-first onto the dude’s head. Estrada would be knocked out, and the match ended with a countout win for Edge. It’s unfortunate, but it all worked out pretty well for Edge at least.

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