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  • Badass Decay: The Great Khali after losing the World Heavyweight Championship; Kane after his unmasking; Stone Cold Steve Austin during his heel turns; Victoria after the introduction of the Diva Search.
    • Hornswoggle underwent both Took a Level In Badass and Badass Decay: When first introduced in 2006, he was stereotyped as a cowardly, demented sort of Mini-Me for then-heel Finlay. He eventually turned face when he entered the Cruiser-weight Championship Open in the summer of 2007 and won the championship title from Chavo Guerrero, after which he enjoyed a brief surge of notoriety when it was incorrectly believed that he was Vince McMahon's bastard son. By 2008, however, the Cruiserweight Championship had been Hand Waved out of existence and Hornswoggle was reduced to an Ugly Cute and mildly retarded mischief-maker.
      • Stone Cold Steve Austin actually was a pretty vicious badass during the early stages of the heel turn and when he feuded with Angle. The REAL cause of his badass decay was his slow turn into a self-deprecating comedy character that said "WHAT?!" at the end of each sentence (WHAT?), I said at the end of each sentence (WHAT?). It eventually ruined other wrestler's promo time (WHAT?), it still haunts a wrestler's attempt at selling a match or a feud to the audience (WHAT?). It's even been heard in TNA. (WHAT?)
      • Alternatively, the WHAT chant can be a sign as a heel that you're drawing good heat, and can even be good for humor, as when Chris Jericho insulted the fans when he called them "gelatinous tapeworms." (WHAT?)
    • Real Life example: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It's really hard to believe that this guy was a seven time WWE champion is now working in a film where he's the tooth fairy.
      • Though the fact that he doesn't take himself too seriously and is still kicking ass in some films is pretty badass.
  • Broken Base: EVERYTHING. For example, Mark Henry wrestles R-Truth. Henry wins? WWE should be putting over R-Truth because he's more exciting. R-Truth wins? WWE is stupid, there's no way R-Truth could beat Mark Henry in a real fight.
  • Character Tiers: Exists as the three brands: Raw is quite clearly the flagship "A-Show", SmackDown! is (by default to some fans) the "B Show" (though it is technically the second "A-Show", and regarded by many fans as actually being the superior product) and NXT is the "C-show".
    • Previously, the main shows each had their own "B-Show" for lower-midcard and below wrestlers: Velocity for SmackDown! and Heat for Raw. Wrestlers who performed well on these shows stood a better chance of moving up to the main show, and sometimes storylines that played well with the audience would also get "promoted" upward.
    • On both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown themselves, this trope is in effect every week. You're guaranteed to see, on average, five or six matches each episode, and usually only two of them are true crowd-pleasers. In order of importance, the basic match types will be: main-event match (featuring the world champion or someone of his caliber going up against another prominent opponent); midcard match (often revolving around the Intercontinental or United States Championships, which are more likely to be contested away from the pay-per-view events than the two world championships); storyline match (in which two popular wrestlers, usually a face and a heel, act out a non-title feud in order to settle a fictional or non-fictional grudge); tag-team match (usually concerning the Unified Tag Team Championships, although in theory any match can be held under tag-team rules); women's match (usually only a few minutes in length); and (if time allows it) "joke" match (which can feature anything from slapstick with comic-relief characters to a monster heel quickly defeating a "jobber").
    • WWE Superstars also counts as a "C-show".
  • Complete Monster: The Big Bossman, during his feud with Paul Wight The Big Show.
    • Also, Bossman's feud with Al Snow. "Pepper steak," indeed.
      • It should be noted that neither of these did a very good job of making Bossman into a Complete Monster, mostly because fans didn't care about Bossman one way or another.
  • Creator's Pet: Just about any wrestler who is overpushed (that is to say, given more screen-time and wins than their talent level or popularity would deserve); currently, you could probably place Hornswoggle in this category.
    • Drew McIntyre is a deconstruction of this trope. He was pushed to the moon and has Vince McMahon's seal of approval. However, unlike the typical Creator's Pet, he's meant to be hated for this very reason.
  • Dork Age: The New Generation era (1993-1997), in particular Diesel's run as champion that nearly bankrupted the company.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Unfortunately, Rey Mysterio, Jr. of all people veers toward this on occasion. It's gotten so bad in recent years that he's begun spouting Gratuitous Spanish and once entered the arena at a pay-per-view dressed like an Aztec chieftain.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment / Hilarious in Hindsight: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were "married" (and later divorced) in a story line. During this very storyline, Triple H and McMahon actually began dating in real life, and later married and had children. After the "McMahon-Helmsley" storyline, their relationship - on-screen or off - was never mentioned, though after the recent "Randy Orton attacks the McMahon family" angle, the real-life relationship has been acknowledged on a few occasions. And during the D Generation X reunion storyline, Triple H poked fun at the fact that the fans all knew about their relationship, without directly mentioning it himself.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, the company's change of name was the worst thing to ever happen, as it started the Lighter and Softer product that exists today.
  • Growing the Beard: TV-PG WWE seems to have finally found its niche, mostly by getting rid of the stupid comedy characters and making fun of the PG rating itself. While it still has its fair share of stupid, its sigificantly better than it was the previous year.
  • Iron Woobie: Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, John Cena sometimes, Kane occasionally.
  • Large Ham: Two Words - Vince McMahon. YOUUUUU'RE... FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!
    • Also, Santino Marella.
    • This is actually the manner in which many of the wrestlers portray themselves, showing their own personalities turned Up to Eleven.
  • Love to Hate: Edge, definitely.
  • Memetic Mutation: Plenty of wrestling catchphrases become memes, but there are also some bits get popularized, frequently due to the cheesiness of it. Batista is the most frequent victim these days.
    • WWE's own boilerplate notice of wrestler releases has become this, especially the last line "We wish him the best in all future endeavors."
  • Mondegreen Shelton Benjamin's music has been modified several times because of this.
    • Sheamus's theme song is a wealth of humorous Mondegreens. On some forums, he has gotten the nickname "Lobster Head" due to his red hair and the lyric "lost your head," and the line "Too many lies!" has been Mondegreen'd as "Too many limes!""
    • Matt Hardy's song is another popular source for them. The opening line, "I can slam a tornado, I can fly over seas" has had many, many unflattering Mondegreens (example: "I can slap a tomato, I can make BLTs.")
    • Whenever Motorhead plays Triple H's theme live (they've done it several times at Wrestlemania), Lemmy can never get the lyrics right. Does that count?
  • Most Annoying Sound: Michael Cole to many fans, particularly after JR's most recent firing, during which he screeches like a howler monkey and channels Tony Schiavone at the top of his lungs.
  • Never Live It Down: To the Canadians, Shawn Michaels is forever known as the guy that screwed Bret Hart out of the WWF Championship. They would chant "YOU SCREWED BRET!" whenever he appears in Canada. Likewise, Bret Hart is still remembered by casual fans for him being screwed out of the title.
    • The typical Smart Mark response towards a Triple H victory would be, "OMG TRIPLE H BERRIES HIS OPPONENT, LULZ!", despite the fact that, although Triple H has more or less acknowledged that he has backstage influence, he still has to answer to Vince McMahon, who is his father-in-law.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap: One of Vince's specialties. But Vince had a history of taking mismanaged and underused guys from other promotions, shining them up nice and pretty, and making stars out of them.
    • Mick Foley - While he did have success in WCW, ECW and Japan, he was never considered a main eventer until his WWE career (and even then it took a few years).
    • The Undertaker - Went through a slew of territories and forgettable gimmicks before McMahon gave him the fat man and the urn.
    • Kevin Nash - Oz? Master Blaster Steel? Vinnie Vegas? These are some of the horrible gimmicks the big man endured in his first run with WCW. Then he became Diesel.
    • Scott Hall - Journeyman wrestler who never got over with the fans as a face or heel until the Razor Ramon gimmick.
    • The Rock - An odd one. Vince pushed him heavily, playing him up as a third generation superstar and even giving him the Intercontinental Title. Fans didn't buy it. They didn't like the brightly-colored upbeat Rocky Maivia. So Vince took him aside, told him to let them have it on the mic and the rest is history.
    • Chris Jericho - Considered a cruiserweight midcarder for life in WCW (and is still to this day not considered main event material by Eric Bischoff). Has become a six time champion since joining WWE.
    • Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero were dubbed the "vanilla midgets" by WCW brass for their small size and perceived lack of charisma (yeah, Eddie Guerrero supposedly had no charisma) and were thus relegated to midcard Hell much like Jericho. They jumped to WWE a few months after Jericho alongside Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. They were immediately injected into the main feud of the time (DX vs the top heels) and inside of two months, Benoit got the IC belt and Guerrero snapped the European belt. Controversies surrounding their last days aside, both were world champions by Wrestlemania XX.
      • Inverted with guys like Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, The Road Warriors, Shane Douglas, Vader, The Public Enemy, Taz, Raven, Diamond Dallas Page, and a slew of others who had great careers before going to McMahonLand and weren't made to look anywhere near as good inside of it, often they were actively made to look downright bad. On the whole, it seems like Vince & the WWF/E were always very good at taking guys who'd been underappreciated/underused elsewhere and turning them into superstars, but not quite as good at taking guys who'd made their names and been successful elsewhere and using them well.
        • The Road Warriors? They were quite successful in WWE, thank you very much (at least in their first run, anyway).
          • Not when compared to their NWA and AWA runs.
          • Sometimes, this is because of other factors (Taz's neck problems, Shane Douglas' attitude problems) that the WWE can't really help. Sometimes, it's simply because there's just too many damn wrestlers in the company to push people that deserve it (the period after the fall of WCW saw many former talent get crowded out of the spotlight.) Other times (Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes), there's really just no excuse.
          • During his current feud with John Cena CM Punk claims to have been a victim of this.
          • The excuse for Ricky Steamboat was that he didn't appear at a scheduled show because his son was being born (I didn't say it was a good excuse). Dusty Rhodes was the head booker of WWE's competition for much of the 80's, and his WWE run was generally seen as a way to humiliate him (although Dusty himself has denied this).
          • There are a few exceptions to the above: When Ric Flair bolted from WCW in 1991, taking the NWA Title with him, McMahon allowed Flair to keep his "Nature Boy" gimmick, with the only difference being that he now calls himself "The Real World Heavyweight Champion", as a shot at both then-WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and at Jim Herd, then-president of WCW.
  • Ruined FOREVER: Invoked by the Fan Dumb on a monthly basis since WWF bought out WCW.
  • Shocking Swerve
  • So Bad It's Good: Nxt season three, one of the rare cases where a show was designed to be this and succeed.
  • So Okay It's Average: This is really the big criticism towards WWE. It's not that it's really bad, it's just very... bland and samey. Most notably, the Main Event scene was virtually unchanged from 2006-2010, and the lack of building up new stars came back to bite them in the ass when all of sudden major players such as Shawn Michaels, Batista, and Chris Jericho (albeit temporarily in Jericho's case) left the company, and The Undertaker and Triple H have to work reduced schedules either due to wear and tear or increased work backstage. As a result, WWE has been scrambling in order to find new guys to place up at the top of the heap with John Cena, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Jr., and Edge, and even Edge was forced to retire a year later.
  • So Cool Its Awesome: The Road to Wrestlemania is generally considered to be the time of year when WWE's at its absolute best.
  • Straw Man Has a Point: In 2003, Chris Nowinski debated Scott Steiner over the Iraq War. Nowinski was supposed to be the heel because he was opposed to the invasion. Problem was, a significant majority of the fans even then agreed with Nowinski, and that number would do nothing but grow and grow as the years went on.
    • This wasn't helped by the fact that Scott Steiner is really not known for his promo abilities and Nowinski ran verbal circles around him.
  • Tear Jerker: Ric Flair's retirement is a good example.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Wrestling, and the WWE is this personified. From the territories to the National WWF, from Rasslin' to cartoon characters, from cartoon characters to bird-flipping potty mouths, from that to the John Cena PG era, and now, changing their legal name to "WWE, Inc.", which resulted in fans saying that the WWE is trying to drop "wrestling" from its product. Really any time the company enters a "new" era, this trope is invoked.
    • Not So Different: As for the name change, according to various WWE officials, including Triple H, they say that it's not different from Kentucky Fried Chicken and Apple Computer, which changed their names to KFC and Apple Inc., respectively.
    • And ironically enough, WWE seems to be using the term wrestling more often now that they're technically not "just a wrestling company". This troper can name at least eight times since the name change happened that the term wrestling and wrestler was used clearly on WWE programming.
  • X Pac Heat: John Cena drew this for a long time during his first three reigns as WWE Champion, to the point where he was once booed out of the building in his own hometown.
    • The same thing happened to Edge during a triple threat match against Benoit and Batista during his face run after his neck injury. The WWE wised up and made Edge the brilliant heel he is today.
      • Currently he is no longer heel, he is currently an example of a longtime heel who ran its course and is sucking up his fans built up commitment to him by turning face. done over the years by several wreslters who were in the company long enough to do it
    • And of course there's the Trope Namer, Sean "X-Pac" Waltman. After being a very over underdog babyface, he turned heel and rejoined DX for no conceivable reason. Then when DX broke up he didn't evolve his gimmick. And although his card position was that of a midcarder, he almost never lost matches, to the point that recapper CRZ named him "X-Pac doesn't job in singles matches". And when the "X-Pac sucks!" chants started, Vince apparently thought it was good heat and gave him his own stable, X-Factor...
      • Understandable, since X-Pac was heel at the time. It was only when the WCW/ECW Invasion started in 2001 & the chants continued that the WWE realised the fans legitimately hated X-Pac, since he was the only member of the WWE roster in that storyline who was booed - All of the other heels turned face or joined the Alliance.
      • X-Pac was so hated that the chants were heard at house shows he wasn't even booked on.
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