Hornswoggle was among those released by WWE last week in an apparent first round of cuts that will eventually lead to a massive roster overhaul. It was clear his time with the company had run its course, but his tenure was certainly not without memorable moments. Hornswoggle, who will now perform under the name Swoggle on the independent scene, was at the forefront of two of WWE’s most disappointing reveals, perhaps in the history of the industry.
First, there was the angle teasing a third illegitimate McMahon child originally slotted for Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy got into hot water, losing the angle and the push that would have accompanied it. Instead of assigning the distinction to another rising star, WWE decided on Hornswoggle in a poor payoff. Then, in 2012, after over a year of Monday Night RAW being run by an Anonymous General Manager, it was finally time to reveal who was sending those secret emails to Michael Cole at ringside.
Kevin Eck is a former WWE writer and member of the creative team from 2011-14. The Inquisitr recently reported on another bombshell Eck dropped when rehashing details of a past WWE creative meeting. The meeting, called by Vince McMahon, was designed to decide the successor to John Cena as the face of the company. They ended up going with Sheamus, despite Eck’s CM Punk nomination. As part of Eck’s initial interview/screening process, he was instructed to come up with a creative idea to reveal the Anonymous RAW GM. Here was Eck’s recollection on his Eck Factor blog.
“My choice for the anonymous one was Kevin Nash. My idea was that Mr. McMahon put Nash in charge of Raw because he wanted someone that would stir things up with both babyfaces and heels. The story was that Nash, who was in TNA when the anonymous Raw GM began appearing on Raw, had to keep his identity a secret because he was under contract with another wrestling company. I figured Nash was a logical choice for the role and a big enough name that it wouldn’t be a disappointment. For the reveal, my idea was that one of the wrestlers had learned that the anonymous Raw GM was sending emails from a production truck outside the arena. Inside the truck, the anonymous GM was hidden behind a curtain. As the wrestler approached the curtain, the GM sent an email that said, ‘Ignore that man behind the curtain.’ When the curtain was pulled back, Nash was there in a wizard’s hat, a clever nod to his infamous run as Oz in WCW.”
Obviously, the Nash idea was rejected, along with any other ideas the writers had at the time, and the entire angle was dropped shortly into Eck’s tenure. Vince decreed that the fans stopped caring about the whole thing despite some persistence from the writing staff, though he did concede, as past GMs were being brought back each week in the lead up to RAW 1000. Eck then revealed how Hornswoggle entered into the equation.
“The idea was that after Hornswoggle was outed as the GM, he’d reveal who he truly was. Saying that his name was Lou Manfredini (the last name of one of the writers), he would speak with a W.C. Fields-like accent, chomp on cigars and refer to women as “dames.” He would say that he hated being the lovable Hornswoggle character, but playing the role was what he had to do to get a job with WWE. Being the anonymous Raw GM gave him the opportunity to mess with all the Superstars that (in his mind) laughed at him because of his size and treated him more like a mascot than a person. We had planned on making Hornswoggle a heel manager going forward. The idea was pitched to Vince, and sure enough, he OK’d it. There was only one problem: Hornswoggle couldn’t pull it off.”
Vince admitted that Hornswoggle did not have enough time to prepare to pull it off, and even apologized to Jerry Lawler for having to be involved. Who knows if Kevin Nash would have succeeded in the role, seeing how his other return and involvement with Punk and Triple H flopped as well. Regardless, Hornswoggle being revealed as the Anonymous RAW GM is one of wrestling’s biggest disappointments.
[Image via WWE]