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Creators Pet: Professional Wrestling

Realistically, 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) could be a Creator's Pet. Only the most obvious examples should be listed below.

  • Pick any wrestler who is on the booking team, or better yet, a relative of someone on the booking team. Some American examples: Dustin Rhodes) (son of Dusty Rhodes), Triple H (son-in-law of WWE's Vince McMahon), Jeff Jarrett (co-owner and son of Jerry Jarrett) in TNA, Eric Watts (son of Bill Watts), David Sammartino (son of Bruno Sammartino), David Flair (son of Ric Flair), and Kevin Nash (booker in 1998-1999) in WCW, Greg Gagne and Larry Zbyszko (son and son-in-law of Verne Gagne, respectively) in the AWA. Such wrestlers are usually pushed far beyond their ability levels or to the point where fans become sick of seeing them. Other countries' promotions are not immune to this either.
    • Triple H is arguably the prime example in this genre. Even when he was out for a year with a quad injury, it seemed like J.R. or Jerry Lawler would mention him during every match (even a women's or cruiserweight match). And that's when they weren't showing heroic montages of HHH's rehab. If he wasn't a Creator's Pet already, that time period made him one.
      • And now Triple H has managed to become an even bigger Creator's Pet than he was before with the recent COO storyline, to the point where the entire roster save for a few face main eventers pulled a Face-Heel Turn (a temporary one in the case of face wrestlers) and voted "No Confidence" on him, to which he responded by saying a broom could do a better job than all of them, and the remaining face wrestlers who stayed behind kissed his ass, including CM Punk, the guy he had been feuding with for months. Even Vince McMahon himself came back to shill his son-in-law/future heir as COO, even as he is stripping him of his duties of running RAW. The entire purpose was just to put over how amazing HHH is as kayfabe COO and will be as Vince's successor in Real Life when Vince steps down/dies.
    • Not so with Randy Orton. Despite both his father and his grandfather being famous wrestlers, Randy has long since outstripped either of them in worldwide popularity, and rightly so. In fact, when "Cowboy" Bob Orton returned to WWE in 2005, it looked like he was trying to ride his son's coattails rather than the other way around. He's also the only one in his family (also including uncle Barry, aka Barry O or the Zodiac in the Hart family's Stampede Wrestling promotion) to ever win a title in WWE.
      • Of course, Orton has never been without his detractors, claiming that the only reason he still even has a job, let alone his eternal push, is because of both his lineage and his status as HHH's pet project.
    • Dustin Rhodes, aka Goldust also managed to grow out of it. While Dusty pushed him to the moon in his initial WCW run, after Dustin left for WWE he and his father weren't on speaking terms for five years, which coincided with his greatest success as Goldust in the WWE while Dusty Rhodes was in WCW.
    • Alberto Del Rio is yet another example. Despite not able to connect with the audience, Del Rio has been pushed to the moon since his August 2010 debut and won the Royal Rumble match in 2011. He has constantly has title shot after title shot. Originally, he was one of the most hated heels on the roster, but after two terrible WWE title reigns and a heatless feud with Sheamus, all of his heat evaporated. When he turned face in the end of 2012, his push was relaxed, but once he went back to being a heel six months later, WWE went back to pushing him full-force. The reason behind Del Rio's huge push is because WWE sees him as a guy who can help carry the WWE to a Hispanic fanbase not to mention he is one of Triple H's favorites.
    • Batista has become this during his WWE career. Ever since he returned to the company in early 2014, he won the Royal Rumble and as a result, he earned the right to face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. Batista's win outraged many fans, who preferred Daniel Bryan. The reason for Batista's push is because he's one of Triple H's good friends (along with Orton, of course).
  • Beaver Cleavage. This gimmick was Chaz Warrington (formerly Headbanger Mosh) and his kayfabe girlfriend, the late Marianna Komlos, as a hypersexual parody of Leave It to Beaver. This was his fist hype vignette. It was Vince Russo's pet gimmick. Russo fought and fought with the rest of the WWF creative team to get Beaver Cleavage on the air, and when he finally did, the fan reaction was as negative as everyone not named Vince Russo expected. Vince McMahon himself vetoed the character a couple of weeks in, nipping his Pet-ness in the bud. The incident, however, was one of Russo's main reasons for leaving WWF for WCW. As for Chaz and Marianna, after being allowed to work under their real names without gimmicks for about 2 weeks, they got stuck in a domestic abuse angle.
  • Bo Dallas from WWE NXT, at least originally. Pushed as the top guy on the developmental roster despite being average at best in the ring, having all the personality of a ketchup stain, and defeating the much more popular Big E Langston for the NXT Title. The fans furiously hated his guts, to the point of actually turning their backs on the ring whenever he won matches. A source of possible improvement is his Face-Heel Turn over six months after the fact that has him feuding for the NXT Title over the extremely over Sami Zayn.
  • Bubba the Love Sponge became this in TNA the very moment he showed up on television, mainly due to the fact that the only reason he was there is because he was one of Hulk Hogan's friends. He certainly didn't do any favors for his popularity with his reported bullying of TNA talents off camera, which was only (sort of) tolerated because of said friendship with Hogan. Then it got worse when he made disparaging comments about the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. He was then involved in an incident that lead to AwesomeKong leaving the company (the incident in question was initially attributed to Kong pounding Bubba for those offensive comments; really had a longer build up with many wrestlers, her just being the first to snap, but didn't help that Kong was one of the most talented workers in the promotion).
  • Curtis Axel. Again, semi-decent wrestler but completely void of any charisma. He was randomly put into Paul Heyman's stable and quickly won the Intercontinental title. Again most fans find him boring and wonder why he was chosen to get a push. Then again, he is Mr Perfect's son.
  • David Otunga is a mix between this and Real Life Writes the Plot. Pushed to the moon on NXT despite being sub par on the mic and being very green and downright dangerous in the ring, Otunga got second place in the first season and arguably more focus on him in the closing minutes than there was the winner; virtually all because of his engagement to Jennifer Hudson. It did not help that WWE bent over backwards to have him win contests along the way, in one case with them outright coming up with a lame excuse to disqualify someone who did beat him in a contest to sell programs for no reason but to ensure an Otunga victory.
    • Lampshaded on the season 1 finale of NXT as it was mentioned that the reason why he lasted this long was because of said engagement.
    • WWE seems to have gotten the message after the Nexus angle began. Wade Barrett has flourished in the role as the Nexus' leader, and many of the other NXT rookies have benefited considerably from the angle, including Justin Gabriel, Skip Sheffield, and even Michael Tarver (widely considered the worst of the original eight). David Otunga, however, has seemed lost in the shuffle, and hasn't really been given much to say or do.
      • Otunga is sliding into the role of The Starscream whose sole characterization seems to be a slimy opportunist looking to usurp Barrett as the Nexus' leader. It fits.
      • Thankfully, as of a year later, they did seem to at least realize that Otunga has the wrestling ability of a graham cracker and don't let him do it that often. He did join CM Punk's New Nexus, but he didn't really talk much during this period. The few times he did wrestle, it was usually either with a partner who did a fair share of the work or against somebody who could barely fight back, or in some cases, they'd find excuses to not have him in the match (such as him being scheduled to wrestle Sheamus, but Sheamus was destroyed before their match by Mark Henry). As of now, he's largely not wrestling and has taken on the role of John Laurinaitis' lawyer (and bow tie aficionado).
      • Unfortunately, Otunga seems to be getting a bit of a push in 2012. He's already beaten Ezekiel "Put-The-Great-Khali-In-The-Torture-Rack-And-Made-Him-Tap" Jackson with a spine buster. Twice.
  • Drew McIntyre is a good modern example; he was moved up to the WWE to from their developmental leagues, and when he "officially" became part of Smackdown, Vince McMahon personally claimed McIntyre would be a future World Champion. He proceeded to build a fairly long winning streak, and became WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion by beating John Morrison. Despite this, he's not very entertaining to watch, and it seems he is unable to win a match without blind luck or gouging someone in the eyes. When Kane finally ended his winning streak, he threw a hissy fit, and the next week, by order of Vince McMahon, said loss was expunged. This is being played horrifically straight, or the WWE's creative team is overdoing it purposely for laughs.
    • In 2011, Drew's push has tapered off completely, to the point where he barely gets on Superstars, much less either of the televised shows.
    • The Bus Came Back: McIntyre is now 1/3 of 3MB with Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal, who are essentially Butt Monkeys/Jobbers, proving that this part of McIntyre's character is now dead.
    • He's also now been released from the WWE.
  • Gail Kim eventually evolved into this in TNA. She was initially the top face of the Knockouts division and became their first Women's Champion. After her program with Awesome Kong ended, she continued to get pushed as the top face and dominated storylines. A match furthering a feud between The Beautiful People and Roxxi Laveaux had Gail inserted into it and the feud then switched to between her and the Beautiful People. Rather than getting TBP over as heels, Gail prevailed rather easily. It wasn't until she left TNA that another was pushed as the top babyface. When she returned in 2011, she was now pushed as the top heel. Within two weeks she won the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championships without any storyline behind it and within another two weeks, she was the Knockouts Champion as well. Even after she lost the title, she still dominated storylines. A storyline involving the title was turned into a subplot while Gail's rivalry with the referee took centre stage. And she rarely loses cleanly too, despite TNA having no problem getting other tenured Knockouts to put over their opponents when the occasion calls for it.
  • Hulk Hogan himself was and is beloved in WWE/F, but in WCW he was, for the most part, a Creator's Pet. When he first arrived, fans hated his Invincible Hero schtick. Hogan's solution was that he wasn't invincible enough, and so he set about burying all the other top drawing wrestlers in the booking. Things got so bad that WCW had to take anti-Hogan signs from fans before letting them into the arenas, and free Hogan merchandise given to the fans in the front row was thrown back. Of course, Hogan was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap when the New World Order formed. A few years later the nWo had run its course and Hogan turned face again, and went right back into Pet-ness, where he remained until a falling out with booker Vince Russo had him removed from television until WCW's demise.
  • Jack Swagger. A decent wrestler who's in good shape but rather boring to watch and with a lisp that severely affects his promos. He got two absolutely random main event pushes, the first of which being his Money In The Bank win in 2010. After roughly about three months as World Champion, he dropped it and was never in the title picture again. Then in 2013 he returned after a long absence and got another push for the title, this one he didn't win. Most fans find him boring to watch, especially when he is frequently overshadowed by his more talented partner Antonio Cesaro.
  • John Cena was booed so often he had to acknowledge (while on air) that the fans didn't like him on several occasions. Like Beaver Cleavage, most of the hate is aimed at the creator more than the pet; a lot of people would tolerate John Cena, half the crowd likes him, but WWE doesn't understand they'd rather see less of him and more of someone else, if only for a little while.
  • As bad as Trips was, Jeff Jarrett in TNA was (is?) a lot worse, especially in 2005, when fans were pleading with him to "DROP THE TITLE!" Not to mention the fact that he is also the head booker, as well as a wrestler. And before that, Jarrett was pushed big time in WCW because of his friendship with Vince Russo, the then-current writer for WCW in 1999-2000. While Triple H does have a lot of pull in the WWE thanks to his marriage to Stephanie McMahon, it is Vince who gets the final word on everything. Not to mention, Jarrett is inferior in both wrestling and cutting promos to Trips, making his over-the-top prominence that much more obnoxious.
    • Dixie Carter of TNA has become outright hated by most in the Professional Wrestling fandom, and by many others in the business herself whom she has worked with, including longtime fan favorite Jim Cornette, but TNA continues to shill her even if she's not on an episode, attempting to entice fans to follow her on Twitter and Facebook at LEAST once a week. Dixie is the president of TNA and the majority shareholder in the company. Ironically, many fans rejoiced when Hulk Hogan briefly took over the company in a storyline that ran nearly a year and a half. Sadly, she was backed by Sting, and is once again in control of the company in the storylines as well as in real life, though the day to day operations of TNA in-universe are handled by Sting.
      • And now she's gotten ever worse as she's inserted herself into making the show all about her. If she's not in a segment she's being mentioned or talked about. She opens nearly every show with a thirty minute long promo.
  • With Cole and Vickie before him, it wasn't so hard to see that John Laurinatis was going to become one. Already despised in Real Life due to being one of Vince's numerous stooges and his role as vice president of talent relations (he's the one who reportedly said he won't hire a female wrestler who isn't Playboy material, and then made good on it by allegedly picking Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox out of a catalog, while tearing apart a lucha libre champion - named Sexy Star, no less - for being too unattractive under her mask to be in WWE, something that quickly made the IWC's blood boil; Kelly and Alicia's improvements are beside the point) he quickly became The Scrappy due to having a forced catchphrase (constantly stating his job title) similar to Vickie's, and like Vickie having very little talent when it comes to acting and mic skills, though his lack of ability is of the Dull Surprise variety (recently he didn't even react to receiving a finisher), yet got an increasingly bigger role on TV, eventually becoming the Interim General Manager of RAW. Recently, WWE has been trying to recreate the Austin vs McMahon feud with CM Punk and Laurinatis, but it has been a flop, especially since Punk had already been involved in a highly praised feud with Vince himself at the very start of the angle that was oddly cut short in favor of HHH becoming COO and Punk's feuds with him and Laurinatis, which were outright panned.
  • Towards the end of ECW's run, Justin Credible was made the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Now, Credible had been quite good in his previous upper midcard role, as one half of the Impact Players tag team with Lance Storm. But when Storm left for WCW, Credible was promoted to the main event. As any wrestling fan knows, singles wrestling and tag teams are completely different and a great tag wrestler can be completely boring without his partner. Also, Storm's excellent wrestling ability covered up the flaws in Credible's work. But in an un-ECW like decision, Credible kept the belt, and retained it time and again, mostly against wrestlers who would work the title defense, maybe 2 or 3 other matches, and then leave the company. By the time the belt switched hands half a year later, fans were SICK of Justin Credible.
    • This is actually an invoked example in Credible's case. Around this time, ECW's talent well was being sucked dry by WWE (who got such stars as Tazz and The Dudley Boys) and WCW (who got Lance Storm and others). Paul Heyman wanted a long term ECW champion, and so, in his own words, put the title on the one guy neither promotion would even try to sign (which is ironic as anything because WWE eventually did sign Justin Credible, albeit after the promotion had died).
  • Lex Luger's "Made in the USA" gimmick in WWF was pretty much the definition of the Creator's Pet in wrestling. He was pushed to the top after Hulk Hogan finally "left for good" (well, for 8+ years, anyway), plugged directly into Hulk Hogan's feud with Yokozuna, and given a hugely over-the-top All American Face gimmick, in hopes to get him massively over. It completely failed on every level possible; the casual fans saw Luger as a poor imitation of the departed Hogan, and the smarks detested Luger's lack of mobility and failure to grasp even basic Wrestling Psychology, to the extent that body slamming the 640 pound Yokozuna still didn't get him over. Tellingly, after he got a title match with Yokozuna, with the stipulation that it would be Luger's only shot at the championship, then won the match by count-out (meaning the title didn't change hands), the fan reaction was less "clamoring for a rematch" and more "the idiot blew his one shot". To make matters worse, most fans liked (well, in a "love to hate" kind of way) the Narcissist gimmick he was using before the Heel-Face Turn.
  • CHIKARA had Lince Dorado. He was pushed way, way too hard right after his debut, and then went through a period where he would alternately be booked too strongly and be booked as a wrestler of his stature normally would be. End result, Lince's popularity plummeted to the point where it wrecked that of his stablemates in The Future Is Now, Jimmy "Equinox II" Olsen and Helios. The bookers have gotten the message and Lince is now booked in the undercards, but the fans still consider The Future Is Now to be the least interesting group on the roster. When uber-heel group F.I.S.T beat TFiN, the fans chanted "Thank you FIST". Later, during Cibernetico Incredible, the crowd began booing after Lince scored two eliminations in the Torneo Cibernetico. A Face-Heel Turn was working to rescue him, when Lince was abruptly fired from Chikara for either for no-showing an event, appearing in a video without his mask, or both.
  • Michael Cole, more specifically his new heel persona. He was given a match at WrestleMania, which many thought this was so they could capitalise on the universal hate for the guy by him getting humiliated on the grandest stage of them all. Due to in-universe Executive Meddling, he won his match and they dragged out his feud with Jerry Lawler for an extra two months. He finally got his comeuppance and suffered a Humiliation Conga, resulting in him toning it down for a while. This didn't last, however, as he quickly went back to being obnoxious and making everything about him, and he's still doing this as of this writing. Download him in the latest SmackDown vs. Raw game and he will be placed in constant title main events; change the match and the game will just place him in another one.
    • While Michael Cole is bad, Jerry Lawler is on a whole other level. It's blatant that they're keeping the poor man on the commentary table for personal reasons, as he himself has stated in interviews that he would rather be a trainer for upcoming talent, as he's tired of commentating. Yet, he still tries to be funny, he makes very awkward remarks about female talent (especially Kelly Kelly), his insults are incredibly juvenile, and it's very obvious that he's Vince McMahon's mouthpiece. This was made clear when a crowd was very audibly chanting "Let's go, Ziggler" and Jerry Lawler said "Listen to this crowd, 'Let's go, Sheamus!'".
      • This, however, all changed when Lawler had his real heart attack on September 10th, 2012. Many didn't actually want Lawler to die and were thankful for his recovery, making people tolerate him much more because his jokes, as lame as they might be, is proof that he's doing well and that the medical staff did what they were supposed to do. For Cole, however, it gave his heel persona the complete boot, as he seems to not only be a complete face commentator again, but he has gotten a ton of respect following the heart attack. Even though he's still a pet, he's proven his worth, it looks like. Took a real life incident for that to happen.
  • Michelle McCool should be the Trope Namer for a female character. She often got no reaction whatsoever, and WWE still insisted on pushing her as the Alpha Diva on the roster. Interestingly she was the cause of a lot more anger than any of her less talented contemporaries. Being in a relationship with respected veteran The Undertaker probably didn't hurt her career any, either. Interestingly, Michelle managed to shake this off for a lot of fans with the formation of Lay Cool, which proved she was better as a comedic heel than The Stoic they'd been pushing her as. It also helped that the woman could legitimately wrestle and that any Diva at all was getting a proper character and storyline in a time when the hugely over Mickie James had been released and Melina and Beth Phoenix were injured, leaving the women's division in a sorry state.
  • Back in the territory days of wrestling, Nick Gulas was the promoter in Memphis. Then his son, George, decided to become a wrestler. Nick pushed him hard, but the fans knew George was a mediocre wrestler at best and was only pushed because he was the promoter's son. This ultimately led to Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler leaving and starting their own promotion in Memphis - and driving Gulas out of business. Of course, they would push their OWN sons (Jeff Jarrett and Brian Christopher, respectively) to the moon once they got the chance as well. Even after the USWA (United States Wrestling Association in Memphis) closed in 1997, Jerry Jarrett went so far as to create TNA as a vehicle to push Jeff.
  • The Rock, for much of his first year or so. Green as grass, pushed to the moon, won the IC title, all over TV and the fans loathed him. "Die Rocky, Die" chants were not uncommon. He was only rescued by his Face-Heel Turn, making the most of fan hatred while letting him grow as a performer. It also helped that they retooled the character from a squeaky clean face into "Dwayne Johnson, cranked Up to Eleven".
  • Sheamus began as this on ECW where his back-and-forth feud with Goldust (yes that Goldust) where he actually lost at least one match and drawed in another was instantly turned into a winning streak as well as being seen as a monster heel just for retiring good ol' boy Jamie Noble and curbstomping Jerry Lawler. Fast forward to being on Raw where, despite his size and power, he is a Dirty Coward heel that got lucky in his two championship wins rather than brutalizing fellow pets John Cena and Randy Orton who always had bigger fish to fry. He managed to avoid this after his Heel-Face Turn where he started to get good reactions from fans, save for about four weeks after WrestleMania where the crowd turned on him for the way he won the title off Daniel Bryan.
  • Steve "Mongo" McMichael, a member of the mid-late 90's version of the 4 Horsemen, could qualify as this. Mongo wasn't so much talentless as incredibly green in the ring, but he was still far, far below what a hardcore fan would expect from one of the Horsemen. Still, he was given a fairly long reign as the WCW United States Champion and a never-ending series of angles involving his then-wife now ex-wife Debra. Keep in mind that while all this was happening, Mongo still needed to be carried through matches.
  • The Carnage Crew were suppose to appeal to the blue collar Ring of Honor crowds against the rich druggies Special K. All that happened was Ring Of Honor giving its crowds two groups it disliked, but while Special K were beaten, mocked, broken up and retooled, the Crew endured with minimal changes.
  • Vickie Guerrero once she became the Smackdown GM. She was hated due to her poor acting and mic ability, not because of her character, and got X-Pac Heat as a result. WWE's response? They pushed her storyline with Edge even harder, going as far as to "banish" The Undertaker of all people temporarily, and when Undertaker came back (only because SHE decided to punish Edge), it was Edge who was "sent to Hell" while Vickie cheered Undertaker. When Undertaker decided he was going to punish her too, she formed an alliance with The Big Show, who Undertaker feuded with and won against, but by that time Vickie had realigned with Edge and Taker seemed to forget about her, allowing Edge and Vickie to resume their awful kayfabe relationship angle as if the last few months didn't happen. Vickie was then promoted to GM of both RAW and Smackdown heading into Wrestlemania, and the WWE World Heavyweight Title match (a triple threat featuring John Cena, Edge, and Big Show) was centered around a Romantic Plot Tumor with Edge and Show fighting over Vickie, with Cena just there to play the face and make Vickie jokes. Following Wrestlemania, she chose to just be on RAW, WWE's primary television show, but continued her relationship with Edge, a Smackdown wrestler, who won the WHC back at Backlash, meaning that after over a year since their storyline began there was no sign that they would meet their downfall. Vickie only barely avoided being a Karma Houdini because she decided to leave in Real Life, which angered Vince McMahon. As a result, her character got comeuppance for the wrong reasons. Vickie suffered a Humiliation Conga and was dumped by Edge. She came back months later, primarily as a manager with a smaller role, and became the most popular heel in the company. Or not.
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