What was the funniest mistake in professional wrestling history?

That’s a tough question with several potential answers. Professional wrestling history is full of mistakes (or, as they’re known in industry lingo, “botches"), and many are quite funny. The debut of the Shockmaster, though, reigns supreme as the funniest.

The 1993 debut of the Shockmaster is generally considered the worst character introduction in wrestling history, but that wasn’t by design. Some background: Sting and the British Bulldog appeared on a talk show segment of WCW’s Clash of the Champions XXIV to reveal their mystery partner for their upcoming WarGames match at the inaugural Fall Brawl event. That mystery partner was the Shockmaster, played by Fred Ottman.

“If I remember correctly, he was going to be a machine, a crusher, invincible, like a [human] wall,” Sting said of the character.

“I thought the idea was pretty cool,” Ottman said later. “It was basically supposed to be like a superhero costume.”

The actual costume was...well, not exactly heroic. Ottman wore a fur vest and a sparkly helmet (a Star Wars stormtrooper helmet covered in glitter). Because the mask obscured Ottman’s face, booker Ole Anderson was tasked with dubbing the Shockmaster’s voice.

But the real issue was with Shockmaster’s entrance. He was supposed to crash through a wall and threaten his opponents, but a stagehand installed a 2X4 wooden beam at the bottom of the wall. Ottman couldn’t see the beam with his helmet on.

“I got there, and when it was time to go, they said, ‘You’re going to have to hit this wall really hard to bust out,’ because it wasn’t a gimmick wall,” Ottman said. “So I put my hands above my head, double-axe handle, and when I got the cue, I was going to blast through the wall. Well, I blew the top out, but didn’t take that bottom board out, so I basically was a human teeter-totter.”

The Shockmaster fell flat on his face, his helmet flying off. He struggled to pull it back over his head while the other performers tried in vain to hold back their laughter. The event ruined the Shockmaster’s push before it started, and he quickly faded into obscurity.