BARON VON BAVA
The Gobbledy Gooker, Bastion Booger, The Shockmaster: chances are high that when you consider wrestling’s worst gimmicks, these names come up. If WWE creative had their way in 2004, however, Baron Von Bava would likely be the first name on your list.
Pitched by ex-WWE writer Dan Madigan, Baron Von Bava was, in short, a Nazi cyborg stormtrooper frozen in the 1940s by German scientists who were terrified of losing the war, and wanted to preserve their legacy by freezing one of their best soldiers.
When he was unthawed in 2004, BVB would be completely unaware of his surroundings, and operate as though he was still in World War 2. He’d continued to carry out Hitler’s work on air, but it got worse: Paul Heyman, who is Jewish, was pitched as the man who’d awaken the Baron from his slumber and turn him loose on the world.
WWE have dished-out more than enough racially insensitive gimmicks over the years, but Baron Von Bava was a step too far for Vince McMahon. Shortly after Madigan had reportedly goose-stepped around the room to demonstrate BVB in action, Vince grabbed his coat and left without saying a word. BVB was was rejected in the coldest way possible, but it’s no less than what the idea deserved.