If you sit with someone who doesn’t watch wrestling, they’ll usually say two different things. One: “You guys know this isn’t real, right?” This is always a clear-cut sign that you shouldn’t be hanging out with that person. Two: “Man, there’s a lot of talking going on.”
They’re right, and it cuts to a fundamental misunderstanding that people still have about professional wrestling. Yes fake-fighting is integral to the package, but you also need a winding narrative of drama to pump up those feuds. It’s “sports entertainment” for a reason. Brock Lesnar suplexing John Cena is cool, but it’s a lot cooler when you’ve spent the last couple weeks listening to Paul Heyman tell you, in vivid detail, about how brutally Brock Lesnar is going to suplex John Cena. This can be brilliant, the careers of The Rock, Bray Wyatt, Edge, Ric Flair, and plenty others would’ve never been the same without their on-mic ability, but it can also produce some of the most unintentionally hilarious moments in wrestling history.
So we present to you, dear readers, a few of our favorite moments in wrestlers talking poorly. Make all the snarky comments you want, as long as you’re aware that you’d be just as awkward.
Professor Steiner Teaches You about Percentages
Scott Steiner is mostly known as “that big guy who sucks.” This is only halfway true, because sometimes Scott Steiner is so thoroughly effective at being “that big guy who sucks” he stumbles into something legitimately transcendent. This usually happens when a writer commits some excruciatingly unholy error, like forcing Scott Steiner to say a bunch of numbers. Steiner, never one to back down from a challenge, absolutely goes for it. This results in words like “SO SAMOA JOE YOU TAKE YOUR 33.3 PERCENT CHANCE OF WINNING MINUS MY 25 PERCENT CHANCE OF WINNING THAT MEANS YOU’VE GOT AN 8.3 PERCENT CHANCE OF WINNING.”
Was this really what TNA was like these last few years? Maybe we’ve all been missing out.
Don Muraco is the Illuminati
Continuing our theme of giant men saying strange things about numbers, I give you this: “it’s all numbers, it’s all time, time and numbers and space. 64 or maybe 65, or maybe 46 in somebody else’s eyes.” Why was he saying all of this? Because Don Muraco was wearing a shirt with the number 64 on it.
My favorite part of the promo is Mr. Fuji’s unchanging smiling face throughout the whole thing, he just looks like he completely endorses his client’s weird Nic Cage postulations.
Lex Luger is Pissed Now
Lex Luger is most famous for being the fake Hulk Hogan WWE tried to create after Hogan went to WCW (as a direct precursor to the Monday Night Wars.) Basically they gave him an American bandana and told him to be boring, which was pretty much the way you created a babyface back in the day. Eventually he too crossed over to WCW, and continued to be Not Good. He joined nWo, feuded with Sting, and eventually when Vince bought the WCW brand, was cordially asked to leave town forever.
I have no idea where this promo comes from, but it does seem to catch Luger at his angriest. You know a promo is off to a good start when your subject can’t remember the PPV he’s promoting, it gets even better when they’re literally yelling at a shirt for being too tight. Oh Lex Luger, how we don’t miss you.
The Slow Burner
Wait for it, wait for it…
Jumping Jeff Farmer is probably best known for being that fake Sting that was in nWo for a couple of years. This was good, because when you’re playing Sting you get to wear cool facepaint and don’t have to talk a whole lot. If you watch this promo, you will see that when Jumping Jeff Farmer looks at a camera, his whole life flashes before his eyes. “You got me …mad …now,” or perhaps “when you stab me in the back, one way or another.”
“One way or another?” How do you get stabbed in the back one way or another? That seems like an action that doesn’t come with a lot of misinterpretation! Don’t worry Jumping Jack Farmer, your crow makeup is on the way.
The Brood Break Their Silence and Immediately Become Uncool
I remember thinking The Brood were really cool. They were vampires, and Edge was in it. Drawing the attention of 12-year old boys is fairly simple mathematics, so when three dudes in linen and Matrix sunglasses trudge out to the ring, you could bet entire middle schools were marking out.
The forgotten member of The Brood is Gangrel. He’s the one that carried the goblet of blood and would take a swig before entering the ring. In the hierarchy of greasy late-‘90s vampire tropes, Gangrel was easily the patron saint.
Then, one day, the WWE decided to have The Brood talk. “Breaking their silence.” Those 12-year old boys all heard Gangrel’s fake laugh, and immediately were all made fun of for their Brood shirts.
And guess what! The only thing worse than Gangrel’s fake laugh is Edge’s fake laugh! ALL OF YOUR FAVORITE WRESTLERS ARE MASSIVE GOOBERS DEEP DOWN. IT’S UNAVOIDABLE.
The Poetry of Sycho Sid
Do you feel bad for Sycho Sid? I feel bad for Sycho Sid. Dude so clearly had this huge mental block whenever he had to say anything on the microphone, to this day his legacy is of a red-faced buffoon that once literally said “I have half the brain that you do.” When that sort of thing starts happening consistently, it’s time to get your wrestler a mask.
The Ballad of the Shockmaster
Every scholar of wrestling has undoubtedly seen the clip above. It’s a giant fat man wearing a bedazzled Stormtrooper helmet falling flat on his face through a wall with all sorts of fire and smoke. It’s a truly legendary botch, easily the worst promo ever cut. Saving some cataclysmic trigger, it really could not have gone worse.
Here’s the thing though, The Shockmaster had an exceptionally low ceiling even without the botch. If he came crashing through that wall with his head held high we’re still talking about a giant fat man wearing a bedazzled Stormtrooper helmet. It still would’ve been bad. I like to think of this segment as God’s punishment for bad wrestling storylines.