Here Are 5 of the Greatest Wrestling Promos of All-Time

The moments that helped sold matches and redefined “shit talking” at its finest

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George Napolitano

We all dream about it—what if you can get on the mic and act out your wrestling alter ego? What would you say? How would you approach your opponent with the trash talk? 

After all, it’s always the dope wrestling promos that make the matches even better than advertised. From Hogan to the “Rattlesnake”, promos have been the perfect appetizer to the main course as they give fans a raw heads up of what to expect when their favorite wrestler is in action. As time goes by, the promos become way more charismatic, animated and electric.

Here’s our ranking of the best wrestling promos of all time.

5. Jay Lethal & Ric Flair's TNA Promo

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Nowhere is that truer than in professional wrestling.

So when rookie Jay Lethal came up and interrupted Ric Flair and his crew’s appearance—an homage to Flair, the wrestling world was fortunate to see pure in-ring comedy gold. From the mannerisms to the catchphrases, Lethal’s flawless Nature Boy impersonation showed the world that the young guns could be just as charismatic and animated as the old veterans who set the pace for them to follow.

In the end, Lethal made Flair tap out on his own signature figure-four leglock in a match at TNA’s Victory Road pay-per-view.

4. Y2J Debut Promo

Every wrestling fan from the “Attitude Era” was very familiar with “the clock.” The WWE has been teasing fans about an epic surprise. During random promos and commercial breaks, a clock that says “the countdown to the new millennium” kept getting lower and lower as everyone was anxiously trying to see what was the big deal—until it finally ended on August 9, 1999. On an episode of RAW Is WAR, during The Rock’s promo, the world finally realized what the countdown was.

The debut of Y2J was born as cruiserweight phenom Chris Jericho finally made his debut. Coming from WCW and NJPW, Jericho creates an emphatic pop as fans went wild, then proceeds to give Jericho a shakedown. 

Approaching 20 years since his epic debut, Jericho has since become one of WWE’s most legendary performers of all time. The first undisputed WWE heavyweight champion in wrestling history, Jericho showed the world what happens when you “break the walls down.”

3. CM Punk's Pipe Bomb Promo

On the eve of his final match under his WWE contract, CM Punk wanted to send a message to his boss, Vince McMahon. After helping R-Truth upset John Cena in a Tables Match, CM Punk sat on top of the entrance lap in his signature style and let everything off his chest. From taking jabs to The Rock, Cena and Hulk Hogan to calling Stephanie and Triple H “idiots,” Punk went in. The rant was so intense that Vince and the writers at WWE cut Punk’s mic off to quiet him.

The aftermath of this led to one of WWE’s most important match ever occurring at the Money in the Bank PPV. CM Punk defeats Cena to become the new WWE champion in his hometown of Chicago. The victory became a legendary moment in wrestling and is still talked about to this day.

2. The Birth of Austin 3:16

It was the King of the Ring PPV in 1996. The “Texas Rattlesnake” Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Jake “The Snake” Roberts to become the fourth winner of this single match round-robin elimination tournament. Many fans and historians haven’t talked about the action of the match—it was the post-match interview that creates arguably the most iconic WWF and WWE moment in history. During Stone Cold’s rant, he coined a phrase that basically symbolizes the truth and image of the “Attitude Era.” 

“Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16...Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!"

A new star was born. The face of sports entertainment finally arrived to carry them from the golden days of “Hulkamania”—it was a foul mouth, beer-drinking, tough SOB that went on to win a plethora of WWE titles and become the owner of one of the greatest catchphrases of all time.

“And that’s the bottom line—’cause Stone Cold said so.”

1. Hulk Hogan's Heel Turn Promo

The heel turns that shook the wrestling and sports world forever. America’s favorite wrestler has had enough of living up to people’s expectations and decided to utilize his bad boy card. The mysterious third member of the Scott Hall, Kevin Nash connection was finally revealed. The clique known as New World Order was born and revolutionized wrestling forever. The crew that started alliances and powerhouse empires in the pro wrestling realm was conglomerate that couldn’t be stopped.

Hulk Hogan’s iconic red and yellow colorway was swapped for a villainous black and white, and it forever changed the way we watch wrestling.

Related: What Does the WWE TV Shakeup Mean?

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