The 8 Ball 03.02.13: The Top 8 Wrestling Insult Comics
Willkommen, boys und girls to ze 8-Ball! Ken Hill, the igniter, the exciter, YOUR “Kennection to All Things Wrestling” is here once again to present another random topic in the wild world of professional wrestling!
This week, we cover what should be a very fun, yet broad topic in wrestling’s greatest insult comics. You have your one-liners, your zingers, and rips on the audience and/or other wrestlers that have stood the test of time and remain gut-bustingly hilarious to this day.
If I may be serious for a minute…when I mean one-liners, I MEAN one-liners; don’t expect to see trademark insults listed here. That’s because I see them as fall-backs and go-to insults when a wrestler or announcer isn’t feeling particularly creative and is just looking for the familiarity-based crowd pop or the usual jab at another person. With that being said, don’t be surprised if a certain Brahma Bull doesn’t immediately spike the charts on this go-around.
“Next time, KNOCK!”
“Tell me, why don’t you say “What?” if you like to sleep with your own sister?” *cue half the audience still saying “What?” *
Don’t be so surprised by this entry. While Taker’s “Biker” days were considered by many to simply be a rest period for his “Deadman” gimmick, there were times where we could see that even an ass-kicking, bike-riding human personification of Death could have a sense of humor. Whether snarking at cops about getting some donuts or beating up Big Show for not being “polite” and knocking on his locker room door, “BikerTaker” had his share of chuckles from the audience. Then there’s this, where Taker’s just a little fed up with the overused “What?” chants:
“WHO’S YOUR DADDY, MONTREAL?!”
That (in)famous promo in 2005 by the legendary HBK goes to show that even in the advanced stages of his career, after having taken on a life as a born-again Christian, Shawn had no problem switching mindsets, deriding hometowns (particularly those in Canada and shooting straight with his opponents like he would back in the 1990s. If that wasn’t enough, he gave Hulk Hogan a physical insult by overselling EVERY…SINGLE…MOVE in their vaunted match at Summerslam ’05, during which you can hear Lawler and company barely able to hold their laughter in. What really sends it home is this promo after Summerslam:
“Ya know, they say ‘all men are created equal’, but you look at me and you look at Samoa Joe, and you can see that that statement is not true. Ya see, normally, when you go 1 on 1 with another wrestler, you got a 50-50 chance of winning. But I’m a genetic freak and I’m not normal, so you got a 25% chance at best of beating me. And then you add Kurt Angle to the mix? Your chances of winning drastically go down. Ya see, the three way at Sacrifice, you got a 33 1/3 chance of winning. But ya see I got a 66 2/3 chance of winning cause Kurt Angle KNOWS he can’t beat me, and he’s not even going to try. So Samoa Joe, you take your 33 1/3 chance minus my 25% chance, and you got an 8 1/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice. But then you take my 75% chance if we was to go 1 on 1, and then add 66 2/3%, I got a 141 2/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice. Ya see, Joe, the numbers don’t lie, and they spell ‘disaster’ for you at Sacrifice.”
That glorious mathematical exposition is just one of dozens of reasons Scott Steiner is a comic GENIUS. The man only knows one mode of promo: Angrish. Whether it was WCW, WWE or TNA, “The Big Bad Booty Daddy” was always in the camera’s face, spouting off “eloquent” pieces of script that went in directions no ever would ever think they could go. Nothing was off limits for Steiner in his promos: Countries, Samoa Joe, Bully Ray, Mathematics. In WCW, the man once used astrological terms and quantum theories to describe his freaks’ lust over him while verbally running down Goldberg. Seriously. It HAS to be seen to be believed:
“And I quote…Michael Cole is still a massive tool.”
“Hey Billy [Gunn], you’re a human vacuum cleaner: You manage to suck and blow at the same time!”
He’s seen it all, done it all, and has snarked anyone foolish enough to get in his verbal crosshairs. The former “Rated R Superstar” has always been known for seizing on opportunities inside the ring. He’s also notorious for speaking his mind unabashed and is an equal-opportunity insulter, deriding any superstar or WWE personality he deems fit for a tongue lashing. We all certainly remember his moments with Christian, being the originator of Kurt Angle’s iconic “You Suck!” chants, as well as his time as King of the Ring in 2001. However, it’s in the twilight of his career where we really see the sarcastic, deadpan variety of Edge’s humor blossom:
“The Cerebral Assassin” has shown over the years that he can dissect virtually anyone just as easily in the ring as he can on the mic. Whether tootling round doing spot-on hilarious parodies with DX, lording over the RAW roster as World Champion, or palling around with Shawn Michaels, you could be guaranteed some form of hilarity from “The Game” when he gets a hold of a microphone. Breaking the fourth wall, penis jokes, less-than-savory pop culture references, embarrassing photoshopped pictures with an obligatory punny quip; Hunter went up and down the sliding scale of good and bad humor with relative ease and (most of) the crowd would eat it up.
“The Rock says this: If The Rock hits you, he’ll kill you. If he misses, the wind behind the punch will give you pneumonia and you’ll die anyway, so the choice is yours jabroni!”
“Four Rock Bottoms, three People’s Elbows on your two buck teeth, AND AN ASS-KICKING ALL OVER NEW ORLEANS!”
Before any diehard Rocky fans start in on me over this “outrage”, I said outright he wouldn’t be topping this list; he’s coined so many phrases over the years that any longtime wrestling fan can watch a promo of his in the last year or so and tell if he’s keeping relatively fresh or simply falling back on tried-and-true crowd-poppers like “FINALLY…”
In that same token, however, it’s the inordinate number of ways that Rock has talked smack to opponents over the years that has him ranked up this high in my opinion. He’s an coiner; in his heyday, Rock cultivated new ways to insult and demoralize his opponents week in and week out. He could get “The People” to chant an seemingly innocuous insult just by asking them, and it would get to whoever the insult was directed at. He’s as straight a shooter as they come in the industry, and the Smackdowns he laid on the mic were just as mean as the ones he laid in the ring.
“Congratulations, Vince – after 647 consecutive run-ins during my matches, you have decided that due to outside interference, in the interest of fairness, it’s time to play it safe. Well maybe if you woulda had that Socratarian wisdom the night Stephanie was conceived, the world we live in would be a much less slutty place.”
If there’s any one thing that Chris Jericho is truly one of the best in the world at, it’s making the crowd roar and keeping them in stitches with his verbal hijinks. The insult to Vince and Stephanie McMahon above is just a drop in the bucket of the thousands of insults and quips that Jericho has unleashed over the years. From his “interviews” with “Stinko” Malenko and Goldberg parodies in WCW to his provocative verbal jabs at Stephanie and other supposed “trash-bag hos” and getting under the skin of The Great One in the WWE, Jericho has never failed to rile up the crowd and is never at a loss for something to say. Even as a “honest man”, Jericho continued to amuse with his over-the-top, “dime-store-thesaurus” words of the day and making public verbal protests about his supposed mistreatment by the WWE higher-ups. Like his wrestling style, hair, outfits, and tights, Jericho has constantly changed his style of comedy and articulation to not only match his character, but to keep up with the quick-witted verbal styling of a new generation, such as that of Dolph Ziggler.
Jim Ross: “Virgil is unconscious.”
Bobby: “When Virgil’s unconscious he’s usually on his feet talking to you.”
“If you’re poor and you do something stupid, you’re nuts. If you’re rich and do something stupid, you’re eccentric.”
The ULTIMATE snarker of professional wrestling, “The Brain” could be heard everywhere in his heyday; in the ring hyping and managing another star to try and take down the Hulkster, or as part of the most legendary commentary duo with Gorilla Monsoon as his exasperated straight man (“Will you stop?!”). Whether you were in WCW or WWE, if you walked, talked, or even just breathed in Heenan’s general vicinity, he’d have a razor-tipped quip ready and loaded.
Didn’t matter if you were Hulk Hogan or Billy Kidman, didn’t matter if it was the Guerrero family or the entire state of Texas, Heenan always had a hilariously snide remark in the ready and it’s was a never-ending ride with him. Even when he needed surgery for his throat cancer, he quipped, “If the late, great Gorilla Monsoon couldn’t shut me up, cancer isn’t going to either.”
Thank you all for reading on my post of the 8-Ball, and I certainly promise to bring you more exciting, unique topics in professional wrestling to count down. However, don’t be afraid to suggest your own topics in the comments section. In the wacky, wild world of professional wrestling, there’s a multitude of ideas to explore and you never know when you might stumble on a fresh idea no one’s considered before. Ciao for now, boys and girls!