Ah, memes. The internet's version of knock-knock jokes, except you can count on most of them to actually be funny. Memes are practically unavoidable online nowadays as even the mainstream started to embrace the internet's signature image comedy. And with memes being so adaptable to just about anything you can make a joke out of, you bet your butts the crazy world of professional wrestling isn't immune.
And we're not just talking about the Randy Orton RKO meme or God knows how many John Cena memes that everyone's seen. Pretty much everything in wrestling has been memed. I mean, we've already got like five other lists full of them here at TheSportster. And you don't even have to know that much about wrestling to enjoy most of them.
But like any group of friends, when it comes to wrestling jokes, in-jokes are the best. There's something about understanding an obscure joke that just makes it so much more enjoyable. So let's embrace the more specialized humor in the wrestling community with 15 hilarious memes that only true fans will get.
15 Abraham Washington Dropping A Pipe Bomb
Some fans may remember Abraham Washington for his short stint in WWE a few years ago, as the manager for The Prime Time Players. Washington was released for blurting out on live television, "he's unstoppable, like Kobe in a hotel room in Colorado" referring to the sexual assault allegations against Kobe Bryant years ago. Given that WWE was EXTREMELY PG at the time, they fired Washington.
If you follow wrestling and rumors carefully, you'll remember the Paige, Xavier Woods and Brad Maddox fiasco where the three were filmed engaging in some "group activity". The scandal was what many in the wrestling world talked about for weeks, but it seems to have died down now, with the focus shifting more toward Paige's controversial relationship with Alberto Del Rio.
14 Stone Cold And His Beer
Back in 2012, the entire country was rocked by a brutal tragedy...Hostess shut down production of Twinkies. It was a dark time for the American people.
Luckily they came back into production a little less than a year later, but Twinkies' short time away from this world left its mark on society. Mostly in the form of jokes about people stockpiling them before they went away. Or people panicking about other things that might go out of business soon. We all know we're at a time where people seem to panic about something almost every day.
Like beer. You know who really likes beer? If you said anyone but Stone Cold Steve Austin, you are not a true wrestling fan. What? We said you're not a true wrestling fan.
13 NXT? Really?
WWE today has perhaps the greatest roster in its entire history. This is in part due to Triple H taking up a larger role in talent relations and leading the charge in signing many top indie stars or overseas wrestlers like Kevin Owens or Shinsuke Nakamura. Many of these new faces were already world class performers when they signed, which makes some fans question why almost all of them are still forced to go through WWE's developmental brand, NXT.
Seriously. Of all WWE's signings in the past few years, it's far easier to name the ones who were sent straight to the main roster without going to NXT. AJ Styles. Sting. That's pretty much it. Hence this meme, with Sting putting on his best "seriously?" face at the thought of being sent to developmental.
12 Nice Finisher You Got There
One complaint some of the more serious wrestling fans have with the current wrestling landscape is how underwhelming finishing moves are made out to be. Most of this is because of the overuse of false finishes. Subverting expectations every once in a while helps keep the audience on their toes, but doing it all the time just makes the moves look weak.
As far as this happening in WWE, people mostly point the finger at the poster boy John Cena, who rarely loses, and even when he does, usually kicks out of his opponent's finisher the first two times. It seems to have spread throughout the roster now, as there are plenty of matches that seemingly need two or three finishers before the match is over.
11 I Cancelled A Tag Match?
Teddy Long is best remembered as a long-time authority figure in WWE, almost always as the General Manager of SmackDown back in the first brand split. He's generally remembered fondly as an authority figure, never getting overly involved in any angle, but still playing his role. But that doesn't stop one main criticism of his tenure: An over-reliance on tag team main events.
He was so known for it, tag team main events are still jokingly called "the Teddy Long special" even 5 years since the last time he was a major authority figure. And it inspired this meme where he has an existential crisis after he miraculously cancelled a tag team match instead of booking one. Long was inducted into the WWE HOF earlier this year.
10 NXT Debut vs RAW Debut
When NXT shifted from a reality show format to a proper developmental territory for WWE, it slowly became many fans' favorite thing about the product. But an important thing to note is while Vince McMahon still oversees all creative decisions on the main roster shows, NXT is mostly Triple H's project to run with. This led to an infamous phenomenon of wrestlers succeeding in NXT, but flopping on the main roster. Usually because Vince completely failed to understand or appreciate their gimmicks.
So one wrestling memester joked about Kevin Owens being a vicious brawler in NXT only to be given a goofy dance gimmick similar to Brodus Clay on RAW. Obviously this (thankfully) never actually happened. But at the rate things were going, it wouldn't have surprised many fans.
9 Retire A Hero...Or Become Big Show
Once you get to a certain age, professional wrestlers, like any other athletes, have to start thinking about retirement. It usually comes later for wrestlers since the worked nature lets them stay longer by just working a slower style, which makes the timing of the decision even more important. Retire too soon, you'll miss opportunities. Overstay your welcome, people won't remember you as fondly.
But this meme said it more elegantly. Maybe you'll retire as a hero with audiences still clamoring for more, like Daniel Bryan. Much better than being the guy who's still inexplicably going even after people are sick of seeing him. Especially when you can't even count all their face and heel turns on both hands and feet. Sorry Big Show. You've been better recently, but the audience chants are still right. Please retire.
8 Oh God, CZW
Professional wrestling has been around for many decades, and each different time period it lasted through left its effects on the business. Most notably, the 90's counterculture brought an enthusiasm for extreme wrestling. ECW may have folded in 2001, but many smaller promotions kept its style going, or even took it further.
One infamous extreme promotion on the independent circuit is Combat Zone Wrestling, or CZW, which could be described as ECW on steroids. And Dean Ambrose used to wrestle for CZW back when he was Jon Moxley. So when Mick Foley implored Ambrose to take Lesnar on a journey to his past leading up to their WrestleMania 32 match, some fans thought back to CZW and had a laugh at how horrifying that would be.
7 Then Sin Cara Said...
One of the few recurring memes in the wrestling fandom is this one featuring Vince McMahon and R-Truth having a laugh at some ridiculous story Vince tells. This has been used at the expense of just about everybody, from WWE itself, wrestling fans, and naturally TNA. But one of the best is this one taking a jab at Sin Cara.
Sin Cara is a luchador style wrestler for WWE who has been portrayed by two different people. Why two people? Because the first one got fired for botching moves repeatedly. The first one is better known as Mistico and it was hard to find a match of his in WWE where he wasn't botching something. The character is now played by the wrestler formerly known as Hunico.
6 Tell Them I Ran To Pick Up The Checks
Paul Heyman is famous as the talking head for The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar, but in 2013 he also managed other clients like CM Punk and Cesaro, among others. Before that, he was known as the owner of ECW before it went under and was bought out by WWE. And in the final years of ECW, Heyman had a bit of a reputation for not paying the wrestlers on time, if at all. Many people have pointed to this when arguing Heyman doesn't have good business ethics, but he does have a great mind for wrestling.
So naturally, memes surfaced where Paul Heyman uses his clients to help him sneak away unnoticed before the other wrestlers can confront him about their pay. Shame on you, Cesaro. You are an accomplice and an enabler.
5 So Vince, Got Any Secret Daughters?
Triple H has had more than his share of infamy in the wrestling business. From backstage politics alongside real life friends like Shawn Michaels, to blatantly self-serving creative influence. But perhaps the most questionable part of his career is what role his relationship with the boss's daughter Stephanie McMahon played in him having a prominent role, both on- and off-screen.
If only the other wrestlers thought to ask Vince if he had any other daughters he wasn't telling anyone about. At least one memester envisioned Orton having this conversation at the height of The Authority angle. Even into 2017, Orton found a way to win the Royal Rumble and even enjoyed a WWE Championship reign after beating Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. How did Orton swing that backstage?
4 Chris Benoit In The Hall Of Fame?
Wrestling memes need not even be exclusive to wrestling. Sometimes existing recurring memes fit perfectly for the joke. Like this classic one where a man gets thrown out of a meeting (and a building) for having taboo ideas or opinions. The centerpiece of this one? Whether or not Chris Benoit belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Chris Benoit is understandably a difficult subject in wrestling, as no matter how many great, classic matches he had in his career, it's all still clearly tarnished by the whole murdering his family thing. But even then, there are some out there who insist WWE can still celebrate his achievements in wrestling without it being an endorsement of his crimes.
This meme pretty much sums up the chances of that actually happening.
3 Triple H And His Water
When Triple H isn't being a controversial figure in wrestling, he's known among other things for having very intricate entrances, especially at WrestleMania. But one of the common things he used to do for normal TV entrances was to take a drink of water and very dramatically spit it out in a spray of mist.
Which led at least one person on the internet to wonder...has he ever actually finished a bottle of water? Or does he spit it out dramatically every time? He sure keeps us guessing and nowadays we only see him wrestle one match a year. The world may never know. Although it's funnier to assume he does do it every time and just move on.
2 How Many McMahons Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb?
To understand this wrestling reference, we gotta go back to 1997, a dark time for Canadian wrestling fans in particular. Bret Hart, practically a Canadian national hero, worked for the WWE and went into Survivor Series in Montreal that year as the WWE Champion. But he was soon leaving the company for WCW, and Vince McMahon made the infamous decision to have Bret lose the title...without telling him.
It became known as the Montreal Screwjob and obviously, Vince had to vehemently defend his actions that night, leading to the infamous McMahon quote "I didn't screw Bret. Bret screwed Bret." Parodied here. This segment of Vince uttering those words is also the night you could say the evil Mr. McMahon character was born, as few fans were siding with the boss on this one.
1 Suddenly Wrestling Ryback Doesn't Seem So Bad
CM Punk infamously walked out on WWE in 2014, just one year removed from having the longest WWE Championship reign in nearly 30 years. So naturally, fans wondered why he left, and they got their answer when he famously appeared on The Art Of Wrestling podcast with real life friend Colt Cabana. Among other complaints he listed were being repeatedly asked to wrestle Ryback, someone he specifically requested not to have to wrestle after getting injured by him the first time.
Soon after that podcast, Punk signed with UFC and finally made his debut in 2016 at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall...where he quickly lost in a one-sided contest. Leading some to joke that suddenly, wrestling Ryback, known for his stiffness, didn't seem so bad in comparison.