It's no secret that wrestlers do not always love each other. Over the years, plenty of in-ring performers have put down their colleagues in the most savage of ways. But what exactly makes a quote or an action "savage?" It doesn't necessarily have to do with the Macho Man at all. It's one thing to be rude, but it's another thing to reduce someone else to absolutely nothing. While some instances may not directly be insulting one person, it may insult many who have worked to create a division or promotion, reducing their work to mere trash.
Some of these savage statements may simply be a play on words. At other times, real-life drama may be alluded to. Not all savage statements have to be a pun. Some can be the cold hard truth. Usually, it's statements rooted in the cold hard truth (or as some would say, the alleged truth) that goes in the history books as the most polarizing statements of all time. Either way, cutting a promo is when it's time to go to places you wouldn't always dream of going.
If you're curious to know what is "savage," here are just 15 of the most savage statements ever said by those in wrestling.
15 Stone Cold: "If you put an 'S' in front of Hitman..."
Stone Cold's rise in the WWE began after winning the 1996 King of the Ring tournament. Shortly after winning the tournament, he would begin a feud with Bret Hart. Stone Cold, being the narcissist that he was, would state, "If you put the letter 'S' in front of Hitman, you have my exact opinion on Bret Hart." This would lead to one of the greatest feuds in the company's history, as well as the most memorable double turn of all time at WrestleMania 13. Stone Cold and Bret Hart had an amazing rivalry in 1996 and 1997 and it really allowed Austin to begin shining in his Stone Cold character. Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation was just the foil he needed.
14 Naomi: "As for you, James Ellsworth-less..."
James Ellsworth has received plenty of flack ever since he helped Carmella win the first-ever Women's Money In The Bank ladder match. Many felt that his inclusion in the match's finish was a disservice to women in the industry and took away from what could have been a much more historic moment. Naomi wasn't thrilled with James Ellsworth being Carmella's lackey, either. After informing Carmella that she's always ready to take her on, Naomi put her sights on Ellsworth, letting him know how "Ellsworth-less" he really was to the blue brand's women's division. A simple pun, but a savage one at that. In any event, we can all agree that it was downright painful seeing Ellsworth being the first one to grab a women's Money In The Bank briefcase.
13 Jim Ross & That Jackie Gayda Match: "Mercifully, It's Over."
As plenty of wrestling marks are aware, this match is notorious for being one of the worst matches the WWE has ever produced. In all fairness, Jackie Gayda was extremely green, recently recovered from an injury and needed more time to develop her in-ring skills. This isn't as much on her as it is on other parties behind the scenes. However, Jim Ross was not afraid to chime in a harsh statement after Gayda was pinned by Trish Stratus. Ross boldly stated on commentary, "Mercifully, it's over." It was impossible to cover up how horrible this match was. JR was never one to mince words and if he was thinking what every fan at home was, he had no problem sharing it with everybody.
12 Stephanie McMahon To Sable: "Lay Flat On Your Back."
Stephanie McMahon is one of the best women to ever hold a WWE microphone. Her feud with Sable is often regarded as one of her best, in large part due to the verbal tension exchanged between the both of them. As many times as they called each other names back and forth, it was this simple statement that got the crowd popping and sent Sable over the edge. A remark like this, however, would very likely not be said in the WWE today, especially as its product becomes more family-friendly and aware of its female performers. This was one of the few times in Stephanie's career that she acted as a babyface and even though this storyline was recycled from the Trish/Steph one a couple of years prior, Stephanie thrived in the face role.
11 Austin Aries: "It's A Beautiful Day."
This quote took a few hours to process. Within an hour after Aries tweeted this, it was announced that he was released from his WWE contract. Rumors started buzzing after his release, stating that Aries asked for his release and he was glad to be gone from the company. Additional rumors have come up in the days following his release, stating that Aries didn't want to be limited in the Cruiserweight division. It also should be mentioned that Aries voiced his frustrations on Twitter months prior in regards to not being featured on the WrestleMania 33 DVD, due to his match being placed on the kickoff. If this tweet truly referred to his WWE release, it would speak volumes on the frustrations that Aries was feeling.
10 Sasha Banks: Alexa Bliss Doesn't Like Wrestling
It's been long rumored that Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss have not liked each other. These rumors have been around from their NXT days, back when Sasha busted Alexa's nose during a match. Injuries happen all the time during matches, yet some wrestlers hold personal grudges afterward. Sasha appeared to play on the rumors of their real-life feud (or perhaps, reality) with an interview she gave after Raw. She states that Alexa didn't really care about the business, couldn't tell the difference between Matt and Jeff Hardy and was only here for the paycheck. There wasn't anything clever behind her words, but pure emotion was invested in them. Regardless of whether or not that emotion was scripted or not, Sasha's accusations of Alexa aren't something that should be taken lightly.
9 Carmella: Nikki Is 'Fearless' Only Because Of John Cena
The Internet Wrestling Community has accused Nikki Bella of riding along John Cena's reputation to achieve success for her career. While Cena, Nikki and even Nikki's brother-in-law, Daniel Bryan, have all denied this, Carmella was not afraid to feed off the IWC's accusations in an on-screen promo. She admitted that other people were afraid to say what she was going to say, but that she wasn't. The result? Carmella told Nikki that the only reason she was so fearless is that she goes home "every single night with Mr. Hustle Loyalty and Respect." Carmella would follow her criticism up by calling Nikki a golddigger, showing footage of Nikki on Total Divas following her initial comments. To top it off? Carmella accused Nikki of using everyone around her. She claimed she used Brie to get into the wrestling ring and Cena to become a celebrity. Talk about savage.
8 Matt Hardy to Lita: "How Does It Feel Seeing Me Monday?"
The Matt Hardy, Edge and Lita love triangle was one of the most heated storylines in WWE history. This is because the emotions behind it were completely real. When Lita was scheduled to do an interview on WWE's web talk show, Byte This, Matt Hardy called into the show. The host, Todd Grisham, was extremely thrown off. Hardy used the time to unleash his personal emotions on Lita, who looked visibly uncomfortable the entire time. Referring to Edge as "Adam" (Edge's real name), Hardy took the opportunity to inform Lita (and the world) that Lita didn't make Matt a priority during their relationship. While it fueled the storyline, it also struck a personal nerve that very few interviews and storylines can even touch today.
7 Chris Jericho's Comments Regarding Stephanie McMahon
Chris Jericho is a master on the microphone, and so is Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie McMahon can deliver the insults just as good as she can take them, and she and Jericho fed off of each other quickly. The amount of insults that Jericho was able to put into them (and the way Stephanie received them) allowed for some of the most genuine pops and jeers during the Attitude Era. From Jericho telling Stephanie that a SummerSlam (for her) is a quickie, to stating that Stephanie had a "private alliance" with various people in the locker room, Jericho wasn't afraid to get under Stephanie's skin in the most personal ways possible. It's funny that Jericho first got over most in WWE by simply hurling nasty insults at the boss's daughter.
6 AJ Lee to the Bella Twins: "Talent Is Not Sexually Transmitted."
Many played off on the Internet Wrestling Community's criticism of the Bella Twins. However, unlike Carmella's digs at Nikki Bella, AJ was not afraid to be more explicit with her emotions. Claiming that the Bella Twins were not half of the woman that she was, AJ Lee decided to verbalize her frustrations with the twins one step further. Asking them if they wanted to kiss their way to the title, AJ Lee decided to make that question rhetorical, simply letting them have a statement served cold. In the Bella Twins' defense, their wrestling skills have improved immensely, and AJ Lee arguably had a large part in that. Either way though, AJ's comment was the definition of savage.
5 Bret Hart's Classic Enema Statement
In the late 1990s, Bret Hart enjoyed a heel run as a Canadian nationalist with a vengeance for America. This easily got him heat with the WWE Universe. However, Hart would most memorably issue his distaste for the American crowds on a 1997 episode of RAW taped in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While speaking in a microphone held by Jim Ross, Bret Hart stated that the U.S. was a huge toilet bowl. Seconds later, after a series of boos, he would follow that up with, "If you were to give the United States of America an enema, you'd stick the hole right here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!" Way to call those who hate you dirty. Whoever came up with that line is an absolute genius.
4 Shawn Michaels Calls Out Bret Hart's "Sunny Days"
Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart's real-life feud is one of the most documented in professional wrestling history. Outside of wrestling, Shawn Michaels was dating Sunny for a period of time. After the two of them went their separate ways, Sunny says Shawn believed that she was seeing Bret Hart. Sunny has said that Bret and her were nothing but friends. Regardless, Michaels accused Hart of having a reduced amount of sexual stamina, and even though he was having "Sunny Days," he couldn't get any job done inside or outside of the ring. This comment is the one that led to Bret and Shawn's real backstage fight, as the comment caused a lot of embarrassment for the Hart family. You know how the rest of the 1997 year went.
3 AJ Lee's Pipe Bombshell: "That Is Reality."
It's no secret that AJ Lee was offered (and turned down) a spot on the E! reality show, Total Divas. Lee has stated in interviews that she was given the opportunity to explain why she didn't want to be on the show in a promo. That is how the #PipeBombshell was born. In what is often regarded as the greatest promo ever cut by a woman, she insulted each of the cast members in powerful, savage fashion. She referred to Eva Marie and JoJo as "the other two," Natalya as only coming from a wrestling family, and the others as "models." AJ Lee referred to the cast as "a bunch of cheap, interchangeable, expendable, useless women... and they just weren't talented enough to be champion." AJ Lee stated that she saved the Women's Division and shattered glass ceilings. While the Bella Twins are the most popular women in the company right now, AJ Lee was right about herself. She was a true pioneer to the division. She is a future Hall of Famer, and without her, the careers of the Total Divas would not have reached the heights that they did.
2 CM Punk's Pipe Bomb
CM Punk is not afraid to speak his mind. With his highly-acclaimed Pipe Bomb promo, he did just that. He mentioned that John Cena was better than himself at one thing: kissing Vince McMahon's ass. Punk also threw shade at The Rock, whom he referred to as his real name, Dwayne. He openly questioned many of the decisions the WWE was making, including having The Rock on WrestleMania's main event when Punk was not. Punk felt he wasn't getting the attention and accolades that he deserved. Punk even went to the length to say that he felt the company would be better after Vince was dead. Punk knew he was a good wrestler and didn't want to play backstage politics in order to have that attention. The promo was only cut off when Punk began to tell a story about Vince McMahon in regards to an anti-bullying campaign.
1 Madusa Trashes The Title
Madusa, previously known as Alundra Blayze, was released from the WWE in late-1995 after the company decided to abandon its Women's Division. When Madusa was released, she still had the WWF Women's Championship belt. She was approached by Eric Bischoff, who told her that she should come to WCW and throw the Women's Title in the belt. Madusa admits that she was nervous about doing it. The Monday following her WWE release, Madusa showed up on Monday Night Nitro with the belt. She held up the belt and proceeded to grab a trash can, tossing the belt in the trash. "That's what I think of the WWF Women's Championship belt," she said. Has anything else ever been so savage in professional wrestling's history? Probably not.