I cannot pinpoint exactly how and when memes became such a prominent part of our modern culture, but I'm certainly glad that they did. Most of my time on Twitter, Facebook, in fact pretty much any form of social media involves me discovering memes and then in turn sharing them with friends, or bothering them depending on the meme and the person it's been sent to. I also love professional wrestling, as I'm sure is pretty evident. So any time the worlds of pro wrestling and memes collide, you can rest assured that I'm going to be entertained. Memes of course come in many formats. Parents aren't home, how do you want your hair, Salt Bae just to name a few and you'll see some of those trustworthy meme bases in this upcoming list.
There are even famous memes that exist purely within the WWE Universe. Miz Girl, Brock Lesnar Guy, Shocked Undertaker Guy. All fans who have been made famous after their reactions were caught on camera. While those examples are great, they won't be the type of meme that's featured in this article. These fifteen examples are not ones that are based on a fan's reaction but rather memes that have been created following a certain event in pro wrestling history or on a certain trait of a performer's personality.
There are so many out there but we've narrowed them down so you don't have to, and this is the run down of which ones we believe to be the funniest.
15 Just Press F5
When you see Brock Lesnar nowadays, it's hard to imagine him as anything but a near 300 pound muscle bound behemoth. The Beast Incarnate is one of the most intimidating looking Superstars to ever enter the squared circle, and the octagon for that matter when you take into account his time with UFC. The physique and demeanor he has now makes it hard to believe that Lesnar was not always that way.
Even during his first run with WWE starting in 2002, he was a terrifying specimen. Yet merely years before that, while at high school and college, Brock would not have exactly struck fear into the hearts of everyone in the locker room. As you can see above, he actually looked like a bit of a nerd, however his college wrestling record would suggest that looks aren't everything.
14 Have A Snickers
Remember that Snickers advert from a few years ago? As far as I'm aware being from the UK it was just a British thing, but more recently the ad has been recreated via Snickers' sponsorship of WWE through commercials with Bayley, Rusev and others. Well, the original has been used time and time again in meme format.
As you can see above, at some point, Goldberg and Ryback got the Snickers meme treatment. Unfortunately for Ryback, it was pretty plain to see right from the off in his career that he was attempting to emulate the destructive force that was Goldberg. When creating your pro wrestling persona, it's only natural to pick and choose aspects of former wrestlers that inspired you, but copying them in the way Ryback seemingly did is going to leave you open to criticism.
13 Ambrose The Thriller
Scroll down any Facebook comment feed below a post asking for memes or declaring a meme war and you'll find the famous picture of Michael Jackson eating popcorn. Then the pro wrestling world witnessed the ever comical Dean Ambrose watching a segment back stage while eating popcorn and the WWE and meme universes collided once again. What began as Dean simply eating popcorn while watching a match backstage evolved into meme after meme after meme.
As you can see above, it quickly became Ambrose watching the original MJ meme that may have inspired Dean to do the popcorn skit in the first place. There are also versions with him watching himself in the ring, Dean watching himself eating popcorn and of course depictions of it where he's watching anything racy from WWE's past.
12 My Parents Aren't Home
It seems like a lifetime ago now, especially considering the rematch has come and gone with WrestleMania 33 in the rear view mirror, but it was only last November that Goldberg shocked the world. The former WCW champion returned after an almost 13 year hiatus and slayed The Beast Brock Lesnar in an incredible one minute and twenty six seconds.
Like yourselves, I'm sure following that landmark night and historic victory I've seen a multitude of tweets and memes in honor of Goldberg's accomplishment. The one I've chosen from this list is in my opinion the best of that bunch. I may be biased as I seem to find this meme format funny regardless of its content but you've got to admit, it's pretty amusing.
11 Mark Calaway Found Safe And Well
It would appear that The Undertaker has finally hung up his boots and retired from the pro wrestling business. While it hasn't been officially announced, judging by the way WrestleMania 33 closed, it would seem that The Deadman has truly taken his last ride. While many of us were busy trying to hide our tears from non-wrestling fans, others saw an opportunity for a meme.
Ever since Michael Jackson died and I received a joke about it literally minutes later, it's amazed me how quickly people spring into action following a major event. For those of you that are unaware, and it wouldn't be surprising as the man lived his gimmick like no other, the man in the meme above is The Undertaker's real persona.
10 Hogan Who?
WWE has a bit of a track record when it comes to trying to erase certain Superstars from their history books. Chris Benoit is the most famous example. Ever since The Rabid Wolverine killed his wife and son and then himself, he has not been mentioned on WWE television. Well, since the birth of the WWE Network, erasing a Superstar has become a little tougher. If WWE want a full library that documents their entire path, which they clearly do, then they can't go editing out matches and moments willy nilly.
The meme above depicts what Vince McMahon and his cronies would love to do to their footage in a perfect world. Hulk Hogan's racist comments have made him the latest example of WWE's delete button and I bet the company wishes Andre had in fact tripped rather than be slammed by The Hulkster at WrestleMania III.
9 The Defaced NXT Women's Championship
In the build to WrestleMania 33, there was one story in particular that grabbed the pro wrestling headlines that perhaps shouldn't have considering the time of year. That story was the news of former Diva's champion Paige's phone being hacked and some rather explicit videos and photos being released on the internet. Some of that explicit content featured former WWE Superstar Brad Maddox doing something unspeakable to the NXT women's championship, Paige's property at the time, with the help of the Norwich native.
If you hadn't seen or heard about it already, now that you have maybe you'll understand the meme above. All four of those women have held that prestigious title since and I can't imagine they were too impressed when they heard where it had been before making it to them.
8 The Samoan Confusion
The continued push of Roman Reigns seems to be endless. No matter what we chant as fans, Vince McMahon appears adamant that one way or another we will learn to love his hand picked Superstar. Surely when a man is beaten half to death by Braun Strowman and the fans chant 'you deserve it' even Vince must realize it's time to pump the brakes.
Anyway before I get into a rant, maybe someone should point out to Mr McMahon that there's a faux Samoan on the Raw roster now that the fans want to see. Samoa Joe may not be a real Samoan, despite his name, but he's the next best thing. He's a bonafide beast and is garnering a lot of interest from the fans. Bring this meme to life WWE and have The Samoan Submission Machine step into the shoes of Roman Reigns.
7 AJ Styles: Troubled Youth
AJ Styles has taken the WWE by storm. The Phenomenal One had perhaps the greatest debut year in the company of anyone that has come before him. Quite rightly too considering the man's experience and in ring ability. What many may not realize is exactly how extensive that experience before WWE was. AJ's career extends back to the turn of the century.
Being a fan who mainly watches WWE when it comes to consuming pro wrestling, I find it extremely strange and even unnerving when I see photos of Styles from early on in his career. I can't imagine him without his soccer mom hair cut but as you can see above, there was a time when he looked like the child to his current mom-look.
6 Free Suits From Triple H
Triple H has had one hell of a run in WWE. Who would have thought a man who entered the company sporting the underwhelming Connecticut Blue Blood gimmick would still be around today and have a big hand in running the whole business. In recent years, we've not seen The Cerebral Assassin step between the ropes as much as he used to.
It's a natural progression, despite his phenomenal physique, he is in fact getting older. Since his move to the business side of things, Triple H's character has taken to selecting young up and comers to perhaps take his place. As you can see from the meme above, those who are chosen seem to get a free suit thrown in with the Triple H protégé package. Owens especially looks particularly uncomfortable in his formal wear.
5 Salt Vince
It seems that for the past year or so memes have been coming and going faster and faster. So much so that one month one meme format will be conquering the world then the next month it will have been well and truly replaced. Well, in January 2017, the meme of the month was Salt Bae. A chef who entertained the world with his innovative way of salting his dishes.
Combine that with a topic we've covered once already in this list and Salt Bae becomes Salt McMahon. Vince very much continues to sprinkle us the fans and Monday Night Raw with a generous dose of Roman Reigns. Unfortunately for us though, Vince's seasoning has not been restricted to just one month of the year though.
4 Let's Talk Wrestling
Those of you who are fans of the show It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia will love this next entry. You will also know that throughout the show's many seasons, there are a spattering of pro wrestling references. While the scenes pictured in this meme aren't wrestling related, they are when depicted in this way. I don't know about the rest of you but the reason I find this entry in particular so funny is because I can relate to it far too hard.
In any social situation, if I find a fellow pro wrestling fan, I'll make sure the topic of conversation does not stray from our shared love. To begin with, I'll think I'm the top half of this meme then about an hour deep, I'll have a moment of realization and discover that I've gone too far down the rabbit hole and have in fact become the crazy guy underneath.
3 Who Wore It Better?
While we're on the topic of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, let's roll out another meme inspired by the show. This one is a lot more closely related to an episode in the show that revolves around pro wrestling. Originally, this meme was just the top half. The picture of a model wearing an outfit that looks almost identical, just a lot smaller of course, to the singlet Andre the Giant used to wear when he wrestled.
An eagle eyed It's Always Sunny fan saw an opportunity and made a great meme even better. In the aforementioned episode, Danny DeVito wrestles under a garbage man gimmick and also wears a singlet similar to Andre, thus making the two way meme between The Giant and the model a three way dance.
2 Right, Acute, Obtuse, Kurt
Kurt Angle is back in WWE! And what better way to celebrate than with one of the best pro wrestling based memes out there. What's even better about this entry is that it's a little smarter than your average meme. For the higher brow meme peruser if you will. All joking aside, this is a meme that has understandably been doing the rounds for a while.
I've even seen it on a t-shirt. Now that our Olympic Hero is back in the bosom of WWE though, I imagine it'll be one that begins to make the rounds again as Angle is now back in the spotlight as opposed to being on TNA and performing on the indies like he was when the meme first saw the light of day.
1 The Creation Of Kevin
Be honest, who noticed this? I most certainly did not until it was pointed out to me. The subtleties within the feud between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho have been incredible. It look as if it will come to an end following Payback at the end of April and it will go down as one of the greatest rivalries in recent times.
If the subtlety explained above is the final one we see between these former friends, then I would be surprised but no matter what, it will be the best one they've showcased over their six month plus run together. Many will see this and argue that it was unintentional but in my opinion, these performers are smart and entertaining enough that this link was very much intended.