While being an excellent in-ring performer is great, it will only get you so far in the WWE. You need to have the ability to cut great promos if you ever want to make it to the top of the company. The WWE stands for World Wrestling Entertainment, and while wrestling is obviously is a huge part of the company, the entertainment side is what really defines the WWE. When you think of the most successful time periods in WWE's history, it wasn't necessarily the in-ring performing that took the company over the top. In the 1980s, it was Hulk Hogan who took the WWE to the next level. Hogan was nowhere near the greatest wrestler, but it was his classic promos that made him into a huge star. The Attitude Era in the late 1990s was led by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock. While both guys were far better in-ring performers than Hulk Hogan, it was their work on the mic that turned them into household names.
While the WWE is definitely a much different company than it was during the 1980s and 1990s, the ability to be a great talker is still just as crucial for success. If you have the ability to cut great promos, there is good chance the WWE will give you a shot at the top. If you can't cut a good promo if your life depended on it, then there's a good chance you will find yourself buried, as evident with some wrestlers on this list.
Without further ado, here are the 8 best and 8 worst talkers currently in the WWE.
16 Best: A.J. Styles
It wasn't too long ago when A.J. Styles deserved a spot among the eight worst talkers. When he made his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble, Styles was a babyface. The WWE barely let him get word in and, when they did let him speak, it wasn't anything special. All this changed for Styles when he became a heel after he attacked John Cena. His in-ring promos with Cena might just be the best of his career. The fact that he can almost go toe-to-toe with one of best talkers in the history of the WWE, John Cena, is an impressive feat. At the time it seemed like a puzzling decision to turn Styles heel, especially since it was so early into his WWE run. In hindsight, it has worked out best for the company and A.J. Styles. If Styles never turned heel, we wouldn't have got the highly entertaining "Beat up John Cena" promos. Here's hoping they keep on giving Styles the mic time he deserves.
15 Worst: Randy Orton
Randy Orton is the most accomplished wrestler to be included among the worst talkers in the WWE. He's been in the WWE for 15 years now and has won multiple championships. There is no denying that Orton is one of the most talented in-ring performers the WWE has today. Orton earns a spot on this list not because he's an absolute horrible talker, it's just that he's an overrated one. It seems like people just assume that since he's a main event wrestler, he must be a great talker too, but that is not the case. His promos were okay during the early part of his career, but recently they have been dull and boring. You expect someone who has been in the business as long as he has to get better as time went on, but he has done the complete opposite. It was only a few years ago when Orton forgot his lines during a live segment on RAW. That is forgivable as he's only human, but the fact that he had to go out of his way and ask Sheamus what his lines were earns him a spot among the worst talkers in the WWE.
14 Best: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens is such a good talker, that even as a heel it's hard not to love the guy. He's a super talented guy in the ring, but his mic skills might just be his best talent. Whether he's delivering a serious promo, or a comedic one, he pulls it off with ease. He has shown he can go shot-for-shot on the mic with another one of the best talkers in John Cena. Although his promo skills are superb, Owens might be even be better at talking while a match is taking place. Back when the commentary team was still at ringside, Owens would always make sure to yell a hilarious one-liners towards Michael Cole. Speaking of the commentary team, every time he joins them at the table, he steals the show. When Owens decides to hang up his boots, he would make an excellent edition to the commentary team.
13 Worst: Cesaro
For years it seems like the WWE Universe has wanted to see Cesaro get a main event push. He deserves a shot based on his wrestling skills alone. He gives it his all each and every night, and is one of the most underappreciated performers on the main roster. However, what may be holding Cesaro back from getting a big push is his lack of skills on the microphone. Throughout his time in the WWE, Cesaro has not been given a whole lot of promo time. When he has been given time on the mic, most of his promos seemed really forced. This might have less to do with him and more to do with the writing team. Cesaro has earned the right to be able to put a little of his own personality into his promos. If the "Swiss Superman's" promos aren't any better after that, then he might deserve a higher spot on this list.
12 Best: The Miz
Whether or not you think he's a boring wrestler in the ring, you have to give The Miz props for his excellent mic skills. The Miz has been a heel for pretty much his entire WWE run, and it's for good reason, he's great at it. The Miz impressed with promo skills early on his career, especially when he was teamed up with John Morrison. He was able to use his charisma to become a main event player, and eventually captured the WWE Championship.
While The Miz is no longer a main event guy, he has been able to stay relevant by cutting great heel promos. There is no better heel right now in the WWE than The Miz. If you want some evidence proving that The Miz is a top notch talker, you don't have to look further than his recent appearance on a episode of "Talking Smack." The Miz gave arguably the best promo of his career but it's too bad it only aired on the WWE Network. During an interview, The Miz got into a very heated argument with Daniel Bryan. It seemed so intense that you couldn't tell if it was real or scripted. Any wrestler who can cut a promo that blurs the lines of reality and scripted, is undeniably talented.
11 Worst: Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews has not been in the WWE fold for too long, having only debuted at the first NXT:TakeOver special in Brooklyn. This is why it was surprising to see him get called up to the main roster less than six months later. There is no denying that Crews is one of the most naturally athletic wrestlers on the roster, and he has shown he is capable of putting on some entertaining matches. However, when it comes to his skills on the mic, they are definitely in need of some work. The WWE hasn't given Crews too much time on the mic, which is a good thing, because when he has talked it's been rather boring. The main problem why his promos are so dull, is that he doesn't really have any personality in his character. When its comes to wrestling gimmicks, Apollo Crews is generic as they come. It's pretty bad when the only notable thing about your gimmick is that you like to smile. It's possible that the WWE just doesn't have any confidence in Crews' ability to speak. If that's the case, they should of let him stay down in NXT so he could of actually developed some personality to his character and at the same time, gain some confidence on the mic.
10 Best: Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt would of been higher on this list had his character not lost a ton of momentum over the past couple years. His promos recently have become somewhat repetitive and seem to drag on a bit too much. His work on the mic is as consistently good as you get, but when you don't really care about the storyline he's in, it's hard to get into his promos. However, Wyatt still deserves a spot on this list, because he has cut some very memorable promos in his time. He has the ability to take a crowd who completely hates him, and make them love him by the time he finishes a promo. There hasn't been a character who cuts dark and haunting promos like Wyatt since The Undertaker and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. You have to be talented to be mentioned in the same breath as those two legends on the mic.
9 Worst: Nia Jax
Nia Jax is one of the newest members on the main roster, after she was drafted to the Raw brand. Prior to joining Raw, Nia was a member of the Women's Division in NXT. Her being called up to the main roster was a bit of surprise considering she only made her NXT debut less than a year earlier. It seemed like the WWE rushed her to Raw, as she definitely could of used more time developing her in-ring skills, as well as her skills on the mic. Her very first promo on the night of the draft was evidence that she is not quite ready for the limelight. In a live interview after just being drafted, Nia Jax let her emotions get the best of her. There is nothing wrong with being overjoyed about being drafted when you're a babyface, but nobody wants to watch a monstrous heel cry.
The WWE creative team must not have any confidence in her ability to cut a promo either. Since making her Raw debut, she has only competed in squash matches without uttering a single word. This might be the best thing to do with Nia, because as soon she opens her mouth, the WWE Universe is going to have a hard time buying into her character. The ironic thing about Nia is that her cousin is The Rock, who is one of the best promo cutters in WWE history. Maybe if she can get some tips from him, she might have a chance after all.
8 Best: Paul Heyman
There have been so many great managers in WWE history with the likes of Paul Bearer, Jimmy Hart, and Bobby Heenan, but none of those guys could cut a promo quite like Paul Heyman. Since his first run with the WWE in 2001, Heyman has had many roles with the company, including being part of the commentary team, being SmackDown! General Manager, and of course being a manager to some of the top guys in the company. Heyman has managed wrestlers like CM Punk and Curtis Axel, but will always be associated with Brock Lesnar. It's hard to imagine how big Lesnar would have become without the exceptional promo skills of Heyman. When Lesnar ended The Undertaker's WrestleMania undefeated streak, Paul Heyman's promos made that moment even more special. Every time Heyman opens his mouth, the fans listen. This is the reason that Heyman's promos are instant classics.
7 Worst: Kalisto
There is no denying the fact that the high flying luchador Kalisto is a very talented worker in the ring. However, when it comes cutting promos he is just plain awful. The WWE is clearly trying to create the next Rey Mysterio with Kalisto. Mysterio wasn't greatest talker either, but when you compare him to Kalisto, it makes Mysterio sound like The Rock. You can say that Kalisto has a language barrier to deal with, but that hasn't stop guys like Albert del Rio and Sheamus from cutting decent promos. Luckily for the sake of the WWE Universe, Kalisto's speaking segments have been few and far between. When he has been given a shot on the mic, the results have been nothing short of embarrassing. He cut arguably one of the worst promos ever at the recent WWE Draft, where he stumbled though every single one of his words. It's a good thing Kalisto already wears a mask, because every time time he opens his mouth, it's an embarrassment.
6 Best: Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore only made his debut on the main roster just a few months ago, but is already one the most entertaining guys in WWE. Enzo and his tag team partner Colin Cassidy have formed such a charismatic team, that it rivals the New Age Outlaws of the Attitude Era. As soon as Enzo and Cass' music hits, you know you're in for a good time. While Colin Cassidy is pretty good on the mic himself, he is not anywhere near as good as Enzo. From the entrance ramp, all way to the ring, "the certified G and bonafide stud" has an energy that is so infectious, that you can't help but get behind him. His raps may not be John Cena quality, and they don't always make a whole lot of sense with his obscure pop culture references, but you still can't deny his promos are enjoyable from start to finish. Enzo is just oozing with natural charisma, and like he says "you cant teach that!"
5 Worst: Eva Marie
Eva Marie is arguably the most hated performer in the WWE today. Every time she comes down to the ring, she gets legit heat from the fans. Unfortunately for Eva, besides being hated and good looking, she has absolutely has nothing else going for her. When she first made her in ring debut, her wrestling skills were downright embarrassing, although they have recently improved slightly. Her skills on the mic are just as bad as her in-ring skills, if not worse. With the fans constantly booing her, it's hard for her to even get a word out, but when she does, her delivery is as wooden as it gets. An example of one her great lines was calling Summer Rae a piece of dog poop. With lines like that it's not all that surprising to see the WWE Universe hating on her. It seems like the WWE has given her a gimmick of someone who is awful at everything, which suits the "Mrs. All Red Everything" just perfectly.
4 Best: John Cena
John Cena is both the most hated and most liked man in the WWE. It doesn't matter if you think he's a good wrestler or not, you can deny that he gives it his all in the ring every night. That's the same case when he gets on the mic. It's easy to see that he's so passionate every time he cuts a promo. Love him or hate him, when his mouth is open, everyone is listening. He is such a versatile talker. He can be humorous one moment, and then he can be dead serious at the drop of a dime. There is nobody in the WWE quite like John Cena. There never has, and probably never will be. The only thing holding Cena back from being among the all-time greats on the mic, is the fact that he spent most of career in the PG Era. Try and imagine Cena letting loose in the Attitude Era, it would have been awesome.
3 Worst: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar might be the most dominating and imposing firgure in WWE history, but when he opens up his mouth, he's anything but. Thankfully the WWE was smart enough to get Paul Heyman to cut his promos for him. Today, Brock is lucky if he's able to get out a single word on live television. However, earlier in his career Brock actually got to cut a few promos all by himself, with horrible results. He stumbled through most of his words, and it didn't help that his high pitched voice didn't match his bodybuilder type of figure. It's safe to say the WWE has learned their lesson by not letting "The Beast Incarnate" anywhere near a microphone these days. Lesnar has it pretty sweet right now. He's highly paid, wrestles part time, and just has to stand there and let Heyman do all the talking for him. It's no wonder other wrestlers are jealous of him.
2 Best: Chris Jericho
The man known as "The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla" has been with the WWE on and off since 1999. Throughout his long tenure, Chris Jericho has established himself as one of most charismatic characters in the history of the WWE. He has flipped flopped from being a babyface to a heel so many times that's hard to keep track. However, Jericho has proven he can play both roles and do it well. What has made Jericho stay relevant today, is his ability to always keep things fresh, even if it only involves slight tweaks to his character. He currently is one of the most over heels in the WWE. He plays the arrogant and snobby character so well. Jericho can be so humorous at times, that it is hard not to love him even as a heel. No matter if he's playing a heel or a babyface, when comes to skills on the mic, Jericho has proven he has...It!
1 Worst: Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns unjustly gets a bad reputation for being a terrible wrestler. For a guy whose only been in the business for a few years, he holds his own pretty well. Reigns also get flack for his skills on the mic, which in this case is more than justified. He was able to hide behind the charismatic Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins during his time with The Shield, but when he was set loose on his own, his flaws really shined. Almost every time he gives a promo, it always sounds forced and unnatural. It's reasonable that a performer will screw up or forget his lines on live television, but Reigns has done it way too many times. It seems like all Roman Reigns is doing now, is saying cheesy one liners, which just makes the crowd hate him even more. The WWE needs to let Reigns show a little bit of his own personality, because what they have him spewing out right now is clearly not working.