For decades, professional wrestlers have made themselves stand out by their catchphrases, the lines that become instantly connected to a guy to the point fans can recite them easily. The best superstars are known for a line or two they drop in every promo that helps them get over. They’ve become part of the business, fans adore them, chant them along and love hearing them spoken. They’ve also become a key part of merchandising; how many millions has Vince McMahon made off “Austin 3:16” t-shirts since Stone Cold made that famous line? From Stone Cold Steve Austin’s “That’s the bottom line…” to Ric Flair “Wooo!” to Hulk Hogan’s “Whatcha gonna do?” to the slews used by The Rock, a good catchphrase can elevate a man immensely.
However, some guys don’t quite rise up to that level. In fact, they never achieve close to that level but a much lower quagmire. Instead, they get some of the absolute worst catchphrases ever. Some of them are just lame, others irritating and some just make no damn sense whatsoever. Here now is a list of the 15 worst wrestling catchphrases of all time, ones that did no favors to get the guy over and in many cases, hurt his drive a lot. The list isn't exclusive to bad wrestlers either, as you'll see several legends on this list as well, due to their catchphrase either not aging well, or simply swinging and missing on an idea (it happens to the best of them too).
The fact so many of them were pushed hard as if they honestly thought you could sell t-shirts off them just makes it all the more remarkable and admire the incredibly sucky talk that is to come.
15 Booker T: “Don’t hate the player, hate the game!”
Booker T had to overcome a lot in WCW before he made it as champion, including that dumb G.I. Bro gimmick. But it wasn’t helped by how WCW seemed intent on him being their answer to The Rock, complete with the Bookend ripping off the Rock Bottom and lines meant to be like the Great One. That above one just doesn’t make much sense as it’s more for a ladies man instead of the tough guy Booker was set up as and no wonder he dropped it fast. Just shows how some guys just can’t click it over as well as hoped. Thankfully his "Five Time" catchphrase was a home run.
14 Alberto Del Rio: “Destiny”
On the one hand, this isn’t too bad as slews of guys talk about it being their “destiny” to win a title or achieve a big victory. But with Del Rio, it seemed the only thing he could say. Every single promo was him going off on his “destiny” to be a huge star, his “destiny” to be where he was, destiny, destiny, destiny. Which would have been something if he’d actually backed it up but thanks to combination of injuries and poor pushes, Del Rio never actually paid off on any of that promise. In the end, the only “destiny” he achieved was to be shown the door by the company.
13 Jeff Jarrett: “Choke on that, slapnuts.”
You’d think Jarrett would get on for his early country music act where he spelled out his name. But his later WCW run was far worse as he’d be pushed constantly despite lack of fan heat and set up as this bad-ass worker fans wanted on top. Yet the stuff he got was terrible, his guitar winning more matches than his moveset and his promos? Look at that line; why in any conversation would “slapnuts” come off as a proper line for someone and making him choke on it is just worse. It just made Jarrett’s push more annoying than ever and yet another annoyance to WCW in that period.
12 Rick Steiner: “If you want some, get some. If you don’t, bite me.”
For all their genius work in the ring, the Steiners really weren’t that great on the mic. Scott wasn’t as horrible as some might say, just goofball but Rick? The guy just didn’t come off as charismatic on the mic as he should have despite his great stuff in the ring and it got worse as it went. A proper star can take a line that dumb and make it work but Rick just couldn’t, it was obvious he was going through the motions of what he was given and not helped by how stupid that line was. So if you don’t want to get with Rick, just bite him? How’s that supposed to get a guy over?
11 Sal Sincere: “I wanna tellla you-a that I love-a you-a SINNNNNCERELY!”
Tom Brandi, a lifelong jobber was getting a push in WWE in 1996. Sadly, he was stuck doing a ridiculous “Latin Lover” act with an idiotic outfit. His “promos” were horrible to watch with an Italian accent that sounded like a high school production of an opera and that line alone killed any heat he might have had. It got to the point where Marc Mero outed him by his real name in a promo of his own yet he kept with the Sincere name while things went nowhere and proves how the lack of a good catchphrase (or real character) can hurt.
10 R-Truth: “You Gon Get Got!”
Okay, this may be fitting with R-Truth’s character at the time of a borderline loon but it doesn’t make it any better a line. A lot of fans were already upset at how his character in 2011 was nearly a minstrel show, the last thing he needed was a catchphrase that just enhanced that and made him sound like an idiot. It got worse when he turned back to a face and just sounded more childish so it had to be dropped fast.
9 Scott Steiner: “Holla if Ya hear me!”
A great worker in his youth, Scott sadly succumbed to the effects of massive roids and body building to become a cartoon of himself. Sure, the act was so bizarre it was entertaining but it didn’t change how nuts his promos were. From his “Big Bad Booty Daddy!” stuff to his mind-boggling insults, Scott just amazed you but that “holla if you hear me” was the worst as it came off too much an older guy trying to sound “hip” - never a good thing. A shame as the guy was just so insanely golden on the mic, he didn’t need anything bad to be saddled with.
8 Mr. Kennedy: “MIIIIIISTERRRR KENNNNNEDYYY! KENNNEDY/ANDERSON!”
There’s a very serious risk when you use your own name for your key catchphrase. Should something happen like, oh, say, you’re fired after multiple injuries and suspensions and unable to use your name, it’s a bit harder to get back over in a new company. Yet that’s exactly what Mr. Kennedy did when he jumped to TNA as Mr. Anderson. It’s not like the line was that over already but come on, “Anderson” just doesn’t have the impact that “Kennedy” does and just showcases how silly it all is. It’s a shame as a decent worker ruined by a bad opening.
7 Kip James (Billy Gunn) “Get it, Got it, Good.”
The New Age Outlaws had one of the most famous catchphrases of the Attitude Era with their famous ring entrance (“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…”). When they reunited in TNA, they couldn’t use that for obvious legal reasons. Instead, they attempted to play off Kip’s idea of a catchphrase that was basically taking off 1950s comedian Danny Kaye. Seriously. No wonder they eventually decided to jump back to WWE, they could only go up from there.
6 X-Pac: “Your Ass is Grass and I’m going to smoke it!”
Wow. I mean…did X-Pac really think that line was going to make him sound tough and imposing? Because it just makes him sound like the goofball moron most people think he is. Why would you be bragging about wanting to smoke your opponent’s butt? It’s something a high school kid says at gym that he thinks is a tough line but just comes off more childish, worse when you’re supposed to be a professional adult.
5 John Cena: “You Can’t See Me.”
Now, I like John Cena, always have. He gives his all, does slews of charity work, he can deliver in big matches and commands the mic damn well. He moves tons of merchandise, plays off the crowd reactions, good and bad and has proven himself as a guy able to carry the company. It’s more remarkable given the fact he has been saddled with one of the absolute dumbest lines ever. Really, “you can’t see me?” Yes, we can see you, The Rock played around with how you can’t miss Cena as he’s everywhere in WWE, especially the last few years. It doesn’t make sense, especially with the hand-wave thing he does in a match and even his opening song baffles (“you can’t see me, my time is now.” Well, then how can it be your time if you’re not seen?) In a way, it almost makes you respect Cena more as he’s able to rise above this idiotic line to be a true star despite thing.
4 The Red Rooster: “Err-Err-A-Doo!”
Poor, poor Terry Taylor. A great worker, a star in the Mid-South area, a guy who can carry himself so well in amazing matches and what did WWF give him? The gimmick of a guy with a red streak in his hair and promos where he had to crow like a rooster amid his antics. You can tell Taylor hated every single second of it and it showed. He never came off as a legitimate star in any way and turned him into a joke that would last to this day as Taylor himself will show up on Network shows with a “what the hell were we all thinking” aura.
3 Michael Cole: “Vintage.”
Ah, Michael Cole. You can’t do a list like this and not include arguably the most annoying announcer WWE has ever known (which says a hell of a lot). He wasn’t too bad in his early days, really, he and Tazz, then JBL, were actually a fun team for “SmackDown” for a while. But since moving to RAW, Cole has just gotten worse and worse and here’s a key example as he pulls out the line “vintage” whenever a wrestler does an old move. Obviously, Cole doesn’t understand what the definition of “vintage” is as it’s meant to be classic, not something a guy pulls out in every match. “Vintage” Undertaker is one thing, but “Vintage” for a five-knuckle shuffle or RKO? Six months from now, we'll probably be hearing "Vintage Neville!". It doesn’t work at all and just makes him look more of a tool than he already is.
2 The Miz: “Really?”
I don’t mind “I’m Awesome” as much as others as it fits Miz and his arrogant heel persona. But “really?” It doesn’t make him look cool, it’s just him being annoying as hell, pushing himself too much in the promos and the way he smirks makes you want to smack him. Okay, that’s part of the act but it’s just not right for a guy meant to be a big star to push such a middling catchphrase so much and keep expecting it to get over when the truth is the fans hate it with a passion.
1 Steve Austin: “WHAT?”
Yes, it hurts that the man who helped launch the Attitude Era and a new edge in promos had to push one of the absolutely most annoying sayings wrestling has ever known. It started okay, with the heel Austin interrupting guys with constant “what?” calls but it just got worse and worse as it went, Austin doing it non-stop and then the fans getting into it to yell it out constantly.
If it had ended there, it would probably be tolerable, but to this day, Austin can’t return to the ring without that popping in all over the place and he’s actually apologized for subjecting us all to this in the first place. That doesn’t mean it’s not something to hate which it is as it just took away some of that tough-guy mystique to turn Stone Cold into an annoying jerk.