Over the years, professional wrestling has evolved to the point that a wrestler needs to have more than just technical wrestling ability in order to please the fans. A wrestler needs to have a compelling personality (or gimmick) and mic skills, which has become a huge deciding factor in separating the good from the bad over the past few years as a wrestler who’s good on the mic can massively influence the audience’s say about his character.
We have seen so many legends formed because of how entertaining they were on the mic, as a solid promo from a wrestler can ascend them to the top of the ladder, and a wrestler’s ability to entertain on the mic is what keeps them relevant in this day and age of wrestling. Now there might have been a lot of legends who were created because of classic promos (Austin 3:16, The Rock), but there’s also been a lot of people who just can’t cut a good promo at all!
Cutting a good promo requires a connection between the wrestler and the words that he speaks. The following wrestlers definitely didn’t have what it takes, as they cut some of the worst promos in the history of the industry.
Here are the 15 most cringeworthy promos of all time.
15. Brad Maddox – “Justice”
Brad Maddox had a short amount of fame in the WWE, as he rose to relevance when he cost Ryback his match against CM Punk for the WWE Championship (where he was a referee) and would in the following weeks work on his “dream” to be a WWE wrestler. Maddox would be given some nearly impossible challenges by the General Managers of Raw and Smackdown to earn his contract, but things got interesting when it was discovered he had recovered footage of The Shield working with Paul Heyman and CM Punk. So after this, Maddox came to the ring on Raw and cut a promo about how he’d recovered the footage and the “justice” which awaits The Shield. This awful promo seems to get worse with every passing second as Maddox tries to sound mighty but fails to convince and the last bit when he tries to imitate Bane in saying “Justice Awaits You” to The Shield is the final nail in his coffin. Maddox wouldn’t be allowed to cut many promos after this disgusting one.
14. Bobby Lashley – “Bathturd”
Bobby Lashley might be one of the most powerful, hard-hitting wrestlers of the past decade but the major bane in his career has been his lack of ability to cut a decent promo which is the thing that has held him back from becoming a major star. Though his mic-skills have improved over the years, he was absolutely horrible in cutting promos during his time in the WWE and the prime example of it was his promo on Finlay, who he was feuding with at the time. Lashley came into the ring with a mic and started to talk as he said “You say you’re name is Finlay and you love to fight, I say your name is Finlay and you’re a b******” to the shock of many. Because of Lashley’s lisp, the desired effect was not achieved, to say the least. This promo definitely brought the cringe , as watching Lashley wrestle might have been a treat, but watching him cut promos and botch words was not enjoyable.
13. The Brood Break Their Silence
The Brood was one of the coolest stables during the Attitude Era, as the trio of apparent vampires had the most awesome entrance theme song at the time and had quite the mystical, scary gimmick to them. So when they decided to speak for the first time, it was quite anticipated by the fans who were pretty intrigued by what they had to say. But when they did speak in an in-ring interview with Doc Hendricks (Michael PS Hayes), it was almost as if goody faces were speaking to please the crowd. Gangrel went first reciting his perfectly memorized lines like an obedient child, and when it came to Christian, he decided not to say anything after a long pause. Edge somewhat salvaged the promo but was overdoing it too much and when Hayes indicated that their group was just a “gimmick”, that was like the last punch to their faces. They gave him a bloodbath afterwards, but many were disappointed at how bad and cringeworthy this promo was, as the three only recited their lines and added no mystique to their promos which was what their gimmick was all about.
12. Steve Blackman’s Pre Lion’s Den Match Promo
Steve Blackman was one of the more vicious fighters of the Attitude Era, as he had a hard-hitting style of wrestling not many wanted to work with. Blackman did get a decent amount of success in the WWE, but his complete lack of mic skills was a constant thorn in his side as shown by his promo before his match against Ken Shamrock at SummerSlam 1999, which was just awful. In a backstage interview, he screams loudly at interviewer Terry Taylor as if he’s Ken Shamrock and doesn’t look at the camera at all! The promo could’ve been salvaged had he even looked at the camera, but he just screamed at the interviewer and made himself look like a fool as this horrible promo is probably what didn’t allow Blackman to get to the top of the WWE.
11. The Miz’s First Promo On Raw
So this might come as a surprise, going by how amazing The Miz has been on the mic; he’s had the ability to influence the mood of the crowd with his promos over the years. But that wasn’t the case when he was just blending into the WWE, as The Miz was the host of the 2006 WWE Diva Search contest and appeared on Raw to promote it and cut a terrible promo at that. He botched right at the beginning as he had to correct himself and only went onto make it worse as he paused at one second to get a reaction from the crowd, only to get none. He then asked the crowd to vote for them and gave a number by looking at his watch and even the commentators couldn’t hide their laughter. This was a pretty forgettable promo which was made even more cringeworthy with The Miz’s botches and constantly looking to get reactions from the crowd as he must’ve learned from that terrible promo and has improved himself to become one of the best talkers in the WWE right now.
10. Titus O’Neil Adresses The Crowd In Brooklyn
Titus O’Neil has had a rough year in the WWE, as he got suspended for a couple of months for basically touching Vince McMahon, which outraged fans who wanted him to be treated better and get a push. So he was given such to the dismay of the fickle fans afterwards, and O’Neil was even allowed to get some time on the mic on an episode of Raw. He started out the promo by botching the first line, and kept on botching words throughout the promo as well as being horribly repetitive. The crowd really didn’t care for him and fans were cringing because of how bad this promo was and wanted him to leave almost immediately after he started talking. In the end, even Bob Backlund came out to a big pop from the crowd to end Titus’ miserable promo which was perfect for an episode of Botchamania. The big man should forget about getting anymore time on the mic after having this horror-show which was a massive waste of a segment and something which disgusted the fans to no end.
9. Sid Vicious – “Half The Brain”
Sid Vicious might have been one of the most in-demand wrestlers during the 90s as he jumped ships from WWE to WCW and vice versa numerous times, but one can say he had his flaws which make it difficult for one to wonder why he was so popular at the time. Sid was really bad on the mic and had his share of horrible promos in his career, but the one which takes the cake is his infamous promo on Kevin Nash in WCW. So Nash decided to dress up as Sid to mock him, but Sid came out and cut a promo on him opening with “You’re half the man that I am, and I have half the brain that you do” to disastrously mess up his lines. Nash was trying not to laugh as Scott Hall was beside himself as Sid went onto finish the rest of the promo in an unconvincing manner as this terrible promo took away all the relevance from his character. Though this might have been hilarious in general, the way he spoke out the promo was horrible as it was full of cringe-worthy moments with his infamous botch; it’s one of the reasons why he’s not considered in the league of the top wrestlers of the 90s.
8. Nikki Bella – “In The Womb”
The Bella Twins have always been depicted as the perfect sisters in the WWE, as the two have racked up quite a lot of success together in the company. But they weren’t always on the same page, and in 2014 when Nikki turned on Brie to spark a rivalry between the two, it got pretty personal out there. In a segment of “family reconciliation”, Nikki tore into Brie as she accused her of leaving Nikki to do thing alone, stealing all her boyfriends and pointing the finger on her every time Brie did something bad. This left Brie crying in a heap and Nikki continued the onslaught as she said “I wish you died in the womb” to everyone’s shock. This promo was pretty bad and WWE’s way of taking it too personal to heat up a rivalry as some of Nikki’s words were really cringeworthy especially if you take into consideration of how it’s all been forgotten now. The two might have their own reality show right now, but things had heated up to the point where this horrible promo was needed to make a family feud no-one honestly wanted to see in the WWE.
7. Booker T – “We Coming For You”
Booker T was undoubtedly in his prime when he was in WCW, where he became a 5-time WCW Heavyweight Champion, but before that he was also part of an amazing tag team called “The Harlem Heat” with Stevie Ray. So on an episode of WCW, Booker is all pumped up as he cuts a promo on how Harlem Heat are gunning for the Tag Titles and in a moment of instant regret, he says “Hulk Hogan, we comin’ for you N****” to everyone’s surprise. You could see him instantly regret it for making such a statement as this buffed up Booker had no real sense of what he was saying on TV and blabbered out these shocking words against someone who was one of the most powerful men in WCW at the time. Thankfully he wasn’t really punished for it, but it still makes for a really cringe-worthy promo where he really seems to try hard to gain the audience’s support but royally screws it up at the end to make for one of the most infamous, offensive lines in wrestling history.
6. Matt Hardy – “Car Accident”
Matt Hardy might be the best thing about TNA right now with his “Broken” gimmick, but he had the chance to climb the ladder in the WWE after having a very heated and real feud with Edge in 2005. Matt was at first fired from the WWE for showing his displeasure at Edge stealing his girlfriend Lita, but was soon brought back with Mr McMahon and given the ring to himself to vent his feelings. In what could’ve been the defining promo of his career, Matt decided to throw it away in a shoot which didn’t feel convincing at all. He called Edge and Lita by their real names and stated that he hoped Edge would die in a car accident before facing him and scathed out some words which made him look like a bitter man who still hadn’t gotten over losing Lita to Edge. This promo ended up to being quite bad, as some of the embarrassing words he said didn’t help to his cause and he’d lose his push because of this horrible promo and wouldn’t get another opportunity because of his lack of mic-skills at the time.
5. Ric Flair To Natalya: “Kill Yourself”
Ric Flair is an icon. There’s no two ways about it, but he also has the tendencies of acting a little too dramatic or eccentric at times which he does to try and keep himself relevant in the wrestling industry. He did so some months back when he was the manager of his daughter Charlotte, as he appeared alongside her in a segment of “Ambrose Asylum” and Natalya (who was feuding with Charlotte at the time) was there as well. So Flair goes a bit over the top with his promo and ends saying “Kill Yourself” To Natalya to everyone’s shock. That part of the promo was cut from WWE TV but Ric must’ve been crazy to say something to someone’s who’s her daughter’s age. The promo itself was absolutely cringe-worthy as Ric could barely utter a few words together and the disgusting ending to it is an example of the antics Flair is capable of pulling when he wants himself to gain relevance in the wrestling scene, as this old man needs to stop pulling these stunts now because terrible promos like these are what dents one’s legacy.
4. Jumpin’ Jeff Farmer
So this isn’t a guy in the big leagues as Jumpin’ Jeff Farmer was in the independent circuit when he cut this infamous promo(for all the wrong reasons). In an promo which he starts by saying “Yep”, he goes onto make so many errors that you can’t even know how to react after a point of time and keeping that same expression to himself, he manages to make for probably the worst promo of all time. How he cuts this promo which he probably recited in his memories gets out all sorts of cringes from the viewer, as this might be hilarious at one point but becomes terrible after a point of time as the guy who would go onto portray nWo Sting cut a promo so bad that you gotta wonder how WCW even hired him. He went onto cut even more bad promos in his life, but this one is gonna be in the history books for all the wrong reasons.
3. Curtis Axel – “Genesis of McGillicutty”
Curtis Axel has turned out to be an entertaining character in the past few years in the WWE, but before all that he was Michael McGillicutty who was a part of the 2nd season of NXT. The son of Mr Perfect would be allowed to cut a promo in a segment, which he horribly messed up as he repeated the same lines over and over and cut a horrible promo in the limited time which he got. What he was calling “The Genesis of McGillicutty” turned out to be a cringe-worthy promo which was shocking coming from someone’s who’s the son of the legendary “Mr. Perfect” and this completely messed up promo got all kinds of cringe out of a viewer. How he tried to sound serious but botched it all up is terrible and Axel really didn’t help his future when he made such a huge botch early in his WWE career and came up with the most terrible promo in NXT history.
2. Scott Steiner – “The Numbers Don’t Lie”
Scott Steiner has been a hilarious character for the past few years, but he was probably at his best (which means worst in this case) as a character when he was competing at the top of TNA. So in 2008, Steiner was scheduled to face Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle for the TNA Championship in a triple threat match and decided to become a math professor to point out the odds of Samoa Joe winning the match. In a promo which he came up with the most confusing of numbers, his whole promo was one giant botch as it was hilarious but cringe-worthy in the same time going by how confidently this man was spouting out all this bull-crap. One really has to hear the promo to believe how terrible it is, as it is one of the prime example’s of how bad Steiner is on the mic and his complete lack of ability to cut a promo can be discovered through this embarassing promo which can screw up one’s understanding of maths completely.
1. Roman Reigns – “Sufferin’ Succotash”
Okay so it has been shown in the past that Roman Reigns isn’t exactly good in the mic, at all! His promos are all lame which just can’t help him connect with the crowd who mostly boo him out of the building. But his reputation as a bad talker probably escalated back in early 2015, when on an episode of Smackdown he came to confront Seth Rollins. He started off the promo in a shaky manner by correcting himself like a fool, but it probably got worse when he said the following to Rollins: “You Are A Snivelling Little Suckup Sellout Full of Sufferin Succotash Son!”. Now this might have been hard to even execute for Roman, but was absolutely cringe-worthy at how he was trying to execute this Looney Tunes dialogue and just couldn’t speak it out in the manner in which it should have. In the end the fans were making fun of him for doing so, and this flinching promo deserved to be bashed as it’s probably one of the most horrible promos of all time and is definitely the most cringe-worthy one in the history of wrestling, as moments like these are why fans are against Roman getting all the push he’s getting as he needs to work on his personality first and then get all the accolades he’s getting.
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