The ability to cut a solid wrestling promo is something that at times seems to be lost on the sport. Gone are the days of the likes of Roddy Piper and Jake “The Snake” Roberts coming out and not only having the time, but the skill to cut a great promo to get themselves or other wrestlers over.
Today it’s not unusual for a wrestler to come out, scream for two to three minutes, before another wrestler comes out and suddenly they’re in the middle of a match. The psychology of a match and the tease of a match with good promo work seems very old school to most new wrestling fans.
There’s a few good wrestlers and one ‘advocate’ in Paul Heyman who have skills to engage a crowd and cut a good promo. For the most part though, wrestlers seem to fail to develop that ability to go out and entertain a crowd for any real length of time with a solid promo.
Today we take a look at ten such mat warriors who need extensive work on the mic. We present the “Top 10 Current Wrestlers Who Absolutely Suck on the Mic.”
10 John Morrison
This current Lucha Underground star has a great look and superstar ability, but still to this day can’t cut a promo to save his life. In WWE, he was always in the background when part of his MNM tag team with Joey Mercury. His manager Melina seemed to get more mic time, and for good reason, as Morrison is pretty awful when it comes to getting a point across. Trying too many jokes seems to be Morrison’s downfall when it comes to taking the mic, as he should be trying to get people to take him seriously as a star.
9 Daniel Bryan
Who doesn’t love the underdog in Bryan, who still is out nursing his latest injury suffered during the WWE’s recent trip to Europe. He never seems to be able to keep a straight face and even when he’s mad, he’s just not believable enough to get over with a good promo. To be honest, he’s just too nice of a guy to cut a really good, aggressive promo. The WWE Universe loves him, and rightfully so, but they love him more for what he does in the ring.
8 Matt Hardy
While his brother isn’t much better, Matt Hardy has never been one to shine on a microphone. At times he's monotone, while other times he rants and raves to the point of not making much sense. He’s got a bigger wrestling platform right now with TNA where he and his brother are tag champs, but that hasn’t made his interviews and time on the mic any better. Again, he's solid worker in the ring, but if it’s a war of words, Hardy isn’t one to be able to go out there and save a segment with a good promo.
I feel bad for the big guy, he’s never been given a huge platform to be able to go out and talk. However, when he does get even a small shot, you know why the company limits his time on a mic. He’s got that 12th grade jock-like vocab and uses it to try and fire off shots at an upcoming opponent, which usually fails badly. His opportunity to talk before the Royal Rumble and then leading into WrestleMania XXX was television that most wrestling fans would rather forget.
Sure, you can call it unfair since all he ever does is grunt and yell in another language, but if Rusev is going to develop and get away from Lana, he’s going to need better skills on the mic. Most guys with a heavy accent slow down, which is an easy way to get off a better promo with more intensity. For now, Rusev is still flying by the seat of his pants during promos and until he learns that quicker isn’t always better, he’s going to struggle on the mic.
Since his comeback as a heel to the WWE, the Irish brawler hasn’t been very good on the mic, doing a lot more yelling than anything else. He’s never given us a full explanation of why he’s gone back to the dark side, other than to say that he wants better competition in the company. His mic skills were never strong, as a heel or a face, and now that he's a heel again, he should work harder to develop those skills instead of relying on just yelling and foaming at the mouth about wanting better in-ring competition.
4 Big Show
From his use of comedy when he’s a face to his basic primal scream when he’s a heel, Big Show never really does much new in his promos. He’s had such a long time in the business, it’s hard to remember the last time he said anything during a promo that really hit home or made fans want to see a match involving the world’s largest athlete. Knowing the WWE, he'll go back to being a face after his program with Roman Reigns and it’ll be back to comedy segments for the big guy.
3 Randy Orton
One word to describe a Randy Orton promo – monotone. His slow endless delivery comes across as lazy and fans can always tell where he’s going with his promos. His promos as a face are much worse than that as a heel, but, no matter what, they always seem to just drag on and never seem to sell a match, which is what a good promo is supposed to do. He’s being badly shown up recently in promos by newly crowned WWE Champion Seth Rollins and that’s not a good sign.
It's hard to remember Kane, in his two decades with the company, having a promo that was all that effective. He was at his best when he didn’t talk, had a mask, and went out to terrorize The Undertaker. Now he wears a suit, is starting to get over as a face even though he’s with The Authority, and still can’t seem to get over a solid promo. Let’s see if the recent shift in character from heel to face changes anything, but it’s very doubtful.
1 Roman Reigns
It’s the biggest flaw in the game of Roman Reigns, who has gotten somewhat better on the mic, but still has a ways to go to reach championship level. The former Shield member has been slammed many times by wrestling fans for having just numbing promos that either have little to no substance or no believable intensity. Studying fellow stars of the past and present is the best way to go for Reigns, who is starting to get over with hardcore fans and seems to be getting closer to being the complete star the company tried to build with his push at the Royal Rumble.