Proximo in the 2000 Academy award winning smash, Gladiator, said "win the crowd and you will win your freedom." Obviously, the WWE superstars aren’t slaves, but winning over the crowd is paramount for a wrestler. Vince McMahon, for the most part, tries to listen to the fans when they're chanting for their favorites or booing the guys they love to heat. In wrestling, as long as you're getting a reaction from the fans of any kind, they generally will keep putting you out there. Nowadays, most of the wrestling community just wishes that Roman Reigns would either be a heel or just go away...one instance of Vince not listening to the fans at all and going with his own desire to see Regins as the top face.
We can't blame the guy, as it is his company after all and the wrestlers are his chess pieces to play with. Thankfully for many fans though, unfortunate injuries have shuffled the old guard out for a while and while they are licking their wounds, The New Era has risen. Men and women from NXT and the main roster have ushered in this era, where work rate is slowly but magnificently becoming more important. The fans know it and night in, night out, they demand it.
They demand it, as centuries earlier in the aforementioned ancient battle arena, with their cheers and jeers. As the New Era is in its infancy right now, here are the top chants that are defining it.
15 15. Please Retire
With all due respect to Andre the Giant, whose celebrity in wrestling was the equivalent to Ali's in boxing, the best and most versatile big man in the sport's history is Big Show. Debuting way back in 1994 in WCW, the big guy won the world title in his first match out. While the company comically tried to convince us all that he was the son of Andre, Eric Bischoff would eventually claim the guy wasn't worth the money he was asking for. Show jumped ship in one of the (no pun intended) biggest acquisitions by the WWE during the Monday Night Wars. Since then, he has been nothing but a loyal solider, doing literally everything and anything that he was booked to do. It has led to strange decisions and questionable turns for the big man, but it has never dampened his skill in the ring and his ability to put people over.
14 14. This is Awesome
13 13. You Deserve It
12 12. 10
11 11. Bayley's Gonna Hug You
Sometimes, the toughest Superstars elicit an "(insert name here) gonna kill you" chant at their opponents, signalling just how badly they're going to be trounced or at least how badly the fans want to see it happen. Lately, that has been reserved for guys and girls like the current NXT champ and Women's champ, Samoa Joe and Asuka. But the fun and lovable Bayley gives the fans inspiration for a slight variation - "Bayley's gonna hug you," playing off the plucky babyface's affinity for hugging everyone in sight, whether they want it or not.
10 10. New Day Rocks / Sucks
As of this writing, The New Day has held the WWE titles for close to 300 days and pretty much everything they do and say goes over like gangbusters with the WWE Universe. But it wasn't always like that for The New Day. Early vignettes showcased some sort of weirdo gospel gimmick that was about to bury Kofi, Big E, and Woods into obscurity. Luckily for all involved, they were smart enough to switch gears into the snarky threesome that they have become.
9 9. Yes, Yes, Yes
8 8. Enzo Amore, Part 1
In 2003, an experimental two person band, The White Stripes, released the single, Seven Nation Army. The song's defiant lyrics and catchy riff made the song wildly popular as it became the Detroit Duo's signature song. It also gained popularity in the sports world and has shown up at various events over the years, most notably becoming the Italian soccer/football team's own fight song during their World Cup championship run. Oddly enough, it's not the song's kitschy lyrics that they're singing along to, but the riff itself, humming as a giant epic chorus to the tune's acoustic guitar beat kicks in.
7 7. Ole!
The New Era's great babyface in the vein of Ricky Steamboat is Sami Zayn. Another chant from the sports world, most notably with the French national soccer team, is the Ole chant, used exclusively for everyone's favorite Underdog from the Underground. Back in his Ring of Honor days, the real life Arabian-Canadian worked under a mask as the insane (InZayn?) luchador, El Generico.
6 6. Fight Forever
Speaking of Sami Zayn, for three years, the WWE superstar was learning how to meld his unique style with WWE style showmanship down in NXT. He learned so well, that Zayn became one of the big time MVPs for the brand. It then became apparent that there was nothing left for him to do in NXT, except move on and crush it on the main roster. But the underdog who never gives up deserved a proper send off.
5 5. Holy $#!+ing Nakamura's Entrance
4 4. Enzo Amore / Big Cass
With a notebook that is filled with decades worth of ideas for taunts, insults, and catchphrases, it's no wonder that Smacktalker Skywalker himself, Enzo Amore, is on this list twice, but this time it's with his tag team partner, Big Cass. Not since The New Age Outlaws has a tag team come along that is perfect as the opening act to every show. 'Zo and Cass, The Realest Guys in the Room, took Joey Tribbiani's catchphrase, added some of their own flair and bada boom! They had instantaneous, quotable quotes to send the live crowds into a frenzy when they see The Certified G and Bonafide Stud, Enzo, along with his seven foot tall monster of a friend, Big Cass.
3 3. Bayley, Be My Girl
2 2. Singing Nakamura / Sami's Theme Songs
Fans have been known to sing along with wrestlers theme songs before. When The Sandman used to treat the arena like his personal bar on the way to the ring, the fans sang his "Enter Sandman" in unison. Fellow ECW alum, Rob Van Dam's theme was Pantera's Walk and the ECW madcap fans sang in chorus as RVD strutted to the ring. Most famously, Bryan Danielson used to come to the ring to Foreigner's "The Final Countdown," and by the time Danielson had stood on the second rope, the Ring of Honor crowds were chanting the song's chorus in concert with one another.
1 1. AJ Styles
It might seem a little strange for us to put a chant for a guy who has been working for eighteen years at the top of this list. But the very fact that the face of TNA for over ten years, who has worked for both ROH and New Japan, is now in the WWE and pulling out HBK-level performances every time out of the gate means he deserves to be the top of this list.
Already consistently ranked as one of PWI's top wrestlers in the world, he has excelled in his short time in the WWE and when The Phenomenal One steps onto the stage, as long as he's been around the business, he makes everything he touches feel fresh and new, mainly because he hasn't worked with a lot of guys in WWE yet. Every era needs at least one highly respected veteran to guide all of the talent to the next stage and it should be Styles. Why not stand up and chant for the leader of the New Era – A.J. Styles!
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