The internet is an interesting animal where a person can become well known, sometimes outwardly famous, for a variety of reasons. Some become platinum album selling artists (Justin Bieber) while others become the butt of countless jokes for what they did (Star Wars Kid), yet what remains constant is that these people achieve a level of notoriety because of something they did online. In some instances these people become a meme which is a joke template that accentuates the absurd within a given situation or part of a person’s life as well as exaggerate tropes within pop culture and can be made of any person or situation.
Wrestling is not exempt from memes and over the years quite a few have been made based on things that have happened to a performer or an exaggeration of a performer’s personality, most of which can be found at memegene.net. The reason that they work so well is because the targeted audience of the memes, wrestling fans, can quickly see the humor in the situation and enjoy it without feeling like the joke is on them as fans. So with that in mind I have ranked some of the best pro wrestling memes online. For this list I limited to memes that were directly tied to wrestling (so no Rock Driving Meme in Witch Mountain) and only photo memes were considered (so no RKO Vine Remixes or David Flair style titantron videos). The memes were ranked on how much they were used, how well they use the material that they are based on, and how funny they are, though to be fair these are all pretty well done and funny.
So please read, enjoy, and let us know what you think down in the comments section. How would you have ranked these differently? Are there other memes that you felt should have made the list or that one of the entries should be ranked differently?
13 Bad Luck Zack Ryder
After his initial push due to a incredibly successful Youtube show, Zack Ryder soon found himself sent back down the ladder to where he is now used as a jobber for the most part. And with the internet being a cruel predator, one person’s pain is another person’s source of humor. The Bad Luck Zack Ryder meme is both funny and real at the same time as many of the images online address actual things that have happened to Ryder while at the same time being pretty funny about a guy on a downward slope in his career.
14. Serious Lance Storm
After having a gimmick of taking everything incredibly seriously and being pretty monotone at all times, the Serious Lance Storm meme works on a couple levels. First you have the picture featuring Storm giving a thousand yard stare that seems to be boring through your soul, which works well in conjunction with various texts. Second, the meme plays on the old characterization Storm used when performing which works well with wrestling fans that tend to rely on nostalgia for instances of humor more than other sports fans. The only reason that this is near the tail-end of the list is because the joke is for an older audience who know Storm and his “serious” promos rather than a wider reaching performer like Vince McMahon or John Cena.
12 Vince Russo
A constant target of ridicule within the wrestling world, Vince Russo’s meme is an overarching joke on the entirety of his career and the various tropes he loved when booking shows. Things like “item on a pole” matches, swerves, smarky comments and storylines are all lampooned with this meme, and usually to great effect. Though like with the Serious Lance Storm, the joke is designed for a narrow audience as many may not know who Russo is or what some of the things that he did while working in the wrestling industry.
11 Big Announcement Dixie
If there is one thing Dixie Carter apparently likes to do, it is make big announcements. Unfortunately when the announcement is finally made, it usually is not as big as Dixie thought it was. From the rehiring of “Pacman” Jones to announcing that Impact is going head-to-head with Raw, these announcements have usually been seen as duds by wrestling fans. So now Dixie will live on forever in meme form talking about the biggest signing in wrestling history being Jimmy Wang Yang or saying that TNA has reached a milestone by being in business longer than WCW.
10 Jericho Invented That
Playing off his cocky nature and previous promos he has given like his famous “1,004 moves” promo on Nitro or a promo where he talked about other wrestlers stealing his moves, the Jericho Invented That meme has become a way for fans to find humor from Jericho even if he is not currently wrestling anywhere. Featuring any random picture of Jericho, the meme features some event in history or important item that was clearly by someone else, usually followed by “I invented it” under the picture of Jericho. It works in that it is believable that Jericho would say something like that in character, especially of some of the characterizations he has gone through over the years.
9 Kevin Nash Adjective
When Kevin Nash debuted as Scott Hall’s partner on WCW Nitro he gave a promo mocking WCW tagline of “this is where the big boys play” by mocking it, telling Eric Bischoff “look at the adjective ‘play,’ we aren’t here to play!” Unfortunately for Nash, “play” is not an adjective in that phrase, or any phrase, but a verb. So since being a grammar Nazi has become a full-time job online, there is now a meme dedicated to mocking Nash and his problems understanding basic grammar definitions.
8 Scumbag Vince
Playing on the perception of the IWC that Vince McMahon does not care about what the fans want, there is a meme for just that thing. The Scumbag Vince meme uses the template created by the classic Scumbag Steve memes, incorporating Vince’s apparent ideals and actions into it, complete with the crooked Scumbag Steve atop his head. From jokes of pushing talentless big men to the top or constantly pimping the price of the WWE Network, Scumbag Vince is here to prove that he has earned the title of scumbag.
7 Out of Touch Vince
If there has been one thing that Vince McMahon has been accused of being more than anything over the last few years it is that he is out of touch with his fanbase. The Out of Touch Vince meme takes this defect to the next level where it makes Vince to be out of touch with more than just wrestling.
From wanting to check AOL on the internet machines to making sure that the cassette tape is loaded into the player for a wrestler’s entrance, Vince is made to be really out of touch with the mainstream world, but what makes it really funny is that it seems possible that he could be like this in real life.
6 Scumbag Promoter
In any domain of work, there are bad bosses, but for some reason the stories of bad promoters seem to be more abundant and available. Wearing the scumbag hat now is a generic promoter who according to jokes has done some not-so-nice things to his workers and the public. From coming to a show late to not paying talent to being mean to charities, the Scumbag Promoter knows no limits to his jerkyness. What makes it really work is that the meme is not inclusive to a certain level of promoter but has jokes for promoters on the indie level as well as promoters who have been on the national scale, which makes the jokes more far reaching for a bigger audience to enjoy.
After having the worst debut of any pro wrestler ever, the Shockmaster easily became a meme unto himself. Yet since the Shockmaster was not around long enough for many jokes to be made about him outside of his debut, he has basically become the poster child for failure. With jokes ranging from how he is more over than wrestler X or how he sold a fall better than Kevin Nash, the Shockmaster will live in wrestling infamy in more ways than one now, despite only wrestling in a handful of matches.
4 Teddy Long Loves Tag Matches
If there was one thing that you could count on when you watched the opening segment of SmackDown it was that eventually Teddy Long would eventually come out and make the main event a tag team match. It was literally a joke of itself after a while and the internet took notice of this fact, placing Long into numerous memes where he is making tag matches. The only way it would ever be a surprise during his reign as SmackDown GM was if he didn't make a tag match for the main event, though those moments seemed few and far between.
3 Lonely Virgil
Since leaving the major wrestling promotions, lifetime jobber Virgil apparently disappeared from the public eye. Yet after a couple conversations on the Opie and Anthony radio show featuring their resident wrestling fan Sam Roberts, the apparent scams that Virgil plays at countless conventions and autograph signings led way to the website lonelyvirgil.net which made fun of the fact that Virgil gets literally no one in line to get autographs from him. So using the images from that site, various jokes are made at Virgil’s expense including how he charges people for looking at him or how he competes with Garrett Bischoff for who has the fewest fans, which are pretty funny considering Virgil has apparently done some pretty devious things when trying to get money out of people’s wallets.
2 Shocked Undertaker Guy
After his loss to Brock Lesnar at last year’s WrestleMania, the WWE got many glimpses of shocked fans of the Undertaker. One man in particular was caught with his mouth agape while wearing a “just say yes” t-shirt would find himself as the subject of a meme similar to the Angry Miz Girl, though this gentleman’s meme would be more used as a still shot over the girl’s who was more of a video meme. Since then the meme has been combined with others like the “it’s still real to me” guy and even Miz Girl, though it has been used in more than just wrestling jokes due to the overly shocked look on his face, including jokes about shocking moments on TV shows or movies.
At number two on the list is the Jeritroll meme. After Chris Jericho’s return to the WWE in 2012, he had a few interesting promos of sorts where he would come out to the ring, interact with the crowd without saying a word, and then leave. This would not be his only instance of trolling fans as he would return to wrestling only to leave shortly after or when he read a list of the over one thousand moves that he knew and most of them were simply armbars. The joke works as Jericho as a performer is able to toy with the audience in a number of ways without being overt about it or in a way that breaks the kayfabe elements of his performance, which is quite a task for many performers, most of whom are unable to do so.
1. Super Cena/Scumbag Cena
One thing fans have continually railed against John Cena for is his apparent ability to take a gigantic beating before amping himself up and beating his opponent with little effort as well as him somehow finding himself in main event angles despite not holding a title or even going after a title. So the Super Cena and Scumbag Cena share a spot at number one for the jokes used and that they have been combined many times. With jokes ranging from how Cena dies but still wins the match to having a Survivor Series team but not helping them when they are attacked by The Authority, the jokes hit on a lot of the hostility fans have towards the face of the WWE.