While many believe professional wrestling is just a testosterone-filled show filled with bravado, sweat, and brute force, it’s actually much more. It’s an integrally-woven story line, which employs a multitude of different emotions to engage viewers. One emotion is humor, and the wrestling business has used it masterfully to both make careers and set up feuds between its characters. They’ve also employed it as a comic-relief tool during, and after, dramatic moments on and off screen.
For example, the WWE recognized The Rock and Chris Jericho’s ability to improvise on the microphone. Their quick wit became both refreshing and funny, and people related. Their comical personalities made them stars and their matches all the more interesting to watch. The WWE also schedules more comical matches after dramatic, intense bouts. Often, you’ll see a championship match followed by a match between two mid-card players or comic-relief wrestlers. A wrestler like Santino or Damien Sandow fits the latter bill. These less-stressful, often comical, matches allow viewers to catch their breath and take in the dramatic moment they just previously witnessed.
For those who also mock professional wrestling for not being “real” enough, they must understand it’s purely entertainment. It was created to make us laugh, cry, angry and happy. In order to enjoy, we must suspend reality. While it’s a sport, a significant difference between boxing or UFC (or any other sport) and professional wrestling is that the latter has the freedom to exaggerate its character’s story lines. Professional wrestling has always offered a blank canvas for its artists to paint on, and as it relates to this article, it has always offered a stage for comedic wrestlers to shine under the spotlight.
20. Ron Simmons Interrupts John Cena to Shout His classic “DAMN!” Catchphrase
Simmons became a WWE legend after he formed some of the greatest groups in the industry’s history. He gave birth to the catchphrase “DAMN!” in the late 1990’s after he and teammate John Layfield (i.e., Bradshaw) formed the Acolytes Protection Agency. The audience fell in love with the APA and their ability to restore order in the locker room. So, you can imagine the type of response Simmons received when he interrupted John Cena and Booker T to give his opinion on the latter.
19. Booker T Calls Hogan the “N” Word
Using the “N” word in any context is definitely not funny, but Booker T’s reaction after the fact absolutely was, so that’s what we’ll highlight here. Sometimes embarrassing is funny and this situation reeks of awkwardness. In the midst of a tirade directed at Hulk Hogan, Booker T accidentally said the word at the end of his speech. He clearly fumbled over his words and turned away from the camera utterly humiliated.
18. Kane’s First Words are “Suck It”
If Kane has a mother, I’m not sure she’d be proud of his choice of words. In any case, it ended up being the perfect phrase for the most unusual circumstance, which included the most extraordinary set of tag partners. And while not stylistically perfect, that last sentence actually makes more sense than the friendship that grew between the Big Red Machine and X-Pac.
17. The Rock Degrades His Hell in a Cell Opponents
As if this match needed any more build up, The Rock added a little more flavor to the booking when he mocked each of his opponents in, well, classic Rocky fashion. First, he insulted Kurt Angle and the amount of milk he drinks on a daily basis. He then verbally insulted Rakishi and his thong-wearing attire, rolled his eyes back for The Undertaker, threw a couple comments out to Triple H and his wife, and finally gave a shout out to Stone Cold, who according to The Rock, apparently is a closet Backstreet Boys fan.
16. Stephanie McMahon Becomes Fair Game During Battle of Insults
When you place two of the industry’s greatest microphone personalities together on stage, it becomes an award-winning show. That is exactly what happened when Chris Jericho and The Rock took turns insulting Stephanie McMahon during an episode of RAW. Sure, she had the power to screw both superstars over–and she kind of did–but both wrestlers had their way verbally with the billionaire princess, and they seemed content with that.
15. Stone Cold Attacks Vince McMahon in the Hospital
It was Jerry “The King” Lawler’s favorite RAW moment and certainly a moment few will ever forget. On October 5th, 1998, Vince McMahon was hospitalized. While there, he was his usual brash self, demanding he have a different nurse and often pouting about his living conditions. Nothing was going to cheer McMahon up, even Mr. Socko, who made a guest appearance. Soon after Mr. Socko left, the doctor entered, and he couldn’t have been more under qualified. The doctor, Stone Cold, turned around from his tray table and began to open a can of whoop ass on McMahon, finally finishing him off with a bed pan to the head.
14. Stone Cold Storms RAW With a Zamboni
Sometimes bad ass moments can also be hilarious, and we can place this Austin and McMahon moment into both categories. After all, who in their right mind barrels through an arena on a zamboni, climbs on top of it, and then leaps over a group of security guards to attack his boss. From driving into the ring with the machine, to taking the time to flip off every security guard before flying over those security guards, everything worked.
13. Kurt Angle Sprays Milk On The WCW/ECW Alliance
Only a few years earlier, Austin used a beer truck to soak Vince McMahon and his Corporation with booze. This time around, Kurt Angle stole a page form Austin’s page of crazy antics and used a milk truck to drench Austin and his Alliance. The night before at SummerSlam, Stone Cold had retained his WWE Championship over Angle. The next night, the Alliance celebrated his victory in the ring. However, an upset Kurt Angle was there to spoil the party. Literally.
12. McMahon’s Corvette Is Filled With Concrete
The scene started with McMahon opening his corvette’s door and complaining about the idiot who “won’t put the garage door up.” He then rolled into his wheel chair and continued to complain about the garage door and how his automatic wheel chair was too slow. The scene then cut to Austin’s cement truck, which happened to enter the arena through that open garage door, and then to McMahon who watched in horror backstage as Austin filled his prized possession with concrete.
11. Mick Foley Asks The Rock to Become His Tag Team Partner
The Rock and Mick Foley officially buried their long-time rivalry when they joined forces to take on The Undertaker and Big Show in a Tag-Team Championship Match on an episode of RAW. However, even more memorable than the match was when Foley asked The Rock to be his tag-team partner in a backstage interview with Michael Cole. During one moment of his interview, The Rock, who felt Michael Cole was “piercing a hole through The Rock’s head,” placed a Rock-branded t-shirt over his head and then finished the interview.
10. DX Impersonates Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon tends to get a bad rap both behind the scenes and on camera for his stubborn, abrasive nature. However, you have to give the company’s CEO credit for allowing himself to be the butt of his employees’ jokes. As you can see on this list, this is a theme and for good reason.
In what other office in America could an employee mock their boss and still show up for work the next day? That is exactly why the WWE knew this scene would resonate with fans. While a part of DX, Triple H and HBK mocked McMahon like he was never mocked before. The Game walked to the ring, performing McMahons strut to near perfection, and HBK did the same, but turned himself lose and danced like Shane McMahon.
9. Mick Foley’s “This is Your Life”
The WWE made one of its best decisions when it wrote up this skit because it was a major reason why this particular RAW became the highest-rated episode in the company’s history. Still a tag-team with The Rock, Mankind had been forced to use Mr. Socko on The Great One the night before during a six-pack challenge for the WWE Championship. The next night on RAW, Mankind wanted to apologize, and did so by bringing back important people in The Rock’s life. Let’s just say, it didn’t go as planned for Mankind or The Rock.
8. DX Messes With Vince McMahon’s Microphone
When DX rebelled, they always did so with a bit of humor, and none of their rebellions might have been more funny than when they messed with Vince McMahon’s microphone during an episode of RAW. First McMahon’s microphone shut off, and then the CEO demanded a “microphone that works damnit.” When he finally grabbed a new mic and start talking again, it began to act up, this time portraying McMahon’s voice as if he just sucked a massive amount of helium out a balloon.
7. Booker T is Not the Best Grocery Shopper
Booker T and Stone Cold had a little rivalry going on, and in typical Austin fashion, the Rattlesnake refused to keep that rivalry in the ring. Prior to his attack, Booker T was in a grocery store searching for his favorite cereal. (Let’s just stop for a moment and acknowledge how utterly ridiculous that thought is.) First, he tested the cereal for its freshness and then began to peak around to see if anyone was watching. Austin was watching his every move. The Rattlesnake struck quickly and fought Booker T in various aisles of the store, using different food items to disable his opponent. Austin finished Booker T off after he crawled out of a door in the frozen food section, chugged some milk, and threw him on top of the checkout lane. With cops just moments away Austin scattered, yelling “Price check on the jackass!”
6. Mr. McMahon’s Kiss My Ass Club Officially Closes
McMahon formed his”Kiss My Ass Club” after he began to demand members of the former WCW and ECW show their loyalty to the WWE by kissing his ass. The Rock finally closed down the club after he and Trish Stratus beat McMahon and Angle in a tag-match.The match’s stipulation stated that McMahon would have to kiss the backside of the Brahama Bull. However, while in the ring together, The Rock teased McMahon by bringing out Jim Ross and then Trish Stratus to kiss. Right before McMahon leaned in to kiss Stratus’ backside, The Rock brought out the only ass worthy of such a deed, Rikishi. One Rock Bottom and back-side kiss later officially shut down the Kiss My Ass Club for good. (Or, really, for the meantime).
5. The Rock Has a Message for God and Billy Gunn
At the time of this particular rant, The Rock was feuding with Triple H and his cronies, which included Billy Gunn. The week prior, the former beat The Game in a steel cage match. However, despite the loss, Triple H was still number-one contender for the WWE title. Fuming, The Rock turned to and relayed a message to one of The Game’s best friends, Billy Gunn.
“Oh dear God,” The Rock began, “You see, my name’s Billy, and I just won King of the Ring, but there’s one problem: Everyone still thinks I absolutely suck!” The crowd exploded with cheers and laughter, and The Rock continued, “…the heavens opened up and God himself spoke to you and said, “Bob?” “But my name’s Billy.” “It doesn’t matter what your name is!” yelled The Rock.
4. Chris Jericho Claims He’s a Conspiracy Victim
After he turned heel and won the Cruiserweight Championship, the WCW awarded Jericho the opportunity to sharpen his mic skills. During his championship run, the company allowed him a 30-second spot every telecast to broadcast his opinions. His speeches were gold and one of his greatest moments came when he lost the Cruiserweight Championship and thought it was a result of a conspiracy from upper management.
Prior to Nitro, he traveled to Washington D.C. to look for a way to “go over” WCW President’s J.J. Dillion’s head. During his journey, he held up a sign that read “Conspiracy Victim,” made friends with a homeless person, and searched through the library of congress for the section on “WCW title belts.” Obviously, he found no such books.
3. The ShockMaster’s Failed Debut Shocked the World
I’m not sure what’s more awkward, the fact that The ShockMaster–yes, the name of an actual wrestler–fell through a wall during his debut or that he actually continued on with his promo. WCW supposedly had huge plans for the ShockMaster and hoped to have him team with some of the industry’s greats such as Sting, Dustin Rhodes and Davey Boy Smith against Vader, Sid Vicious and Harlem Heat. However, as you may have expected, this unexpected turn of events cost The ShockMaster his career.
2. Vince McMahon Pees His Pants Over a Fake Gun
It may have been one of the most controversial moments, but it certainly was one of the funniest moments of the Attitude Era. During the height of Austin and McMahon’s rivalry, a recently fired Rattlesnake made his way into the arena and then wheeled a handicapped McMahon to the ring. While McMahon knelt down in the squared circle begging for his life, Austin pulled out a gun, pointed it at McMahon’s head, and pressed the trigger. Instead of a bullet flying out, a sign that read “Austin 3:16” popped out. In the act, McMahon peed his pants and Austin finished the ordeal with a quick Stunner to the chairman.
1. The Rock Sings to Sacramento
During The Rock’s heel turn in the early 2000s, the multi-talented star had a few things to say, or in this case, sing to Sacramento. When The Rock began his career in the mid-1990s, he was actually the perfect heel. In fact, becoming a heel helped the Brahma Bull step out of the shadows of his wrestling family. The turn helped him become a more accepted and beloved face in the late 1990s. So, when The Rock finally went back to his heel roots, the crowd wasn’t sure what to do. They found his material enjoyably offensive until, of course, he insulted their beloved Kings’ basketball team, which of course, was the funniest part. Nothing against The Kings!
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