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The Question: Who Did The Best Promos of All Time?

By James Guttman, James Bullock, and Dan Crocker Aug 10, 2016 - 3:51 PM print


It's time for another edition of "The Question" - We Want Insanity's weekly answer to something we all have our own opinion on. See what we have to say and then share your own. That's what questions like this are for...

Who Did The Greatest Promos of All Time?

James Guttman:

Sometimes we’ll come up with a question that leaves me convinced we’ll have duplicates. When that happens, I immediately begin sorting through my memories for other answers just in case we all come off too similar. This time around, I was positive I would need to throw in a secondary choice. Surprisingly I didn’t.

In fact, if “The Question” was a video rather than an article, I would simply look into the camera, say “Macho Man”, drop the mic, and leave.

Ooh yeah.

Randy Savage’s promo skills are so legendary that, to this day, the ad-libbed interview featuring a cup of coffee creamer from the day’s catering still lives on in the minds of fans. No writers. No 20 minute explanations. Just pure Savage.

Macho Madness stretched beyond the coffee machine. Savage was perfect at showing emotion, no matter what that emotion was.

Jealousy –

Blind Rage –

Or just pure insanity –

So, if you have a microphone, now would be the time to drop it like an elbow. No one will ever top the Macho Man.


James Bullock:


Over the course of my time as a wrestling fan I’ve heard about men wining and dining on pork & beans while lying in an alley, how my name didn’t matter, what are the “Three Demandments”, and even pro wrestling Bible scriptures. But very few times have I heard someone pull off a wrestling promo with such eloquence, yet rawness as one individual. What might come across as blasphemy when you look at some of those names who have been long associated with greatness on the microphone in a wrestling ring is the truth to me as no one could touch CM Punk when he was given a chance to talk.
More than likely you’re probably associating my belief in Punk’s promo greatness with his infamous “Pipe Bomb” speech that catapulted him into superstardom, or his evolution from fan favorite to villain by emphasizing his straight edge lifestyle when feuding with Jeff Hardy. But Punk’s promo ability surpassed everyone in the business during his time on the indie scene because he took the realism that made wrestlers before him great by not trying to be a character while being a character. The first time I consciously heard Punk speak was in Ring of Honor as he was in the beginning stages of his feud with another great promo man in Raven. Watching the “Wrestlerave 2003” tape I witnessed Punk give the speech of a lifetime that literally gave me Goosebumps. Similar to Dusty Rhodes, Punk dug into reality and pulled out what has become known as his “This is Straight Edge” promo that told the story of his childhood, the talents of his opponent, why he didn’t respect Raven, and put over the event where they’d wrestle next. It was the epitome of the perfect promo that, somehow, Punk would top year after year, feud after feud including his stuff with Jimmy Rave, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, and Colt Cabana. WWE fans would finally get exposed to Punk’s gift of gab years later where, somehow, he actually got better without losing the rawness and realness that made him such a prolific talker when he was struggling to catch his big break. Punk evolved the ability of cutting a “money making” promo in a time when it felt like everyone was trying to be Steve Austin or The Rock – convincing the wrestling world that being an original always produces better than being anything else.





Dan Crocker:

There have been some great promos in wrestling history—Dusty Rhodes’s “Hard Times” for example. Check out this re-enactment.

We're looking for consistency here, though. Both The Rock and Stone Cold made my final cut. The Rock is possibly the funniest wrestler ever put on the mic (although Jericho gives him a run for his money). Stone cold brought unmatched intensity.

I was even always a fan of Scott Steiner's Dadaist poetry. He is, after all, the pendulum on which the world rotates on. I don't know what it means, either. So it must be deep.

Roddy Piper was my number two pick. In the end, however, I had to go with my all time favorite. Ric Flair can fall into a caricature of himself now, but for decades he cut the best promos in the business. He could be as funny as The Rock, as intense as Stone Cold and smoother than just about anyone. He could also bring a surprising amount of pathos to a profession that doesn't have a lot of genuinely emotional moments. In fact, probably everyone we consider good on the mic at this point stole a little something from Ric Flair.



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