Pro wrestlers have always been seen as phenomenal athletes with skills in the ring. Wrestlers who can lift their opponents with ease, fly around the ropes and flip in the air, and among other talented skills.
However, many wrestlers have backed up their skill outside of the ring with their microphone work, aka 'cutting a promo.' Interviews both before and after the matches saw wrestlers speak on their personality, what they were looking to do to be the next world champion and even taunting their opponents.
What many people must know is that the Art of A Wrestling Promo has a few prime examples that must be discussed. *Note: many modern promos that are off-script are now called 'shoots'*
1. CM Punk's "Pipebomb" Promo (6/27/11)
Almost seven years ago, the talented yet overlooked CM Punk cut one of the most passionate promos in the history of pro wrestling. No scripted segment that WWE has used over the years, just a pissed off CM Punk expressing his thoughts after spearing then-WWE Champion John Cena to close Raw. It was the spark that ignited the "Summer of Punk" in which Punk became a legitimate top star in WWE, especially the infamous Money in the Bank match against Cena in which Punk won in his hometown of Chicago...the night his contract expired.
It is still seen as the best modern promos in pro wrestling.
2. Macho Man Randy Savage's "Cream of the Crop" (5/11/87)
Considered the most passionate (and intense) wrestler of all time, "Macho Man" Randy Savage delivered one of the best promos in his career. Calling himself the "Cream of the Crop" and using a Hood creamer cup to further his point, Savage cut the promo of a lifetime calling out his contemporaries and even then-WWE President Jack Tunney in a way that only "Macho Man" could.
3. Triple H's "I Am The F***ing Game!" promo (7/25/99)
(Youtube: DoubleZWWE; foul language is covered by explicit sound)
Triple H's reputation as "The Game" started when he finally had a chance at being WWE Champion in his match against Mankind and Stone Cold Steve Austin at Summerslam of that year. In this sit-down interview with Jim Ross, Triple H furiously cut one of the most fearful promos in his career. Calling out his opponents and his bosses, Triple H finally broke out of his shell as a certified star when he cut this promo.
4. Shawn Michaels returns to Montreal after eight years (8/15/05)
Talk about working the crowd. After 1997's infamous "Montreal Screwjob" where Bret Hart left WWE for good after losing the WWE Title to Shawn Michaels, Michaels returned to Montreal after eight years to a wave of boos. Knowing the negative reaction he'd get, HBK went full-on heel mode in front of the very anti-Michaels crowd. The icing on the cake was Bret Hart's theme hitting the arena as Michaels stood in the ring shocked...only to laugh as Bret never walked out into the entrance. HBK's promo was the epitome of the now-overused term of 'trolling.
5. Stone Cold's "Austin 3:16" promo (6/23/96)
The promo that ushered in one of the most iconic characters of all time began here after King of the Ring 1996. Stone Cold had just won the tournament, and his entire personality came out in under one minute. The line "Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass!" is recited anytime nowadays, and it not only made Austin a highly successful draw for the company, but it also introduced the first inklings of the "Attitude Era".
Different promos are heard throughout history, and each one of them is just as powerful. The Rock is one of the best at cutting promos, yet he has too many to recall that they deserve a list of their own. Overall, promos in the wrestling business hold more power to the wrestler than it does the fan because we believe what they say before they go to the ring and dominate their opponents.