Promos are a dying art in the world of professional wrestling. Gone are the days of countless charismatic wrestlers taking the time to simultaneously build themselves up as superheroes and belittle their opponents with nothing but their own oratory abilities. Frankly speaking, there are so few wrestlers in the current wrestling scene who possess the skills to even touch the promos of old. Microphone work, in my opinion, is one of the things that is beyond lacking in today’s wrestling product. So, today, as I yearn for the days of old when jacked-up dudes could be seen on any wrestling program eviscerating each other on the microphone, I will be discussing some of the greatest promos in the history of professional wrestling.
We’ll start with what I consider to be the greatest heel promo of all time. Shawn Michaels cut this masterpiece in Montreal, Canada in 2005. Capitalizing on the immense hatred Canada has for him due to his role in the infamous Montreal Screwjob, The Heartbreak Kid absolutely destroys Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, and the entire Canadian population. I am skeptical that anyone in the modern era of professional wrestling has ever had as much heat as Shawn Michaels had during this promo. It is truly a masterful example of one of the all-time great talents delivering an all-time great promo. I love it.
I would have to be delusional to not include the most charismatic man in the history of professional wrestling, and perhaps the world, Ric Flair. There are so many classic examples of the Nature Boy cutting world class promos to choose from. Ultimately, I had to go with the classic. This promo is an embodiment of everything Ric Flair is about. From the hilarious “spilt liquor” line, to the legendary rolex-wearing, diamond ring-wearing bit, to everything else in this relatively short promo, Ric Flair is at his very best here. You really cant argue when anyone says that Flair is the best promo of all time.
For my last example of classic wrestling promos, I turn to the greatest talker in the history of wrestling, Mr. James E. Cornette. Not only is Cornette the greatest manager in the history of wrestling, he also possesses one of the greatest minds for the wrestling business that has ever existed. It is no wonder he is such a good promo. Nobody has ever mastered the art of getting heat via a promo quite like Cornette. In this very short promo, Cornette absolutely buries the state of West Virginia, as well as rival tag team The Rock’ n’ Roll Express. This is just one of countless examples of a masterful Cornette promo. On a final note, look at interviewer Brian Matthews’ epic mullet. That is the stuff of legends.
This is exactly what the world of professional wrestling needs. Charismatic figures have driven wrestling for as long as it has been popular. If half of the current WWE roster had a quarter of the charisma and mic skills of these men, wrestling would be in an infinitely better place than it is now.
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