Wrestling isn’t just about your skills in the ring. While this is an important part of the job for wrestlers there is another key aspect you need to get over with the fans – You need to be good on the microphone and a good catchphrase can very quickly catapult you to superstardom over night. There have been many who have tried and failed to get over with a phrase but when there have been successes they have really taken off to another level. I look at 3 of the greatest phrases in my opinion that have gotten over in a huge way.
Clearly the most over phrase right now is Daniel Bryan with “Yes! Yes! Yes!”. Monday’s Raw really highlighted the popularity that Bryan has risen to since he began using this phrase to not only over exaggerate his celebrations as World Heavyweight Champion, but on his way to the ring. The crowd since he has started doing this, and even when he switch to “No! No! No!” were literally eating up the phrase and it has gone on to be one of WWE’s biggest selling t-shirts. My two and a half year old son loves copying this every time he see’s Bryan on TV, and I think this shows how much Bryan has a connection with the whole WWE Universe.
You can argue Bryan was already over in a sense with the WWE Universe as his in-ring work literally blew others away and very few people with the exceptions of CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler could really compare. However, it has to be said his mic work was not at the level most would have liked. Bryan was ok but he lacked something. Luckily for him, the “Yes!” chants took off and his confidence has grown further both in the ring and on the microphone as a direct result of this.
Stone Cold Steve Austin – This man has more than one phrase that had an impact upon the WWE Universe – You could argue the cases for “Oh hell yeah, “DTA” and “Cause Stone Cold said so”. However, the phrase I find had the biggest impact was one Austin used at the 1996 King of the Ring, simply put “Austin 3:16 just whipped your ass”. After defeating Jake Roberts in the final, Steve Austin used that phrase in an interview and literally transformed himself overnight.
The night after King of the Ring on Raw the stands were literally full of Austin 3:16 signs, and this helped further catapult Austin to a level of stardom that had not been seen since the peaks of Bret Hart or Hulk Hogan. Would Austin have become such a huge success without having talked about Austin 3:16? I’d say probably but I can’t say I think he would have become as big a star as he did in the long run. His other phrases spawned off this and it’s possible they may never have had the same impact had Austin not uttered those words at King of the Ring.
Much like Stone Cold, The Rock spawned many catchphrases over time such as “Know your role”, “The Rock says” and “It doesn’t matter”, however it was something that he ended his promo’s with that really launched him to another level with the fans, “If You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking”. Granted, this phrase did not immediately take off, probably due to the fact that people still remembered the not so popular Rocky Maivia character. However, when he became The Rock and started to use this phrase and became more of a bad ass you couldn’t help but want to cheer for, the copying of this phrase only grew more and more with the fans.
You could argue the case for phrases such as DX’s “If your not down with that…”, Miz’s “I’m the Miz and I’m awesome”, Mick Foley’s “Have a nice day”, Ric Flair’s “Woo”, Zack Ryder’s “Woo Woo Woo”, Bret Hart’s “Best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be”, or Undertaker’s “Rest in peace” being over, and while I agree they have had a huge impact on the stars and fans and are worth a mention, the three above really stick out as the ones that have had a major impact throughout WWE and the wrestling industry.
Phrases such as John Cena’s “You can’t see me” or Ryback’s “Feed me more” may well be over with the fans, but this has not really made the same connection with the WWE Universe. John Cena can literally only be described as the Marmite of WWE in that you either love him or hate him, and Ryback for me is floundering, given that his catchphrase of “Feed Me More” was more over than he was. However, notice that since the heel turn Ryback has dropped this, which on all accounts is probably a wise move.
What are some of your favourite phrases used by WWE superstars? Do you agree that the three mention above are the most successful of all? Is there someone you wold add on that I have missed out? As always, I hope you enjoyed this article. Coming up next time, I take a look at my favourite wrestler of all time, Bret Hart, and explain why I think he is “The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be”. Until then, thanks for reading.