Like every other pop culture entity, as 2018 turned into 2019, WWE’s inundated us with “best of” lists covering their product from just about every measurable angle.
And since we gave some play to in-ring work when we shared their top 25 list of best matches, we also wanted to shine a light on the other fundamental element of the pro wrestling game – microphone work.
WWE.com didn’t go as deep with their list of best promos, or “mic moments”, but ten’s a standard number for these kind of lists, anyway…
10. Daniel Bryan – “Fight for your dreams, and your dreams will fight for you” (SmackDown, March 20)
9. Samoa Joe – “Night-Night AJ” (SmackDown, Sept. 11)
8. Randy Orton – “Is that why you don’t respect me?” (SmackDown, July 24)
7. John Cena – “Time to see if you’re still alive” (Raw, March 12)
6. Triple H – “Out of the last little bit of respect that I have left for you, Deadman, I will put you down” (Raw, Sept. 10)
5. Ronda Rousey – “You are relics of the past, waiting to be eviscerated” (Raw, Oct. 15)
4. Dolph Ziggler – “It’s easy to be there during the good times, but where the hell were you during the hard times?” (Raw, Aug. 13)
3. Paul Heyman – “The show must go on, and so it does” (Raw, Oct. 22)
2. Becky Lynch – “You’re not the baddest b**** on the planet; you’re the luckiest” (SmackDown, Nov. 13)
1. Daniel Bryan – “The ‘Yes!’ Movement is dead” (SmackDown, Nov. 20)
Seems like a solid list. Maybe some recency bias at play – most are from the latter half of the year, and only two are from before WrestleMania 34 – but the only one which came to mind as missing was Roman Reigns “My name is Joe” speech announcing the return of his leukemia and that was from the fall, too (and maybe something the selectors didn’t want to lump in with kayfabe moments).
There’s a nice symmetry to starting and ending with two very different Bryan promos. It’s almost like that guy is one of the best to ever do the thing or something.
What do you think of WWE’s list? What’s missing? What doesn’t belong?
Check out WWE.com’s full article, with explanations from their staff for each selection, here.