Throughout the history of professional wrestling, promos have been a foundation of building the popularity of both a wrestler and a match. In WWE, NWA, WCW, and various other promotions, promos are used to increase fan interest, and they have been essential in the success of events such as WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, Survivor Series, SummerSlam, Starrcade, The Great American Bash, and several others.
And throughout pro wrestling history, there have been great promos that have left an indelible mark in the industry.
Here are some of the greatest promos of all time from WWE and beyond which struck the hearts of fans from both a level of excitement and emotion:
Dusty Rhodes was undoubtedly one of the best talkers ever involved in the pro wrestling industry. Among his many wrestling promos, Rhodes was on a mission to defeat Ric Flair at Starrcade 1985 after taking a brief hiatus. In this quest, he cut one of the best promos of all time, speaking of the “hard times [Ric Flair put] on Dusty Rhodes and his family.”
After coming to the WWF following his stint in WCW, Steve Austin debuted in WWE as The Ringmaster. While his time as this character was mildly successful, his career propelled when he became Stone Cold Steve Austin. His most pivotal moment was his promo after winning the King of the Ring. This would launch Austin to become a main event star, and have one of the most popular feuds in WWE history with Vince McMahon.
CM Punk’s “Pipebomb”
Leading to his match against John Cena at Money in the Bank, CM Punk “broke the fourth wall” by sharing his controversial thoughts on Vince McMahon, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, The Rock, and Hulk Hogan. This became known as the “pipebomb” promo, and the dawn of the Summer of Punk.
Roman Reigns’ Farewell
The pro wrestling world was hit by shocking news on the October 22, 2018 episode of Monday Night Raw. Just two months after finally defeating Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, Roman Reigns entered the ring on Raw in street clothes. What initially was thought to be another promo, quickly turned into him announcing that he had to relinquish his title due to his leukemia resurfacing.
Daniel Bryan’s Retirement
After struggling with concussions, WWE thought it best to retire the leader of the “Yes!” movement from in-ring action. On the February 8, 2016 episode of Raw, Daniel Bryan cut a retirement speech in his home state of Washington. Two years later, after a very aggressive effort to get medical clearance, Bryan returned at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Now, he has turned his back on the fans and is one of the most jeered villains in WWE.