As Mick Foley will tell you, being a professional wrestler and a stand-up comic are a hell of a lot more similar than you might think.
Traveling from show to show, putting together a performance anywhere from five minutes to an hour, working rooms filled with a few dozen people in towns barely marked on a map for little or no pay while half of your audience tells you they could do what you do, only better. Neither life is very rosy until you hit the big time.
Foley, however, has become the first to successfully make the transition from one to another. He has been drawing quite a crowd across the United States and is about to embark on his first tour of Scotland, with shows taking place Aug. 8 through the 11th at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh before coming back for a post-Summerslam show at the Hollywood Improv on August 19.
While comedy is a subjective art form, there is no denying the ability work a crowd with one's mannerisms, writing and delivery. I believe the current WWE wrestlers on this list could make great names for themselves in the world of stand-up, should they decide to pursue it after their wrestling endeavors are finished.
Let's have some fun, shall we?
CM Punk's best trait for becoming a comic is not giving a damn about what comes out of his mouth. His dry, smarmy wit is best exemplified by this episode of NXT on SyFy, where Punk sneaks in so many just-under-the-radar jokes, it would be a wonder if anyone watching actually caught any of the matches between laughs.
I would love to see CM Punk handle a typical comedy club heckler.
Not every comic needs to be a headliner or go for an hour. I guarantee you if Sheikie is given a microphone and a stage, whether people know of his career or not, every person in the room will leave the club happy.
Obviously, I would love to post one of The Iron Sheik's more..."colorful" rants as an example, but since a lot of people tend to browse B/R at work, I will save all of you some potential angry glances from your bosses. This speech was one of the highlights of the 2005 Hall of Fame ceremony.
Every comic should know how to deal with an unruly and disruptive crowd. I can't think of any wrestler better suited to that right now than Chris Jericho.
I mentioned before about wanting to see CM Punk handle a heckler, and I would like to see Jericho do the same because I expect a different result. While Punk would likely shut down this person in seconds, possibly reducing them to tears, Jericho would probably spend several minutes discussing that person's life history, engaging them in a whole conversation and dismembering them word by word, the victim somehow not realizing it the entire time.
Jericho has already proven himself at the most brutal of comedy events. He was on the dais for the roast of Zakk Wylde, and I sure as hell cannot include his appearance here.
Despite my desire to see the new version of NXT somewhere in the United States (we still don't have a legitimate means of viewing it), I almost wish this format would come back so we can hear unscripted dialogue from people like Ziggler. Subtle delivery can make a joke twenty times funnier, and nobody showed that better than Ziggler did during his time as a Pro on the show.
William Regal is the missing member of Monty Python. You can spend hours watching footage of him in the ring and backstage. Nobody in wrestling has consistently made me laugh like him, save maybe for Bobby Heenan. His facial expressions, his choice of vocabulary to make fun of his opponents as well as himself, his spot-on delivery...I would pay good money to watch Regal live in a comedy club.
The interesting potential of comedy is that anyone can get up at an open mic and do a set, so there is nothing preventing anyone from WWE or all of wrestling from giving it a shot. Who would you guys like to see on a stage?