Ask any wrestling fan what one of the things they love about their favorite wrestler is and they’re going to tell you it's the catchphrase.
One of the best ways for a wrestler to get over with the fans is to make themselves unforgettable. In the WWE, with hours of television programming each week and hundreds of more hours of content online, even the flashiest or most well-rounded wrestler can get lost.
But throw in a funny or memorable line that the fans can repeat ad nauseam, and you’ve got gold.
People love to laugh at their wrestlers, to hate their wrestlers and to participate with their wrestlers.
They love to quote their favorite wrestlers and live vicariously through them.
A great catchphrase can put a wrestler over or generate instant heat. A great catchphrase can cross over to the mainstream or live on after the wrestler is gone.
Continue reading for the 10 best catchphrases of all time.
Bret Hart is considered by many to be one of the greatest WWE wrestlers of all time.
His catchphrase is one of the best of all time as well.
Just as the Excellence of Execution is known for his incredible arsenal of moves, his pink and black colors and the screeching guitars of his opening music, he’s also known for using this line to state the obvious: He is one of the greats.
With a list of career achievements, including winning tag team, Intercontinental and World title gold, Hart could easily give any wrestler pause by calmly reminding them who he was with this line.
Despite his bitter feelings toward the WWE for so many years, despite the Montreal Screwjob, despite his brother’s televised death, despite his defection to WCW during the height of the Monday Night Wars, fans to this day still refer to Bret Hart with this line.
Two simple words.
When uttered by Scott Hall, they would send any crowd into a frenzy of either cheers or boos.
When Hall first started, he was known as Razor Ramon, a greasy, swaggering heel. He was a great wrestler and performer, even facing off against Shawn Michaels in arguably one of the best ladder matches of all time. He even started off with another catchphrase, “Say hello to the bad guy.”
But he slowly evolved away from the swagger and the black curl and quickly became known for turning a slang greeting into an instant classic. After becoming simply Scott Hall, a noticeable hush would fall on the crown when he grabbed the microphone. He'd glance around at the crowd, milking every moment at having the fans in his hands, until he spoke the magic words and the crowd would erupt.
Hall’s use of this line, especially during his run with the nWo, is what helped him stand out amongst the pack.
All it takes is for Vicki Guerrero to speak these two words to generate more heat than John Lennon comparing The Beatles to Jesus.
Vicki is already a hated onscreen character. Even without speaking, her mere presence elicits a chorus of boos so loud it can be hard to hear what is being said by those around her.
When she speaks it, it is usually in a high-pitched squeal that threatens to burst the speakers on your TV.
Add that to the fact that she can whip this thing out and use it in almost any situation. Whether it’s to get the fans attention when she has something to say or it’s to react to an insult, there is never any doubt who’s saying it and what you’re going to get.
It's enough to make you want to press mute when she comes out. But strangely, you never do, and you never stop watching her, either.
Sometimes simplicity is key.
When Daniel Bryan was the World Champion, the WWE was trying hard to sell him as a heel. He had become arrogant, stuck up and abusive to AJ Lee.
But he wasn’t quite selling with the fans. All that changed when he lost the title in a mere 18 seconds to Sheamus at WrestleMania. He began run to the ring, arms thrusting his pointed fingers in the air, yelling, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
As with any great catchphrase, face or heel, the fans loved it and latched on.
Bryan has sold this line so well that he now can use the opposite—"No! No! No!"—and the fans still eat it up.
While not as mainstream as some other catchphrases, this one has begun to cross over. According to WWE.com, Yes! chants have been heard at a Miami Heat game and a New York Mets game.
Bryan has been thrust into the forefront with this catchphrase, getting him over with the fans faster than any in-ring heel tactics have, and making him one of the fastest-growing superstars of all time.
The New Age Outlaws were two of the kings of catchphrases.
Road Dogg Jesse James and Bad Ass Billy Gunn were not only a part of the groundbreaking Degeneration X stable, but they were also a dominant tag team in their own right.
They quickly become known just as much for their incredible pre-match routine as for their skills within the ring.
The moment the Road Dogg began talking from the entrance ramp, the entire arena would say each and every word along with him.
These two men easily helped define the Attitude Era, and their catchphrase was cutting edge as well. It made you laugh and revved you up, while at the same time, it bordered on the line of good taste.
Who can ever forget this one?
Macho Man Randy Savage will forever be known not just for his colorful ring attire but also for his raspy voice and catchphrase.
Coming into his own the '80s, Savage could have easily been lost in the shadow of Hulkamania.
Thanks in no small part to Savage’s delivery, this line became synonymous with the Macho Man, drawing him instant cheers. It even crossed over into the mainstream in a series of commercials.
When he was a heel, the use of the same line convened an intensity that is sorely missing from today’s superstars
Flair wasn’t always the greatest wrestler, but the man could tell a story in the ring and the man could talk.
He could verbally tear apart anyone and when the microphone was in his hand, the fans stood up and listened.
This straight-forward catchphrase summed up the in-ring persona of Flair perfectly: He was the best and if you wanted to make a name for yourself, you had to put up or shut up, step in the ring and take him down.
No list of the best catchphrases would be complete without mentioning The Rock.
As with Hulk Hogan, WWE fans have a love/hate relationship with the Brahma Bull. However, when The Rock’s voice crashes through the arena with this line, right before his music hits, the crowd roars on their feet and greets his arrival.
He is so good on the mic that at the end of his promos, it also energizes and engages the fans. Everyone in the arena will happily say it along with him. The Rock will say it with such zest that it’ll be the period on any conversation.
And just like The Rock himself, this catchphrase has transcended the ranks of professional wrestling.
Steve Austin hasn’t wrestled a match since 2002, and you can still hear this one from the fans.
Perhaps it was the simplicity of it. How many one-word catchphrases can you think of before this one?
Or perhaps it was the fact that he could pull it out at the drop of a hat.
This one-word catchphrase resulted in instant fan participation. Who can forget Austin in the ring talking about drinking a one beer. (What!?) Two beers. (What!?) Three beers. (What!?)
Even when he wasn’t in the ring, the fans would use the word to infuriate other wrestlers, such as Kurt Angle.
Love him or hate him, everyone can quote Hulk Hogan. And isn’t that the point?
Hogan was the household name for pro wrestling during the '80s and early '90s. You didn’t even have to watch the sport to know who he was or quote one of his catchphrases.
When Hogan would give his backstage promos, you knew exactly how it was going to go…and you hung on every word. He’d tell something to Mean Gene Okerlund; he’d talk about saying your prayers and taking your vitamins; he’d talk about his 24-inch pythons; and then he’d ask what his opponent was gonna do.
We’re still talking about him.