There are few things in professional wrestling that get fans more excited than a perfectly executed promo. Not only can a great promo help build anticipation for a match or feud, but it can even take a wrestler from being a middle-of-the-road guy to a bona fide star.
With that said, fans can't help but enjoy a notably bad promo either. So much preparation and work goes into putting on a great show, but screw-ups show us that the superstars who we follow and idolize are human just like the rest of us.
Also, while a top-notch promo like CM Punk's pipe bomb may be remembered by wrestling fans forever, the same can be said about a historically bad botch. When they happen, I'm sure that the wrestlers making the mistakes are as embarrassed as can be, but it is better to be remembered for a slip-up than to be forgotten for doing nothing of note.
Live television has been a staple of professional wrestling for a very long time, so there was no shortage of bloopers to pick from, but here are the eight best interview flubs to ever take place in WWE and WCW specifically.
One of the most powerful alliances in pro wrestling history was the one forged between WWE chairman Vince McMahon and The Immortal Hulk Hogan. McMahon handpicked him as his first major star, and that choice paid huge dividends as Hogan helped usher in the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection, make WrestleMania a success and became the most recognizable professional wrestler ever.
When they began an on-screen feud ahead of WrestleMania XIX, however, many real-life issues were brought up. This particular promo was supposed to be serious in nature, and it was at first, but Hulkster really lost his way despite his status as one of the best promo men of all time.
He stumbled over the phrase "right guy at the right place at the right time," and then when he tried it again, he called himself "gay."Perhaps you could call that a Freudian slip based on some of the allegations his ex-wife has made against him.
If that weren't enough, Hogan went on to say that he wrestled a rock rather than The Rock.
This feud was able to recover and was ultimately a very good one, but this was a pretty major sign that perhaps Hogan's best days were well behind him.
The WWE is constantly trying to improve its on-screen presentation, and it seemed to take a step toward doing that in 2008 when it hired Mike Adamle as an interviewer and announcer. Adamle is a former NFL running back who had hosting and announcing experience with NBC Sports, so he seemed like a good fit for WWE.
It became immediately clear that wasn't the case, however, as he botched one of his first assignments at the Royal Rumble. Jeff Hardy was set to face Randy Orton at the event, and Adamle made reference to that, but instead of talking about Jeff Hardy, he mentioned some guy named Jeff Harvey. Perhaps it was just a slip of the tongue, but it was likely more a case of Adamle not knowing the product.
Adamle was with the company for less than a year, but he made a habit of screwing up wrestlers' names and various other facts. Despite how horrible he was, he was actually given an on-screen position of authority as RAW general manager. Adamle's tenure mercifully came to an end in October of 2008, though.
There was no shortage of mistakes during Adamle's time with WWE, but the first time for anything is always the most memorable.
Owen Hart was one of the most underrated performers in professional wrestling history and was by all accounts an incredible person. He was taken from his family, friends and fans far too early, but at least we'll always be able to go back and watch some of the great things he did.
While the majority of Owen's WWE moments were gold, he did have a penchant for slipping up while cutting promos once in a while.
The most memorable and funniest of the bunch happened at the 1994 Royal Rumble. Owen had patched things up with his brother Bret, and they challenged The Quebecers for the Tag Team Championships. Bret hurt his knee in the match, however, causing the brothers to lose. Owen snapped after the match as he called Bret selfish and kicked his knee.
Bret had to be helped to the back and while that occurred, Owen appeared on the TitanTron. He was absolutely irate, and in an effort to insult his brother, he stumbled big time. I assume that Owen wanted to say that he kicked Bret's leg out from under him, but instead he told Bret "that's why I kicked your leg out of your leg."
That would have been quite a feat to say the least. While the fans had a good laugh at that, Bret ultimately got the last laugh, and he recovered enough to be the co-winner of the Rumble match later in the night along with Lex Luger.
There is a reason why the vast majority of backstage segments in the WWE today are pre-taped, and the events of a live interview back in 1997 probably have a lot to do with it.
Sunny was conducting a fairly nondescript interview with Vader that would have been long forgotten in the wrestling archives if not for a hilarious cameo appearance.
While the segment was taking place, you could clearly see Hawk of the Legion of Doom walk out in the background. If that weren't funny enough, the look on Hawk's face was absolutely priceless as he realized that he had essentially crashed the promo, so he quickly retreated back through the door and hoped that nobody noticed.
I'm not sure how many people noticed at the time, but it has become an Internet phenomenon as far as wrestling bloopers are concerned.
The WWE has been very cognizant of preventing these types of blunders ever since, but seeing this clip makes me yearn for the days when wrestling was so much simpler and things were shot from the hip.
There aren't many guys in professional wrestling history who have delivered promos with as much energy, passion and feeling as Hulk Hogan, and while that is part of what made him an incredibly popular figure, it got him into trouble at times as well.
One such instance of Hogan's exuberance backfiring on him was during an interview with "Mean" Gene Okerlund at the 1991 Royal Rumble.
Earlier in the show, Sgt. Slaughter defeated Ultimate Warrior for the WWE Championship thanks to interference from "Macho King" Randy Savage. At the time, Slaughter was playing the role of an Iraqi sympathizer, and he had gained an incredible amount of heel heat. Okerlund and the WWE attempted to get him even more, however.
Okerlund told Hogan that he had gotten word that Slaughter defaced the American flag. This sent Hogan—who was portrayed as bleeding red, white and blue—into a tizzy. Hogan wanted to say that Slaughter's reign with the WWE Championship would be short like Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's reign over Kuwait, but he forgot the name of the now-deceased leader.
It finally came to him, but he said something that sounded more like Sudan Hussein than his actual name. There were brighter things ahead for Hogan, however, as he went on to win the Royal Rumble and defeated Slaughter for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.
A few-second tape delay is utilized by WWE currently so that any inappropriate words or actions can be censored before making it on air. That wasn't always the case in professional wrestling, though, particularly in WCW.
Booker T made a very strong case for censorship while cutting a promo in 1996, however, as he inadvertently called Hulk Hogan one of the worst words imaginable.
Booker was being interviewed by "Mean" Gene Okerlund, and he was alongside his brother and Harlem Heat tag-team partner Stevie Ray as well as manager Sister Sherri. Harlem Heat would go on to win the Tag Team Championships from Lex Luger and Sting later that night, so Booker called out Luger and then threw a jab Hogan's way as well.
Booker T accidentally called Hogan the dreaded "N word," and he clearly realized what he had done immediately. As soon as the word came out of his mouth, Booker put his hands over his face and began shaking his head. Stevie Ray remained stone-faced, and Sherri did her best to hide the screw-up by smiling.
Luckily the botch didn't hurt Booker's career as he went on to become a five-time world champion, but he has been much more careful on the mic ever since.
While Sid always played his role as a monster heel or an unstoppable face well in WWE and WCW, he clearly had some limitations. Chief among them was his mic work, but it wasn't usually a problem as he was allowed to let his fists do the talking.
Sid had to cut a promo from time to time, though, and the result normally wasn't great. He covered many of his shortcomings with unmatched intensity, but that can't make up for everything.
Sid was feuding with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in WCW in the early 2000s, and after Nash had dressed up like Sid and made fun of him, Sid came out to the stage to offer his rebuttal. It started off smoothly as he said that Nash was only half the man that he was, but things then unraveled as Sid said that he himself only had half the brains that Nash did.
It seemed as if everyone in the arena realized that Sid had made a major mistake, except for Sid that is. I can't speak for how intelligent Sid actually is, but it isn't possible to make yourself look much dumber than Sid did in this particular segment.
Despite this hilarious slip of the tongue, you have to respect what Sid accomplished in the wrestling business as he was a two-time WWE Champion, two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and twice headlined WrestleMania.
When you talk about botches over the course of wrestling history, there is one moment that is in a class all by itself. That moment, of course, is the debut of The Shockmaster in WCW back in 1993.
Fred Ottman had previously played the characters of Tugboat and Typhoon in WWE, but he jumped ship to the company's competitor and seemed to be in line for an immediate push.
The Shockmaster was revealed as the fourth member of a team including Sting, Davey Boy Smith and Dustin Rhodes that would take on a formidable heel team at Fall Brawl.
Sting announced The Shockmaster as the mystery team member, prompting pyrotechnics to go off. The Shockmaster was supposed to burst through a wall, and he did exactly that, but he fell flat on his face.
This caused his helmet, which was a bedazzled Storm Trooper helmet, to fall off and expose part of his face. The Shockmaster quickly scrambled to put the mask back on and proceeded to cut a promo on Sid Vicious. The promo was ridiculous as Shockmaster's voice was altered, but that was the least of his worries as he had already made the most embarrassing and hilarious debut in wrestling history.
Not surprisingly, The Shockmaster gimmick was short-lived, and while it was terrible and doomed to fail anyway, the botched debut certainly sped up the process. Truth be told, it's probably a good thing that the debut happened the way it did as far more fans remember the gimmick because of it.