The 10 Best Catchphrases in WWE and AEW Today
Since August 2001, if there's a momentary break in someone's speech, wrestling fans will probably still interrupt with "What?"
If a fan says they have two words for you, you know how to finish that line.
Any time Bryan Danielson asks a question, fans know whether to put their hands in the air with an exuberant "Yes!" or swipe side to side with an emphatic "No!"
Once a catchphrase gets in our ears, it can become one of the true highlights of a Superstar's career. Kurt Angle's theme would play much differently if the crowd didn't chant "you suck" along with it, nor would any promo from The Rock get fans as hyped if he didn't toss out some of his many slogans.
While almost nothing can rival something like Ric Flair's iconic "Woo!" or John Cena's "You can't see me," there are still some pretty great catchphrases in All Elite Wrestling and WWE today.
In no particular order and judged on merits such as their catchy nature, ingenuity, crowd participation and overall fun value, here are 10 of the best catchphrases WWE and AEW have going on right now.
When Roman Reigns turned heel last year, he needed to drive home his attitude change with some new slogans to reflect his character change.
After tapping into his Tribal Chief gimmick and feuding with Jey Uso over his place as The Head of the Table, the phrase revealed itself: "Acknowledge me."
It's perfect. In two words, Reigns lets everyone know the most important thing in his mind is his ego. He values the pride that comes with being on top more than he does the honor of a title. This isn't about defending the Universal Championship, it's about having everyone look up to him.
With the return of crowds to arenas, fans have picked up on following along with this direction. When Reigns tells them to acknowledge him, the audience roars even louder. Over time, it's going to be an egotistical babyface way of calling back to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "Give me a hell yeah."
I'm Better Than You, and You Know It
Among company like The Elite and Miro, Maxwell Jacob Friedman should have his work cut out to be the biggest heel in AEW, but he manages to retain his throne every week due in part to his catchphrase, "I'm better than you, and you know it."
Like many on this list, its simplicity is its wonder. It's as fundamentally sound as a babyface trying to get the crowd excited by trying to get some cheers going.
What saves this from being cheap heat is that it's a period on a sentence. MJF continues to push the envelope on what's OK to say and then uses this term to button everything up.
Riddle's use of the word "bro" has evolved from the most basic filler to a true trademark of his character.
Over time, The Original Bro has had sales pitches for Bronuts, formed the RK-Bro tag team and gotten the crowd to chant "Bro! Bro! Bro!" more often than even his name.
Riddle has lectured people about the various inflections and uses of the word and how it can be used to get any point across, and he's yelled it at opponents like Sheamus and used it as a friendly gesture with the likes of Damian Priest.
This type of gimmick could actually have turned people against him, but he has such an outward personality that is written to go right up to the line of annoying, yet manages to be lovable and endearing in the process.
Subconsciously, the more we hear Riddle's catchphrase, the more connected we get to his character and start to see him as a true bro.
Without knowing the context, an outsider could look at "Hangman" Adam Page's "I'm going to do some cowboy s--t" slogan as a sign the writers couldn't think of anything but placeholder text. Fundamentally, it's as generic as The Boogeyman saying "I'm coming to get you."
While the swear word is far from the most risque thing in 2021, it's still often censored. Having that as part of his catchphrase helps sell the package that he's a rebel, which is one of the many allusions—intentional or not—to Stone Cold.
Both southern boys walk to the beat of their own drum, celebrate with a cold beer and take off their vests to fight the establishment.
Rick Boogs Introducing Shinsuke Nakamura
Rick Boogs had several name changes and only a handful of appearances on television before he started introducing Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown and has managed to get both himself and Nakamura over with extra pizazz by the way he plays the intercontinental champion to the ring.
This is a two-part catchphrase that is really just their names spoken in a way the audience can have fun with.
Very quickly after starting this, the crowd couldn't help itself from saying "Rick Booooooogs" and then shrieking "Nakamuraaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
Being able to repeat something and feel like they're part of the show is one of the best ways to get the crowd invested. The fans had fun emphasizing Fandango's name and Mr. Kennedy's introduction, and they are doing the same with Boogs and The Artist.
Then, a moment after cheering their names—which helps with brand recognition so fans remember those two by the end of the night—everyone is treated to a bombastic entrance with a wailing guitar.
It's a fun way to kick off a match before the bell even rings.
Boom/Adam Cole, Bay Bay
You know it's all about tha boom...
Adam Cole has managed to carry over his indie persona into NXT, make an even bigger name for himself, and then take it into AEW and retain every element of his fun slogans.
The track has reached the top spot on the iTunes metal chart and No. 45 overall. It's a great song, but it's even better because of the catchphrase. They even joke about this on Being the Elite with John Silver and Alex Reynolds pitching alternatives, such as "it's all about the budge" and how it just doesn't work the same.
The point and the boom is the first part of the package deal, though. A few moments later, Cole hits the audience with the other thing the crowd can't help but to repeat every night: "Adam Cole, bay bay!"
It's on all his merchandise designs and fans would probably revolt if he ever stopped using it.
Fall and Pray
While Karrion Kross is still trying to find himself on WWE Raw, continuing to use his "fall and pray" slogan is a good idea. There's stock built into that catchphrase after tore through NXT as an unstoppable juggernaut.
Of course, it's made significantly better when Scarlett is part of the presentation. She lures opponents in, and her words of doom are made significantly more sinister than if Kross was dishing out the warning.
More than anything, though, it's when Kross is able to make good on this threat that the catchphrase earns its reputation. If he can keep winning, we may be looking at his version of Undertaker's "Rest in peace" chant from fans.
The Judas Singalong
Is it still a catchphrase if it's a over a minute of a song? Considering the level Chris Jericho's entrance song "Judas" has reached, it's worth classifying it as something in and of itself, but a catchphrase would be relatively close.
It's one thing for fans to sing along when CM Punk comes out to "Cult of Personality," but when Vince McMahon makes his entrance and the crowd chants "You've got no chance, no chance in hell," it's something beyond just a singalong.
Then, you have "Judas," where fans repeat the first section of the song up through the chorus every time Jericho appears and also managed to do it without a background track in one of the most interesting entrances of the year.
The Street Profits Are Up and We Want the Smoke
Whether being joyful and hyping the crowd or expressing their intent to climb the tag team division, when The Street Profits tell you they're up and want the smoke, there is always energy behind it.
The phrase checks off a lot of the qualifiers for our list: It includes their names and reinforces who they are, and it declares they're about to get down to business.
"We want the smoke" has become a chant the crowd uses to rally the Profits. And since it's an inclusive statement, it also means the crowd is behind Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins, strengthening the bond with the fans.
Rounding out the list is a catchphrase that is only a thing because it has the right cadence the crowd can get behind repeating.
By itself, Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry isn't a catchy slogan for a pro wrestler, particularly after the days of Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. But Britt Baker has managed to make it something the audience will always repeat along with her by doing something crucial to the replication process: pointing.
Having a visual rhythm is akin to the bouncing ball on lyrics for a karaoke track. It makes it easier for others to follow and play along with.
While they didn't make the list, a few other catchphrases deserve to be mentioned.
Hit Row hasn't had a chance to get started on SmackDown yet, but their phrase "If you didn't know, now you know" will likely catch on like it was doing in NXT.
Orange Cassidy's weak thumbs-up isn't a catchphrase, but considering his blase attitude and quiet nature, it's as close to one as he has and fans love to do it in return.
Kenny Omega's entrances are made significantly more fun when Justin Roberts plays around with tossing out "North Carolina!" in increasingly ridiculous ways.
NXT UK doesn't have the biggest presence among the WWE Universe, but if anyone watches the show, they've likely caught themselves enjoying the phrase "Gallus boys on top," as used by the Coffey brothers and Wolfgang.
Finally, even better than the overused "zero miedo," it's always worth a pop when Penta El Zero Mieda cuts a promo and manager Alex Abrahantes follows it up with "Penta says."
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.