25 Worst On-Mic Screwups in Wrestling History
Considering how often wrestling is live and that wrestlers aren't professional improv actors, it's surprising that there aren't more screwups on the mic.
For the most part the commentators, announcers and superstars get their lines right, and things go on as normal. When they do slip up though, it startles the audience. Unfortunately for the verbal offenders, those gaffes don't fade away as they find a permanent home on the Internet.
Great promo cutters like Shawn Michaels and less mic savvy individuals like Lex Luger feature prominently on this list. Lines are forgotten, words are misspoken and ideas are muddled.
Hopefully, in between fits of laughter at their expense, you'll gain a deeper respect for the difficult jobs that these men and women have.
25. Mike Adamle
Former WWE announcer and Raw General Manager, Mike Adamle is no stranger to making mistakes on the mic.
On this night, WWE had its brand draft and Smackdown drafted the late Umaga.
Adamle makes up a nickname for him and gets laughed at by his colleagues. You can clearly hear the disdain in Mick Foley's and Jim Ross' voices.
When he tries to recover by saying that Umaga is going to bulldoze his opponents, his delivery is muddled, solidifying his spot as the weak link on that commentary team.
24. Eli Cottonwood
On an episode of NXT, Eli Cottonwood became an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
Not only was he given the difficult challenge of cutting a promo off the top of his head, but given a terrible topic, "mustache." His failure is painful to watch.
Does he have a mustache? Does he not have one? He's not quite sure.
Poor guy will be known for a long time for this more than anything he'll ever do in the ring.
23. Michael Buffer
The world's most famous ring announcer brings a certain legitimacy to a wrestling event. Unfortunately he also brings with him a lack of knowledge about the wrestlers.
On an episode of WCW Nitro, the winner of the main event apparently gets a shot at Bret "Hitman" Clarke.
The trouble is that Bret Clarke was a safety for the Falcons in the '80s.
Getting some jobber's name would be one thing, but Bret Hart was one of the most famous wrestlers at the time, making the mistake far worse.
22. Mr. Perfect
Not even Curt Hennig was perfect.
He was however rather close. One of the few mistakes he made on the mic was before his match at WrestleMania 9. "The Narcissist" Lex Luger is not exactly a name that rolls off the tongue.
Mr. Perfect's attempt gets worse as he goes along until he just gives up and starts laughing. He earns the award for best reaction to his own botch.
Gene Okerlund is the absolute best. He helps turn the moment lighthearted.
21. Matt Striker
One of the major roles of the commentator is to help define, emphasize and further the storylines.
Matt Striker failed at that goal in a match at Survivor Series 2010.
The stipulation in the Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton match was that if Barrett won, John Cena (the special guest referee would be freed from Nexus) and if Orton won, Cena would be fired.
Perhaps the creative team flipflopped before the match about which direction to go or Striker just had a major brain fart.
20. Lilian Garcia
Was Kevin Nash the first man to win a match by being pinned?
Unfortunately for ring announcer, Lilian Garcia, that was not the case. She just announces the wrong man as the winner.
Had she quickly corrected herself and gone extra loud when he shouted, "Test" perhaps this might not have been so bad. The fact that she stops mid-name and lets her voice fade to silence only serves to highlight the error.
Sadly, Garcia has had her fair share of mic flubs everything from announcing Alicia Fox as Alicia Keys and mixing up championships.
19. Lex Luger
Lex Luger makes the first of his appearances on this list. While it's just a flub on one word, the reverberation of the error stinks up the whole promo.
Having the word that he messes up be something he’s probably said thousands of times makes his mistake more understandable (say any word enough times and you’re bound to mispronounce it) and more embarrassing.
Throughout much of the Nitro promo, Luger sounds like he's got cotton in his mouth. Some wrestlers would have better served to have a manager speak for them.
18. HBK and Shawn Michaels
It's no secret that Shawn Michaels is arrogant.
On an episode of Raw, HBK takes arrogance to an unprecedented level. He says the WWE is not big enough for Shawn Michaels and the Heartbreak Kid.
It should have been the WWE wasn’t big enough for Bret Hart and the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart or some combination of the two men.
Michaels doesn't realize his mistake until he's halfway through the word "sharpshooter," causing a glitch in the line.
17. Hogan and Hussein
The scene is Royal Rumble 1991. Hulk Hogan is involved in a feud with recent kayfabe traitor and deserter, Sergeant Slaughter.
At about 0:51 in the video, the trouble begins.
Who was that guy that invaded Kuwait? You know, that dictator in Iraq, what's his name? Oh yeah, Sudan Hussein.
Mean Gene, as he does so well, is about to smooth things over and redirect the interview. Hogan though, is a steamrolling train and can't be stopped.
16. Tombstone Piledriver
Confusing a sidewalk slam for a one-armed side slam is an understandable mistake. Maybe some fans can’t tell a hurricanrana from a frankensteiner.
But when you mistake a choke slam for a tombstone, perhaps wrestling shouldn't be your line of work.
What's surprising is that the announcer doesn't even catch himself. He just keeps rambling on.
Bam! He did some kind of move to him there!
15. Shane Douglas
If you can translate what Shane Douglas says in this '94 ECW promo, more power to you.
Most fans however, cringe as Douglas stumbles along during the interview, armed with some self-invented vocabulary. His lack of hesitation as he charges through with his threats to Terry Funk helps lessen the damage.
The invention of YouTube did him no favors though.
Be sure to watch the face of Douglas' manager behind him.
A great heel and usually a great promo cutter, JBL trashtalks Batista on an episode of Raw and has some trouble with his lines.
Even when he mistakes Kane for John Cena and says "venison" instead of "finishing," JBL manages to roll on with the promo.
Was the wrestling god tired, drunk or just due for a tumble of the tongue? We'll have to wait for the JBL tell all biography to clear that up.
Wrestling 101 teaches us that a face can get an easy pop by playing to the hometown fans just like a rock star telling Boise fans that Boise rocks harder than anyone.
R-Truth attempts that maneuver in Wisconsin. Unfortunately he gives a shout out to the wrong city. He must have gotten confused with all the Packers jerseys in the audience.
What's weird is that a good chunk of people still cheer. It's likely that a good number of people would have cheered no matter what he shouted excitedly into the mic.
12. Sid Vicious-Live
Sycho Sid aka Sid Vicious was called "the man of few words" for a reason. The big man and former WCW and WWE star wasn't the finest mic worker we've ever seen.
In this backstage promo for pay-per-view event, In Your House 5, Sid gets a bit tongue tied and wants to redo the take and do a much crisper version. The problem is, "we're live, pal."
To his credit, Sid snaps right back into angry wrestler mode and finishes the promo off strong.
11. Ted DiBiase
The Million Dollar Man had spent a long time in the then WWF by the time that he did this promo. In WCW, DiBiase was working with tons of former WWF superstars like Hogan, Nash, Hall, and Savage.
He was bound to get confused.
What makes DiBiase's mistake so bad is that he doesn't recover well and just freezes. Luckily, Gene Okerlund comes to the rescue and helps smooth things out.
10. Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox has something to say to Divas champ, Melina as she saunters down the aisle. Unfortunately for her, Fox's promo quickly goes down in flames.
Her line was undoubtedly supposed to be about the "unified" Divas Championship. Fox pronounces the "un" part of the word the wrong way and instead of correcting herself decides to make up her own championship.
The Undefined Championship is the most amorphous title in WWE, no one is sure what it is or who has it or how one goes about winning it.
9. Jeremy Piven
WWE tried to spice things up by having celebrities come in and guest host RAW. Can you widen your audience by bringing in famous people from outside the wrestling world? Yes indeed.
Problems arise when you choose minor league celebrities like Entourage's Jeremy Piven and when you choose people who aren't wrestling fans. It can lead to slip ups like this one.
Just to be clear, Mr. Piven, Summerfest is a musical festival held in Midwest. SummerSlam is the second biggest event on the WrestleMania calendar.
8. Michael McGillicutty
Good luck trying to follow McGillicutty's logic on this NXT promo.
Living in the shadow of a father as legendary as Mr. Perfect must be difficult. But you have to begin somewhere and it can all start with a moment.
McGillicutty digs himself a hole early and then asks for a shovel to dig himself out. It looks as if he's been given a script and tries valiantly to get the right combination of words he was given, rather than just moving on.
Matt Striker looks on as confusion wrinkles his face.
7. Art Donovan
Former NFL defensive tackle, Art Donovan, was hired to do commentary for King of the Ring 1994 to replace an injured Vince McMahon. A major problem with that decision was that Donovan knew nothing about wrestling.
When Bam Bam Bigelow hoisted Razor Ramon up in a torture rack, Donovan asked, "What's he going to do now, throw him out of the ring?"
The entire pay-per-view was peppered with Donovan's asinine questions and confusion. He asks who Shawn Michaels is, doesn't know how many guys are in a tag team match and doesn't know a forearm from a clothesline.
He is also very curious about how much everyone weighs. If Gorilla Monsoon or Randy Savage tells him however, he forget the answer in a matter of minutes and asked again.
Some may find Donovan's ignorance charming or endearing, but even those fans would admit this was some of the worst commentary we've ever heard.
Hiring someone so green to announce such a major event is asking for the series of goofs that occurred.
6. Owen Hart
If you really want to put your opponent out of commission, you have to do something drastic like kicking their leg out of their leg.
Owen Hart is another on this list with consistently great mic work. Of course we're all entitled to a mistake or two.
For us regular joes though, we get the advantage of not having our mistakes videotaped.
5. Gene Okerlund
During a promo during the 1989 SummerSlam, a sign falls behind Gene Okerlund, and he loses his cool.
Apparently someone mistakenly aired this version of the interview instead of the non-vulgar version.
Mean Gene is usually the master of working on the fly. He’s helped steer many an offtrack interview. In this situation, he got a little help from Jesse Ventura who ad libs a bit about someone coming after Okerlund.
Note: Gene Okerlund’s language may be considered offensive to some.
4. Sid Vicious Again
Sid Vicious' second appearance on this list comes courtesy of a promo on WCW Nitro.
He says that Scott Hall is half the man that he is, which is a fine standard wrestling insult. He then proceeds to switch the pronouns on his next insult and turn it on himself.
Who knows, maybe he was just being extremely humble.
Either way, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash cannot contain themselves.
3. Lex Luger vs. Shirt
Lex Luger hits the hat trick of mic botches during a CSWF promo. The Total Package was always a misnomer of a nickname as Luger struggled mightily on the mic.
"Despicable" is a tricky word to get out. Had he just stumbled on that, I think this video might have been forgotten.
Unfortunately he goes on to forget the name of the event he's wrestling in, and when he has trouble yanking off his shirt he decides to throw in a line of improv.
I hope it was improv. Otherwise, that would mean that someone behind the scenes wrote the line, "Your shirts are too tight too, Billy."
2. The Hulkster
Had Hulk Hogan freestyled his promo a bit once he'd messed up one of his lines, it would have been fine. People stumble on their words all the time.
What makes this so terrible is how stubbornly he kept going.
He wasn't just the right guy at the right time. Fans would have gotten what he meant. It's admirable that he wants to get the lines right, but watching him bumble on from that point is excruciating.
The fun starts at 1:32 in the video.
1. Booker T
One of the most famous gaffes floating around the Internet is Booker T's WCW promo about Hulk Hogan. In a frenzied rant, Booker T lets loose, too loose.
Booker T said himself that he was surprised that he wasn't blacklisted after this incident. A black guy calling a white guy the n-word is less offensive than the reverse, so he had that going for him.
Had this happened in today's age of Twitter and Internet dirt sheets, this would have exploded in the media, but luckily for Booker T his mistake is simply relegated to a mild YouTube virus.