Wrestling promos 101: Be engaging or funny or scary or a combination of all that. At the very least, be entertaining in some way, no matter the form or fashion.
Apparently the WWE’s top stars are truly beginning to realize this, as the promo segment leading up to the six-on-six tag team match on Monday Night Raw was a tour de force of excellence.
Let’s get semantics out of the way first. We aren’t talking about the match itself, which featured John Cena, Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Big E, Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. We are strictly talking about the promo that took place before that.
Oddly, Bray Wyatt is one of the best promo guys in the entire business and he had nothing to do with its excellence.
Instead it was a combination of Cena transitioning into an out-of-touch old white guy, Enzo cutting his best promo to date, and New Day hurling more sexual innuendos out their mouths while coming down the ramp than one would find in a Cinemax After Dark flick — not that I know what that is or anything.
It started out rather simple enough. Cena came out to cut his typical jean shorts promo. He starts talking low, then his voice amplifies as if the longer he talks the closer he reaches some sort of verbal orgasm. That is what it is, as it always has, and it wasn’t all that special.
What was, though, was when Enzo and Cass came out. Amore cut a promo in which he degraded all members of The Club in delightfully mean ways.
“Without ugly in the world there’d be no beauty, so Luke Gallows thanks for your sacrifice,” said Amore. “Luke Gallows, the only time women open their mouths for you is when they yawn.”
It was by no means PG-rated, but between that and his entire run of punchline after punchline, it was easily his best promo since hitting the main roster.
But wait, there was more greatness.
Amore stood in the ring, cutting joke after joke, leaving Cena in confusion. He blankly asks what in the hell is going on, and the incredibly over tag team responds in a matter of fact way, “That’s Enzo Amore. That’s what he does.”
The Club then came down to the ring. The stable, who are rather underrated on the mic at this point, did their “Beat up John Cena” routine. It was Karl Anderson, however, who continued to steal the show. Between his use of orally stating hashtags during promos, to attempting to make “my hot Asian wife” a thing, the WWE ought to be careful, as The Club is dangerously close to reaching Scott Hall levels of too cool to be hated bad guys.
Hell, we haven’t even discussed New Day yet. The trio came out, using the aforementioned sexual innuendos that the crowd is forever confused by for some reason, and magically managed to top this promo-ice-cream off with a cherry.
The very best part of their promo was the innuendo, but Xavier Wood helping to hammer home Cena’s now all of a sudden oldness was a tremendous touch. In fact, it is rather shocking that WWE — and Cena — would allow for him to look so uncool in the sea of coolness that was otherwise talking in the ring.
Save for a few individual promos over the course of the last few years, this was easily the best assembled promo the WWE Universe witnessed in a long, long time. It doesn’t even matter if 99 percent of it was focused on jokes and not really enhancing the storyline, fans left entertained, which is the point of promos.
The promo, with all members involved, was so good that no one came off as looking weak. A truly incredible thing to consider when most promos are fundamentally designed to make another gimmick or talent look bad in an effort to prop one’s self up. That, if only that alone, is a testament to how great of a segment that entire thing.
#KarlAndersonsHotAsianWife, or some form of it, has to happen now, right?