At the beginning of CM Punk’s push to greatness last year, he stood in the middle of the ring and stated, “…all’s I’ve ever really wanted is this little microphone. See, this, this is power. In anyone else’s hands, this is a microphone. In my hands, it’s a pipe-bomb.”
What Punk said in front of the WWE audience that night has held true throughout the history of pro wrestling, and has helped to define the greats in every era. The most inspirational, inventive, and intelligent superstars have relished the opportunity to use their voice, and the true legends never loose their grip. Promos also have the unique ability to rise above the proceedings in the ring, bringing us together as people at times when we are broken by events beyond the judgment of the squared circle. There have been many promos over the years in the WWE, but ten stand out above all the rest, and, for better or worse, define the trajectory of the WWE over the ages.
10. The Corporation Turns on The Rock
Now, on the face of it, this doesn’t seem like the one of the most important promos in WWE history. There is, however, a surprisingly important weight to the moment. Before the Corporation decided it would sever ties with the People’s Champ, The Rock was one of the most natural heels in WWE history. He had blazed a path to relevance with his work as a member of the Nation of Domination, and his confrontations with Stone Cold Steve Austin while playing the role of a corporate stooge had garnered him exponentially more heat than the storyline called for on its own.
The Rock had already established his charisma, whether knowingly or unknowingly, as the most electrifying on the WWE’s roster. He had audiences reacting to his antics before they even knew what they wanted to react to. When a wrestler has that rare a skill, it makes perfect sense for him or her to make a face turn. With this promo, it became cool to like The Rock, regardless of whom his shenanigans put to shame. Though insignificant granted The Rock’s antics stemming from this face turn, this moment is the true inception of the People’s Champion, and deserves its due as such.
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