The pro wrestling threat is amazing, but also quite funny in a way.
Nobody gets killed off in this episodic and unending live action series, and so the beaten down wrestler has to be quite nice about their upcoming rival knowing they have to emerge from their programme with a degree of credibility intact.
"You're a subhuman piece of sh*t and I will end you for talking down my family, but I'll be damned if you don't know a snug hammerlock. Well done."
One quick honourable mention: Bryan Danielson is so great that he can build a match you're gutted isn't even happening; on the Forbidden Door go-home show, he said Zack Sabre, Jr. wanted to find out who the most technical wrestler on the planet was, where he just wanted to crush his trachea. Next year can't arrive soon enough.
There is an omission here that some might consider glaring. The otherwise incredible CM Punk's famous "Your arms are too short to box with God" line is beloved within online circles, but wasn't it a little difficult to take seriously? Punk wasn't talking in literal terms, obviously, but the Rock looked so enormous stood next to him that it was probably better off saved for a different opponent. The optics undermined it.
Cute line well delivered, but the real genius of a wrestling threat is in how convincing it is...
10. Arn Anderson's Best Threat Is Better Than His Most Quoted One
Arn Anderson was a fantastic promo.
He was quietly menacing. He was a gifted storyteller who knew that the trick was to lull you into listening. He conveyed immense authority, and this way, when he did raise his voice, it would really seem like he was feeling the emotion.
He was at his best as the man who grounded the Four Horsemen - his stuff in '86 was phenomenal - but oddly, he's probably best known for his "You put one of ours in the hospital, we'll send one of yours to the morgue" spiel on an August 1996 WCW Nitro. It made sense in the context of a storyline in which he'd done a stretcher job, but the line was shamelessly lifted from the Untouchables. Great as his delivery was, Arn deserves to be remembered as a true wrestling original who was great until the end. Most wrestlers are a bleak shell the year before they retire. Not Arn: he was casually cutting death threats next to Mean Gene in 1996.
Discussing an attack from Hulk Hogan, who had sprayed paint in his face, Arn was such a badass that if anything, he was delighted Hulk left a piece of him behind.
"You tried to put my eyes out with paint. You should have used battery acid! That's what I would have done!" Arn roared in a line so intimidating that, rewatched now, he somehow sells you on a WarGames match that was actually terrible all over again.