Some of the greatest insults in pro wrestling history were not necessarily personal.
The idea is to build the opponent up so that you beat somebody worth a damn, and while the premise is inherently quite amusing - "You're f*cking useless, but still, decent side headlock" - it's necessary.
"If you put an 'S' in front of the word 'Hitman', you have my exact opinion of Bret Hart."
That Steve Austin line was sensational. In an age where wrestling is plagued with the increasingly lame embrace of the word "sh*t," Austin worked around the fact that he couldn't say it - and it was far more effective. "Hitman (scoff) MORE LIKE SH*TMAN" is how that line would go today, and it would suck. As great and indelible as it was, it wasn't personal. Austin basically said that Bret Hart was a bit sh*t, a bit out-of-date, and that he was better.
And that's really the way to do it.
Within the paradox that is professional wrestling, the more two rivals insist that they hate one another, the less convincing it is. It's all a work.
Unless the insult is so cutting that it can't possibly be a work...
10. Scott Steiner Eviscerates Ric Flair
A great personal insult targets the specific insecurities and misplaced pride of the victim. Scott Steiner grasped this even better than he did a suplex when annihilating Ric Flair in the wildest west of WCW in 2000.
Flair thought he was ageless. He felt that the spotlight preserved him somehow. "Oldest ride, longest line" wasn't just a catchphrase because he lived the gimmick and couldn't let it go.
By 2000, he was no longer the picture of a real World's Champion. He had aged, but the man who flailed better than most under the pain of a reversed figure-four leglock wouldn't sell the ravages of time. He looked like an old man. Steiner knew that, and let him have it. Steiner's no-f*cks disposition and sneaky wit informed the brutality.
Steiner said that Flair had "more loose skin than a shar pei puppy," which was so vicious and vivid that it was impossible to un-see the image. He also said that, for all the money Flair pissed away in his prime years, he should have sold the jet and taken a cab to "fix his crooked yellow teeth".
Flair would have rather taken a Steiner Screwdriver on a scissors board.