10 Wrestlers Who Couldn’t Come Up With A Comeback

They were better off scraping their socks.

AJ Lee

*Lionel Hutz voice* There's trash-talk, and there's *Lionel Hutz voice* trash-talk.

A balance must be struck within the confines of the professional wrestling promo, the very, very obvious etymology of which is something even the so-called greats have struggled to grasp over recent years John Cena.

The wrestler should at once call their rival worse than sh*t and much better than sh*t, all at the same time. If wrestling is an ironic dance - it's a fight in which the two combatants protect one another - the promo is an ironic duet that functions to get the insulted over.

Cody is the greatest promo in the game; on the Road To Fyter Fest, he built his opponent Jake Hager, but with a smart, necessary acknowledgement that the old tactic hadn't worked, creating the expectation that Hager had bring it to another level. He didn't patronise the audience; he warmed them to a cold match. He spoke of Hager's pedigree to put him over, but demanded he show more than he had to that point, with a dig designed to create the sensation that a fight was about to go down.

"Cool. This ain't f*cking amateur wrestling. We're getting paid now, buddy."

Hager came back with his best AEW performance to date. There should always be a comeback of some sort. It's wrestling.

Unless the animosity is too much, the tensions are too high, or Triple H has had too much power for two decades...

10. Triple H

AJ Lee
WWE Network

To prove that wrestling is an ugly place, one of its most genius practitioners and stand-up ambassadors - he truly just wanted to be a hero to children, showing that hard graft and intelligent strategy was the way to go - Bret Hart was also a mad adulterer of a shagger with a penchant for grim homophobia in the 1990s.

Deep in the guts of his career-defining, barely-worked '97 programme with Shawn Michaels, he lowered himself to his "degenerate" standard with a spot of wordplay ill-advised in both content and delivery.

Interrupting a jape of a DX opening segment, Michaels no-sold Hart's disgust with a theatrical face-palm, laughing at the notion that Hart, if anything, was putting him over in a new world to which his nemesis, sadly, no longer belonged. Switching gears, Hart said "And I think that I know, as the rest of the Hart Foundation knows, what the 'HHH' stands for in 'HBK' (Heart Heart Heartbreak Kid?)."

"You're nothing but a h*mo, and that guy in the green shirt is nothing but a homo."

Proving how absolutely useless the man was in 1997, Triple H couldn't adequately respond to Hart's worst material. He didn't underscore the desperation of the jibe by, for example, lightly kissing Michaels on the cheek. He sold it, betraying the no-f*cks disposition of the future DX, by immediately grabbing the mic and saying "Oh, I'm no queer!" as if he were actually on bloody trial.

He learned eventually...

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Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, present AEW World Champion MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!