WWE Countdown – Top Ten Trash Talkers

“Do I have everybody’s attention now?” -CM Punk

To be a trash talker, you have to say what everyone else is thinking, have a lot of self-confidence, and an all-important punchline that gets the crowd going. Who are the biggest trash talkers of all time? Click READ MORE to find out!

10. Randy Savage. Savage was a great trash talker because he was crazy and was all over the place. They show some clips of Savage in his prime. Funny moment is an 80’s house show promo with Okerlund, and a telephone rings in the background. “I’ll get that!”.

9. Superstar Billy Graham. Paul Heyman says he is in the industry today because of Graham. Booker T calls him wrestling’s Muhammad Ali. He borrowed a lot from Ali’s style of braggadocio, but Heyman says Ali was out of Graham’s league. Hulk Hogan looked up to him and was a big influence on his own career.

8. Chris Jericho. Jericho believes every word coming out of his mouth. Dolph Ziggler says he latched on to what Jericho did. They show the “1,004 holds” clip from Nitro, which will be forever hilarious. The bit where he purposely mispronounced people’s names was gold. Only Jericho can make pronouncing Bobby Duncam, Jr an exhibition of hilarity.

7. Bobby Heenan. The Brain never seems to run out of material. His repartee with Gorilla Monsoon on Primetime and Wrestling Challenge is missed today. Heenan was the mouthpiece for some of the lesser talkers for a reason. “If you don’t listen to me, you’re never heard from again!”.

6. Ric Flair. The basis of Flair’s trash talk was that everything he said about himself was actually true. The suits, the watches, the limousines. Steamboat says that Flair opened the door to a lot of trash talking. He had a ton of energy during his promos, and was genuine every time.

5. Roddy Piper. Piper was known for his quick wit and spontaneity. Sheamus thinks Piper doesn’t even know himself what he’s going to say next. Piper’s Pit was the template for all subsequent interview segments on wrestling television. Piper stood out because he wasn’t the biggest guy, but had the loudest bark.

4. Jake Roberts. The Snake had the ability to cut an excellent promo. He didn’t have to yell, or tell jokes. He was soft-spoken and cerebral, laying on the psychology without even hitting the ring. “Trust me” worked so well, because of the smirk on his face.

3. The Rock. The man drew people in with his promos. The Rock had the ability to create a promo on the fly. Billy Gunn recalls the “God, it’s me Billy” promo. Rock’s teasing of Lillian Garcia with his strudel is also recalled.

2. CM Punk. A live microphone for him is a pipe bomb. He was able to say things that others would not be able to get away with. He was able to see through people and hit them with some truth about themselves. The lead up to Money in the Bank 2011 was Punk at his promo peak.

1. Steve Austin. The talking heads call him the greatest trash talker of all time. The Miz gives Heyman and ECW credit for allowing Austin to straight talk after getting fired from WCW. That brought Austin to Vince’s attention and he snatched him up. Here we go with “Austin 3:16” as the kickstart for Austin’s rocket push. CM Punk says that Austin wasn’t the most creative talker, but he was the most honest.

Not a bad list at all. A little better than your usual Countdown show, that’s for sure. The inclusion of Superstar Billy Graham was a surprise to me, but a welcome one. Old school fans could use more inclusions like that, because it lends more credibility to these lists. A slight argument with #1, as I feel that Austin’s promos were not as strong as The Rock’s during their era.

Next week, top ten Divas. I’ll be taking a nacho break for that show.

WWE.com’s Top 50 Talkers

There are some surprises in here.
50. Scott Steiner

49. Joel Gertner

48. Jimmy Valiant

47. Zeb Colter

46. New Jack

45. Grand Wizard

44. Brian Pillman

43. JBL

42. Thunderbolt Patterson

41. The Miz

40. Kevin Sullivan

39. William Regal

38. Taz

37. Stephanie McMahon

36. Ernie Ladd

35. Kurt Angle

34. Bray Wyatt

33. Rick Rude

32. Gary Hart

31. Ultimate Warrior

30. Michael PS Hayes

29. Nick Bockwinkle

28. Raven

27. Jesse Ventura

26. Jerry Lawler

25. Ted DiBiase

24. Terry Funk

23. Shawn Michaels

22. Harley Race

21. Edge

20. Captain Lou Albano

19. HHH

18. Randy Savage

17. Jim Cornette

16. CM Punk

15. Arn Anderson

14. Billy Graham

13. Vince McMahon

12. John Cena

11. Jake Roberts

10. Chris Jericho

9. Hulk Hogan

8. Bobby Heenan

7. Mick Foley

6. Paul Heyman

5. Dusty Rhodes

4. Steve Austin

3. Roddy Piper

2. The Rock

1. Ric Flair

Greatest Talkers

Hey, just thought I’d pitch you a question you can answer when the blog is slow.

Who would you place as the Top 3 greatest talkers of all time?

While we’re at it, what’s the greatest promo ever?

Ric Flair, The Rock, and a whole lot of other people way down tied for third.  The more Terry Funk promos from Memphis that I look up, though, the higher up the list he climbs.  I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the greatest promo ever a few times, but it’s easily Archie “The Stomper” Goldie in Stampede, cutting his revenge promo on Bad News Allen after the brutal attack that put his son out of wrestling.  Even now you want to buy a ticket for the show and watch him beat Bad News into a bloody pulp.  Sadly the ultra-violent blowoff pretty much resulted in the early demise of the promotion, but no guts no glory.