10 Wrestling Promos That Referenced Real-Life Issues
When it comes to promos in the wrestling world, they are more often than not done about something in the business itself, normally being based around the storyline that is happening at that time between those involved. That allows everybody to understand exactly what is happening, because it is all displayed on television.
However, occasionally real life issues end up bleeding into a promo, whether that is intentionally done because the storyline dictates it, or because a wrestler decides to bring those aspects into things to try and create more heat. This is something a lot of fans can then relate to, with the storylines becoming more intense because of that.
The Rock is an amazing talker, which is something that everyone is aware of. However, during his rivalry with John Cena, it was the latter who often ended up coming out on top, which seemed to fluster the People's Champion at times, and that led to him writing notes for a promo on his arm.
While most fans missed it because the camera was never going to highlight the situation, Cena opted to bring the situation to everyone's attention. He told the entire fanbase what The Rock had done, which legitimately angered him while giving Cena a big victory in that particular war of words.
Bringing up the death of someone is always a risky situation because it has the chance of offending people, and that was the case when Paige and Charlotte Flair feuded against each other. Paige decided to add more heat to their storyline by mentioning the death of Charlotte's brother, Reid Flair.
Fans instantly reacted because they knew about the passing, and it is something that people were legitimately stunned by, and that includes Ric Flair. Unfortunately, the Nature Boy hadn't been clued up to this situation, and he admitted to being upset by the comment.
Another time that a death was brought into a real life storyline was immediately after Paul Bearer passed away, with CM Punk tapping into that to add heat to his WrestleMania angle with The Undertaker. Bearer had only just died, and because he was such a popular figure the fans were well aware of the situation.
This is something that saw Paul Heyman literally dress up as Bearer at one point, with the urn that he used to carry being a big feature in the angle. Punk even poured ashes onto The Deadman from this, and that is something that saw a lot of fans turn on Punk at that point.
The issues between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were very much legitimate in the 90s, with the two men absolutely hating each other, and the famous 'Sunny Days,' promo is one of the reasons for that. This came when they were setting up their King Of The Ring 1997 match, and led to HBK unleashing a secret.
He joked that the Hitman couldn't last 10 minutes in the ring, or at other things in life, making a clear joke about the bedroom. However, Michaels then claimed Hart was enjoying some "Sunny Days," which alluded to a potential relationship between him and Sunny, which Hart didn't enjoy.
One of the most passionate and intense promos in the history of the business took place during Mick Foley's time in ECW when he gave his famous 'Cane Dewey' line. This came during a storyline with Tommy Dreamer as a fan had a sign that said, "Cane Dewey," which was in reference to Foley's young son.
During one backstage moment, Foley channeled his absolute best work by speaking passionately to the camera as he called out the fan and let that situation fire him up. Fans instantly bought into the words he said because of how intense the situation was, and it all came from a real-life situation.
One of the most famous examples of a wrestler using real-life issues in their promo was CM Punk's famous 'Pipebomb,' which is a segment that took him into a new stratosphere in terms of popularity. The entire purpose of the promo was for him to air his grievances with the company, and that is exactly what he did.
Punk sat at the top of the stage and unloaded his thoughts on WWE until he was cut off for going too far, with the company cutting his microphone. It was a segment that rocked the wrestling world as something like it had never been done before, and it created a real buzz about the business.
Talking Smack was a WWE panel show that proved to be incredibly popular with WWE fans, and it helped a lot of wrestlers develop their characters. However, the one moment from this show that people remember most is the back and forth argument between Daniel Bryan and The Miz, which saw them both shoot on each other with their words.
Bryan mocked Miz for wrestling safe, which is why he never got injured, while Miz fired back about Bryan having to be retired due to injuries. Miz wasn't happy with being called a coward by his rival, and it legitimately fired him up to create an iconic situation.
The issues between Hangman Adam Page and CM Punk have certainly boiled over as of late due to the post-All Out 2022 press conference. However, subtle comments about their backstage issues were brought up during the feud they had over the AEW World Championship.
Page claimed that people in the back didn't want Punk to be around, and that was referencing the situation that was unfolding regarding Colt Cabana being moved to Ring Of Honor, which is something that Punk was supposedly involved in.
Cesaro was the ideal company man throughout his time in WWE, but even he took one moment to reference real-life issues and vent a little. Following the 2016 WWE Draft he had a backstage interview where the Swiss Superman made it clear that he wasn't pleased with where he got placed at that time.
As well as that, he complained about being on Raw as he felt the SmackDown brand was the place where the wrestling was taking place. The promo was an honest one grounded in realism, and that's what helped to make it a brilliant one.
Ric Flair is a legendary name in the wrestling business, and he is someone that wears his heart on his sleeve, happily speaking his mind. That is exactly what he did in WCW when he cut a scathing promo on Eric Bischoff, claiming that he'd try to destroy his legacy and his career.
Flair wasn't booked brilliantly during his time with the promotion, and he had no problem letting the world know that he felt that way. It was a rare moment of a wrestler just speaking their truth, but it did help a lot of people gain even more respect for him.