In wrestling, it takes many different abilities to be successful. Some wrestlers have the “whole package,” which consists of great physique, wrestling ability, and, very importantly, microphone skills.
However, time and time again we watch wrestlers who lack one (or several) of these fundamental areas. Often times, it is microphone skills that many wrestlers lack. In the past, poor mic work has shown it can hold a superstar back from a major push, although there are also the special cases where wrestling ability alone can compensate for the wrestler’s speaking skills.
Many of the greats like Stone Cold, The Rock, and Ric Flair had remarkable microphone skills, which aided them to superstardom within the wrestling industry. The wrestlers on this list are the absolute opposite, they didn’t have the luxury of having mic skills like those guys and had to make use of their other skills. Many had, or are having, successful careers and others never panned out and had lackluster ones. Furthermore, there are some wrestlers on this list that are missing all three skill sets, which makes fans question why they were ever given a chance.
10 Jack Swagger
Swagger should have always had a manager speaking for him. For some reason, WWE decided to give him a title run where he had to cut promos by himself and it wasn’t well received. Eventually, the WWE creative team came to their senses and paired Swagger with a great talker in Zeb Colter. If Swagger were to ever make another run as champion, it would be a lot more successful with someone like Colter speaking for Swagger. However, Colter is gone and Swagger has been non existent on WWE television.
9 Jeff Hardy
He had a different look to him that drew interest from fans and he was also a great high-flying wrestler, which helped him have success throughout his career. However, problems with substance abuse derailed Jeff Hardy's career, which is tragic as he had the potential to be one of the top guys of WWE for a long time. The one hit on Jeff was his mic skills, as it was evident he wasn’t very comfortable and even with time and practice, he could never put it all together.
8 Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is one of the most genetically gifted athletes to ever step foot in the ring. Brock has all the physical skills you need to be a top wrestler, but the only thing he’s lacking is mic skill. It is very evident that Brock is terrible on the mic, as he only really says a couple of sentences a year. This is the reason for his pairing with Paul Heyman, as Paul does the talking and Brock stands there, looking intimidating. Jim Cornette once said that “Brock was boring as watching paint dry.” Brock recently admitted on the Stone Cold Podcast that his mic skills suck.
7 Bret Hart
It pains me to put Bret Hart on this list because he was one of the best technical wrestlers in history. However, his mic skills were so bad that it would be wrong to make a list like this and not include him. Bret was boring and had no flair on the mic, making his promos below average at best. He admittedly stated that his mic work throughout his career has been his weakness. That said, he proved that with just pure wrestling ability, you can still be one of the best wrestlers in the industry without having mic skills.
6 Lex Luger
The problem with Lex Luger was that he was boring on the mic, as he had no real character or passion. When Luger wrestled greats like Hogan and Savage, he couldn’t go toe to toe with them on the mic and that hurt him, as fans always felt those feuds were missing an extra element to be great. Plain and simple, Luger was vanilla on the mic, in an era where guys like Ric Flair and Randy Savage were cutting incredible promos that are still remembered today.
5 Bobby Lashley
Lashley is another example of a big man who was essentially useless on the mic. WWE tried to give him a big push, as they always do with impressive physical specimens, but eventually his lack of skill on the mic stopped his WWE career cold in its tracks. Obviously TNA hasn’t learned from WWE’s past mistakes and they haven’t paired him with a manager who can make him more entertaining. Apparently it’s a better idea to have fans hear Lashley’s awkward promos.
4 Sid Vicious
Not only has Sid screwed up many times in the ring, he also has done it on the mic. He had no ability on the mic, as he would just yell, get angry, and end up looking like a fool. His character was that of a psycho, and he could have found better ways to incorporate that on the mic, but instead he left fans disappointed and bored. When you drop gems like “you’re only half the man that I am, and I have half the brain that you do,” you need to be considered one of the worst wrestlers on the mic.
3 Scott Steiner
Slow and hard to watch in the ring, Steiner was even worse on the mic. If you search on YouTube, you can find a thousand compilations of Steiner screwing up promos. Fans will notice that during every screw up (and there are a lot of them), he tries to cover it up and references his biceps. Here’s some free advice for you, Steiner, stop with the curls and practice public speaking in the mirror. It would have served him better if he was placed with a mouthpiece to do the talking for him throughout his career, or if he would have never spoken at all.
2 Ahmed Johnson
It would be easy to write an entire article about how bad Ahmed Johnson was on the mic. The easiest and most entertaining thing to do is to go on YouTube and watch his promos. We must warn you that they are very hard to understand and a number of them have subtitles. This is one of the main reasons he was never pushed into the spotlight, as wrestling fans just couldn’t listen to him speak on the mic and because of that, he wasn’t a believable character.
1 The Great Khali
Where do we begin with this one? Not only is Khali a terrible wrestler, he’s somehow even worse on the mic. It’s downright painful to watch Khali cut a promo because it’s obvious he can barely speak English. For some reason, WWE still made him do promos, even though he wasn’t relevant in any storylines. WWE eventually put wrestling fans out of their misery and released Khali. It’s embarrassing to think that at one time he was the World Heavyweight Champion. This is an indication of how little mic skills are often taken into account when WWE officials decide to give a wrestler a push.