When cutting a promo, injecting some genuine passion and sentiment is a good way to get the crowd’s attention. Oftentimes, the most golden of tongues in pro wrestling have been able to achieve that desired effect while remaining true to the kayfabe designs. In other cases, breaching those scripted barriers, infusing real-life melodrama into “the work” can be much more of a head-turner.
You know the type of promo – the ones in which fans scramble to Twitter, Reddit, and the like, to breathlessly ask, “Was that real?” The blurred lines of kayfabe and reality, especially in these modern times where fans are smarter to the patterns (and thus are more cynical), hold plenty of appeal. When a wrestler can deftly convince the fans that what they’ve seen is the antithesis of a carefully-constructed plan, then the hooks are dug in.
The following list looks at some of the all-time best promos that have blurred those lines, making fans question whether or not what they just saw was some rogue performer deviating from the script in order to make their voice heard. Even when fans discovered that the speeches in question were in fact part of the scripted designs, it didn’t take away their potency any.
10. Vince Russo Crosses Hulk Hogan (Bash At The Beach 2000)
It didn’t lead to a money-drawing angle (Hogan never worked for WCW again, and would in fact sue Russo and WCW for character defamation), but it merits at least a spot on this list, simply because the incident is one of the few truly memorable moments in the dying days of WCW.
Although the entire situation is quite confusing, what’s known is that WCW Champion Jeff Jarrett was supposed to simply lay down for Hogan at Bash at the Beach, and a disgruntled Hogan would leave with the belt, kicking off an upcoming storyline. Sometime after that angle played out, renegade-minded Russo returned to the ring and shot on Hogan, calling the angle BS, that Hogan politicked to get the belt, and that we would never see Hogan again. So it began as a work, turned into a shoot, so that makes it….well, not a worked shoot, but a work-shoot, I guess?