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Breaking Down Some of the Most Iconic Superstar Quotes in WWE History
There's nothing better than a WWE quote that lives rent-free in your head!
As any member of the WWE Universe knows, there are two ways a WWE Superstar can make themselves stand out: Dazzling in the ring and delivering iconic quotes on the microphone!
Today, USA Insider is looking at some of the greatest Superstars in history and dissecting our favorite microphone moments from them. Whether it's The Rock mocking the entire WWE roster in 2000 or Ronda Rousey giving Adam Pearce a piece of her mind in 2022, the most influential men and women in wrestling history rarely disappoint when given a live microphone. Here are the timeless quotes that the WWE Universe won't forget anytime soon:
After winning the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble 1992, Flair commanded the microphone in a backstage segment before the show went off the air. Looking directly into the camera, he delivered the following line with as much passion as anything he's ever said in the wrestling business:
"With a tear in my eye, this is the greatest moment in my life."
As documented in the award-winning Peacock original Woooooo! Becoming Ric Flair, the Nature Boy was going through tough times in his professional life. After jumping ship from WCW, he became a WWE Superstar while battling self-doubt, unsure if the WWE Universe would embrace him with open arms. Of course, thanks to his classic Royal Rumble victory, Ric Flair cemented himself as one of the transcendent wrestlers of all time, and his post-match promo told the WWE Universe everything they needed to know. Ric Flair had arrived in WWE – and he made sure the world knew he was on top of his game.
While this entire clip is priceless in its own right, any iconic Rock quote begins and ends with The Great One taking on nearly the entire WWE roster in one fell swoop. When the WWE Universe talks about The Rock's quick ascent to the pinnacle of sports entertainment, they often talk about this Monday Night RAW moment:
"I did it for The Rock. I did it for the people. I did it for – ah, shut your mouth, you thong-wearing fatty!"
The Rock made a career out of insulting his fellow Superstars, with this particular jab pointing directly at Rikishi. From The Rock's mocking tone to his undeniable electricity when laying the verbal smackdown on his adversaries, Rock was second-to-none in the trash talk department during the Attitude Era. Of course, The Rock spared no expense during this promo, mocking The Big Show, The Undertaker, and even Stone Cold Steve Austin!
The main event of WrestleMania 28 and 29 was John Cena and The Rock battling for the WWE Championship. For over a year, spanning all of 2012 and into 2013, Cena and Rock found themselves verbally sparring with each other on multiple occasions. During one episode of Monday Night RAW, eagle-eyed viewers noticed what looked like notes scribbled on the inside of The Great One's wrist. As it turned out, Cena saw them as well! In true Cena fashion, he lobbed a grenade toward The Rock.
"I don't need words like respect and loyalty to trend worldwide, just like I don't need my notes for my promo on my wrist."
Naturally, this pointed jab at The Rock stunned the WWE Universe – and The Rock himself. It's a no-no for WWE Superstars to pull back the curtain on each other, and Cena pointing out that Rock needed help remembering key points of his promo was a punch below the belt. This improvised moment added even more fuel to the fire that was their "Once in a Lifetime" bout at WrestleMania 28!
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Any conversation surrounding the greatest Stone Cold quote begins and ends with THE iconic speech after winning the 1996 King of the Ring tournament. Austin took the microphone after quickly dismantling crowd-favorite Jake "The Snake" Roberts and winning the one-night tournament. He gave Jake the burn of all burns, inadvertently coining arguably the greatest catchphrase in WWE history.
"You sit there and you thump your Bible and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere. Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16 – Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass! All he's gotta do is go buy him a cheap bottle of Thunderbird and try to get back some of that courage he had in his prime."
The latter half of this quote is often lost to history – or perhaps overshadowed by the stellar first half – but we love how Austin wasn't content to just insult Jake Roberts' religious beliefs. Stone Cold went for the jugular and referenced The Snake's real-life alcohol issues. Mid-90s Steve Austin was ruthless; what can we say?
The Rated-R Superstar shocked the world by announcing his surprise retirement on an unforgettable episode of Monday Night RAW in 2011, leading to one of the most heartfelt farewell speeches ever featured on WWE television. It was an emotional night. Up to that point, the WWE Universe was unaware that Edge had been dealing with a significant spinal issue that would require him to immediately retire from active competition. At the tail end of his speech, Edge listed all of the injuries and all of the heartache he suffered throughout his wrestling career before coming to a profound realization.
"If you asked me if I would do it again? In a heartbeat. So, thank you. Thank you very much."
It was a bittersweet moment for Edge and wrestling fans worldwide. As it turns out, Edge's retirement only lasted a decade – thanks to a clean bill of health, he famously returned to WWE at Royal Rumble 2020 and is currently enjoying a career renaissance on the SmackDown brand! It's good to know that when Edge eventually retires for good, the WWE Universe will be blessed with another iconic retirement speech.
Although Ronda's WWE career has been defined more by her in-ring work than her acumen on the microphone, she nevertheless dropped a gem onto the WWE Universe during an episode of SmackDown in September 2022. Although the actual quote itself has been lost to history due to savvy editing, Ronda's killer line she delivered to Adam Pearce after he threatened to fire her will live on forever in our hearts.
"Adam, I am hypothetically devastated, I really am. But what did you think was going to happen? You think the board was going to value your opinion over the most recognizable female athlete in history? Kiss my ass."
The WWE Universe erupted in cheers, marking one of the only times Ronda Rousey captivated the crowd via her microphone skills. Adam Pearce was understandably shocked – and earned an armbar for his corporate malfeasance in the process!
Embroiled in a bitter feud with ex-Shield teammate Seth Rollins in 2015, The Big Dog engaged in a back-and-forth microphone battle on an episode of SmackDown. What's iconic about this particular quote is the utter randomness of it – and Roman's own reaction to the words he just said!
"But look at you, you're just so full of yourself now. Actually, you're full of something else. You are a sniveling little suck-up sellout, full of sufferin' succotash, son!"
Yes, long before his days as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns went out on national television and used the words "sufferin' succotash" during an intense war of words against Rollins. It was bizarre – and very un-Reigns-like. We like to think Roman felt the same; his wink to the audience after he delivered the line made us think he realized how childish he sounded! Thankfully, Roman's days of using the lamest insults ever are far behind him.