10 Times WWE Superstars Trolled Their Fans At Live Events
One of the best things about professional wrestling--the thing that separates it from other scripted dramas and comedies--is that it encourages audience participation. In a traditional theater, you'd get thrown out for speaking above a whisper. But at a professional wrestling show, fans are encouraged to cheer and boo; if you paid for a ticket, it grants you the right to say (not do) whatever you want.
Of course, this privilege cuts both ways; if you decide to troll and heckle the wrestlers, know that the wrestlers can troll and heckle you right back. And unlike you, the wrestlers have a stage and a microphone. Here are 10 times that WWE Superstars owned the fans. Some of these moments were scripted ahead of time. Others were done on the fly. All of them burned like hell.
If you liked this gallery, check out our other galleries on WWE Backstage Punishments, WWE Urban Legends, and Times That WWE Superstars Got Beaten Up In The Ring For Real. Be sure to check back at Gamespot Universe for more wrestling coverage as the Money in the Bank PPV draws closer.
Batista Hates You Too
From 2009-2010, Batista's legendary career hit its peak. He played the heel foil to John Cena's squeaky clean image. He was all about money and kicking ass, and he had nothing but contempt for Cena's kid-heavy fanbase. So when a little kid behind the barricade decided to yell "I hate you, Batista" at him, The Animal came back with a vengeance: "I HATE YOU TOO!" Short. Succinct. To the point.
John Cena Burns Chicago Down
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to stoke a home crowd. Insult the sports teams or some local celebrities, and you're good to go. But Cena's Chicago promo is a masterclass in drawing real, legitimate hatred from a crowd. Every single insult landed hard, and the booing just got louder.
Near the beginning of his career, John Cena was a trash-talking rapper, and on this particular evening, he performed a freestyle that insulted both Chicago and his opponent, The Undertaker. He manages to squeeze Paul Bearer, necrophilia, the White Sox, the Bulls, Michael Jordan, and the 1871 Chicago Fire into a handful of bars.
Kevin Owens Tells An Elderly Fan That He Will Die Soon
There is not enough room in this article describe how witty and hilarious Kevin Owens is as a heel. But here's one example of how Owens assesses the crowd and finds the best, most cutting way to mess with them.
After insulting an elderly audience member by calling him "grandpa," Owens then tells the fan that he'll be dead in five years. Owens caught some hell on social media for the remark, but that's par for the course; Owens is a traditionalist, and he does his best to live his gimmick in the public eye.
Chris Jericho Is From Winnipeg
Chris Jericho is so good at ticking off the fans that he's gotten into a few public confrontations with them. But he's also talented at tossing out casual one liners. In this clip, an American fan yelled at him, "Go back to Toronto!" and Jericho had the perfect response: "I'm from Winnipeg, you idiot!"
These days, Jericho is so respected, especially after his Festival of Friendship with Kevin Owens, that it would be difficult for him to get boos like this again. After awhile, the fans simply love and appreciate the performers behind the characters, and no storyline can get in the way of that. Still, he did manage to draw heat during his feud with Kenny Omega in NJPW. Jericho might be the rare performer who's talented enough to overcome his own belovedness.
The Undertaker Gets Sick Of The "What?" Chants
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin is a WWE legend. But before he retired, he bestowed on WWE what might be the most irritating catchphrase in the history of the business: "What?" It started as a sarcastic, bullying line during the brief time that Austin turned heel. It eventually snowballed into an incessant chant that the fans use, even today, whenever they get bored, regardless of whether Austin is in the ring or even in the building.
It throws off the in-ring performers' timing and focus. And The Undertaker, who isn't the best mic worker to begin with, lost his cool with the crowd: "I'll tell you what. Why don't you say 'what' if you like to sleep with your own sister?" The crowd laughed and yelled, "What?" again, and The Undertaker shot a look of contempt and disgust at them.
The Rock Goes Full Heel
For the longest time, The Rock was a full-fledged babyface, and his popularity swelled. But in 2003, The Rock had his sights set on mainstream success, and WWE played into the stereotype of a vain, spoiled Hollywood prima donna. All The Rock had to do was turn the volume up on his good-guy persona the slightest bit, and boom, instant boos.
Nowhere is this better exemplified than in this Rock promo, which he cut in Toronto. The Canadian fans loved him when he first came out, but they certainly didn't love him by the time he finished speaking. In addition to trashing the Maple Leafs, he basked in the fans' cheers before demeaning their adulation. It was both degrading and brutally effective.
Shawn Michaels "Introduces" Bret Hart
The 1997 Montreal Screwjob, an incident where Shawn Michaels, referee Earl Hebner, Vince McMahon, and others conspired to take the WWE World Heavyweight Championship off Bret Hart, took place over 20 years ago. But it's still a raw wound, especially for Canadian Hart fans.
Hart buried the hatchet with McMahon and Michaels in 2010. But when Michael cut this promo in 2005--in Montreal, no less--none of the main players were on speaking terms. Michaels did everything he could to offend the Canadian crowd, even singing a parody of "O Canada." And then, the ultimate troll move: Michael played Bret Hart's entrance music. The whole building erupted with joy, expecting to see the Hitman appear on the ramp. Nope. It was just a gag, and the disappointed fans quickly turned livid.
Ted Dibiase Kicks A Basketball
One of the Million Dollar Man's ongoing shticks was to offer fans money to perform humiliating stunts. The following stunt is the most notorious example of this gimmick; many fans believed that Dibiase took things too far. He told a little boy that if he dribbled a basketball 15 times in a row without missing one, he would give him $500. Dibiase then kicked the basketball away after the 14th bounce and sent the kid back to his seat.
In later years, Dibiase admitted that the whole thing was scripted; the boy actually received the money backstage. In fact, Dibiase bumped into the kid in Omaha years later (he had grown to 6'6" in the meantime) while trying to rent a car. The once little kid had gone to college on a full basketball scholarship and was now the manager of the car rental.
Sasha Banks Makes Izzy Cry
While we're on the subject of wrestlers making little kids cry, this incident happened recently in 2015. Bayley and Sasha Banks were competing in an Iron Woman match at NXT TakeOver: Respect at Full Sail University. Bayley was the babyface and Banks was the heel--a role she excels at.
Bayley's biggest fan, Izzy, was in the front row. And Banks, seeing her opportunity to get the crowd heated, grabbed Izzy's bow off her head and mocked her. Izzy cried, for real, in the audience, and Banks mocked this as well, pretending to cry in the ring. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you play the heel like a Bo$$.
After the show, however, Banks felt bad. She gave Izzy a hug and a bouquet of flowers, which hopefully made up for it.
Stephanie McMahon Punks The CM Punk Fans
Along with "What?" the WWE fans also love to chant "CM Punk," a former superstar who left WWE on horrible terms and was later fired from the company on his wedding day.
It's a sore spot for the company, and whenever Raw stops in Chicago, Punk's hometown, the fans make sure to chant his name. In 2016, however, Stephanie McMahon delivered a one-liner in reference to CM Punk's recent UFC loss: "So if you guys could keep that up for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds, you'd last one second longer than Punk did." The Chicago immediately fans stopped chanting.