I guess every wrestling TV commentator has his sayings that take on a life of their own. Certainly, Jim Ross’ “slobber knocker” phrase is well-known to WWE fans, as is Jerry “The King” Lawler’s penchant for racy suggestions during diva matches.
But no one had more well-remembered one-liners than the chairman himself, Vince McMahon, back when he was the lead commentator on WWF Championship Wrestling in the 1970s and ’80s. Here is a collection of McMahon-isms that I bet many of you can still hear in your mind:
- “What a manuever!” — Reserved for the many times that McMahon had no clue what wrestling hold or spot had just occurred. As I recall, the British Bulldogs high-flying, Japanese-influenced style often elicited this line from McMahon. C.M. Punk reminded McMahon of this great phrase over the summer during his “worked shoot” angle.
- “One big, tough hombre” — This phrase and several other similar ones usually applied to a mean heel. Guys who I can vividly remember commanding this description from McMahon were Stan “The Lariat” Hansen, Terry Funk, and Swede Hanson.
- “There is ju-bi-lation!” — McMahon’s attempt to chracterize a crowd’s pop during a big moment, ususally when a babyface won a title after a hard-fought match. You hear it at about 5:40 of this match from 1985, during which Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo regain the WWF Tag Team Titles from the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.
- “It’s pick ‘em time.” — This was Vince’s invitation to his color commentor, usually Jesse “The Body” Ventura, to predict who was going to win a big match. In Ventura’s case, he always picked the heel to go over.
- “He’s a house afire!” — A phrase that has long disappeared, McMahon used this one to describe a babyface’s comeback. I remember it mostly from when Rick Martel would get a hot tag from Tony Garea. “Oh, Martel is a house afire,” Vince would roar as Martel threw his dropkicks.
- “Oh, come on!” — This was the classic McMahon line, usually brought out when a heel was flagrantly acting badly, such as when Funk beat the bejusus out of ring attendant Mel Phillips.
Let me know if I missed any others…