“What a maneuver” and other great lines from McMahon’s commentary days

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…

About these ads

14 comments

  1. Brad

    He would also try to add “notwithstanding” or “unquestionably” any chance he got to any sentence.

  2. Prince of Corn Flakes Sr.

    I remember Vince used to say “devestating maneuver!!” a lot. And “smack of the flesh”, “down to the canvas”, “OH NO!!”
    And I think he said “what a manuever” and “Unbelieveable” pretty much 80% of the time. He was still funny as hell, especially when the heels cheated, and he would either
    say” Come on ref, turn around!” or “Disqualify him, ref!!”

  3. Pingback: “They’re literally hanging off the rafters” is my favorite of many Gorilla Monsoon quotes « Boston Garden Balcony
  4. Pingback: Yes, you really can buy a Fuji Vice T-shirt « Boston Garden Balcony
  5. Pingback: One of the most exciting moments from WWF Saturday morning wrestling: When Atlas and Johnson won the tag titles « Boston Garden Balcony
  6. Anonymous

    This blog is literally blowing my mind. I was particularly left in awe when some midget executed a move Gorilla Monsoon termed as a “keester bop.”

    I may have only been 11 or 12 years old, but I always appreciated Gorilla Monsoon’s attention to protocol… especially his demands to hear clarification from Commissioner Jack Tunney.

    Thanks for the memories, sonofsaf

  7. J.Cee

    George “the animal” Steele: “One of the more unorthodox wrestlers in professional wrestling today.” And when George would leer sideward for a camera shot, “THAT green tongue that he’s wagging lasciviously,” as with a sense of urgency.

      • modew's manager

        One Vince classic is the call of the challenger’s near-fall in a title match: “One, two, wehaveanew … NO!”

        Select Monsoonisms:

        “Shot to the external occipital protuberance.”
        “He just got his clock cleaned!”
        “The Garden has gone strictly bananas!”
        “History has been made!”
        And..
        “He can’t tell a wristlock from a wristwatch!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s