Well on our initial Better blog we determined that Hulk Hogan was a better in ring worker than John Cena. Your welcome everyone. Now we’ll try to figure out who’s the better talker between another legend and a legend in the making as the Best there is, Best there was and Best there ever will be takes on The Best In The World, but the real question is who’s the best wrestling promo, Bret Hart or CM Punk? Let’s take a look and see what we can figure out
Figuring out who has more charisma overall for me between these two isn’t easy, but on the mic and in interviews I know who I got here. Bret was able to display intensity in his promos, but he usually looked like he was trying very hard when talking to be a good promo, where as Punk is just a casual & confident talker you gravitate towards. Here I definitely go with Punk getting the win
I always felt like Bret was influenced by seeing what Austin did and taking his own spin on that. I also know he would heavily read and think of quotes to use as influence or work into his promos. Don’t get me wrong, Bret’s style, cadence and delivery was definitely his own but it was still a wrestler’s promo.
CM Punk has broken through that, sitting on the stage, talking into the camera, not doing anything but still captivating you, when Punk is at his best you feel like your getting the real guy despite the heavily scripted era he works in. Bret on the other hand in his casual interviews doesn’t come across like his promos as often, but when he did capture that in his promos it was great. Still, Punk has staked a claim all his own in an era it’s harder to do that, where they want everyone to look alike, talk alike, etc. Punk gets this one
CM Punk is cool, and no matter what he’s doing, or what the goal of his promo is, he never wants you to forget that. As a rule I find his straight edge heel character’s psychology much better than what’s he is doing now as world champion. Maybe that was because it was not as influenced by WWE creative, but I feel it’s the case.
With Bret, every time, and I mean every time he ever said something it had a point. He always spent a lot of time thinking about what makes his character tick and how he could take that and turn that into a promo. Even before he got into TV programs like Lonesome Dove acting he did that, much like how it served Mick Foley so well. Look at the psychology of his promo on The British Bulldog just before their epic Wembley Stadium match. No question this is Bret
Who actually talked more people into the building, who actually made more money for themselves and the company through their promos? Who consistently had the fans wanting to see their match after they were through talking?
This is very tough. Punk is hamstrung somewhat by the current product and that style. In a cartoon world Bret made people think he’s real, and Punk has been able to make people believe that too at times. Punk is getting a long run with the world title, but business isn’t booming, and he doesn’t consistently move ratings, but he is moving shirts as you can see them in the crowd, and can’t be blamed for business really because even though he’s champ Cena is still the focus of the company. They did think enough of him to put him solely on the cover of the new WWE 13 video game.
Business wasn’t always good under Bret either, but he and Owen had a hot feud that did good house show business, and he was more effective carrying the company than two other legendary figures in the same era in Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash as Diesel. When Bret left the WWF he was only behind Hulk Hogan in all time T-Shirt sales, and after he did an interview there seemed to be more buzz about seeing the match than there often seems to be with Punk, who I repeat is hamstrung by the current product style and creative. Still, in a close call, I go with Bret
Go back and forth, what is an actual better promo, CM Punk on the stage saying Hi Colt Cabana and slamming the product, or Bret telling Owen he loves him and hugging him. Both were great, and I bet deciding which was better would split the fan base.
Bret had some memorable ones, him in WCW telling the fans “it’s mind over matter, I don’t mind cause you don’t matter” was great. His heart felt moment after Owen passed, or his hilarious “who are you to doubt El Dandy?”. In WWE he gave us that promo on the Bulldog, one of wrestling’s greatest catch phrases, and memorable promos week after week as the patriotic Canadian leader of the Hart Foundation. But in the end I think Punk just has more memorable promos for me.
That entire summer of Punk in the WWE, but also his great mic work in ROH going back and forth with Mick Foley and others can’t be ignored. The 1st promo where he officially went heel as straight edge in WWE, his 1st ever appearance in a backstage promo on ECW, and his great work with Rey Mysterio all stand out for me.
But the ones that think are forgotten is right after the 1st time he got the belt as a face straight edge character, when he was confronted by the bully JBL and he said “you want to be first… fine”. To me that established that even though he won the belt by cashing in the money in the bank that the character believed he was good enough to hold it. Subtle, but important. Even more so was when JBL was pushing him to be a man a couple of weeks later by taking a drink of whiskey and Punk told him “Sometimes it’s what you don’t do that makes you who you are”. I’ll never forget that line. I felt it should have been his catch phrase as a positive role model to younger people and peer pressure, some one who they could believe in and would never back down from his beliefs. I pictured kids carrying signs into the arena’s, and T-Shirts worn every where with it that phrase on it. A blown opportunity by the WWE? Who knows, but it stuck with me and I’ll never forget it. Point goes to CM Punk
So as always even though I gave Punk the wins in categories over Bret I reserve the right to make the final call on who is better. In many ways I feel psychology and most certainly effectiveness are the most important of these factors, and Bret one those. Still, when I think about it I just can’t think to myself Bret is the better talker. Perhaps it’s because I see more of Punk’s work, but I did go back and watch some of Bret’s lesser known promos to get a sense, and trust me it’s very close, but in the end I go with your winner, CM Punk, edging out Bret, perhaps Straight Edging him out
Feel free to post your opinion in the comments section and I’ll get back to you there or email mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post them or read them on the air on a We Talk Wrestling Podcast. Same goes if you hit me up on Twitter @Mo_WeTalk