With a caustic rant on Raw, AJ Lee transformed from one of the best in the Divas division to one of the more charismatic and intriguing stars to watch in all of the WWE. Her rant hearkened back to one given by her on-screen ex-boyfriend, CM Punk, and even he applauded her passion and delivery. Rants are not only an effective means of exhausting a person’s overall well-being of overwhelming thoughts, beliefs, or opinions that have been pent up or suppressed, they also communicate a person’s frustration, inner anguish, dominant attitudes, and passion.
Within the wrestling world rants have been used to achieve both aims, and AJ’s effectively conveyed her “pent up frustration,” while demonstrating her thorough belief in herself. There’s a difference between good ranters and good promo deliverers. Rants feel like they’re revealing inside information to the greater audience and consequently almost always are worked shoots. (scroll down to the question about the Reddit guy and read the answer.) In light of her rant, let’s look at some of the best ranters in the WWE, manager or wrestler.
Punk- The guy who made it popular. Punk’s summer of 2011 rant will exist for decades as the gamechanger that altered the landscape of the business. With people wildly speculating that the rant was 100% real, the worked shoot was perfect. Still, that night defined him as someone who can create memorable great rants, and then on the August 19th episode of Raw, he embarked on another rant directed towards a fan that was impromptu, unrehearsed and sharp but exciting, gripping and witty nonetheless.
AJ- The girl who proved that this ability is not exclusive to guys. The wrestling world is still buzzing about AJ’s rant, with speculation that it went too far and hearsay that it was planned out to the sharpest of details. Still, few expected this type of stirring mic work to come from a Diva, despite the fact that AJ is almost universally loved and appreciated for her genuine love of wrestling and ability inside the ring.
Ryder- The guy who made it social. Back in 2011, after forgettable ring attire and no real sense of direction, Zack Ryder was nonplussed at his state in the WWE. He had the look, size, and skill that they wanted and the charisma, but they couldn’t find a plan for him to break it as a star. As a result, he created his web series which was essentially a long rant against the WWE lack of vision that held him back. He was eventually elevated and given the US title, but he lost it shortly after winning it. Since, he’s gone back down to the low-profile that spurred him to create Z True Long Island Story. Whether he’s to be blamed or the WWE writers are to be blamed for this fall is a matter of opinion.
Heyman- The guy who started it all. When the WWE revived ECW’s One Night Stand pay-per-view back in 2005 after having parted ways with Paul Heyman, they decided to bring back the guy who was the heart-and-soul of ECW by most accounts. (Complete with long, leather trenchcoat.) Heyman was long a master of the worked shoot, even back in the ECW days, but he created the prototype and model for rants in the WWE with this rant that attacked Edge’s personal life, Eric Bischoff’s failure with WCW, and JBL’s long tenure as WWE Champion.
JBL- The guy who made it corporate. In the run up to One Night Stand pay-per-view, the Universe realized that JBL’s talent extended past delivering loud-mouth/oversized-personality-induced promos to entertaining, dynamic rants that most thought were off-script shoots. Sure, like Heyman said, JBL did deliver “shoots” on ECW bouncing checks and the like, but at 2005 One Night Stand, he delivered a great rant running down ECW, Taz, the ECW crowd, and the Blue Meanie. The way that he owned the ECW crowd after their anti-JBL chants silenced them for the rest of the night in terms of creating derogative chants aimed at JBL.
These are just some of the best ranters in the WWE currently. There are more, but we have word limits here (that I rarely adhere to, admittedly) so I had to stop. Who else would you identify as one of the best ranters currently in the WWE?