The Week In Wrestling (2/22/24): 3 Promos That Rocked & 3 That Fell Flat

It's time once again for Wrestling Inc.'s look at the best and the worst promos from the past seven days in the wrestling industry! This week's column covers the period from Friday, February 16 to Thursday, February 22, moving forward in chronological order.


From The Rock smelling what The Bloodline is cooking on "WWE SmackDown" to Sting announcing the recent death of his father on "AEW Dynamite," this was quite the week for promos. Whether or not we were moved by them — whether we believed them — is another story. The right promo can make a terrible wrestling build seem amazing, while the wrong one can sink a promising feud like an iceberg hitting the Titanic. As a result, promos are a vital part of the wrestling experience, and just as crucial to the quality of a wrestling product as matches — if not more so.

With that said, let's take an in-depth look at the week in wrestling promos. Which ones did we like? Which ones did we hate? It's time to find out.


Rocked: The Rock doesn't hold back (WWE SmackDown)

Look, The Rock's involvement in the main event scene on "The Road To WrestleMania 40" has admittedly been a bit bumpy so far. With that being said, he certainly hasn't lost a step on the microphone.

Having been officially announced as a member of The Bloodline by Roman Reigns, The Rock (in true fashion) hurled insult after insult at the Salt Lake City crowd. He continued on to mock them and the rest of the WWE Universe for being vocal about wanting to see Reigns square off with Cody Rhodes instead of him, and explained that there would be no rematch if this were any other sport.


See, what made this promo spectacular wasn't so much the content itself, but rather the man who delivered it. The Rock undoubtedly brings star power to WWE, and with that name value and popularity comes a natural role as a babyface character. While there's no doubt that he's a good fit for the role, he's an even better fit as a heel character. He certainly proved it in the late '90s, and he proved it once again in this promo segment. He could bring a much needed revitalization to The Bloodline, seeing as the group has somewhat stalled over the past few months.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

Fell Flat: Lol UFC guy (WWE Raw)

I don't watch UFC, so I didn't know Michael Chandler's name before his impromptu "WWE Raw" promo. Now, after that promo, I look forward to forgetting his name again.

Watching it back, it's just hilarious. In about 60 seconds, Chandler managed to:

  • Refer to himself as "the most entertaining UFC fighter on the planet," which to me says he's not very good, if all his fights are entertaining
  • Extend the word "mind" into "miiiiiiiiiiiiind" for no reason and completely blow out his voice for the rest of the promo
  • Call out Conor McGregor, who you would think TKO would be trying to avoid at all costs given that they're already dealing with the other guy having multiple sexual assault allegations
  • Use the phrase "candy ass" like The Rock didn't just come back
  • Close his angry call-out promo with "God bless, I'll see you at the top!"

If this promo was meant to make me take Chandler and his challenge seriously, which I assume is the case, it fell flat on its face. I should say, however, that if it was meant purely to make me laugh at Michael Chandler, it was perfect. 10/10, no notes.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Rocked: Women's Elimination Chamber entrants meet face-to-face (WWE Raw)

While the Women's Elimination Chamber seems destined to favor Becky Lynch, Monday's in-ring "WWE Raw" segment between the six entrants provided some much-needed believability that the match could sway in another direction.


Liv Morgan, who recently returned from injury, reiterated that WWE Women's World Champion Rhea Ripley (who is likely heading into WrestleMania at the defending champion) took her out of action for six months. As such, Morgan is not only out to secure the WWE Women's World Championship, she's also out for revenge on Ripley. As an added layer, Morgan pointed out that she was the last woman to defeat the ever-dominant Ripley in singles competition.

Raquel Rodriguez, who also returned from hiatus, reminded everyone that it is possible that Ripley may not be walking into WrestleMania 40 as champion, as she is defending her title against "The Irresistible Force" Nia Jax at Elimination Chamber. Regardless of who wins the WWE Women's World Championship match that night, though, Rodriguez declared that she was the only competitor big and strong enough to stand up to them.


The wild cards in the match — Naomi and Tiffany Stratton — also presented compelling cases. While Naomi vowed to climb her way back to the top after spending time away from WWE, Stratton clapped back by stating that the WWE Universe wasn't interested in the past. Stratton, of course, is the newest, and, by default, the most unpredictable talent on WWE's main roster.

Bianca Belair, the longest-reigning "Raw" Women's Champion, chimed in last, noting that she is the only 2024 competitor to previously win the grueling Elimination Chamber match. Belair also highlighted the fact that she has an undefeated streak at WrestleMania, which, in turn, believably boosts her chances of winning the Elimination Chamber (and going on to compete at "The Shows of Shows") once again.

Written by Ella Jay

Fell Flat: Wardlow airs his grievances (AEW Dynamite)

There are certain talents who are good in the ring, but could benefit from having someone who can speak for them. Wardlow falls into this category, especially given that he's in the Undisputed Kingdom with four good speakers.


The promo started off solid, with Wardlow venting his frustrations about being overlooked by the powers that be and losing much of the momentum and fan support that he had built up. It then took a bit of a dip when he made it clear that he teased going after the AEW World Championship (having taken a break from doing so in videos for months). He then started taking shots at CM Punk, MJF, and Samoa Joe, which can be fine when implemented properly, but felt unnecessary for the rest of the segment.

Remembering what the content of the segment was itself was a challenge, but Wardlow's somewhat uninspired delivery of the lines definitely did not help the issue. Yes, he's more known for destroying people in the ring, but promo segments help to build characters – an issue that has been hindering Wardlow's growth as a talent. Wardlow's entire character has been that of a typical big man across two stables and his three reigns as TNT Champion in 2022 and 2023, but he lacks that thing that makes him stand out, and this promo did nothing to really help the issue.


Written by Olivia Quinlan

Fell Flat: Is Christian out of dead dads yet? (AEW Dynamite)

I didn't mind Daniel Garcia's promo on "AEW Dynamite," though I have to admit I wasn't gripped by it until the very end. Garcia's response to Christian Cage, offering to put the TNT Champion in the ground right beside Garcia's dad, was pretty awesome. The bulk of his promo, before Christian came out, was pretty boilerplate AEW babyface stuff, and it's been very difficult for me to get behind Garcia again since his storyline with Bryan Danielson was so painfully botched at the end of 2022, but he did a decent enough job. I don't really take issue with his part of the segment.


Christian, though ... man. I know I'm the only wrestling fan on Earth who's never understood why everyone loves this "Your father is DEAD" schtick from the very beginning, but for those of you who did love it, it has to be starting to grate on you by now, right? How long is he just going to keep doing the same thing? How many AEW babyfaces with dead fathers are left?

Don't come at me, Christian fans — odds are I've been a fan of his longer than you have. I love me some Christian. I just have a hard time with one-note gimmicks, and it's bizarre to me how the dead dad thing, which was originally a very personal element of the Christian/Jack Perry feud, is now a thing he's apparently just going to keep doing with every member of the roster who meets the criteria. The further away from the Jungle Boy feud we get, the less substance there is behind the schtick, and you end up with truly meaningless lines like "At Revolution, Daniel, I don't want to be your opponent. I want to be your father."


Christian Cage is an A-list promo, one of the best to ever do it. Can we please get the man some new material?

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Rocked: Sting confronts his mortality in the promo of his life (AEW Dynamite)

For most of his legendary career, Sting has never been considered a promo guy; there's a reason his biggest success came as the silent, dark "Crow" character during the Monday Night Wars. But occasionally there would be a moment where Sting showed inspiration on the microphone; two moments in particular that come to mind was his speech following Bash at the Beach 1996, where he told Hulk Hogan and The Outsiders to stick it, and his famous "from now on, I consider myself a free agent" promo following Fall Brawl 1996, the one that kickstarted his Crow run.


With less than two weeks remaining in his career, Sting may have topped both those works on "AEW Dynamite," with a promo for the ages to hype up his and Darby Allin's upcoming AEW Revolution match with the Young Bucks. It was a promo that arrived right on time, coming a week after some felt a polarizing promo from Allin had taken away some steam. It was also a promo that reminded me of the entrance Sting made for his match with Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade 1997, when the voice of a child could be heard saying "when a man's heart is full of deceit, it burns up, dies, and dark shadow falls over his soul." Sting may not be a man of deceit, but one look at his promo last night made it clear that the dark shadow, thought to be long gone since the 90s, was back with a vengeance.


But whereas the darkness of "Crow" Sting may have been played up for effect, last night it was all too real, a combination of rage for what the Bucks did to Sting, Allin, and Sting's sons two weeks ago, and the loss of Sting's father just last week. You could feel it all in Sting's voice, as he confronted his anger, his grief, and perhaps for the first time since he announced his impending retirement, his mortality in and out of the ring. They say that the best stuff in wrestling is when it feels real, and there was a realness, a raw emotion as Sting's voice quivered through the final minute and a half of the three minute segment.

The end may be near, and time may be short, but it hasn't stopped the Bucks, and real life, from lighting a fire in Sting not seen in years. In a minute and a half of glorious fury, grief, and determination, Sting told the world what they can expect at Revolution. As his career meets its end, he will go down, black baseball bat in hand, swinging for the fences, dark shadow engulfing his soul.

Written by Eric Mutter