In honor of the comedy that came in the form of Becky Lynch vs. James Ellsworth on Smackdown Live, FRS Slam counts down the funniest acts on WWE television.
Let’s face it, we need something to break up the five hours of wrestling every week, and a legitimately funny act in the PG era is not as easy as it sounds.
The utter insanity that is R-Truth’s character since his brief feud on top against John Cena is spectacular. Unfortunately, we have not seen as much of it on television since the Pokemon Go battle with Goldust, but Truth is an all-timer based on his resume. Little Jimmy’s rise to the top, the spiders, the fear of heights, that time he thought the Royal Rumble was a ladder match, the time he (accidentally) confused Green Bay and Milwaukee; it’s all show-stealing laughs. This guy is like Michael Scott with 20 years of in-ring ability to back it up.
Best Moment: The “Really, Riley, Randy, Jimmy” segment between Truth, Christian and the Miz is up there with your favorite scene from the Office or Parks and Recreation or South Park. It’s gold, Jerry.
4. James Ellsworth
Has there ever been a more punchable face than that of James Ellsworth? The best part about him is that he knows exactly what he is. As a babyface, he is the pathetic underdog that elevates his fellow wrestlers when they inevitably save him — just ask Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles during their title confrontations last year. As a villain, the loudest cheers of the night come when someone like Becky Lynch or Carmella kicks his face in.
Best Moment: Ellsworth has his moments now but will never top his WWE debut. “Any man with two hands has a fighter’s chance” followed by the utter destruction at the hands of Braun Strowman made him an instant cult hero.
3. The Club
Of course, we would all prefer to see the brutality that was New Japan’s Gallows and Anderson, but that does not seem like a possibility any time soon. In the meantime, we celebrate Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for making the most out of their two minutes every week. Sure, they are not all home runs — can we pretend the ball doctors never happened? — but these two are magic killers on the microphone. Gallows and Anderson do their best entertaining without the strict TV format. Go see them at a live event or on WWE Ride Along or on a podcast.
Best Moment: Unfortunately, their best moments do not come between 8 and 11 EST on the USA Network. Assuming Tex Fergusson and Chad Too Bad of Southpaw Region Wrestling do not count, the time Gallows and Anderson reenacted Steve Austin’s King of the Ring promo was an underrated moment of hilarity.
2. Fashion Police
The Fashion Files rule, but where is the payoff? As entertaining and unique as Tyler Breeze and Fandango can be whenever the red light turns on, are we ever going to see it go anywhere? Other than an odd, albeit spectacular May title match against the Usos on Smackdown, we don’t get to see these guys nearly enough in an actual wrestling ring. That is the only thing that prevents the world’s greatest detectives from being WWE’s top comedy act. Breeze had been lost since his NXT call up and Fandago had nothing to do since he beat Chris Jericho five years ago. Team them up, and we have the perfect escape point in the middle of a “serious wrestling show.” There is so many bad cop shows out there, that the idea well will never run out. Shoutout to the Ascension for a smattering of fun cameos. Somehow, Breezango did the impossible in making Viktor and Konnor sympathetic.
Best Moment: Any time a comedy act hits the big time, we consider it a victory. For Breezango, that meant a face-to-face showdown on the road to WrestleMania between John Cena, Nikki Bella, Fake John Cena and Cross-dressing Nikki Bella. The result was two weeks of laughs and the chance for Cena to get Fandango some love in the ring.
1. Heath Slater
What makes Slater a better comedy act than your average goofball? Slater backs it up in the ring. Of course, there are other comedy acts with elite in-ring ability, but Slater brings a real, winning WWE resume when you think about it. Do not underestimate that the West Virginia Elvis is the last man standing in the ring of an original Nexus group that included Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, the Ryback and more. Slater was so funny as the “undrafted free agent” of 2016’s brand split that he became tag team champion. Be funny, sell and hot tag Rhyno was a great summer for the tag titles. From “I got kids” to “above-ground pools” to one-man bands, to three-man bands, to social outcasts to his annihilation on RAW 100, Slater is a national treasure.
Best Moment: “Meet the Slaters” is everything that made Smackdown’s reboot great, and Rhyno is the perfect spray-cheese-eating straight man that made this work.