The Seattle Seahawks cornerback's assertion that he was "the best ... in the game" brought to mind the classic trash-talking of late '80s wrestling

By Nate Jones
January 21, 2014 03:00 PM
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Otto Greule Jr/Getty

After Sunday night, even the most casual football fans know Richard Sherman’s name.

The Seattle Seahawks cornerback was just moments removed from making the game-winning play in the NFC Championship game, when sideline reporter Erin Andrews pulled him over for a brief interview. Most post-game Q&As are tepid, cliché-ridden affairs, but this was something else entirely.

In the wake of the interview, Sherman’s 20-second clip became a social-media flash point: Some called him a thug (or worse), some brought up Sherman’s Stanford education as a shield, while more still pointed out that that was engaging in a shallow form of respectability politics.

Read all those links, and then come back here, because we’re going to talk about wrestling.

If there’s anything Sherman’s outburst resembles, it’s not the rantings of a madman, but the comical fury of the greatest ’80s wrestling promos. Like Hulk Hogan or Jake the Snake, Sherman looks directly into the camera the whole time, spitting out his words with a barely-restrained sneer. He doesn’t curse – after all, there are kids watching.

The feud even comes with a back story to rival any mat-bound soap opera: The bad blood between Sherman and 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, the target of his post-game ire, apparently began after Crabtree insulted Sherman during an off-season charity event.

You’d have to be a WWF writer to script this stuff.

The big question is: Which wrestler does Sherman resemble most? He doesn’t quite have the ironic twinkle that the greatest promo-cutter, Macho Man Randy Savage, brought to the art; if we had to choose, we’d say his gruff bark is a nice imitation of Hulk Hogan. But don’t take our word for it. Watch the best vintage WWF promos below:

Hulk Hogan

Jake the Snake

THe Honky-Tonk Man

Jumpin’ Jeff Farmer

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