WWE Superstars are susceptible to fan chants during matches or addresses. They lash out or come up with a witty response to tone down the momentum several times.
The ‘what’ chants originated in 2001 by none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin. He unintentionally set off a phenomenon that would go worldwide decades later. During his feud with Christian at the time, Austin left him a voicemail repeating ‘what’ multiple times to get under his skin. Since then, the WWE Universe has taken it upon themselves to chant it every time a star addresses a situation.
Below is a list of former and current superstars who attempted to challenge the chants during their segments:
#5. The Miz calls out the WWE fans
During his first reign as WWE Champion in 2010, The Miz was not considered a favorite by many people in the wrestling fraternity. His heelish and villainous avatars did not get the best reaction from fans.
When talking to the WWE Universe on an edition of RAW in December 2010, The Awesome One enlisted his skills and described how no one compares to him in the company. He repeated it a few times, getting louder each time to lash back at fans. He continued his promo by referencing Harley Race and the great stars who could not hold a candle to him. He got furious and stated that the fans sounded like ducks for repeating ‘what’ to everything he said.
#4. Austin Theory gets fed up
The heels are the ones who mostly bear the brunt of fan chants, be it to prove their dominance or just to get under their skin. Austin Theory’s main roster run has mostly been him being portrayed as the heel.
Last year, the 26-year-old won Money in the Bank and vowed to cash in his contract during Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar’s feud at SummerSlam. During an address, fans kickstarted the signature chant as Theory was proceeding to talk about Reigns and Lesnar. He got fed up and threw a tantrum, imitating the WWE Universe and mocking them.
#3. Heel Alexa Bliss roasts the WWE Universe
Alexa Bliss made a name for herself on NXT since her signing in 2013. Three years later, she was moved to SmackDown following the Draft. Initially, she took on a goody-two-shoes persona under the likes of Little Miss Bliss. However, once she turned heel, she was unstoppable.
In 2017, Bliss was on the red brand and vowed to go after the Women’s Championship held by Bayley. While talking about other superstars in the women’s division and mocking them for the stereotypical story, citing wrestling to be their dream, fans started to chant ‘what.’ The 32-year-old then had a smart comeback stating ‘Alexa Bliss is the best, say what?!’ to which the WWE Universe instantly responded ‘what.’
#2. Roman Reigns threatens to smash fans
Subsequent to his heel era, The Tribal Chief has surfaced to be accelerated as one of the top heels of the industry. Roman Reigns was gearing up for a winner-take-all match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38, where he emerged victorious and became the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
On an edition of March in 2022, Roman Reigns appeared on RAW along with The Bloodline to explain his plans to annihilate The Beast Incarnate. He discussed how he would ‘smash’ whoever comes in his path and what he has done as The Tribal Chief. Fans took up the ‘what’ chants during his promo, to which Reigns reacted by stating if they continued, he would ‘smash them all’ like he would smash Steve Austin.