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Berserk Button / Professional Wrestling

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When a nice, normal character suddenly goes into a rage, you've hit his Berserk Button.

  • AJ Styles in the PWG Bola 2005 after his match with Chris Bosh, Bosh cut a promo similar to Stone Cold Steve Austin's Austin 3:16 and when he got to the John 3:16 bit of the promo, AJ Styles took offense since he was a christian, snatched the microphone off Chris's hand and said "You can drop me on my head all you want, but don't you EVER quote my jesus or I will break, your, neck!
  • André the Giant, normally a Gentle Giant, was taunted about his size by some mooks outside a bar in Europe; they then got into their car to drive away, but Andre grabbed the car and tipped it over, with all four of them inside it. The police never bothered to press charges against Andre, likely because they didn’t believe their story.
    • Another time, in the waning years of his career (his gigantism had made even standing too long painful), Andre became so disgusted with The Ultimate Warrior constantly hitting him too hard with a sloppy clothesline night after night, he simply put up his fist and Warrior ran right into it, knocking himself out. The next night, Warrior was gentle as a lamb with Andre. Back in the locker room, Bobby Heenan said Andre told him "He's learning."
    • In Kayfabe, during his feud with Jake "The Snake" Roberts, you dare not say the word "snake" because he'd go after you. Didn't matter if you were Bobby Heenan (whom Andre grabbed at least once, this during a live-arena podium interview when they were talking about how they were planning to literally kill Roberts)... you were going to get it if you said the dreaded s-word.
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  • Tipping or spilling the APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw)'s beer is just asking for them to beat your ass.
  • A sure way to bring out a certain wrestler to interrupt a promo is to say something that plays on his Catchphrase. For example, the time Booker T said his own Catchphrase, "Don't hate the playah, hate the game" to Triple H, who is also nicknamed 'The Game'.
  • For former "YES!" Man Daniel Bryan, people shouting "YES!" at him has been a major Berserk Button since Summer 2012, as he'll tend to respond to these shouts with a very annoyed "NO!"
    • This has since changed in the last two years due to his Heel–Face Turn, as he encourages and even leads these chants, and the crowd is more than delighted to indulge him when he calls for either one.
    • And now, the "New" Daniel Bryan is back to that being his Button, along with... well, pretty much anything the crowd does... and anything any Superstar does to entertain them.
  • Don't touch "Dashing" Cody Rhodes' face, unless you want to see him throw a huge tantrum and run towards the nearest mirror to check his reflection.
    • This has now become a button for The Miz, who would hate for anyone to mess up his "money maker".
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  • Do not, I repeat, do not, call, Damien Demento, a jobber.
  • Festus was a Gentle Giant until the bell rang, thus triggering his Berserk Button.
    • And it worked in reverse, too; when the bell rang again, usually after a victory, Festus visibly reverted to his gentle self. Savvy opponents took advantage by ringing the bell themselves, forcing his tag team partner Jesse to ring it again to re-trigger him.
  • When Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) was a heel in ECW, he got crowd heat by portraying himself as a WCW shill and referring to Eric Bischoff as "Uncle Eric". When he walked away from a match, Tommy Dreamer tried to get him to come back out by insulting his wife and his kids. When Dreamer said, "Bischoff's a homo", that got him.
  • GreenLanternFan is one of the most reviled figures in wrestling, even moreso than Vince Russo. That said, if you want to infuriate a horde of smarks, bring his name up in conversation. Steve Corino absolutely hates the man, going as far as to insult his family at ROH's "Fight of the Century." Allison Danger, Bully Ray, and Eddie Kingston also have less than zero respect for him.
  • Don't ever call Homicide your "nizzle" unless you're in the mood to drink Drano.
  • Don't make bald jokes about Hulk Hogan.
  • Mocking Jim Ross will inevitably incur the wrath of EVERYONE. God help you if Jim Cornette, Jerry Lawler, or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin find out about it themselves.
    • Matt Striker is slowly becoming this for Lawler, as well.
  • In a July 11, 2011 promo, John Cena claimed that he was an underdog to CM Punk... but then Punk retaliated that he was the underdog, while Cena was the face of the company. And then rubbed salt into the wound when he compared him to his "hometown" (West Newbury, MA, but the show was in Boston so that's what got named) - going over its underdog history as insinuators of the American Revolution and the Boston Red Sox - but saying that now they were a dynasty, they'd become the New York Yankees. Cena promptly punched him in the face.
  • Do NOT make fun of John Laurinaitis' voice.
  • In the spring of 2006, Kane's Berserk Button became any mention of the date May 19th. This was the day his mother and stepfamily died in a fire. It was also the date of release for his film See No Evil.
    • It was also the date of the infamous Clique farewell (also known as the "Curtain Call"), where Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Diesel and Hunter Hearst Helmsley broke Kayfabe by engaging in a group hug at Madison Square Garden on what was Diesel's and Razor's last appearance before going off to WCW. Shawn was the WWE Champion at the time, so he was untouchable and Diesel and Razor were leaving. This left Hunter to take the fall, losing his push to King of the Ring and getting saddled with months of jobbing for Jake "The Snake" Roberts and "Wildman" Marc Mero.
    • May 19, 1991 was also the date of the first WCW SuperBrawl PPV, featuring the debut of Kevin Nash's Oz gimmick.
      • A year earlier, it was the date of the NWA Capitol Combat PPV, which featured another huge WrestleCrap moment, RoboCop rescuing Sting from a ringside cage after he had been attacked by the Four Horsemen.
  • In the 1980s, the Mongolian Stomper did a gimmick where he had to wear protective headgear, since he would normally be unstoppable but if the fans cheered too much for his opponents he would become disoriented and unable to stop his Face opponents from making comebacks and winning.
  • Do not call "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff "Paula".
  • A documentary on pro wrestling showed a clip from an interview with Vader. He was a nice guy, but that stopped when the interviewer asked him if wrestling was fake. Leon slapped him in the head several times and said, "Does that feel fake to you?!"
    • Another earlier incident had David Schultz being asked by John Stossel, who was doing an investigative report on pro wrestling. According to Schultz, Vince McMahon told him to beat up Stossel, threatening to fire Schultz if he didn't. Schultz's career pretty much disappeared after that.
  • Never try to remove a luchador's mask; they wear it for a reason...
    • On a slightly related note: Don't taunt a former Professional Wrestler turned Mixed Martial Artist by wearing a Rey Mysterio Jr. mask to your match with him as Mike Cook unfortunately did to Bobby Lashley. Bobby was visibly annoyed and then proceeded to choke Cook out. The entire match barely lasted 25 seconds.
  • Typically, when fans jump the rail or even flinch in a threatening manner toward a wrestler, the wrestler's first act is to beat the holy hell out of the fan. Even referees are not to be messed with.
  • According to Lanny Poffo and various others who have worked with him, Randy Savage had at least three Real Life ones:
    • Making a pass at Miss Elizabeth (or at least he thought you were), he was infamously overprotective of her in-and-out of Kayfabe, often locking her away from other wrestlers and approaching strangers telling them to stop staring at her.
    • Telling him he's too old to wrestle. (which is why he left for WCW at the end of 1994).
    • Making fun of his bald spot.
    • And the WWF pressed all three of them in their preposterous "Nacho Man" skits in the mid-90s. It's speculated by Lanny to be part of the reason why Randy and WWE seemed to be at odds until the former's death in 2011.
  • Heidi Lovelace faced"The Punk Princess" Christina Von Eerie in the semi-final of the Woman's Tournament at QPW Trouble With Angels on September 13, 2014. Christina questioned Heidi calling herself "The Punk-Rock Ragdoll" and called her a poseur. The fans picked up on it and Heidi said, "That is the worst thing that you can say to anyone", leading to Heidi Flipping the Bird to Christina.

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