The 15 coolest Superstar hand signals
Many a WWE Superstar has turned talking trash into an art form, but sometimes it is a simple hand gesture that speaks volume. From The Rock to John Cena to Ric Flair, many of the sport’s best and brightest competitors have become tightly associated with various hand signals that carry with them specific meanings. Grab hold of these 15 Superstar hand gestures that’ll help you break down barriers, win over the in-laws and influence powerful people of all stripes.
Batista’s thumbs down
Having won the 2005 Royal Rumble Match and the right to challenge for a World Title at WrestleMania 21, Batista found himself in a dilemma that February: Should he vie for the WWE Championship or, against the wishes of Evolution running mate Triple H, go after The Game’s World Heavyweight Championship? During a contract signing on Raw, Batista — with contracts for both World Title matches in hand — at first appeared to be on board with Triple H’s plans. When The Game and Ric Flair gave Batista a thumbs up, the big man returned the gesture in kind. That is, until he turned the thumb downward, signifying his decision to compete for the World Heavyweight Title. From then on, two thumbs down became something of a rebellious signature for The Animal.
Zack Ryder’s “L.I.”
In case you haven’t noticed, “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder is brimming with hometown pride. The Ultimate Broski celebrates “L.I.” pretty much wherever he goes, including the squared circle. With his right hand forming an “L” and his left hand forming an “I,” Ryder is prone to shouting out his Long Island legion before unloading the Broski Boot on downed foes.
It wasn’t intimidating enough for Vader to simply wear a steam-shooting, black-metallic mastodon mask when he first arrived in WCW in the early 1990s. The butt-kicking super heavyweight decided to up the fear factor by adding a trademark hand signal to the whole Vader package, as well. Ironically, the namesake of the “Star Wars” super villain chose a “V”-shaped signal that bore an undeniable likeness to the Vulcan salute popularized on “Star Trek.” Whether anyone’s dared to mention this incongruity to The Mastodon is unclear.
John Cena’s hustle, loyalty and respect
Generally speaking, the act of forming a circle with your index finger and thumb while leaving the other fingers raised only radiates positivity. Did you just sink a three-pointer? Is everything “a-OK”? Are you a member of the Cenation? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, chances are you’ve waved this familiar hand sign before. To the WWE Universe, the gesture, of course, symbolizes the three tenets of Cenaticism: hustle, loyalty and respect.
Edge’s devil horns
It was to the pulsating opening chords of his entrance theme, that WWE Hall of Famer Edge often raised his hands and unhinged the classic “devil horns” hand gesture for all Edgeheads to see. Forever linked in some people’s minds to heavy metal music, the symbol is more than a little sinister, making it a perfect fit for The Rated-R Superstar. ( HAND JIVE PHOTOS)
The Rock’s “Bring it”
Is there anything about The Rock that isn’t cool? From his incredulous People’s Eyebrow to his insta-trending trash talk, The Great One is truly The Most Entertaining Man in All of Entertainment. Even the way he fearlessly welcomes any and all comers is cool. Whether talking to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or CM Punk, The Rock has zero qualms about extending his arm, outstretching his hand and gesturing opponents to try him. The meaning resonates every time: Just bring it.
Jimmy Snuka’s “I love you”
Fan-friendly Superstars often speak to the WWE Universe in terms of gratitude, thanking the loyal WWE audience for their support or their approval. But when Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka communicated with his followers, his message was one of love. Never considered one of the ring’s more articulate competitors, Snuka leaned on body language more than a vocabulary to express his feelings. Using the sign language gesture meaning “I love you,” Superfly liked to salute his fans just before springing into his trademark splash off the top rope.
Booker T’s “five-time, five-time …”
Years before taking the helm of SmackDown as General Manager, Booker T was busy racking up WCW World Championship reigns — five of ’em, in fact. Not always long on humility, the master of the Spinaroonie spent much of his waking hours reminding everyone else about his mighty accomplishments. Booker T was so obsessed with his status as a five-time WCW Champion that he used to stare at his hand, as if in a trance, before launching into the Spinaroonie and scissor-kicking opponents.
D-Generation X’s “X”
With or without neon-green glow sticks in hand, crossing your arms overhead to form an “X” goes a long way in showing one is “down with” D-Generation X. Though many in the WWE Universe might first think of a different “X” gesture when it comes to the envelope-pushing stable, the overhead formation has seemingly supplanted the crotch chop as DX’s symbol in the group’s most recent reunions. Not down with that? Well, they’ve got to words for ya.
Hulk Hogan’s ear cup
Brother, nothing revs up a Superstar quite like the adulation of a sold-out arena, and few people understood that universal truth better than Hulk Hogan. Many a Coliseum Home Video release from the height of Hulkamania ended the same way, with The Hulkster flexing his muscles, Rick Derringer’s “Real American” thumping through the speakers and little Hulkamaniacs losing their minds. But when he wanted to turn the dial up to 11, Hogan would elate the WWE Universe by planting one foot, pivoting with the other and going in circles, hitting every side of the arena with the self-indulgent, but fun, ear cup. Can you hear me now?
Cactus Jack’s “Bang, bang”
From his cowboy boots to his “Wanted Dead or Alive” tee to his billed hometown of Truth or Consequences, N.M., Mick Foley’s “Cactus Jack” persona always gave off the vibe of desert desperado. Bolstering the comparison further was The Hardcore Legend’s tendency to issue a two-gun salute, which Jack punctuated verbally with cries of “Bang, bang!” Seeing Jack wave his hands like six-shooters was all the warning some competitors needed to steer clear of the madman
Whether flashed as a precursor to the Diamond Cutter or as a celebration, post-Cutter, Dallas Page’s “diamond” sign caught on like crazy with WCW fans in the late 1990s. Though DDP is the Superstar most closely associated with the gesture, he’s far from the only public figure to be seen flaunting it. Rap mogul Jay-Z throws up the diamond to rep his Roc-A-Fella empire and the overlap in hand gestures actually led to a legal dispute between Page and Hova. Meanwhile, others contend it is actually a sign of the Illuminati. Whatever its origin, the symbol means only one thing inside the ring: Bang!
Austin’s “one-finger salute”
A naïve interpretation of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s go-to hand sign might be to suggest The Texas Rattlesnake thought so highly of his Attitude Era peers that he couldn’t help but call them “No. 1” … constantly. A more pragmatic viewpoint, however, would be to acknowledge Austin as the anti-authority badass he is. Before booting enemies in the stomach and dropping them with the “Stone Cold” Stunner, Austin liked nothing better than to salute the only way he knew how.
The Kliq/nWo's “wolf head”
The “wolf head” hand signal was a gesture used by Kliq originals Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash during the mid-1990s. When Nash carried it with him to WCW in 1996, it soon became a calling card of The New World Order, too. For nWo members, a display of the “wolf head” often necessitated a verbal “too sweet,” usually spoken in an upper register. With the broader Kliq divided during the Monday Night War — Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman in WCW and HBK and Triple H in WWE — the sign took on an added air of irreverence: Members of the tight-knit crew sometimes flashed it to each other in a sign of solidarity, despite working for competing companies.
The Four Horsemen’s four fingers up
Simple, classy and a sign of total confidence, WWE Hall of Famers The Four Horsemen’s legendary hand gesture — thumb in, four fingers raised — was the perfect representation of the revolutionary stable and its ethos of four individuals thinking singularly, but acting collectively. At various points in the faction’s history, competitors like Barry Windham and Brian Pillman used the signal to declare their official acceptance into the group (often to the surprise, or chagrin, of fans). No matter the dormancy of The Four Horsemen, the hand signal remains closely associated with the stable’s original members. ( HAND JIVE PHOTOS)