In the wrestling industry, there is a widespread belief that exceptional commentary can elevate a decent match to greatness.
The WWE now has an issue in that the commentators appear to be more concerned with putting themselves over than really calling the action.
Michael Cole’s shtick of supporting the heels while mocking the faces has soon grown tiresome.
The antagonism between Lawler and Cole continues to cause innumerable minor quarrels at the announce table, which, when paired with the mind-numbing emails, takes the focus away from the real contests.
Commentary should enhance the game rather than detract from it, and the present staff is incapable of doing so.
Josh Mathews has the ability to be a successful broadcaster, but he lacks the experience needed to manage a pay-per-view staff.
The following is a list of the top color or play-by-play commentators of all time.
Jesse Ventura was continually bullying Vince McMahon on commentary before he officially stated that he was the WWF’s driving power.
Vince McMahon has an uncanny ability to market a product and make even the most inconsequential match look noteworthy.
His back-and-forth with Ventura, as well as their humorous cooperation, added to the WWF’s product at the time.
The Ventura-McMahon pairing will go down in wrestling history, despite Vince’s reputation as the nefarious Mr. McMahon having overtaken his days on commentary.
Vince has always had the tendency to overact, and he could easily convey his own excitement to the spectators through the television displays.
In the few weeks that CM Punk was at the announce table, he demonstrated that he had another wrestling ability.
In his much-discussed commercial two weeks ago, he even claimed that no one could beat him on commentary.
Punk has always had a really natural aura about him, and he comes off as quite honest on commentary.
He was amusing, laidback, and unafraid to take risks with his material.
Punk has always been known for pushing the boundaries and “grabbing Vincent K. McMahon’s imagined brass rings,” and there was a lot of debate about it on commentary.
When teamed with Josh Mathews or Scott Stanford, Punk portrayed the archetypal heel bully commentator, following in the traditions of JBL and Jesse Ventura.
When announcing on Raw, though, he displayed a more empathetic side and was a master at putting talent over.
But the biggest draw (pun intended) that CM Punk brought to the table was pure entertainment.
In the same way that J.R. was known as the “Voice of Raw,” Joey Styles is regarded as the “Voice of ECW.”
Hardcore wrestling and profane language were as much a part of Paul Heyman’s creation as his voice on commentary.
After ECW dissolved, he even had a brief career in the WWE, albeit in a more diluted version.
This resulted in a staged shot like Punk’s, in which Styles rants about the “lack of wrestling” in sports entertainment.
His signature statement was “Oh my gosh!” if a high-risk or hardcore location was present.
He’ll also be remembered for how, as the action got up, his normally placid voice would erupt into high-pitched shouts of excitement.
In his ECW days, he was also the first commentator to ever call a pay-per-view solo.
Jerry “The King” Lawler
While some of Lawler’s recent statements may make you think you’re listening to a senile old man, “The King” was once the finest heel announcer in the industry.
J.R. and “King” were the ideal mix of straight and crooked, with J.R side with the heels and Lawler siding with the middle.
This method has been used in the past and will be used in the future, but it consistently produces the finest announce teams.
Jerry has been in the wrestling business for a very long time and understands all of the ins and outs of the business.
His subtleties and mannerisms, along with his inherently pompous demeanor, resulted in fantastic television.
J.R.’s devotion to Stone Cold was pitted against his weak hero-worship of the Rock. The conflict gained a new dimension with the addition of Steve Austin. In the opinion of casual fans, both men’s emotional commitment in this conflict boosted it.
True wrestling fans will always remember this hilarious form of Jerry Lawler, as obnoxious and stupid as he may be at times.
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John Bradshaw Layfield’s metamorphosis from a beer-swilling thug to a superior billionaire propelled him to the main event and many World Championships.
He was subsequently able to transform this persona into one of the all-time great heel color commentators.
JBL said everything you’re not supposed to say, he pushed all the buttons, and he soon rose to prominence on Smackdown.
His conversation with Michael Cole resulted in humor as well as a slew of jokes and digs at Cole.
He once mentioned Jesse Ventura as an influence, and he may have gotten the closest of anybody to imitating the “Body’s” genius.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura
I’ve previously discussed the heel color commentator job and how CM Punk, JBL, and Lawler have attempted to play it in the past.
But the originator was none other than Jesse “the Body” Ventura, who revolutionized the job of the color commentator in the same way that Hulk Hogan transformed wrestling history in general.
In his book, Bret Hart emphasizes the importance of Ventura’s early support for the Heart Foundation and how it helped them overcome.
Jesse had always backed the heels, no matter how illogical his reasoning was. He could rationalize their behavior, no matter how heinous they were.
When combined with Vince McMahon’s stunned reaction to Jake Roberts’ newest deed of wickedness, it made for terrific commentary.
Gorilla Monsoon’s status as the greatest straight guy in wrestling commentary goes on even now.
Wrestling terminology for the space behind the curtain where wrestlers congregate before making their entrances is known as the “Gorilla Position.”
His friendship with Bobby Heenan generated several legendary moments that exemplified why wrestling in the 1980s was so much better than it is now.
He also introduced numerous commentary tropes that quickly carried on, such as referring to Bret Hart as the “Excellence of Execution” and dubbing to the Undertaker’s finisher as a “Tombstone.”
Heenan was one half of the greatest announcing pair in history, and he was hilariously humorous, shamelessly prejudiced, and financially corrupt.
On Primetime Wrestling, Heenan’s on-air feuds with his good buddy and on-air rival Gorilla Monsoon are legendary and make for great viewing on YouTube.
But it was their collaboration on the commentary desk that distinguished the Monsoon-Heenan dynamic.
Bobby Heenan had one of the sharpest wits in wrestling history and could always come up with a funny one-liner out of nowhere.
The Royal Rumble 1993 is the one match that embodies everything that made Bobby Heenan so great on commentary.
His fervent devotion for his main man, Ric Flair, and the significance he put on Flair’s triumph gave a fantastic dimension to the match’s tale.
It was also peppered with amusing conversations and amusing conflicts between the two closest friends.
Despite J.R.’s adoration for Solie, I believe Jim Ross has exceeded his master.
Ric Flair stated that it came easy to Solie, whereas J.R “eats, sleep, and drinks” wrestling.
This claimed that J.R’s passion and love for the game were what made him so brilliant.
When JR was on commentary, he lived in the moment and gave it his heart and soul. He could convince you that a fight between Mark Henry and the Great Khali was a five-star masterpiece.
The way he articulated himself and his numerous legendary words simply made “Good ‘Ol J.R.” the best wrestling announcer who ever lived.