Can you imagine watching a WWE match without the commentators? Most of us have never imagined that experience at all. Well, here’s a task for you, put your TV on mute one of these days when you are watching any WWE match and you will immediately see all the fun ebbing away. Such is the importance of WWE commentators. Watching a wrestling match without them is like watching a football game without commentary. In fact, any sport out there cannot be any fun without the commentators, in particular when you are watching from home.
There are certain facts about the WWE’s commentators that you might never have known before. Some of them are rather ridiculous, some are hilarious, and others will leave you shocked to the core. But this is showbiz, and anything goes, and we will reveal some interesting facts to you right here. For good reasons, some commentators are lovable, others make such sordid commentaries that we have no other option than to hate them. Since they are an incredible part of the sport that we love, the following are some facts about the commentators that might surprise you:
10. Did the Title Change Hands in Texas?
This one will be more of a trivia session for you WWE lovers. Remember that night back in 2007 when Matt Striker infamously said that the ECW title has never changed hands ever, in Texas? Well, that made us wonder, who feeds them such crap? If a commentator is not able to get their facts right, they need to find another career. As far as we can remember, Mark Henry won in Dallas during the Night of Champions. Other than that, John Morrison lifted the title in Houston. So, whoever gives them their stats really needs to upgrade their information database.
9. The Greatest of Them All
When we start discussing wrestling commentators, there are different sentiments that will be shared and exchanged between wrestlers themselves, enthusiasts and fans all over the world. Everyone has their own favorite, but the one thing that is true is that there can only be one king, and this king is Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Where other commentators would struggle, he had no problem coming up with some really wacky, crazy and at times ludicrous statements, but what was more impressive was how he managed to make them come out as though he was this genius. Not even Gordon Solie or JR can come close.
8. Match Made in Heaven
While still on the issue of the best commentator of all time, we must realize that commentators never act alone. They will always work hand in hand with partners. We have seen commentators who simply do not belong together, and then we have also seen an incredible chemistry, almost a romance, between them. Perhaps the best ever combination to grace the industry was Bobby Heenan and Monsoon. There is always that debate among fans as to whether Monsoon was better with Ventura or with Heenan, but that’s a story for another day. When it comes to play by play commentary, these guys were on fire.
7. The JBL – Shawn Michaels Feud
If there’s one thing that the WWE would love fans to completely forget about, it has to be this feud. Of course we might want to ignore it altogether, but the pressure to remember history is ever so alluring. Somewhere towards toward the end of 2008 and all the way into 2009, JBL was going through a rough patch, nothing was going his way. To be precise, he was at the end of his career. The idea here was that Shawn, multi-millionaire Shawn, had lost all his money in the financial crisis, and had to work for JBL. JBL is currently a color commentator on Monday Night RAW.
6. Referee Billy Silverman Quit Because of JBL
If you were a fan between the 1990s and the early 2000s, you probably know Billy Silverman. He was one of the most talented men in his trade to date. Fast forward to 2001, where WWE buys WCW, together with some of the WCW refs. Silverman was one of the referees that were part of the transfer of ownership. However, shortly after that, he could not work with his new bosses anymore. Silverman once upgraded his ticket from economy to first class, and this did not go down well with JBL, or WWE. Before long, JBL put too much pressure on Silverman he quit and sued the company.
5. Sports Entertainment is Dead
Personal reservations aside, this is a statement that you might have come across every once in a while. It was coined by Vince McMahon, commonly referred to as “Big”. This is a phrase that has been in the industry for as long as most of us can remember. Vince coined this phrase, in a bid to provide a link between showmanship and athleticism. To be precise, his intention was for commentators to stop using the terms “sports entertainment,” and instead drop “sport” from wrestling and only use “entertainment,” while he was promoting the Attitude Era.
4. Teaming Up With the Wrestlers
Did you know that the commentators are supposed to be a part of the wrestling match, to the point where they are expected to interpret what the wrestlers are saying? Case in point, when the camera man gets a wrestler talking to their opponent or the referee, it is mandatory that the commentators get in on the drift and reverberate this dialogue to the audience. The idea here is to try and redirect the attention of the audience so that they do not realize that the wrestler is calling his next move. Talk about multitasking!
3. Relating to the Fans
In any other sport, commentators can get away with calling the fans anything as long as it is not derogatory. Well, not if the books and rules are written by Vince McMahon. According to Vince, commentators are not supposed to refer to the audience as fans, but should be spoken to directly. The commentators must refer to the fans as you in any interaction. Well, whether it works or not, we do appreciate the fact that apparently, Vince really cares so much about his brand and product, he has to sell it directly to the customer. Way to go, Vince!
2. Use These Words at Your Own Peril
You know that moment when you take up a new job and after settling into your position, your fellow employees start filling you in on who is who in the workplace; whose coffee is taken cold and whose lunch starts at 11am? Well, as a commentator for WWE, there are words you shall never use, or else you will answer to Vince McMahon. Never by any means use the words “pro wrestler,” or “pro wrestling.” In their place, you are supposed to use the words “athlete,” “star” or “superstar,” lest you feel the wrath of your immediate employer.
1. Be Aware of International Events
Did you know that according to the new rule book that was released for the commentators, they are supposed to be more empathetic and aware of the things that are going on in the world? This is particularly important in the event of natural disasters and other similar events such as tsunamis, earthquakes and any other crisis. The commentator is not necessarily supposed to mention these events or call them out, but they are expected to be ambassadors for the WWE brand and show that the company does recognize the suffering that the affected individuals are going through. They are also not supposed to use analogies that might appear to be hurtful.