What about the commentators? The WWE universe has seen so many different commentators, announcers and interviewers in the past 20 years. Some were memorable in a good way, while others were memorable for the wrong reasons.
This article will look at both of those types of former broadcast workers. From Michael Buffer, who was one of the greatest wrestling ring announcers in history, to the not so glamorous interviewers like Mike Adamle, who couldn’t even get Jeff Hardy’s name right (saying Jeff Harvey).
One thing’s for sure, since their time from the WWE and WCW all these commentators, announcers and interviewers have managed to stay busy. Some are in the field of sports while others remained in the wrestling business. Let us now take a look and find out what these 14 former wrestling commentators are up to today. Enjoy!
14) Michael Buffer: Actor/Announcer For Sporting Events
When WCW closed its doors in 2001, Michael Buffer was probably the least concerned about his future compared to the other wrestlers and backstage personnel. Buffer is worth $120 million, working countless sporting events, films and TV shows. If that wasn’t enough, his catchphrase “Let’s get ready to rumble” generated over $400 million in revenues from licensing the trademark.
In 2008, Buffer had a bit of a scare after he was diagnosed with throat cancer. Thankfully, he was treated and is just fine today at the age of 71. He is also still working sporting events and appearing in films. He just recently appeared in the movie Creed with Sylvester Stallone, playing the role of himself as the ring announcer.
13) Joey Styles: Vice President of Digital Media Content
When ECW closed its doors in 2001, Styles became the voice of Major League Wrestling. After two years with the company, Styles left to join the WWE on a one night deal for the ECW themed PPV, One Night Stand. Following this appearance Styles later signed a 5 year deal with the company joining RAW’s announce team. He later retired as an on-air announcer and began his new career with the WWE as the Vice President of Digital Media Content. Styles writes and edits for WWE.com and the WWE app. In addition, Styles makes some cameos for the WWE Network, especially with the content relating to ECW.
12) Gene Okerlund: Guest Appearances
At the age of 69, the Hall of Fame announcer is still going strong making guest appearances at wrestling conventions and other places like the Hard Rock Cafe. Just a couple of weeks ago, Okerlund made a pit stop at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta Georgia. Mean Gene was the host for the night and was also meeting fans following the show.
Gene rose to popularity following his appearance on the hit WWE reality show, Legends House.
11) Matt Striker: Commentator for Lucha Underground, Global Force Wrestling & New Japan Pro Wrestling
Many were very surprised (including myself) when the WWE decided against extending the contract of Matt Striker, in June of 2013. Striker was able to find himself in a promising role as a full time commentator for the WWE (a job he did in my view, better than most of the current commentators in the WWE today). Despite not being resigned though, Striker quickly found work in the independent scene. He later signed on with “Lucha Underground” as a lead announcer. Striker also teamed up with the legendary voice of Jim Ross, as a part of a show which took place in the Tokyo Dome for Global Force Wrestling (Jeff Jarrett’s new wrestling promotion).
According to recent news, Striker is set to do a commentary for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Striker will be working the English commentary booth alongside former WWE employee Kevin Kelly. The two are booked for Wrestle Kingdom 10, which will take place in the Tokyo Dome on January 4th, 2016.
10) Jim Cornette: Podcast Host: Jim Cornette Experience
In November of 2013, Jim Cornette launched his very own podcast show alongside Alice Radley, on MLW Radio. Cornette is still a huge wrestling enthusiast, and is using his podcast as a platform to discuss the state of wrestling today. In addition to his podcast, Cornette still makes various appearances at different wrestling conventions. Cornette (believe it or not) is actually still quite popular amongst the wrestling fanbase online. Additionally, Jim also took part in a couple of shows for the new wrestling promotion, Global Force Wrestling.
9) Mike Adamle: Sports Anchor
A brief, but tough stint for the former WWE broadcaster, Adamle will mostly be remembered for his ‘mishaps’ on live television. In his first live on-camera appearance, Adamle made his most noticeable mistake (which is still laughed about today). Mike referred to popular wrestling star Jeff Hardy, as Jeff “Harvey”. Today, Adamle is a Sports Anchor for an NBC affiliate in Chicago. He also worked for the Arena Football League commentating for the Chicago Rush on WGN. After the team was unable to commit to a season in 2014 and 2015, Adamle moved on to his job as a sports anchor in Chicago.
At the age of 64, Adamle also enjoys swimming and participating in “Ironman Triathlons”. Mike admitted that if the WWE came calling, he would go back in a heartbeat.
8) Josh Matthews: Podcast Host & Announcer for TNA Wrestling
After his release from the WWE in June of 2014, Matthews quickly signed a new deal with rival company TNA Wrestling. Matthews was also very quick to bash the WWE’s product after his release, claiming that Vince McMahon was out of touch with today’s wrestling product.
After a year with TNA Wrestling, Matthews took the spot of Mike Tenay as the company’s lead announcer alongside D’Angelo Dinero.
Matthews also has his own podcast show on play.it entitled Men’s Lifestyle Aficionado. The show covers a range of topics from the state of the pro wrestling business to hit shows on Netflix.
7) Todd Grisham: ESPN Sportscenter Anchor
Todd Grisham parted ways with the WWE in 2011 for an interesting opportunity to work for ESPNews. Grisham debuted as a co-anchor for ESPNEWS. Later that same year, Grisham replaced Jon Anik as the host of MMA Live.
In December 28, 2011, Todd made his SportsCenter debut presenting the show from Bristol Connecticut. He later moved to the Los Angeles studios to resume his job on SportsCenter. Today, Grisham is still anchoring the show and is also involved as a boxing announcer for the network.
6) Justin Roberts: Ring Announcer For The House of Hardcore
On October 13th, 2014 following an episode of Monday Night Raw, Justin Roberts was released by the company after they opted out of a renewal. Following his release Roberts worked on an autobiography. He later sent shockwaves around the world of pro wrestling after he wrote a harsh letter discussing his miserable time spent with the company.
Today, at the age of 35 Roberts is still active in the wrestling business working as the ring announcer for the independent wrestling company House of Hardcore.
5) Tony Schiavone: Play By Play Voice Of The Gwinnett Braves
The former voice of WCW is enjoying his new career in baseball as the commentator for the Gwinnett Braves in the International league.
After WCW was purchased in 2001, Tony made a quick pit stop working Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). After his brief stint with the promotion, Schiavone took on baseball coverage, anchoring morning sports for WDUN in Gainesville and WSB-AM in Atlanta. Schiavone has also earned success on the radio and even started his own radio production company, Blind Dog Sports.
Today, Schiavone went back to play-by-play commentating, being the official commentator, and the voice of the Gwinnett Braves. He is also a Web Producer for CMG Atlanta.
4) Eric Bischoff: Television Producer and Co-Founder of BHE TV
Despite his massive success in the wrestling business, the former New York Times bestselling author has found other ways to keep himself occupied. Eric Bischoff, along with actor Jason Hervey, co-own and run their very own production company, Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment. Bischoff’s company “BHE TV” specializes in creating, as well as producing content for television. The business has been very successful, working for different series involving networks: NBC, VH-1, CMT, E!, Spike TV and A&E. The company has also purchased the rights to online and mobile games in North America and Europe. BHE has released several games including: Hulk Hogan’s Hulkamania and The Hoff.
As you can see, Bischoff has managed to stay very successful since his departure from the wrestling business, he estimated to be worth $12.5 million today.
3) Jonathan Coachman: ESPN Sportscenter Anchor
The Coach took an offer he simply couldn’t refuse from ESPN, and decided to leave the WWE. The WWE reportedly did not try to stop the former commentator from leaving, knowing he had a child on the way; so he was given the green light to leave and pursue ESPN.
Since joining ESPN, Coachman has never looked back. He is currently an anchor on SportsCenter. He also does a weekly WWE review special on ESPN’s SportsCenter, reviewing the highlights of the week in the WWE. Fans have got to love the Coach for helping to showcase the WWE’s product on the massive scale that is ESPN. The former WWE employee stated that there is much more to come in the relationship between WWE and ESPN. Despite his connections with the WWE though, Coachman made it clear that his future is with ESPN and not the WWE.
2) Jesse Ventura: Politics and Host Of His Own Show Off The Grid
There isn’t much Ventura hasn’t done since leaving the wrestling business; from acting to politics, to hosting for television, Ventura seems to have done it all. After a run in politics, Jesse decided to switch his focus towards conspiracy theories in politics. He had his own show on TruTV entitled Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. He also later wrote a book on this topic and added a podcast entitled We The People, discussing similar events.
Today, Jesse has his own show on OraTV, titled Off The Grid. In this show Ventura touches upon controversial topics concerning the world of politics. It was recently reported that Ventura is also interested in joining Donald Trump’s political party. As you can tell, his wrestling days are way behind him.
1) Jim Ross: Podcast Host: The Ross Report
On September 11, 2013, Jim Ross shocked the WWE Universe when he announced his retirement from the company. The reason so many were shocked was because this announcement was pretty much made out of nowhere. It was later found out that JR was fired by the company after it was suspected that he and Ric Flair were intoxicated during a WWE 2K14 event.
Since leaving the WWE, Ross made numerous appearances commentating for other sports like MMA and Boxing. Ross also commentated for a New Japan Pro Wrestling event alongside Matt Striker.
Today, you can find JR on his weekly podcast show The Ross Report, which launched in February of 2014. The show features many current and former pro wrestlers and is predominantly about the state of wrestling today.