Announcing primarily on Sunday Night Heat in the late-1990's and before he would become a major character and get into the ring, Shane McMahon certainly wasn't everyone's cup of tea on the microphone. He would shout and scream constanty, which got old for most people after about five minutes.
Calling a match can be just as important to the presentation of a wrestling match as the actual wrestling match itself. Don't believe me? Then why did Global Force Wrestling insist on hiring WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross to call New Japan Pro Wrestling matches next month in English?
It's not a skill that everyone has, however. For every Mike Tenay or Tony Schiavone, there's a Mike Adamle or Steve "Mongo" McMichael (who, by the way, are NOT listed here) that fail to up the excitement level. Not only does a good wrestling commentator have to have passion for the wrestling business, but also be a great communicator and have a unique charisma that is often unlike anything before him or her.
In order to rank the Top 50 Wrestling Commentators, we looked a variety of factors including longevity in the industry, classic calls, ability to adapt to the changing face of wrestling, a sense of humor and... uh, several other things that I've forgotten to list here (let's see who's actually reading these preambles).
A few other qualifications:
The commentator in question had to be part of a permanent announce desk. We're not counting people who sauntered down to ringside and gave their thoughts on an upcoming situation and then left again.
Play-by-play announcers and color commentators are given the same weighting here. In other words, we're not saying a play-by-play is necessarily better or worse than their announcing counterpart.
We've stuck to commentators from the past 30 years in the major North American leagues of WWE/E, WCW, JCP, AWA, ECW, NXT, ROH and TNA.
Ready? Here we go!
Well, well well..... Joel Gertner's commentatory in ECW was always laced with double-entendres and wasn't particularly insightful. Having said that, Gertner added a second voice to Hardcore TV's commentary booth, which was a much-needed change after a few years of Joey Styles going it alone.
After his in-ring career ended, Nigel McGuinness decided to try his hand in the announce booth, first for TNA's syndicated shows and then in Ring of Honor, where he experienced most of his wrestling success. McGuinness's refined British accent and knowledge of the product make him an asset on the headset.
Any names missing or misplaced? Leave your feedback in the Comments section below...
Scott Hudson brought a common sense of likeability to WCW programming when he joined the booths of Nitro and Thunder in the late-1990's. In fact, he was hired to call the one true WCW match that ever aired on WWF programming (the infamous Booker T vs. Buff Bagwell "match" on Raw in 2001).