Hello loyal readers and welcome back to my personal stroll down memory lane. As always, this is not scientific in any way, there are no correct answers here. This is just my own personal opinion from my own experiences as a nearly thirty year wrestling fan. This week I have chosen to reflect on one of my favorite aspects of professional wrestling, the television commentator.
A good pro wrestling commentator can really enhance the experience of watching a match. Being there live is great, but an entertaining commentator adds a whole new dimension. And the truly great commentators can make even a bad match sound good. I always loved Joey Styles’ over the top style of calling a match. His outrage at every injustice was priceless. And I have yet to find a more enjoyably delivered catch phrase then “Oh My God”.
I grew up watching the WWF in the early to mid 80’s. When I outgrew the “cartoon” style of the WWF I identified more with the more realistic NWA style of wrestling. But I still watched WWF programming, and Bobby Heenan was a big part of the reason why. I absolutely loved the way he and Gorilla Monsoon called a match together. Many people consider Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler to be the best announce team, but I will always go with Monsoon and Heenan.
The chemistry between the two was just amazing. When Heenan would make an outrageous statement I really believed that Monsoon was disgusted with him. Watching Michael Cole try to create tension with Lawler or Josh Mathews just makes me laugh, and not in a good way. Heenan played the bad guy role perfectly. No matter what the situation was, he was right and everyone else was wrong. It was that clueless confidence that endeared him to me. Quite simply, Bobby Heenan was the most entertaining voice in wrestling back then. The sounds of him making some over the top statement, like saying that Tito Santana signed an autograph with a can of spray paint followed by Monsoon’s exasperated shout of “Will You Stop?” brings a smile to my face even now as I write the words.
So there you have it. This was my completely unscientific determination of the best pro wrestling commentator ever. Do you have a different choice for the top spot? Do you a favorite Bobby Heenan memory? How do today’s announcers match up to those of the past? Leave me a comment. I would love to know what you think. And keep on the lookout for the next edition of “The Best I Ever Saw”.
Vince DeHoratus lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. He has been a life long wrestling fan and he has passed that love onto his son. Though not quite yet “middle aged and crazy”, he is fast approaching it.
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