WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Best I Ever Saw – Ring Announcer

Gary Michael CapettaHello loyal readers and welcome to a new series here at camleclutchblog.com. I have become a little nostalgic lately as I rapidly approach my 40th birthday, much the same way that someone jumping out of an airplane with no parachute is rapidly approaching the ground. And it is in this festive state of mind that I have started to look back on my nearly thirty year love affair with professional wrestling. So I have come up with a series of “Best of” topics that reflect my personal favorites. This is not scientific in any way, there are no correct answers here. This is just my own personal opinion from my own experiences.

I have chosen to start this series off with one of my all time favorites. Ring announcer might seem like a strange topic to have a favorite for, but one stood above all the others for me. Of course there have been many great ring announcers throughout the years. The boxing and MMA worlds have brought us Bruce and Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon Jr. And in wrestling we’ve had Howard Finkel , Lilian Garcia, Tony Chimel, Bobby Cruise, and yes even our very own Eric Gargiulo. But for me one name rises above all the others, the “World’s Most Dangerous Announcer” Gary Michael Cappetta.

Gary Cappetta is a true legend in the sport, but one that gets forgotten because he is no longer in the public eye. He has worked for all the top promotions, the old World Wrestling Federation in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the American Wrestling Association, and World Champion Wrestling. It is during his time with WCW that I remember him most. And it is his work during that time that has him on the top of my list.

During my late teen years I was outgrowing the cartoon style of the WWF and was looking for something more “real”. That was when I discovered the NWA. As someone who always liked rooting for the bad guys, the NWA was ideal for me. I instantly became a huge fan of the Four Horsemen, the Road Warriors, Lex Luger, and the Midnight Express. And the man who introduced them to me week after week was Gary Michael Cappetta.

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GMC always had a signature way of introducing each wrestler. The only constant was his signature opening phrase “Wrestling fans…”. Whether he was introducing the Midnight Express as “From the Dark side” or the Freebirds “From Bad Street USA”, he always made each introduction feel special. I still love watching old tapes when he would introduce Sting, “From Venice Beach, California… this… is… STIIIING”. Today too many announcers just say the wrestlers name and that’s all. Or they read everything at the same loud pitch. GMC would change it up for each wrestler. For instance the Steiner Brothers were, “Rick Steiner… Scott Steiner… The Steiner Brothers”. That was another thing that made GMC stand out in my mind.

It was his vocal inflections that really grabbed me each time. He wouldn’t emphasis every single word, just the right ones. Hawk and Animal would get, “The Legion of Doom… The Road Warriorrrrs”. The Total Package got the total treatment with “Lex Luuuugerrrr”. But hands down my all time favorite introduction was for one of my favorite all time wrestlers (perhaps a topic for another day), the Great Muta. “Gary Hart presents… from the Land of the Rising Sun… the Pearl of the Orient… The Greaaaat Mutaaaa”.

So there you have it. My completely unscientific determination of the best ring announcer of the last thirty years is Gary Michael Cappetta. Do you have any favorite GMC wrestler introductions of your own? Do you have a different choice for the top spot? Who was your favorite ring announcer growing up or who is your favorite today? Leave a comment, I would love to know who your favorites are. 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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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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