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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Who`s been the greatest commentator?
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GREGOR THE BAD
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#1 Posted on 2.3.02 1953.46
Reposted on: 2.3.09 1956.08
Time for a survey, this time on who`s been the greatest commentator.New or old are allowed and even guest commentators count as well(Please don`t say Michael Cole!)
Promote this thread!
cfgb
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#2 Posted on 2.3.02 2006.32
Reposted on: 2.3.09 2008.36
Michael Cole generally isn't a commentator. He's an announcer. He's only the commentator when the WWF has NO ONE else, like when Paul Heyman was taken off TV earlier this year.

So I'll answer both. For lead announcer - it's hard. There have been two awesome guys, with Gordon Solie and Gorilla Monsoon, but neither of them would fit in Sportz Entertainment. No one can call a better wrestling match. Today, I'd LOVE to see Crowbar being given a chance at that. He was awesome in his one match at the desk. I have no use for JR - so I guess Michael Cole is the best guy available today. I always have a soft spot for Tony Schiavone though. His idiocy made me laugh on more than one occassion.

For a color commentator, Jerry Lawler when he is on is amazing. Not much can beat him. Unfortunately he hasn't really been "on" since he returned. Paul Heyman was awesome. Bobby Heenan is dated and doesn't fit in today, but for wrestling with a good announcer, he's great. I'll give the nod to Jesse Ventura because if anyone can cross over and do both and do both well it's the Body!
TheBucsFan
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#3 Posted on 2.3.02 2026.08
Reposted on: 2.3.09 2027.19
Jerry Lawler hasn't been "on" since late 1998.

I have to go with Heyman or the Brain for best color guy.
MoeGates
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#4 Posted on 2.3.02 2029.14
Reposted on: 2.3.09 2031.39
I've got to give the nod to Jesse, mainly for being the first "cool heel" wrestling produced. Pretty much all succesful heel commentators since have taken his approach.

Moe
BDC
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#5 Posted on 2.3.02 2111.24
Reposted on: 2.3.09 2111.40
Having only heard Gordon Solie at the very tail end of his career, I cannot in good faith place a vote for him. However, based on reputation, and what I heard, I *can* say that the way I felt about him is how I feel about Jim Ross now. JR has reached Pat Summerall levels of unintentional announcing comedy.

To be perfectly honest, I think choosing even a handful of GOOD wrestling announcers is a stretch. Most of these guys are complete rejects or are left wanting in some vital area of ability.

That being said, I think Mike Tenay deserves mention as a play-by-play guy. It can't be easy to call those cruiserweight matches with the constant action and dazzling spots.

And I'll be honest, I really liked Roddy Piper as a color guy. He worked with either Vince McMahon or Gorilla Monsoon, which created a face-face tandem in the booth--always a recipe for overbearing obnoxious disaster; however, Piper kept an edge where he had certain favorites (like Virgil) that he always put over, but being a former heel--and playing off that, he'd never hesitate to acknowledge a well-timed eye gauge or choke.

BDC

(edited by BDC on 2.3.02 1912)
cfgb
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#6 Posted on 2.3.02 2115.25
Reposted on: 2.3.09 2117.50
I can't believe I forgot Mike Tenay. Thanks BDC for bringing him back up.

If WCW had never tried to become a Sportz Entertainment company, Mike Tenay would have been fantastic at the lead of the company, alongside Bobby Heenan. During the period where Heenan was demoted to Thunder with Tenay, the two were absolute gold when the show was far from.

So I'll say either Tenay, Monsoon, or Solie in a non-Sportz Entertainment company.
Lexus
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#7 Posted on 3.3.02 0534.06
Reposted on: 3.3.09 0546.55
Larry Zbysco (when he's drunk) and Ahmed Johnson would be the GREATEST TAG TEAM EVER.

And they would rule your ass.
WTF13
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#8 Posted on 3.3.02 0924.12
Reposted on: 3.3.09 0924.25
I've been one of JR's defenders, but last Monday night he said something along the lines of "Well, that pretty much speaks for itself" to describe action in the ring [and I can't remember what exactly it was] and it nearly made me take back everything good I said about him. I think that's one of the single dumbest things I've ever heard a commentator say.

Looking back, I really like Joel Watts, Bill Watts' kid, who did play-by-play for a lot of the Mid-South programming. He knew the moves, and would even throw out interesting factoids about a move if it had some kind of historic importance. For example, I remember a match with Terry Taylor vs. Ric Flair where Taylor attempted to pin Flair with a backslide, and Watts mentioned that Kerry Von Erich had used that move to beat Flair for the title a year earlier. Still, I don't think he was the best announcer ever. I'm still going to have to go with JR, but not the JR of today, or even of the last couple of years. I think his best announcing was probably done for WCW, so I guess it would be the JR of ten years ago. He had overcome a lot of the annoying habits that plagued him earlier in his career, but hadn't yet reached the parody level that he's at now.
Pheadfred
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#9 Posted on 3.3.02 1055.41
Reposted on: 3.3.09 1055.58
Play by Play = "The Dean" Gordon Solie

Color = Heenan , Cornette , Ventura ( I enjoyed these 3 equally )

As far as Guest commentators go , I like what Jericho has been doing lately .
Zaphod
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#10 Posted on 3.3.02 1128.44
Reposted on: 3.3.09 1129.01
This is kind of a tricky one, since my favorite announcing team consisted of two guys who weren't very good when working with anyone but each other. There has never been, and probably will never be, a better duo than Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. They had the perfect chemistry and timing together, and could keep me interested even when calling an absolute squash on "WWF Superstars" or "Challenge." Whenever one of them worked without the other, though, the results were fair at best.

Individually, the best play-by-play announcer is Mike Tenay. The guy knew the name of every move and every wrestler, seemed to care more about the WCW product than Skeevone, Heenan, McMichael, and Zbysko, and had some nice wry comedy lines from time to time. Also, when called upon, he wasn't a bad color commentator, either.

The best color guy... Hm. Toss-up between Ventura, Cornette, and Lord Alfred Hayes.
GREGOR THE BAD
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#11 Posted on 3.3.02 1822.30
Reposted on: 3.3.09 1827.06
Whoa! A lot of differing opinions out there and a lot of variety.Cool!I especially like the (drunk)Larry Zybysko and Ahmed Johnson post. But one name that seems to be coming up a lot is Gordon Solie.Anyone give me any info on this guy?When was he around?Was he in WWF OR WCW?Stuff like that.
CajunMan
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#12 Posted on 3.3.02 1829.08
Reposted on: 3.3.09 1829.15
to be honest I thought Vinny Mac. was the best back in the early "RAW IS WAR" days. The way he would scream "RAW is WAR" after all the pyro when the show started.
WTF13
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#13 Posted on 3.3.02 1900.41
Reposted on: 3.3.09 1912.12
I believe Solie announced mostly in Florida and in the Mid-Atlantic for most of his career. He also was on the syndicated WCW program during the early 90s, which is the only chance I got to hear him. He was teamed with Zybysko which wasn't really a good pairing. I never heard him at his peak, but his style seemed a little too understated for today. I read an interview with him not long before his death where he really was critical of the shift away from techincal wrestling [and he mentioned the aerial moves as being part of this as well as the brawling], so I don't think he would be that happy with today's product. His main appeal seemed to be that he worked really hard to get the wrestlers' moves over.
squiz
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#14 Posted on 3.3.02 2127.13
Reposted on: 3.3.09 2128.58
I have to go with Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura. Gorilla was a pretty good play by play man, much better than, say, Vince or Michael Cole. I would still like to see Joel Styles call a WWF-style match with a decent color guy. I think he would do a decent job.

For color, Ventura was great, since he was the heel, but would also call the match like it was a match, you know, with 2 guys trying to win, instead of Lawler, who does nothing except look at women's breasts and make stupid jokes. I wonder at times if Lawler even knows who's wrestling in the match he's supposed to be calling. Ventura would put the wrestlers over better than Heenan, so that's why my nod goes to him. Heyman was good in his pre-Alliance stint, and hopefully he'll get another chance once the split comes.
BDC
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#15 Posted on 3.3.02 2219.08
Reposted on: 3.3.09 2219.32

    Originally posted by Zaphod
    This is kind of a tricky one, since my favorite announcing team consisted of two guys who weren't very good when working with anyone but each other. There has never been, and probably will never be, a better duo than Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. They had the perfect chemistry and timing together, and could keep me interested even when calling an absolute squash on "WWF Superstars" or "Challenge." Whenever one of them worked without the other, though, the results were fair at best.

    Individually, the best play-by-play announcer is Mike Tenay. The guy knew the name of every move and every wrestler, seemed to care more about the WCW product than Skeevone, Heenan, McMichael, and Zbysko, and had some nice wry comedy lines from time to time. Also, when called upon, he wasn't a bad color commentator, either.

    The best color guy... Hm. Toss-up between Ventura, Cornette, and Lord Alfred Hayes.



I was right there with you til the very end. LORD ALFRED HAYS? As Mean Gene would say, "you've got to be kidding!"

BDC
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#16 Posted on 4.3.02 0043.49
Reposted on: 4.3.09 0044.32
Seeing as no one else has, I'll throw a vote to Ed Whalen.
Zaphod
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#17 Posted on 4.3.02 1053.03
Reposted on: 4.3.09 1059.01
Well, Lord Alfred is kind of a nostalgia pick. Also, he was just so different from the other late '80's WWF announcers. Was he "good"? Not really, but as a face commentator (once they turned him heel for no reason, forget about it, that sucked) who would gamely try to make the jobbers out to be halfway decent, he just stood out so much that I liked hearing him call a match. Especially those of his "close personal friend, Scott Casey. :)
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