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  #1  
Old 01-08-2016, 08:33 AM
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Default SmackDown Commentary

Last night saw the debut of SmackDown on the USA Network. It also saw the debut of the new commentary team for SmackDown consisting of Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton and veteran sports announcer Mauro Ranallo. Ranallo is quite well known for his commentary for MMA companies like PRIDE FC, Elite XC, Strike, Showtime Championship Boxing and New Japan Pro Wrestling's program on AXS TV.

My first impressions of the new team was that it felt like a breath of fresh air. Saxton played his role well as the young, idealistic babyface commentator, Jerry Lawler is heel for the first time in forever and had a nice, subtle delivery without being too in your face and Ranallo just came off, to me, like a true pro and someone that I want to hear calling the action. One thing that helped last night was that the commentary kept the focus on the action in the ring rather than cracking lousy jokes, bickering with each other or treating like what was going on inside the ring like it was nothing more than filler. Whether it will last or not is anybody's guess, but it just felt refreshing. Ranallo has a passionate, resonate vocal style that somewhat reminds me of Jim Ross, without the southern twang to it, and, again, I enjoyed Lawler's subtle delivery as the heel commentator last night; he made his point without screaming at the top of his lungs, trying to bully the other commentators or needlessly repeating the same catchphrases. Basically, he was a nice change from JBL's style.
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2016, 08:39 AM
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"it feels like we are watching football" - My wife, last night.


Indeed. It appears their goal is reached with this hire, on that front. I liked it a lot too, though unfortunately it won't matter much if Smackdown remains worthless, as it did last night. Every champion competed, no title changes. Nothing special. Same ol Smackdown.


Commentary was good, but it feels like Saxton is kind of sucked into a black hole with the knowledge of Mauro and the gravitas of Lawler. It needs to be a two-man booth. Also, when did Saxton become the star of the WWE? He is on RAW, SD, and NXT. He is decent, not great.....I really don't get it.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:08 AM
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What I liked most about Ranallo on his NJPW commentary was how focused he was on the action in the ring and how good he was at putting over the stars competing in the match. Hoping he continues to do this now that he's with WWE.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty NorCal View Post
"it feels like we are watching football" - My wife, last night.


Indeed. It appears their goal is reached with this hire, on that front. I liked it a lot too, though unfortunately it won't matter much if Smackdown remains worthless, as it did last night. Every champion competed, no title changes. Nothing special. Same ol Smackdown.


Commentary was good, but it feels like Saxton is kind of sucked into a black hole with the knowledge of Mauro and the gravitas of Lawler. It needs to be a two-man booth. Also, when did Saxton become the star of the WWE? He is on RAW, SD, and NXT. He is decent, not great.....I really don't get it.
Saxton is still young and relatively inexperienced so I think it maybe Vince's idea to let him commentate as much as possible and get a bit more experienced, which I can agree with.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:23 AM
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It was really, really good commentary that actually makes me want to watch SmackDown more. I can't remember if it was the Kalisto/ADR match or the Ambrose/Owens, match, but there was a spot where he said "Corner clothesline to the trachea!" I was thinking how we would NEVER get that on Raw. When Cole calls a move, it's either when it's a signature/finisher move, or he'll say something stupid like "X JUST BLASTS Y!" Maura was straight to the point, called the action, called the moves, emphasized history, emphasized how a certain body part was being worked on, and it was just great. The reports are that he'll be working the Rumble too and that's something I can get behind.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:08 PM
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Smackdown commentary was brilliant. Perfect mix of styles, Even tho i hate byron he seemed less annoying then usual maybe it was because JBL wasn't barking at him like a dog but instead we got the return of heel king. And he was perfect. At the beginning of the show and throughout it i was questioning is king heel again? And by the diva's title match when king was saying all those things about the flairs i thought this is brilliant. It felt like an old school type commentary team. Mauro Ranallo did a great job as being lead commentator i see bright things on smackdown. Maybe not so much the ratings but it sure is already much more enjoyable with a good commentating team.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:03 PM
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Default

If anything it's a step in the right direction. I don't think they would have brought in Ranallo if the idea was to only try out traditional commentary with Smackdown. This is a permanent change that will help make Smackdown unique.

It sucks that we're almost calling something a stroke of genius that should just be a given. An intelligent, insightful, and interesting guy calling the action, with a heelish guy working colour commentary. That should just be how it is. I remember when Beast in the East happened and Saxton and Cole just called the action and everyone loved it as if it were a revolutionary idea. And good for the people who loved it, you're not wrong.

I hope they don't scare away Ranallo. Foley and others have left commentary do to interference from on high, so hopefully history doesn't repeat itself. Smackdown is often criticized for being Raw Rebound and otherwise inconsequential, so hopefully this is the beginning of something new.

It would be nice for this commentary choice being indicative of Smackdown becoming the wrestling show, while Raw stays the entertainment show (too bad both can't be wrestling shows, but that's another story, for another thread).

Mauro is great, Lawler is relevant again, Saxton plays off of what's around him, so being around quality then monkey will see, will do. Hopefully this is the beginning of something great.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:44 PM
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I watched SD for the first time in forever as well, just to see how this would turn out and I was pleasantly surprised. Ranallo is a bit of okay, much better than bloody JBL who talks about everything other than what happens in the ring during the match.

Was surprised to see Lawler being an ass, but it was a refreshing change, and why is Saxton on SD, I thought Booker T was. That's how long it's been since I watched it.

The thing that surprised me more than anything and I said this on the LD thread. At one point during the show, my husband, who I thought wasn't watching as he usually doesn't, turned to me and said "The Mauro guy has to calm his tits." Totally stunned both my son and I as my husband never talks like that, I talk like that, he wouldn't say shit if he had a mouthful. So from now on Ranallo will be called The Mauro in this house. I'm still sore from laughing.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:07 AM
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I was very impressed by Mauro Ranallo. He called the action in the ring and sounded like a professional. He is the perfect play-by-play commentator.

Jerry Lawler also did a nice job. If they ever let him go back to being a heel (full-time), this could be one of the best commentary teams of all time.

Also, Byron Saxton was just there. I honestly didn't realize he was. I prefer the two-man commentary teams anyways.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestSportsEntertainer View Post
I was very impressed by Mauro Ranallo. He called the action in the ring and sounded like a professional. He is the perfect play-by-play commentator.

Jerry Lawler also did a nice job. If they ever let him go back to being a heel (full-time), this could be one of the best commentary teams of all time.

Also, Byron Saxton was just there. I honestly didn't realize he was. I prefer the two-man commentary teams anyways.
Totally agree with this. Never fully understood the 3 man commentary team and don't like Saxton as a commentator. Can't wait for the day Graves moves to a main commentary team. He is an excellent heel commentator.
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