Examples of when commentators needed to be put out to pasture?

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by SwanSong, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. SwanSong

    SwanSong Dark Match Jobber

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2019
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    I started this conversation in a different thread but really wanted to get more people's input.

    All performers have a shelf lives and for various different reasons inevitably there comes a time when a star needs to be put out to pasture.

    With commentators it seems even harder for fans to accept when it is time for one to move on.

    This is because commentators not only have way more tv time every week, so they have more time for fans to get attached, but their voices also serve as the soundtrack for all your favorite childhood memories and epic matches you will never forget.

    But the truth is that they, like everybody else, eventually need to move on but I'm curious if anybody has an exact moment (or more realisticly a period of time) that you realized that one of your favorites was no longer as great as he once was. Or

    In the original conversation that sparked this discussion, somebody talked about how stupid WCW was for taking Bobby Heenan off commentator.

    My response was that by 2000 Bobby Heenan was a shell of The Brain that was all love and remember fondly. In all three of his autobiographies, Bobby talks about how by the end of his run in WCW it was literally just a paycheck and his passion was gone (and you could hear it in his work) this combined with his failing health meant that WCW really had to remove him from the booth (unfortunately they didn't have anybody good to replace him).

    Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are remembered by an entire generation as the best commentating team ever. But in recent years whenever WWE brings Jerry in now the Royal Rumble Match or to do a preshow panel, he just comes off like a parody of himself and now anytime JR commentates anything, social media lights up blasting him for being unprepared and just out of touch with the business.

    I would be interested in hearing your memories of when you knew it was time for an announcer to call it a career (please don't include current commentators that you don't like. If they are still employed by a major company they don't fit this topic).

    Thanks for reading this and curious to hear your feedback
     
    tdmoon and @smarkmouth like this.
  2. Garak

    Garak Pre-Show Stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    23
    My view with respect to Bobby Heenan in WCW was that the working environment is what made Bobby Heenan a shell of what he once was. Having Madden basically take all his heel steam was ruinous. Schiavone's pettiness was ruinous. No wonder Heenan phoned it in. Most people who worked in WCW did the same thing. Look at Taz. When in TNA, he was a shell of what he once was.

    Everyone loses a step, and everyone has a time to move on. Jerry Lawler was better in another era, sure. He can't do what he does best. We can blame Vince all we want, but times change. J.R. brings passion to the business. Sure, he's missed some steps. Yes, Vince doesn't want J.R.'s style any longer. Irrespective of the fault, be it Vince's demands or just incompetent commentators, what we have now behind the mic doesn't add interest to the show. If I can watch the show on mute and not lose anything, that's the problem.

    Some old commentators certainly should move on or have moved on. The saddest thing now is the only two people actually competent in commentary in WWE are Michael Cole and Vince himself.
     
  3. BagFace

    BagFace New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of mine would be Jerry Lawler post 2008. He was bad. Plain and simple. Remember his time during “celebrity hosts era” Raw? Dreadful. His recent appearance at the rumble was cringeworthy. He wasn’t always bad. Again, anything after the year 2008, week in/week out, he has proved he should just hang it up.
     
  4. Jeff Deliverer of Mail

    Jeff Deliverer of Mail Money for nothin, chicks for free

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,429
    Likes Received:
    637
  5. BigDaddyKewl

    BigDaddyKewl Getting Noticed By Management

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    56
    I still think a 70 year old Lawler is head and shoulders better then Saxton and Graves but that’s for another discussion.
    Gorilla Monsoon was an iconic commentator during the 80s and early 90s calling some of the early Wrestlemanias. Who can forget some of his great quotes like “The Irresistable Force vs the Immovable Object”. He had some great color commentators to play off of like Jesse Ventura and Bobby Heenan.
    However during the early 90s they were trying to phase out some of the stars from the 80s with the “New Generation” direction they were taking. Vince McMahon took over and really was the head play by play in the early to mid 90s. ​
     
  6. Goldie

    Goldie Getting Noticed By Management

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    41
    I think it was Heenans book where he claimed that Schivone deliberately hid knowledge from his fellow commentators to hold an advantage for on air discussions - who knows why co-commentating has to be so competitive, though it was well known Bobby didn't get on with Schivone.
    In his 2004 Hall of Fame speech, and despite having had recent surgery for throat cancer, Bobbys speech was the highlight of the night, and he had the audience in the palm of his hands with his wit and humour.
    He wasn't the only one to be disillusioned with WCW by 1999.... many people were phoning it in.

    As for Lawler, I'm in agreement. In fact I think he was at his best as a heel co-commentator circa 1995-97. Aside from his hiatus in 2001 when he quit because WWE fired his then wife.... Lawler had been around so long he became synonmous with the product- and seemed to be in auto pilot for years. Whilst I still enjoyed him, my point was that he had long lost his cutting edge, He was funnier as a heel calling the action.
     
    tdmoon likes this.
  7. Aquaman6686

    Aquaman6686 Mid-Card Championship Winner

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,843
    Likes Received:
    259
    Jim Ross, from pretty much the minute he showed up. He was never a tenth as good as people made him out to be, and I've never in my life heard an announcer who makes as many mistakes on-air as JR did. In particular, his problem remembering the names of signatures and finishers.
     
  8. Bernard de Hattrix

    Bernard de Hattrix Dark Match Jobber

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    I agree that Jim Ross, as an announcer, was vastly overrated. While not a bad broadcaster by any stretch, my problem with Ross was his over-reliance on particular euphemisms ("whipped like a government mule," "This one's going to be a slobberknocker," "Stone Cold Stone Cold Stone Cold Stone Cold Stone Cold Stone Cold Stone Cold," you all know the one's I'm talking about).

    Even more annoying was his stubborn fixation on football where we were reminded of what Coach Bobby Bowden thought of Ron Simmons on so many occasions, I couldn't possibly count all of them and the time when he spent over five minutes relating a particular game the Florida Seminoles had on an early-90s WCW pay-per-view. There were times that I almost had the feeling Ross would have rather been seated at the 50 yard line for any college football event than at ringside calling a wrestling pay-per-view.

    Another announcer you can add to the list of overrated guys not worth the cost of a used tuxedo who should have been put out to pasture long before he was was Gordon Solie. I never understood why he was so adored by a generation of wrestling fans. This chain smoking gimp was as dry and uninteresting as they came, his attempts at hyperbole often detracted from the magnitude of events which he called, and he had to say "no question about it" 150 times in every single match he called. I thought it was quite generous of WCW to keep him on the payroll for as long as they did, before he resigned in 1995 on the night he was treated to a surprise induction into the WCW hall of fame because he didn't agree with the creative team's decision to induct Angelo Poffo.
     
  9. Bernard de Hattrix

    Bernard de Hattrix Dark Match Jobber

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    Heenan was completely full of shit in his book, at least as it regarded Schiavone. They were actually close friends while in WCW, all the announcers were, but when Heenan was released toward the end of their run, Schiavone was specifically instructed by the front office not to communicate with him. Heenan was expecting a call of support from a friend that never came, and he took it as an affront and was always deeply critical about Schiavone after that.
     
  10. Goldie

    Goldie Getting Noticed By Management

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    41
    Yes the 2001 Rumble! Austin won it.... and JR kept saying 'Stone Cold, Stone Cold, Stone Cold' over and over and over and over again, with nothing in between. He had a very croaky voice by that late point in the night too.

    JR was a decent commentator but I always preferred Gorilla & Heenan to JR & Lawler
     
  11. FromGlasgowScotland

    FromGlasgowScotland Dark Match Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    15
    I completely disagree, Here in the UK we have a lot of long term commentators of different sports some I can think of even lasting over 50 years. I understand athletes having a shelf life as your body slows down as we age but your voice or passion doesn't have to slow down, The two main examples given here are Jerry Lawler and Bobby Heenan, Lawler probably can't say 90% of what he used to say due to todays political correctness and I feel most lost their passion working for WCW not just Heenan.
    If still alive I would still gladly take Heenan/Monsoon or JR/Lawler or Vince Mchahon/Jesse Ventura or even others like Tony Schivionne, Joey Styles, Gordon Solie over anyone today.
    I don't want to go on about how wrestling back in the day was better because I believe the commentary today could be a lot better if it were more natural and not so scripted and false sounding and talked more about the match happening in front of them and less about adverts for websites and the network, As well as all the phrases that are so heavily banned that we all know about recently in WWE.
     
    tdmoon likes this.
  12. d_henderson1810

    d_henderson1810 Mid-Card Championship Winner

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    314
    I would say Corey Graves.

    I say this, because, sometimes, I get the impression on certain talent that he has a personal issue with them, and then lets that come through on his commentary.

    He often bags Sasha Banks. The problem is, he seems to talk like he generally hates her, as opposed to most of the talent, who he doesn't bag as much.

    I wonder if he asked out Sasha at one stage, she turned him down and his response was "Bitch, never liked you anyway" like a petulant child.

    He doesn't get stuck into other women as much as her, and seems to target her specifically.

    Another one I get the feeling Corey doesn't like is Elias. He seems to not want to walk with Elias, and criticizes him, whether Elias plays a face or a heel. He constantly runs down Elias and his talent, in a way that makes me thinks he means it, and actually does not like him.

    I remember a feud between Elias and Jason Jordan. Corey, a heel commentator, sided with Jordan (a face) over Elias (a heel). I read somewhere that Jordan is friends with Corey. But Corey couldn't put aside his personal axes to grind, be professional, and call the matches and competitors that fits his role.

    Besides, Corey is ONLY a commentator because his wrestling career ended prematurely, and he still has a contract, and Vince would rather have talent work off contracts than pay them to sit out their contract, even if they suck as a commentator.
     
  13. d_henderson1810

    d_henderson1810 Mid-Card Championship Winner

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    314

    I liked Lawler best as a commentator when he was in full heel mode, berating Bret Hart and co, and his mouth would then lead to a confrontation against said target in a match.

    Later on, he started caring about being liked and cheered, and played a watered-down face commentator, who would echo what J.R. was saying, instead of being a point of difference.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"