I think it’s a safe assessment of wrestling to say that fans who are watching at home enjoy the performances a lot less when the commentary is sub-par. It’s hard to truly enjoy what you’re seeing if a Michael Cole or a Jim Ross isn’t quite selling it to you in the way that they should. There’s sometimes a complete lack of passion, which reflects on the wrestling itself and thus on the fans watching on TV. Thinking back to some of wrestling’s most iconic matches, chances are you can recite the exact commentary said during the many highlights. “Good god, he killed him” anyone?
I’m not saying that commentating hours upon hours of live action is an easy task, especially when you’re employed by a company like WWE. The action can become rather repetitive and even the greatest of sports commentators might lose their interest after the first six hours. Maybe it’s time for wrestling promotions to start seeking the services of some of their talent to occasionally fill in for the play-by-plays?
Professional wrestlers have proven in the past that they can easily transition from the ring to the announcers desk. Currently, you’d find the likes of Chris Jericho and Samoa Joe stepping up to the mic to commentate episodes of RAW and Dynamite, it’s refreshing to hear some new insights and outlooks on the action to help keep things interesting without a crowd in attendance. Both have been accepted by fans as potential future commentators, once their in-ring careers wind down. This begs the question, who else from today’s industry could make the same leap?
We’re running down 5 potential future commentators from today’s litany of wrestling stars, some from WWE, NXT and AEW. Make sure you jot down your own thoughts in the comments below. Who would you like to see step up to the booth in the next few years?
1. The Miz
In order to be a good commentator, you need a certain level of acting skills to help put across that raw emotion in the middle of a match. Who better than the Hollywood A-Lister himself to help bring some character back to the announce booth?
The Miz has filled in for commentators in the past to relative success, he’s been able to slip into the role of the antagonist as well as the supportive babyface on play-by-play. Miz plays all sides of the field to perfection while showing a keen knowledge of the art of pro wrestling, something you definitely need as a commentator in today’s culture.
I would love to see The Miz ham it up at the commentator’s desk to help put over an up and coming heel star. Similar to how Michael Cole once helped forge Miz’s own star by being his sole fan on the commentators table, a fad which was quite possibly Cole’s greatest work to date.
Whether you like the guy or not, Miz is charisma embodied.
2. Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno
I always find that the best commentators are those that genuinely enjoy what they’re watching. It’s hard not to find someone in the industry that cares but quite frankly there’s always some that seem to be more of a fan than others. When I think of wrestlers that come across like as much of a big kid as I am, I immediately think of Chris Hero/Kassius Ohno.
Hero has spent his life dedicated to the art of wrestling, mastering many different styles and adapting himself to become the best storyteller/performer on any given roster. Now that Hero has stepped away from NXT and back into his independent roots, you might think that this is the perfect opportunity for Hero to explore other avenues in the wrestling world.
Commentary might be a great place for Hero to find his own once again, with the occasional in-ring performance to remind everyone that he can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Hero could really hype up the intricacies of a match and help develop the story through his own expertise.
Whether the ‘Wrestling Genius’ ends up in AEW or another big-time indie promotion, they should certainly considering using the Ohio native to boost their commentary credibility.
3. Sami Zayn
Another character that could easily slot himself onto one of the announcer’s chairs, Sami Zayn has become quite the remarkable heel on the main roster, letting his inner pest shine through the darling babyface he once was. Much like Ohno, Sami is a genuine fan of all things wrestling and has a fantastic mind for the business. Watching him inspect the finer details of his peers matches would be a real treat to listen to.
Sami could amp up the villainous attitude even more as the modern day Bobby Heenan, really grating on his babyface colleagues as he rants and raves in support of his chosen favourites. With Zayn sliding down the totem pole since vacating the Intercontinental Championship due to inactivity, one might think that the ‘Underdog from the Underground’ might start seeking other ventures in his WWE career.
If anything, a run on the commentators desk could do wonders for his in-ring career, giving him some fresh feuds and a new lease on life to work with upon his in-ring return.
4. Xavier Woods
The New Day’s Xavier Woods is more than capable in the ring, and upon return from his time on the injured reserve list, he should immediately resume his position in the tag division. However, one thing that might be of benefit to the young Woods could be a transition to the commentators booth.
Samoa Joe has really shined as part of the RAW broadcast team, making the most of his downtime and making sure nobody forgets that he exists. With Woods’ injury time slowly coming to an end, this could be a great way of reintroducing him to the scene.
Xavier has made quite the name for himself as part of his YouTube channel, giving him plenty of experience in commentating his own content and even his own fantasy wrestling show alongside Tyler Breeze. There may be no superstar more prepared to make the jump than Xavier Woods.
5. Triple H
NXT has seen several of its head honchos make an appearance on the commentary table: William Regal and Matt Bloom have both had a go at sharing their expertise and insight to all of the PC graduates, making them all seem like superstars as they rose through the ranks to main roster prominence. One man who seems to have done his best to avoid commentary is none other than the big man himself, Triple H.
I’d love to see Triple H prove to everyone just how passionate he is about the future of sports entertainment. His baby, NXT, has become a beast of its own, something that I’m sure even ‘The King of Kings’ never predicted. Whenever he’s among the fans, he’s having the time of his life, and if you’ve ever taken the time to watch one of his post-TakeOver Facebook chats, you can tell he’s enjoying the action just as much as we are.
Getting to see him channel his inner mark on the commentators table would be a fantastic addition to the NXT broadcast. Who would turn down hearing Triple H shed some knowledge on a weekly basis? Even if he’s treated like a Jim Ross, where he’s only carted out for the big shows, it would be a big nod to the cards and those featured on them.
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