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GOAT commentator  

61 members have voted

  1. 1. Well?

    • Jim Ross
      17
    • Lance Russell
      31
    • Gordon Solie
      3
    • Kent Walton
      0
    • Vince McMahon
      4
    • Gorilla Monsoon
      2
    • Tony Schiavone
      1
    • Bob Caudle
      1
    • Mike Tenay
      0
    • Other (specify in thread)
      2


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I'm interested to see who would win this poll here, and what reasons people will give.

 

The emphasis here is on BEST not favourite. Some criteria:

 

- Importance to promotion

- Effectiveness at getting over talent

- Effectiveness at getting over storylines and angles

- Ability to enhance matches with their calls

- Voice, can't be underestimated

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In my lifetime and experience of watching things live, Jim Ross pretty much had it all. He excelled in meeting all of that criteria, and managed to do so overcoming personal struggles with his BP. I have made my views on the Attitude Era pretty clear, but during that time, of both companies, he was far and away the best guy.

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Though I saw little of it growing up, from my viewing experience over the years I find I can't imagine anyone but Lance Russell calling Memphis as effectively.

 

To that end, mention Memphis and I think of Lawler, then Dundee, and then Russell. I don't think there is another promotion that I can say I would think of their announcer within the top three "first thought" people I associate with it.

 

So I went with Lance.

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I'd say in terms of importance to the promotion, I can certainly see the case for Russell over Ross, but I voted for JR based on being superior in the other criteria.

 

I think Bill Watts was a very good commentator also, though not on the list.

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I voted for Caudle but I didn't read the rules first. He still checks the boxes for me and is vastly underrated, IMO, but I don't think he was important to the promotion like Lance Russell (who would be my revised pick). Lance played his role as "put upon announcer trying to do his job and get through a show with no incidents" to a tee.

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I voted Vince...

 

He has the voice and inflection/cadance, he has the intimate knowledge of every wrestler and storyline that he was booking and pushing so nobody knew who and what needed to be pushed more than him. He was a great straight man for Jesse, Bobby, King, Perfect, etc. He could sell big time moments and was just about as vital to his promotion in 1994-1997 as anyone else. His commentary helped make Bret, Michaels, Austin and others seem big during a very down time. His call at Wm13 for Bret/Austin was fantastic and has had just as many memorable soundbytes as anyone else as well.

 

The only thing he lacked at times was calling moves out and in ring psychology (best left to the color guy anyway), but that wasn't listed in the criteria.

 

Vince 4 Life!

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Ross could be absolutely grating at times as early as in WCW (damn, those football references), and became a total parody of himself past the Attitude Era. Could be great at times. Could also be fucking annoying. I think the fact the announcing has been rotten in WWE for so long now kinda makes people romanticize how "great" he was in the early 00's.

 

Anyway. From what I've seen of Memphis (quite a bit), Lance Russel just was the best ever.

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Ross could be absolutely grating at times as early as in WCW (damn, those football references), and became a total parody of himself past the Attitude Era. Could be great at times. Could also be fucking annoying. I think the fact the announcing has been rotten in WWE for so long now kinda makes people romanticize how "great" he was in the early 00's.

 

Anyway. From what I've seen of Memphis (quite a bit), Lance Russel just was the best ever.

 

Oh shit, I usually avoid making 'THIS' posts like the sun, but you've taken so many words out of my mouth I'm stumped. So, yeah I agree. Nothing else to offer.

 

 

 

THIS

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Ross could be absolutely grating at times as early as in WCW (damn, those football references), and became a total parody of himself past the Attitude Era. Could be great at times. Could also be fucking annoying. I think the fact the announcing has been rotten in WWE for so long now kinda makes people romanticize how "great" he was in the early 00's.

 

Anyway. From what I've seen of Memphis (quite a bit), Lance Russel just was the best ever.

 

Oh shit, I usually avoid making 'THIS' posts like the sun, but you've taken so many words out of my mouth I'm stumped. So, yeah I agree. Nothing else to offer.

 

 

 

THIS

 

 

I also hate doing it but, yeah, THIS.

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I voted Vince...

 

He has the voice and inflection/cadance, he has the intimate knowledge of every wrestler and storyline that he was booking and pushing so nobody knew who and what needed to be pushed more than him. He was a great straight man for Jesse, Bobby, King, Perfect, etc. He could sell big time moments and was just about as vital to his promotion in 1994-1997 as anyone else. His commentary helped make Bret, Michaels, Austin and others seem big during a very down time. His call at Wm13 for Bret/Austin was fantastic and has had just as many memorable soundbytes as anyone else as well.

 

The only thing he lacked at times was calling moves out and in ring psychology (best left to the color guy anyway), but that wasn't listed in the criteria.

 

Vince 4 Life!

This is an excellent post on Vince. Not saying he's my pick, but I'd add to it by saying that that Vince was also really good back before the expansion through the 70s and early 80s, either working on his own or with any number of accented colour men, mostly Bruno but also Pat Patterson or Tony Garea on occassion.

 

Up until Montreal Vince had been on air as a major commentator for over 20 years.

 

Oh and his pre-show shills for PPVs in the 80s were sensational, y'know when he'd run down the cards.

 

---------

 

I'm interested that Solie isn't getting more votes. I wonder if this exact same poll over at Classics would yield different results or not. I'm not a member of Classics, but it might be interesting to see what the crowd over there would vote and what they'd say.

 

Also, who voted for Schiavone?!

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Lance Russell is the man. I know it's kinda cliche to say but his call of the Lawler/Funk Empty Arena angle may be the finest call of all time. How he juggles contempt, sympathy, disbelief and professionalism at the same time is masterful

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Definitely Lance Russell.

 

So, add me to the ''THIS" list, because I find Ross incredibly grating. Been watching '90/91 WCW lately and thinking he is just terrible.

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With Jim Ross in WCW, what Chad and I have found across many cards is that he can be annoying and grating and even snarky or down on the match during the undercard, especially a shitty undercard, and then he comes alive for the big main events. Ross's real value was in getting across the historical importance of big title matches and making them feel like the most important thing in the entire world. He is great in all the big marquee Flair matches. When it's time for Big Josh, not so much.

 

I think this is Ross's big weakness as an announcer is that you can basically tell when he wasn't engaged himself as a wrestling fan. He doesn't bury undercard fodder, but you can tell he doesn't care about it and he does nothing at all to make it any more enjoyable either.

 

Almost the flipside is Gorilla Monsoon who comes into his own and really starts earning his money during those crappy undercard matches where -- even if he's not exactly getting the action or the match over -- he's keeping things entertaining for you to make the shit watchable. Especially if Jesse or Bobby were with him. Gorilla did that stuff very well, and in a way that Ross was never able to, not even when he had Lawler to play off. When Ventura tries to push him into that stuff during undercard matches in 92, Ross resists.

 

So there are really two versions of Jim Ross. Main event Ross is one of the best commentators of all time, he really is. Undercard Ross is a lot of the things El-P talked about.

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One thing I will say for Ross is that I think he's probably still the most valuable free agent in wrestling in the sense that I know a lot of casual fan friends and acquaintances who cite his departure as the reason they don't watch any more. For better or worse JR is a guy people identify as a big time announcer who makes shows and big moments what they are.

 

Having said that Lance is the easy pick. I discuss why on a recent edition of Titans Extra, but I think he had a very hard job, was incredible at it, and had unbelievable value to his promotion.

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It's easy to pick out Ross' flaws, but most announcers get annoying after a while. Walton had his Waltonisms that grate on you after a couple of hundred matches, and Russell would prattle on about the same old stuff, his intonation like a drunken slur.

 

The newest commentator I've been listening to is Roger Couderc, who didn't know anything about wrestling but was unbelievably biased towards the babyfaces. Plus he got into fights with ringsiders and the occasional wrestler.

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The big demerit against Vince for me is the persistent cheerleading for the heels he did on SNME. Jesse did well against that and looks better in hindsight, but he didn't need any help there. Vince comes off a little better in the mid-90's but I didn't like him at the time. I can stand it now though. I actually wish there was a way he would come back. With the right booking it could work.

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Lance didn't sound drunk. You want drunk listen to Solie doing the opening matches at Starrcade 83. You think he was wasted during the main event matches, shit...he was sobering up during those. During the opening matches he's fucking shitfaced

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