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TravJ1979

Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

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We don't have an unpopular opinion thread or else I would put this there. However, the last few years I have been watching a lot of old footage both in WWF & WCW. It's what I'm into. A lot of late 80's & early 90's stuff up through the Monday Night War.

I just want to say, Bobby the Brain Heenan fucking sucks on commentary. I can not stand him. My rose-colored nostalgia glasses for him are off. For a long time, it was the common sentiment that he was either the greatest color guy or at least in the convo for top three. He does not hold up for me at all.

For awhile, I thought "eh, he just sucks in WCW because he's half-assing it or drunk." It's not just WCW, he sucks in WWF too, even when working with Gorilla. The majority of the time he's trying to be funny, trying to get himself over & burying the in-ring talent... and his jokes... miss. 

I know a lot of people will specifically point to his Royal Rumble call when Ric Flair came in at #3 and even that was grating my nerves. Shit like him in WCW just screaming "OHHH!" when someone does a move, in pretty much every fucking match, just makes me roll my eyes.

He was an all-timer of a manager, a pretty good mouthpiece in that regard as well & a decent worker. I can not stand him as a color commentator & Jesse Ventura is better than him in every way in that regard. It's just the color commentator role, really. Like when he's doing WWF talk shows, he's fine. I just hate him calling matches.

I just wanted to put it in writing.

 

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33 minutes ago, Coffey said:

Jesse Ventura is better than him in every way in that regard.

I recently watched the Wrestling Classic. I wouldn't recommend it except that Ventura is just off the charts great through the whole thing. He's a heel, but he's always right. And there's just something about the way he says "Gorilla." They really did us a disservice when they had him edited off the tapes.

You might be right about Heenan. I remember getting pretty annoyed at him in that Rumble, and I was shocked to see it talked about as an all-time announcing performance.

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1 hour ago, Coffey said:

 

I just want to say, Bobby the Brain Heenan fucking sucks on commentary....

... I can not stand him as a color commentator & Jesse Ventura is better than him in every way in that regard. It's just the color commentator role, really. 

 

What do you think of Lord Alfred Hayes? I like listening to him.

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11 minutes ago, TheDuke said:

What do you think of Lord Alfred Hayes? I like listening to him.

Lord Alfred Hayes and Sean Mooney are an underrated commentary duo. Yes, I'm completely serious. They were the voices of Prime Time Wrestling (during the matches) and they always had great rapport together.

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I love Bobby but Jesse has become underrated. I did a rewatch of 87-89 Superstars and Jesse and Vince were such a key part of that formula working and keeping all the squashes interesting, specifically Jesse, because the show was never the same after he left. Something like  a Duggan squash was guaranteed entertainment with Jesse on the mic.

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WCW Jesse may actually have been a bigger decline than WCW Bobby. Talk about a guy who just plain stopped giving a shit. He was good in moments, but also really bad in others, and he didn't have that personal, legitimate animosity with guys like Sting or Flair that added so much to his calls of Hogan matches.

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So Tony Khan appeared on WOL and basically confirmed that he was the one who started the infamous DVDVR sleaze thread 

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6 hours ago, Coffey said:

We don't have an unpopular opinion thread or else I would put this there. However, the last few years I have been watching a lot of old footage both in WWF & WCW. It's what I'm into. A lot of late 80's & early 90's stuff up through the Monday Night War.

I just want to say, Bobby the Brain Heenan fucking sucks on commentary. I can not stand him. My rose-colored nostalgia glasses for him are off. For a long time, it was the common sentiment that he was either the greatest color guy or at least in the convo for top three. He does not hold up for me at all.

For awhile, I thought "eh, he just sucks in WCW because he's half-assing it or drunk." It's not just WCW, he sucks in WWF too, even when working with Gorilla. The majority of the time he's trying to be funny, trying to get himself over & burying the in-ring talent... and his jokes... miss. 

I know a lot of people will specifically point to his Royal Rumble call when Ric Flair came in at #3 and even that was grating my nerves. Shit like him in WCW just screaming "OHHH!" when someone does a move, in pretty much every fucking match, just makes me roll my eyes.

He was an all-timer of a manager, a pretty good mouthpiece in that regard as well & a decent worker. I can not stand him as a color commentator & Jesse Ventura is better than him in every way in that regard. It's just the color commentator role, really. Like when he's doing WWF talk shows, he's fine. I just hate him calling matches.

I just wanted to put it in writing.

 

Yes, I definitely agree with this. Bobby was just too much about getting his shtick in on commentary, and it actively detracted from a lot of the matches. Him and Gorilla 'shit on everything' Monsoon are the most overrated announce team ever and Jesse does indeed smoke Heenan in the booth.

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My big issue with Bobby Heenan has always been that I've never seen a promo from him that really hyped me to see a match. I say that while also realizing that he was immensely talented of course. I love his bumping and he's as quick witted as anyone. I'm open to the idea that his AWA work reveals someone who was better at doing serious promos than I have seen, but his really special talent seemed to be adding to matches as a ringside second.

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I thought Heenan put over Goldberg well in WCW, and I dont even like Goldberg. He seemed to have more enthusiasm for him than Schiavone OR Tenay, and his joy when Goldberg won the title was a great moment. It's a shame Heenan had voice and health issues starting in the early 2000s, if he had been able to be there to do commentary for Goldberg's first WWE run, it may have helped him.

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I always cracked up at his stories about people coming up to him in airports and only wanting to talk about Eddy Guerrero or Alex Wright or whoever. That must have been a real drag because he always vented about it on commentary.

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6 hours ago, C.S. said:

Lord Alfred Hayes and Sean Mooney are an underrated commentary duo. Yes, I'm completely serious. They were the voices of Prime Time Wrestling (during the matches) and they always had great rapport together.

While I do agree they made a good duo, the problem was that they never got the chance to commentate over any major angles or title changes. While I understand why (by 89-90, the WWF had pretty much conditioned their fans to have major angles/ title changes only happen on PPV, or the occasional SNME or Superstars, where Mooney and Hayes didnt commentate), I would have liked to see how they would have put over something that actually mattered.

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Wait, Jesse being better than Heenan on commentary is a controversial hot take? I always thought so as a kid. (I still liked Heenan though.)

28 minutes ago, JRH said:

While I do agree they made a good duo, the problem was that they never got the chance to commentate over any major angles or title changes. While I understand why (by 89-90, the WWF had pretty much conditioned their fans to have major angles/ title changes only happen on PPV, or the occasional SNME or Superstars, where Mooney and Hayes didnt commentate), I would have liked to see how they would have put over something that actually mattered.

That's definitely true, but I also think commentating a bunch of random matches is precisely what made them so fun and loose, like two fans who were polar opposites just sitting back and shooting the shit.

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Guys like Heenan and Lawler weren't the most informative commentators but I found them entertaining. They made the telecast enjoyable to sit through since they typically had such good rapport with their co-commentators so it would lighten the mood and make the product more palatable. This was especially important because they had to call a lot of awful Pro Wrestling matches. Even before he was replaced on Nitro with Madden, Heenan was one of the few aspects of the show I found enjoyable.

In contrast, today's commentary is just so expository that it makes it laborious to listen to. There's rarely any excitement in the commentary because these poor guys have a job to do and have to get a hundred points across in the match. It's why the only team that I find enjoyable to listen to is Excalibur and Taz. Excalibur is obviously very passionate about what he's calling, but he's got Taz there to bounce off of which makes Dark a far more entertaining show than it should be.

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Ventura > Heenan > Lawler

When Ventura was replaced with Heenan in WCW, I felt the announcing dropped quite a bit. Sure, Heenan was entertaining, but Ventura came off so *smart* and wasn't a one-liner machine. Lawler was always a mix of entertaining a-la Heenan and cringe (especially later on in the Attitude Era). Post 2001 Lawler is worthless once he basically stopped doing the heel stuff and became just another WWE drone.

23 minutes ago, Big Pete said:

It's why the only team that I find enjoyable to listen to is Excalibur and Taz. Excalibur is obviously very passionate about what he's calling, but he's got Taz there to bounce off of which makes Dark a far more entertaining show than it should be.

I really enjoy them together for that reason too. That's why Matthews & Callis and then Matthews & Rayne were such a fun announcing team, no matter how dull Matthews could sound off its own, their interactions made the show sooo easy to watch and always fun no matter if the actual pro-wrestling wasn't the best. With Striker & D-Lo, my enjoyment of IMPACT has really dropped sadly (the irony, just as they are doing the cool interpromotionnal matches, it would have been so much more fun with Matthews/Rayne and or Callis), that's how much a great little announcing team can do.

The obsession with three men booth without a real color guy doesn't do anyone any favor. I enjoy AEW's announcing mostly because Excalibur is really good and I love to hear Schiavone mark out to the current stuff, but JR is just not any good most of the time (he still has flashes, but they are rarer than his fuck-ups). They had Shawn Spears on Dark once and he was actually excellent on heel-color, I wouldn't mind having him on that role. Taz rules, of course.

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7 hours ago, JRH said:

I thought Heenan put over Goldberg well in WCW, and I dont even like Goldberg. He seemed to have more enthusiasm for him than Schiavone OR Tenay, and his joy when Goldberg won the title was a great moment. It's a shame Heenan had voice and health issues starting in the early 2000s, if he had been able to be there to do commentary for Goldberg's first WWE run, it may have helped him.

I always loved how he would joke about how terrible he was during Goldberg matches. "Oh yeah, I had a 149 in a row, of course there was a 0 before that." 

I also thought the smug victory tour he took right after Hogan turned heel. On my WCW rewatches there are also times he really smartly weaves his history in with guys. Like he would talk about how he used to manage the Faces of Fear and how he ended up just dropping them because they were too hard to deal with. 

Or we just watched Bash at the Beach 1997 and he actually called back to the Survivor Series 92 match with Hennig/Savage vs. Flair/Razor during the DDP/Hennig vs Hall/Savage match. 

Or I used to love how he would hype up James Vandenberg. He was bad a lot in WCW but he has these moments where he would really lay down some context and backstory to things. 

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Now with Lawler, there are two Lawlers. There's Memphis Lawler who I think is actually awesome on commentary and really tosses good jabs in there and isn't obnoxious in a bad way. Then there's pervy old man WWE Lawler screaming about tits all day. 

Though I will say. I loved that JR and Lawler were a team. They might make fun of each other and argue on air but if a wrestler fucked with one of them Lawler was going to beat your ass or JR was going to break a jar of candy over your head. Likewise I love that angle in Georgia where Piper went after Muraco for fucking with Solie. 

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I've never heard Jerry's Memphis stuff to compare, but I still found him to be very entertaining right up until he left the company in 2001. I thought his call of the Three Stages of Hell match in particular just added to the spectacle of the match.

I'm sure Schiavone is glad to be back in Pro Wrestling and I'm glad to see him back, but sometimes it seems all he does is shill the product and it can ring so false at times. I'm not sure if it's because he's struggling to get a word in edgewise or not but at times he sounds so disingenuous. I'd still take him over Marvez everyday of the week though.

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21 minutes ago, Big Pete said:

I'm sure Schiavone is glad to be back in Pro Wrestling and I'm glad to see him back, but sometimes it seems all he does is shill the product and it can ring so false at times. I'm not sure if it's because he's struggling to get a word in edgewise or not but at times he sounds so disingenuous. I'd still take him over Marvez everyday of the week though.

I generally like Tony in AEW, but there are several times throughout every episode of Dynamite where he sounds like ADR. It's usually between matches and when he's hyping what's to come, so maybe it really a dub that they're inserting if it's not a live broadcast.. But if not, his cadence just gets really weird.

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On 2/24/2021 at 8:52 AM, PeteF3 said:

WCW Jesse may actually have been a bigger decline than WCW Bobby. Talk about a guy who just plain stopped giving a shit. He was good in moments, but also really bad in others, and he didn't have that personal, legitimate animosity with guys like Sting or Flair that added so much to his calls of Hogan matches.

Really? I love WCW Jesse. He had tremendous chemistry with Schiavone and personal, legitimate animosity with Ross. I can't think of a moment where he was bad. I love Heenan, but he had zero charisma with Schiavone. I feel like different people want different things from their commentators. It's almost like folks having different tastes in their standup comedians. I like Vince by himself. I hate him later on. I like Gorilla with Heenan. I hate him with anyone else. I love Jesse with everybody. I'm indifferent towards Solie. I have a love/hate relationship with JR. I adore Lance Russell and Kent Walton. I can't stand Akira Fukuzawa, but I love David Crockett. I also have a soft spot for Bob Caudle. We've had Spanish speakers in the past shit on Dr. Alfonso Morales and some of the lucha commentators. Announcing is an acquired taste. 

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13 minutes ago, ohtani's jacket said:

Really? I love WCW Jesse. He had tremendous chemistry with Schiavone and personality, legitimate animosity with Ross. I can't think of a moment where he was bad (...)I love Jesse with everybody.

Same here, Schiavone/Jesse might be my all-time favorite announcer duo. 

16 minutes ago, ohtani's jacket said:

I like Gorilla with Heenan. I hate him with anyone else.

The most random cool pairing of all time might be Gorilla Mansoon/Raven Johnny Polo, because Levy was too damn smart to let himself get swallowed up by Gorilla.

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I like the Excalibur and Taz pairing but I think it kind of hurts Taz's character a bit. You can just tell he's having a ball and likes working with Excalibur. It makes for great commentary and gets you through the grind of some of the matches. But Taz the character shouldn't have fun. 

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