WWE's announce team are the people who are rarely seen but always heard on WWE TV. They are the ones who wrap the show together, but the ones that the WWE Universe rarely remember.
Raw, SmackDown, and NXT all have separate announce teams now with many of the announce team former wrestlers who decided to make the switch over to commentary when their in-ring careers came to an end.
As well as the commentary team, there are also countless other announcers on WWE shows that include backstage interviewers, in-ring announcers, and even WWE's kickoff panels.
Even though these stars are seen on WWE TV on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis, there are many things about these stars that the WWE Universe are unaware of, but here are 15 facts about WWE announce team to bring you up to speed.
15 15. Mauro Ranallo Suffers From Bipolar Disorder
Mauro Rnallo has been working for WWE now for more than a year, and he is someone that fans have grown to know as a voice of SmackDown. Ranallo is the most skilled and experienced announcer in WWE currently, but it is not commonly known that Mauro suffers from bipolar.
Ranallo admitted in a tell-all interview back in 2015 that he had thought about killing himself many times growing up before he was diagnosed with bipolar and often battles with his inner demons every day as he tries to pursue a normal life. Ranallo has inspired many people with the crippling disease and shown that despite facing many struggles internally, he is able to fight through it all and continue to have a successful career in one of the biggest promotions in the world
14 14. Austin Aries Is Engaged To Thea Trinidad
Austin Aries is a TNA legend and current NXT star. When it was revealed that Austin would be out of action until early 2017 with a large orbital fracture WWE decided to allow Austin to work as a commentator until he was ready to return to the ring.
Austin made his debut at the desk back at Roadblock: End of the Line and has remained part of the commentary desk on Monday Night Raw during Cruiserweight matches ever since. Austin is another superstar who likes to keep his personal life private and it isn't very well known that Austin Aries is engaged to former TNA star Thea Trinidad. Thea recently became well known to the WWE Universe after she was cast as AJ Lee in the upcoming movie about Paige's family called 'Fighting with my Family.'
13 13. Renee Young's Father Used To Help Her Get Into WWE Events
How times have changed, growing up Renee Young was a big fan of WWE and the likes of Trish Stratus and Chyna, and since her father worked as a concert promoter, he used to help her get into many of their live events.
It seems as though Renee can now offer her father the same kind of deal, since she is now a major part of WWE's broadcast and announce team. Young like many other WWE talents started off as a backstage interviewer before WWE realized her potential and allowed her to move on to commentating on the women's matches on NXT. WWE then decided to add Renee Young to the kickoff panels for all pay-per-view shows and then made her the host of Talking Smack on a Tuesday night.
12 12. Fans Speculated That Charly Caruso Was In A Relationship With Seth Rollins
A few months ago Seth Rollins revealed that he had moved on from the unwanted attention of his relationship with Zahra Schrieber back in early 2016 with another woman. Rollins tweeted photos of the woman from the back and never referred to her by name, which allowed fans to begin to speculate.
Charly Caruso is one of the newest members of WWE's announce team and as a backstage interviewer many of the WWE Universe picked up how nervous she was around Seth Rollins and the fact that she fitted in with the pictures that he had put online. Neither star has commented about this to either confirm nor deny it and since Seth's recent injury and his rehab, he has made no mention of the new woman in his life.
11 11. Byron Saxton Was A Competitor On NXT Season Four
Byron Saxton signed with WWE back in 2007 and was sent down to FCW. It was down here that he first had his taste of commentary alongside Corey Graves. It wasn't until 2010 that Bryan was called up to the NXT roster where he took part in season four of the show.
Saxton was mentored by both Chris Masters and Dolph Ziggler before he was eliminated from the show and then was chosen to return for season five of NXT that was called NXT: Redemption. Saxton was eliminated early on and then returned to NXT as a commentator after WWE decided to rebrand the entire show. Byron was also a ring announcer and had creative influence on the show whilst he was working there. He was finally moved over to Raw in 2014.
10 10. Dasha Fuentes Is A Former Fitness Model
Dasha Fuentes began appearing as a backstage interviewer and ring announcer for NXT back in mid-2015 and has since become one of the mainstays on the program. Much like many other aspiring wrestlers who are signed to WWE, Dasha signed as a Superstar and competed on NXT in early 2015 before WWE decided to add her to the broadcast team.
Dasha is a former fitness model and competed in Miss America, she also has experience of competing in diving, swimming, and gymnastics but was sidelined earlier in her career due to a knee injury. She signed with WWE back in 2014 and made her debut in April 2015 in a match where she teamed with Dana Brooke and Becky Lynch in a losing effort against Carmella, Alexa Bliss and Devin Taylor.
9 9. Mauro Ranallo Has Been Announcing Since He Was 16-Years-Old
Mauro Ranallo joined WWE back in January 2016 and has been considered as a man who has kick started a new era at the announce desk because of his dramatic style and skill for calling matches that has never been seen before.
Ranallo came to WWE with a pedigree that has never seen before by a wrestling commentator that includes working on Canadian football, ice hockey, professional wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts events. Ranallo began his announcing career when he was just 16-years-old and has since built up an incredible portfolio across a range of sports. Ranallo also commentates on 205 Live and was joined by Daniel Bryan for the Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016 a coupling that was met with a lot of positivity from the WWE Universe.
8 8. Michael Cole Has Been In WWE Now For Two Decades
Michael Cole is usually overlooked by many WWE fans as they state that there are many other people in WWE who could do a much better job as the main announcer on Monday Night Raw. That being said, Cole has now been in WWE much longer than many WWE Superstars, even though he hasn't been officially given veteran status.
Cole was first signed to WWE back in 1997 as a backstage interviewer before later being picked as the replacement for Jerry Lawler on the Raw announce team. Cole was then chosen to be the play-by-play announcer on the newly premiering SmackDown brand in 1999 and he remained there until 2008. Since then Cole has been a regular on Monday Night Raw but often makes the switch over to SmackDown when needed.
7 7. JBL Is A Regular Panelist On Fox News
JBL is widely considered to be one of the best color commentators in WWE right now because of the way he seamlessly manages to bring in many cultural and sporting events from all over the world as part of the play-by-play in the matches he's calling.
It comes as no surprise that Fox News have seen just how good JBL is and now use him as a regular panelist on their show Bulls & Bears. The show is a business analysis program something that JBL has proved many times that he definitely knows a lot about. JBL is a great public speaker and an incredible commentator, one of the best decisions WWE ever made was to allow him to switch over to the desk when he retired from in-ring competition.
6 6. Percy Watson Is A Former NXT Superstar
Percy Watson joined the NXT Commentary team back in November after more than three years away from WWE. Watson is the third man alongside Nigel McGuinness and Tom Phillips and is well known to fans of NXT.
Watson was part of the second season of NXT and appeared on WWE Superstars, against the likes of Johnny Curtis, who would later become Fandango, The Wyatt Family and even The Shield, whom he faced in his final WWE match back in May 2013. WWE decided that much like many other NXT stars at that time he wasn't progressing and they had nothing for him moving forward so they made the cut. They then invited him back in November to be part of a new-look panel and he seems to be settling in quite well.
5 5. Nigel McGuinness Is The Longest Reigning ROH Pure Champion
Nigel McGuinness was added to WWE's commentary team as part of the WWE UK Championship Tournament back in January. Nigel had become well known all over the world as a wrestler and is a former Ring of Honor commentator. So WWE made the decision to include an English voice on commentary for their first ever UK Competition.
McGuinness is well known to United Kingdom fans but he also made quite an impact in Ring of Honor during his time there and still holds a few records. Nigel McGuinness was only the second ever English ROH World Champion. He managed to keep hold of the title for an incredible 545 days and he still holds the record as the longest reigning ROH Pure Champion after holding the title for 350 days.
4 4. Corey Graves' Brother Wrestles For CMLL
Corey Graves may have given up his in-ring wrestling career, but his brother Sam is still flying the flag for his family as he continues to wrestle for many promotions around the world.
Sam was trained by his older brother when he decided to pursue professional wrestling and made is debut in 2008. Sam has never wanted to exploit the fact that his brother is so well known in wrestling circles, wanting to instead make it based on his own merit, and so far he has managed this. Sam became good friends with William Regal when he wrestled at FCW and he helped him to find work in England for All Star Wrestling. Since 2016 Sam has been working for CMLL in Mexico as quite a successful heel, currently thought to be the most hated man in Mexico.
3 3. Tom Phillips Was About To Quit Broadcasting Before WWE
Tom Phillips has climbed the ranks in WWE over the past few years, from a backstage broadcaster to a SmackDown commentator and now he's the main announcer on NXT alongside Percy Watson and Nigel McGuinness.
Tom has definitely had a slow climb through WWE but before he was approached by the company, he worked as a play-by-play commentator for football and basketball games in Pennsylvania for $50 a game. He reached the point where he left college and wasn't sure if broadcasting was the job for him, he was waiting tables just to stay afloat financially when WWE handed him a lifeline and offered him a job. If WWE didn't step in when they did, Tom's career may have taken a very different path and had a very different outcome.
2 2. Corey Graves Is A Father Of Three
Corey Graves is a former NXT Tag Team Champion. He was forced to retire from in-ring competition back in 2014 due to many of the injuries he had suffered inside a wrestling ring. Corey then made the switch to commentary with NXT before WWE decided that he was good enough to be used on Monday Night Raw.
Corey Graves is quite private about his personal life, but it is known that 'The Saviour of Misbehavior' is married and is the father of three children. Corey has a son and two daughters with his wife Amy Polinsky who he married back in 2009. Corey hosts Superstar Ink on the WWE Network where he talks about the private life of many other stars, but he isn't as revealing about his own personal life sadly.
1 1. David Otunga Is Engaged To Jennifer Hudson
David Otunga is one of the newest members of the commentary team and was added to the SmackDown announce desk following the WWE Draft in the summer of 2016. Otunga hasn't done a lot on WWE TV over the past few years, but it is thought that his degree in Law has allowed him to help WWE out of some tricky situations.
As well as that, Otunga also has the boost of knowing that his fiance also has a high profile job. Otunga proposed to singer Jennifer Hudson back in 2008 on her 27th Birthday and the couple then welcomed their first child, a son named David Daniel Otunga Junoir the following year. Jennifer Hudson recently talked about why the couple still aren't married after almost 10 years of being engaged and she responded: "I feel like everything is about timing, and he ain’t going nowhere. He’s still there."
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