Three-man announce booths in professional wrestling are by no means a new thing. WWE has used them on and off for the past 30 years. In the present day though, the company has reached a point where they seem to believe that having three voices behind the table is an absolute necessity. The only regularly scheduled show that doesn’t have a trio of commentators right now is 205 Live which is voiced by Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph. Of the three announce teams that do have three voices, the one that gets by far the most attention is the one on Raw. Monday night’s team is made up of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T. It’s Booker who is garnering all that attention. The WWE Hall of Famer goes on nonsensical rants that the fans and also his broadcast colleagues can’t make heads nor tails of. Here are five color commentators that would do a better job than Booker and would definitely make a lot more sense.
5. Jerry Lawler
When it comes to announcing and interviewing, WWE is clearly in a transitional period. While the likes of Jim Ross and JBL are on their way out of the business, they’re still around occasionally as new and younger talents are trained up. Another man who is also still around is Jerry Lawler. The King makes the occasional appearance on pay-per-view kick off shows, post shows, and that kind of thing. His appearances on those shows proves that Lawler hasn’t lost his edge. He also probably wouldn’t mind the travel either. On The Ross Report this week, Lawler discussed his long list of bookings and that even though he isn’t full time with WWE, he still does an awful lot of traveling.
This past summer, WWE played host to another tournament that focused in on one particular area of pro wrestling. This time it was the turn of the women and 32 female wrestlers from all over the world competed in the first ever Mae Young Classic. WWE recruited Jim Ross to call the play-by-play action showing how important they believed the tournament to be, and alongside JR was Lita. Who better to call women’s action than one of the greatest female performers in WWE history? While Lita has been a part of some kickoff show panels for WWE, it was her first time behind one of their announce tables. She wasn’t polished, but why would she be when it was her first crack at it? The only way she’s going to get better is if she does it on a regular basis and it really would be a refreshing change to hear a woman’s voice on Raw each week.
3. Austin Aries
There are some wrestlers in the business who take to certain things like a duck to water. Many Superstars talk about how Kurt Angle did that with pro wrestling as a whole once he signed for WWE, that nobody learned the business quicker. Austin Aries did that with announcing. A freak injury he suffered while in NXT left The Greatest Man That Ever Lived twiddling his thumbs on the sidelines. Instead of letting him go to waste, WWE brought him to Raw and had him be the third announcer for cruiserweight matches. Clearly, someone knew that his ability on the mic would translate to commentary. As good a wrestler he is, it was a shame when he recovered as the announce team lost a talented voice. It would be very unlikely that WWE could coax him back for an announce slot on Raw at this point though.
2. Renee Young
While Jerry Lawler and Lita play bit part occasional roles on WWE’s kick off shows, the mainstay host of all of them is Renee Young. Young does a terrific job on those shows and is also a great backstage interviewer. The next logical step for her at this point has to be a job in the announce booth. Young has given it a shot before. For a number of months, she worked as an announcer for NXT, firstly calling women’s matches and then taking up the job full time. There were rumors that she would replace JBL on SmackDown Live earlier this year, at which time she took to Twitter to say that she proved on NXT that she wasn’t cut out for the job. You’re being far too humble Renee.
1. Nigel McGuinness
There is always a list of wrestlers on the independent circuit that fans can’t wait to see perform in WWE. For the longest time, Nigel McGuinness was on that list. Well, as of earlier this year, he has been an employee of WWE. It might not be in the way that he or his fans envisioned, but it’s still a pretty big deal. He began his time with WWE as the color commentator for the United Kingdom Title tournament in January, and now is a staple of both NXT and 205 Live. There’s something about a British voice calling the action that just works, and McGuinness has really done well to get to the point he’s at in less than a year with the company. Perhaps if they can think of a suitable replacement for him on NXT and 205 Live, then he will be the man who eventually takes Booker T’s place on Raw.
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