Former WCW commentator Tony Schiavone played a huge role during the Monday Night Wars during the mid-to-late ’90s. At the order of Eric Bischoff, Schiavone would reveal spoilers for the Raw Is War tapings, in an attempt to persuade viewers into watching Ted Turner’s product over Vince McMahon’s.
But though Vince was happy to bring on Bischoff and a vast majority of WCW wrestling talent, Schiavone was among the few big names that didn’t join the WWF after the wars. company that didn’t head over to the WWF after.
As such, Schiavone has had to watch the WWE’s announce team from home – rather than return to the commentary table. Schiavone recently did an interview with The Miami Herald, and had some critical words for how the announce team is ran.
Though he offered major praise for Tom Phillips, Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T, Schiavone shared his frustrations with the crew being “overproduced.”
“However, you can tell when they get lines. It kind of bugs me, because I remember back when I was doing WCW at the end, I was constantly being fed lines.
It’s like you hired me to do this and to bring your own personality into it, but if you continue to feed guys lines, they just become a talking head for what you want. I just don’t think it’s right. It’s overproduced on many levels.”
It’s been well known for a while now that Vince and other officials are working backstage and telling the announcers what to say. This was reportedly why both Mick Foley and Mauro Ranallo left WWE last year – as both men grew tired of being told what to say, rather than have any freedom.
Foley became a legend in The Attitude Era, where guys like he, The Rock and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin got to cut their own promos. But for some reason, the creative team have decided that virtually everything must be scripted – including what the announcers say on television.
For Schiavone – a man who spent nearly two full decades for the WWF and WCW – he’s seen that not much has changed for announcers and their rights to say what they want. You can understand why he’s frustrated.
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