There has been a multitude of great - and not so great - commentators to seat themselves behind the announce table throughout WWE history. They function as pseudo-narrators, chiming in with appropriate audience reactions to big spots and impressive promos.
As their voiceover audits the entire wrestling match, they must convey the fans' responses rather than taking them out of the action. Though some commentators have earned legendary status in the eyes of fans, some have only earned their ire even when not playing the bad guy...
10 Best: Mauro Ranallo
Mauro Ranallo's dramatic energy and colorful vocabulary make him a delight to listen to on commentary. Currently working on the announce table for NXT as well as other MMA and kickboxing promotions, he brings an intensity to any wrestling encounter, selling the crucial moments and cultivating hype.
Unfortunately, Ranallo's time with WWE hasn't been plain sailing. The former SmackDown announcer went on hiatus in 2007 following issues with his mental health that were alleged to be the fault of John 'Bradshaw' Layfield - though these claims have since been disputed.
9 Worst: Renee Young
Renee Young is a bubbly and vibrant personality, a welcome addition to the WWE roster. It is a shame that this doesn't translate well on commentary, as the Canadian announcer has been criticized by fans for sounding too robotic and lifeless on commentary.
Young often sounds as if she is reading from a script, which given WWE's strange policies, might be true. Moreover, the bickering between her and Corey Graves if often more distracting than it is entertaining.
8 Best: Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman is one of the greatest talkers in WWE, period. The former ECW commentator currently features as the advocate for Brock Lesnar, a role he thrives in. He can work a crowd and hype a match purely with the decibel levels of his voice.
Heyman defined Extreme Championship Wrestling and was an entertaining presence throughout the Invasion storyline. His exchanges with Jim Ross remain highlights in the company's history, both of them iconic voices on the mic.
7 Worst: Michael Cole
Michael Cole is a long-serving commentator for WWE, though unlike other long-term voices such as Paul Heyman and Jim Ross, he has annoyed the crowd as opposed to earning their respect. The former journalist currently works on commentary for Raw and other pay-per-view events.
Cole did some good work as a heel from 2010 to 2012, wrestling sporadically and feuding with fellow announcer Jerry Lawler. It was a good decision as fans had already expressed a lack of enthusiasm for his commentary - or the emphatic way he pronounces the name of the company.
6 Best: Vince McMahon
Believer it or not, the chairman and CEO of WWE once worked on the commentary table. And he did an excellent job of it.
Before taking over the reins of the company from his father Vincent McMahon Jr. in 1982, the third-generation wrestling promotor made his debut as an in-ring announcer for WWWF's All-Star Wrestling in 1969. From there, he spent a large portion of his career working on the commentary table, where he did a good job branding his voice with the company's image and reputation.
5 Worst: Jerry Lawler
Jerry Lawler fits the Attitude Era perfectly. His lewd, brash and often vulgar commentary -particularly whenever Trish Stratus was in the ring - fit the tone of the controversial period in WWE's history, an era remembered for its provocative content.
This hasn't aged well, however. In a post Women's Evolution and PG era WWE, Lawler has had much of his personality on the mic stripped and comes across as tired and deflated. His effectiveness as an announcer has faded, and his most successful current work is arguably his in-ring talk segments.
4 Best: Jim Ross
Jim Ross is a wrestling legend. His voice is legendary and he has worked on commentary for pivotal moments in WWE history, clashing well with other voices such as Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon. He is currently signed with All Elite Wrestling, providing a legendary voice on commentary for what could be WWE's biggest competitor.
Ross departed WWE in 2013, though later went on to provide commentary on the independent circuit and for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He returned to WWE in 2017, providing commentary for WrestleMania 33's main event No Holds Barred Match between Roman Reigns and The Undertaker. He worked alongside Lita for the Mae Young Classic, though elected not to renew his contract in March 2019.
3 Worst: Byron Saxton
Byron Saxton was once a professional wrestler signed with WWE, appearing in Florida Championship Wrestling and later the fourth season of NXT. Despite being eliminated, Saxton returned for the fifth season as a heel before being eliminated once again. When developmental was rebranded, he made his return as an in-ring announcer and later moved to the main roster where he works on the commentary table.
Like Michael Cole, Saxton has been criticized by fans for his lackluster presence and boring commentary. Following in the footsteps of talents like Jim Ross is no easy feat, as the bar has been set high.
2 Best: CM Punk
CM Punk had a brief but bright run on commentary. The former WWE Champion remains one of the greatest voices on the microphone in WWE history, and it is easy to see why he excelled when working on the announce table.
The Straight Edge Superstar had sporadic appearances on commentary in 2010, providing his voice for matches featured on Raw and NXT. His witty comebacks and analysis were arguably as entertaining as the wrestling.
1 Worst: Stephanie McMahon
Stephanie McMahon made a guest appearance on commentary for the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble match in 2018. Many fans criticized her for once again interjecting herself in the biggest moments of the Women's Evolution without preamble, as her presence added nothing to the energy of the announce table.
The Billion Dollar Princess, though a good heel presence on the mic, had little gusto throughout the match. A good thing, perhaps, as the moment was significant enough with some quality wrestling and guest appearances in the ring.