Each and every week, viewers have their own separate reasons for tuning in to WWE Raw, Smackdown, TNA Impact, the UFC, or many other sporting events caught live on television. It could be the excitement of the sport, the talent involved, or maybe even just some way to pass a few hours of your own time. Whatever the case may be, you can be guaranteed that with a sporting event comes an announce team. I cannot speak for anything other than wrestling, but I truly believe any sport can live or die with the announce team. The sport carries out its tasks, and the players normally put on good matches. They’re professional teams, would we expect any less?
However, I don’t believe we would be as enthralled with certain sports if it wasn’t for the announce team. Okay, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I’m not touching on new ground with that one at all. But recently, there have been rumors flying through the air about WWE Raw Announcer Jim Ross getting “fired” on TV and being replaced by someone else. Heck, I even came into a rumor today of Jerry Lawler getting “fired” as well, leaving The Coach and a replacement announcer on Raw. Then, this past Monday, the nearly-unthinkable happened, and good ol’ JR got fired, by none other than precious Linda McMahon. I don’t know about you, but I’ve become accustomed to the voices of Raw, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, even LONG before I started watching WWE wrestling again a few years ago.
Ross and Lawler have been around since the mid 1990s, and served as announcers a little while after Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. There have been many announcers over the years, ranging from Jesse “The Body” Ventura to Vince McMahon, from Paul Heyman to Al Snow. No one quite holds a candle to Heenan and Monsoon. Except Ross and Lawler. But both styles are so much different. Lawler’s energy is surpassed by no one, especially during a match featuring any of the WWE divas, while Ross can call a match like no other. He makes a Tyson Tomko match seem better than it really is, and I truly mean that. If I’m going to watch Tomko kick Steven Richard’s face in, I want to listen to Ross while witnessing it.
The chemistry between Monsoon and Heenan made them a joy to listen to. It’s a chemistry that Ross and Lawler lack to a certain extent, but they do have a different chemistry that makes them work extremely well. Heenan was the heel announcer, and through all of his excitement over fellow heels, Monsoon was always quick to step in and tell Heenan what he thought of the praise for the heel talent. But, it was almost like you know it was just for fun. Monsoon was someone you could imagine knowing and liking deeply. Whenever Ross goes against Lawler (or even The Coach), you sense the sarcasm, but at times, you’re just not sure if he’s joking or not. It could be because Ross rarely goes against Lawler, or goes with him for that matter. Ross calls the matches on his own, while Lawler has random injections of energy that make him stand out on his own, for whatever strange reason. In these comparisons, Jim Ross called a match way better than Gorilla Monsoon did (even though Ross borrows plenty from Monsoon, and does so perfectly), but Monsoon had that Mr. Nice Guy persona about him that make him sound like he was calling the match while sitting right next to you.