If you saw Raw in the last few weeks, you undoubtedly noticed that the commentary felt refreshing compared to what the WWE had been offering in the weeks prior. (If you didn't—or had your TV on mute because of what you were otherwise used to hearing—you might have missed out.)
With multiple candidates replacing Jerry Lawler—who is in part of a story line involving the WWE Champion—the show got a plethora of different perspectives, and it was good.
While Raw will probably return to having a fixed panel after Lawler's stint in the main event—which somehow happens too regularly for my liking—is over, the idea of having a fresh voice in commentary every so often is a good one. While the occasional superstar joins the table for a match or two, it could be awesome if the idea could be furthered to entire pay-per-view events.
The WWE—believe it or not—has a large roster. There are many multi-talented superstars that are not represented on every show. This becomes painfully apparent during pay-per-views, when one or more sections of fans complain that "their" star did not get a single appearance on the show.
Also, the general quality of PPV commentary is just the same as that of a regular Raw or SmackDown and nothing new is added to the program by Michael Cole, Lawler or Josh Mathews. (At least Booker T would have a "Bookerism" or two.)
Rather than having the same people saying the same things over and over again, it makes sense to add one or two people to the commentary panel for pay-per-views. Adding one active superstar (preferably someone who is not involved in a match) and one legend to the panel would be a welcome addition to the quality of auditory stimulation the fans receive.
This is not something that requires big investment by the WWE, but it can do wonders to enhance the quality of the show. Since most superstars are already backstage, whether or not they are scheduled to wrestle, one or more of the better talkers can be lent to the table without it being too much of an inconvenience. Also, there are many legends who still have a contract with the WWE, and they could be utilized for this very purpose.
Some fans might be wary of legends after the Piper's Pit debacle last month. However, Piper was the lone journalist in the ring and didn't have notes to fall back on. Putting a legend on commentary would be different as he would be able to read some prepared notes and consult—off microphone—with his colleagues before saying things he is unsure about.
Even if he is not up-to-date with all the current events and story lines, he can actually ask the regular commentators to recap for him, which is what they mostly do, anyway.
Imagine having "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (who was the commentator on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch) and "The Intellectual Savior of The Unwashed Masses" Damien Sandow on commentary alongside Cole, Mathews and Lawler.
While Sandow might end up becoming a "martyr" to a Stone Cold Stunner right before the main event, we would be guaranteed an enlightening and trash-talking showdown for the first two and a half hours.
Or imagine John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Santino Marella. Or Edge and Christian. Or Shawn Michaels and Dolph Ziggler. Or Mick Foley and Cody Rhodes. The possibilities are limited only by the boundaries of imagination itself. (And by which superstar is not wrestling on the PPV itself.)
Adding one more table to the ringside area could drastically improve the quality of commentary for pay-per-view events. It would take little effort, but it could give undecided fans an added reason to buy the pay-per-view. And, in the end, it is all about the money!
How did you like the idea expressed in the article?
Which Superstar/Legend combination would you like to see?
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