"Whats The Deal At The Commentary" Table Thoughts On It!

Immortal Dilemma Contributor IIAugust 10, 2010

DID HE JUST SAY THAT? Yeah it’s Commentary of Wrestling!

ex. CC (color commentator) PBP (Play-By-Play commentator)

CC -You seen that move that the champ just give that sorry loving rookie!

PBP - Rookie!? how can you say that? his our a two times champ!

CC- Your bias band-wagon is getting on my last nerves!

(Then they fight which gets even better because the PBP always win when the baby faces win, or the CC will win and things will just get even louder and laughable)


FYI on Commentary

Commentary has always played an important part in the presentation of professional wrestling. Unlike many sports, it's actually perfectly possible to follow a match without any commentary at all. But good commentary can turn an average match into a great match. Conversely bad commentary can severely hurt a good match.

The commentary team for professional wrestling is loosely based on the normal arrangement for commentary in America TV, a play-by-play commentator and a "color" commentator. However the color commentator in wrestling is a role that has usually been held by a heel character and was used to both further the storylines and to rile up the audience at home by cheering on the heel wrestler.

For many years this formula was followed pretty closely with play-by-play focusing on the details of the match and the color commentator trying to justify the heel's actions. It was a formula which worked very effectively and was close enough to what you would expect to see in any other sports event that it helped further the illusion that wrestling was real.


Play By Play

When the Wrestlemania era began, that started to change. Increasingly the emphasis moved from sports to Sports Entertainment. With that change in emphasis came a change in commentary. The change which took place over several years was to increase the emphasis on play by play announcers "telling the story" rather than calling the match.

That move to "tell the story" gradually came to dominate match commentary, to the extent that commentators often now spend as much time talking about what will be happening next week as they do about what is happening in the ring right now.

Compounding this problem was the increasing push to make each show seem more impressive than the last (a trend started by the Monday Night Wars). This has resulted in announcers losing all credibility as they claim that a perfectly average match is the match of the year or that that a tedious beat down is the most horrific thing they have ever seen.


Color Commentators

The situation with Color Commentators is a little different. Their primary role has been to get the audience riled up. However over the last few years there has been a move away from the heel commentator so that now they are tweeners at best and in some cases (Taz and King) they're clearly a face.

That change has radically altered the dynamic of the commentary team, and not for the better. Now the heel doesn't have a proper voice making his case while the match goes on. There's no one there to point out when he is wrestling well and help get him over. Nor is there anyone to try and justify his heelish actions and make the wrestling story work properly.


Color Commentators now a days on TV!

The color commentator is usually a "heel" (or a supporter of the "bad guys") as opposed to the play-by-play announcer, who is more or less the "voice of the fans" as well as supporters of the "good guys" (or the babyfaces).

Now a day’s all the classical antics of a "Heel Commentator" are gone to me the feel of it back in the mid 01-05 it started lacking in the WWE. Seem like the Color commentators that are on TV as in the WWE,TNA and ROH are lacking the classical "Heel-ish" attitude the ones had in the past.

King is just hard to listen to now a days he rides whatever is going on and follows whatever Michael Cole says. When Jim Ross was play-by-playing with King it was a golden match up, and now that JR is gone seems like the King is just going to keep his mouth shut and ride the Cole-Train.

TNA's commentators are always been talked about as in "Why is TAZ there?" and Mike Tenay isn't all that good at play-by-playing. I think Taz is here and there good but can be better as a Color commentator some ways he can be better is stop tagging along on what Mike Tenay says and argue more with more of the things that are simple and a big deal, he needs to support the Heels and not his favorites like King does now. If Taz could do this then we could see him as the best Color commentator TNA had.

I remember when Don West turned Heel "Boy" that was amazing seem like Mike Tenay didn’t know how to come back at what Don West had to say. When TNA management replaced him and put Taz i thought to myself "Eh it was getting good why replace him?" but Yeah we need more of that back to back arguing at the table.

ROH's Dave Prazak is getting there here and there with Mike Hogewood both are lacking the consist back to back talking like most commentary does on national TV. They keep it plain and simple, and advisement here and there but don't keep it hyped like most commentator’s do they have long awkward silences and out bursts for small moves and sometimes botch a wrestlers move.

They been doing this for awhile now which kind of brings the product value down because they need to keep the back talk consistent between each other and never keep a silent conversation. If Ring of Honor were to replace them I would be kind of of on the arguments side but would kind of be confused because both have been with the company for awhile now.

Dave Prazak is the heel commentator but he doesn't keep a stable agreement with Mike Hogewood, and Mike Hogewood does the same on not keeping arguments going. Other then that the independent side of wrestling keeps the conversation between each other going them study they're talent and give the fans a back ground history of the wrestlers when they're in the ring.


"Heel Commentators of the past"

Jerry Lawler, Paul Heyman,Jesse Ventura, Matt Striker and Bobby Heenan. Notable ones that I can mention that really set the bar for heel commentators toady. Back in the days the Commentators use to be the mouth of the fans, and when the play-by-play or the Color commentator say "he that guy suck" or they get into it people use to eat that up. people openly respected them for keeping it un-bias and not doing by "fan-vote" or who’s in.

The past Heel Commentators keep it Real they knew how to get under your skin and knew how to keep you informed Now a day’s it’s just too fake. They use to keep you up-to-date not that today's Commentary doesn't do it’s just they sizzle tell the dates and get back to they're thoughts. How can forget the pairs that were setting classic moments for all the promotions of the days.


Don't Talk Down To the Audience

The fundamental problem I see with wrestling commentary currently is that there is a complete lack of respect for the audience. It's not just that the companies think they can actually get away with telling their audience what to think, it’s that they think we won't even be aware that they are doing it.

Insulting your audience's intelligence is one of the quickest ways to get them to turn off the TV. Telling them that "This guy is the guy that your suppose to cheer for" it’s simply a slap in the face. I hate when both guys at the table think alike, there not suppose to think the same thing they're basically suppose to picking opposite sides.


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