Dark Days For Color Commentary

Mark Madden

Mark MaddenAfter nearly 14 years, I am ready to announce in wrestling again.

But not for WWE. I couldn’t take a madman screaming in my ear.

Not for TNA, either. TNA makes dying-days WCW look like Mid-South Wrestling in its prime. How do you make that seem palatable?

ROH is the only promotion with the proper credibility. But ROH can’t afford me.

I withdraw my proclamation. If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.

Make no mistake, though: I’d be better than just about anybody doing color. I captivate tens of thousands each day on the radio. That’s good practice. Anybody with wrestling knowledge who can do that should be able to nail down three hours on TV once a week.

When you listen to today's color commentators, certain things bleed through. You just have to know what to listen for.

JBL and Jerry Lawler aren’t prepared. You can tell. Perhaps it’s frustration from having McMahon or whoever yelling down the headset.

But JBL does nothing but be repetitive and contrary. He’s not funny and does zilch to advance the product. After that, what else is there?

I’m a Lawler mark, and he still pops me occasionally with his ‘70s joke book-style humor. But his energy is shot. He no longer raises his level for the big moment.

In TNA, Taz just stinks. It’s not necessary to say much more. Taz knows the product is awful, so he does the bare minimum. Taz likely has Heenan’s Disease: Having worked in WWE, Taz thinks TNA’s product is beneath him. So he mails it in and steals the paycheck. At least he’s not a fall-down drunk.

Steve Corino is OK in ROH. An old-school color commentator for an old-school wrestling promotion. But he’s not funny.

Entertainment’s biggest enemy is people who aren’t funny but think they are. (See Ferrara, Ed or Levesque, Paul.) I was/am funny. I know that. I’m funny every day. I spent hours scripting ad-libs for each WCW show. I prepared. If you’re just going to go out there and react for three hours, you better have a lightning wit.

Actually, I do have a lightning wit. I just knew it wouldn’t be enough.

Sometimes I tried to get myself over, perhaps at the expense of the match. You might not like that, but explain this: How the ***k was I supposed to add gravitas to a “Judy Bagwell on a pole match”? Or a “Viagra on a pole match”? If the match is stupid, you can’t ignore that. You just make yourself sound stupid.

GoldbergYou want gravitas? Give me a Goldberg match. Give me something REAL. I called Goldberg matches like UFC main events. Bill seemed to appreciate it. Of course, he also dropped the broadcast table on my foot once.

If you subscribe to WWE Network, dial up a Goldberg match during my WCW tenure. Or a Scott Steiner match. Serious as a heart attack, which I later had. If you want me to put forth the notion that Oklahoma pouring BBQ sauce down Madusa’s ample cleavage is a legit sporting event, it’s not gonna happen. Although it definitely turned me on a little bit.

Anyway, I had a column due, and now it’s done.

But WWE’s color commentary is exemplary of what’s wrong with the promotion: It’s sucks, but they won’t change it.

Explain, please, the logic of McMahon/whoever feeding the announcers lines by yelling down the headset. If that guy knows better, he should just go announce.

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX

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