Just like in “real” sports, when it comes to the WWE, the broadcast team plays a vital role in a fan’s enjoyment of its product.
If you grew up in the ‘80s watching the then-WWF, there were two legendary broadcast teams that made your childhood better: Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura and, of course, Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Wrestling fans didn’t need cartoons on a Saturday morning. They just needed Gorilla and The Brain.
And while I’d never argue with any wrestling fan who has the opinion that Monsoon and Heenan are the greatest announce team in pro wrestling history, they were more known for their extraordinary comedic work on “Prime Time Wrestling,” than calling matches.
For my money, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler get the nod of greatest broadcast team in WWE history.
The duo called all the action during the company’s most popular time: The Attitude Era. The fact that there were so few rules and a complete disregard for political correctness during those days allowed Ross and Lawler to go to places where their humor could shine. But they also sold the storylines and the superstars better than anyone had before or has since.
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For people who aren’t wrestling fans, this would be like ESPN not using Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy on ANY NBA games. When you have access to the best, you should be using the best. It’s truly bizarre that the WWE can’t find any on-air role for Ross and Lawler. It also hurts the product and angers fans.
The WWE pretty much brings anyone back, no matter the infraction. But for some reason, Jim Ross has never been back, much to the dismay of the WWE Universe.
No disrespect to any of the people calling WWE programming these days, but on their best day, they couldn’t sell the product or generate interest in the product half as well as JR and The King on their worst day.
With Ross and Lawler now both officially off all WWE TV, we wanted to pay respect to the legendary announce team by taking a trip down memory lane and reliving some of their most memorable calls and lines.
The Rock returns
Ross and Lawler completely lose their minds when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson makes one of his WWE comebacks to help Mick Foley. Especially rewarding is Ross’ line at the 1:50 mark about Randy Orton “wetting himself.”
Triple H turns on Stone Cold
Ross and Lawler can’t contain their disgust when The Game turns on his tag team partner as “Monday Night Raw” ends with Ross screaming, “WHY, TRIPLE H, YOU SON OF A BITCH, WHY, TELL ME WHY!!!”
The Undertaker throws Mankind off the top of a steel cage
You’ve heard it before, but it’s still an all-timer. Lawler shrieks in horror while Ross utters his now famous, “Good God almighty, they’ve broken him in half.”
Stone Cold stuns Vince McMahon
The first time Stone Cold Steve Austin ever stunned Vince McMahon, all Ross could say was, “Oh, God,” while Lawler screamed that Austin should be jailed.
The Undertaker chokeslams Shane McMahon through a commentary table
Before The Undertaker threw Shane McMahon off the top of a cage at this year’s WrestleMania, there was the time McMahon was, according to Ross, “broken into a hundred pieces.”
Vince McMahon reveals himself as “the higher power”
Jim Ross makes his feelings very clear when McMahon pulls off his disguise.
The Montreal Screwjob
Lost in the madness of Vince McMahon screwing Bret Hart was the confused call by Ross and Lawler, which only added to the intrigue and controversy.
Jim Ross goes off on Eric Bischoff
Lawler can’t stop his partner who calls then WWE-GM Eric Bischoff every name in the book.
Like we said, the WWE brings everyone back at some point. We can only hope that one day, the higher-ups will see the light and reunite Ross and Lawler on one of their shows.