You can have some of the best wrestlers on the planet putting on one of the best matches ever seen, but for the viewers at home, if the commentary booth isn’t doing its job, you’re only getting part of the whole package. A good commentator, whether on play-by-play or color, can enhance the quality of any match, keeping viewers engaged in the product and effectively hyping the action in the ring. And while there have been good commentators and bad ones, over the years there have been some that did their job so well that they turned it into an art form, becoming legendary voices that have made some of the biggest calls in the history of the sport.
10. Gorilla Monsoon
Monsoon often gets overlooked due to the incredible color commentators he worked with getting so much credit, but Gorilla was an excellent play-by-play man in his own right. These days, we might mock his invented words and claims of fans “literally hanging from the rafters”, but he had the perfect combination of gravitas and hype that made him the right man for the job. He had the high level of energy required of all WWE play-by-play announcers, the ability to banter effectively with his heel partners, and the knowledge of actual wrestling which he used to call moves that gave him credibility over someone like Vince McMahon and his infamous screams of “Whattamaneuver!” whenever he didn’t know what to call something. More importantly, unlike bland neutral play-by-play announcers, Monsoon would actively pull for the babyfaces, defending their actions to the dastardly heels he shared the commentary desk with, and actually making them sound like good guys. These days, the heel color commentators tear down babyfaces all the time, while all Michael Cole can offer is nervous laughs and what’s trending on Twitter.