You know the independent wrestling scene should be like a engine. Each part must be of high quality, fit just right, be well lubricated, and taken care of to run efficiently. Unfortunately that is not the engine we have. It’s more like the knocking, oil leaking, and missing engine of a 1932 Model T. Our business is flooded with bad parts. Bad wrestlers, bad announcers, bad referees, and more importantly, bad promoters.
You have wrestlers wearing jeans and a t-shirt, referees wearing masks, announcers blowing finishes that wrestlers set up for weeks/months to set up, and promoters, well doing everything they possibly can to ruin this business. You see it, you may even be a part of it. If you see it and do nothing to help those around you to improve then you may be a part of the problem. If you are a part of it, which you know if you are or not, then stop. Your only making it worse on yourself and more importantly the workers around you.
I created the T-Bone Factor four years ago so that I could complain about the scene that was happening around me, but that was the wrong way to approach it. So I changed it to the T-Bone Effect so that I could share my experiences with you that you would learn from them and hopefully change your ways. I am by no means an perfect announcer or commentator. I’ve made mistakes and took the wrong advice. It cost me bookings, friends, and chances to advance to the next level. You are the voice of that company in some cases and can mean the difference between a good atmosphere and a bad one.
I’m out to try and help change that by giving you the readers an opportunity to learn from my mistakes I made as a young and dumb worker. I’ve seen many people come and go in this business because of the bad taste left in their mouth by the unprofessional atmosphere in the business. Hopefully these Do’s and Don’ts will help you to understand what I and so many others have learned.
1. Get a suit, your appearance means just as much as your voice. Look the part. They are $50 at and second hand store if you can’t buy new.
2. Announcers, during introductions announce match type, time limit, billed from, weight, name. Once both have been introduced go sit down.
3. Annunciate what’s going on in the ring or a previous or future promo.
4. Remember to keep personal comments, while commentating or announcing, to yourself. Bad remarks reflect poorly towards the company and make you look unprofessional.
5. Know the workers professional background, do your homework. This is material you can you to fill in the audience on the workers achievements and stats.
6. Speak in a manner that the audience can hear you. It is key for the audience to make out what you are saying because if they can’t your wasting your time and tape.
7. If you have an accent drop it, this can further someones confusion in what you’ve just said.
8. Find an experienced announcer to learn from, they can help you tremendously.
9. Work on your vocabulary. Buy a dictionary/thesaurus. Your a professional not a radio DJ.
10. Plug the wrestlers gimmicks, dates of the next shows, and sponsors.
11. Plug your company website and social media outlets.
12. Be respectful to your peers. If you have an issue take it to them.
13. Commentators call what you see on your monitor. The TV audience can’t see what’s not on the camera.
1. Don’t dress like a member of the crowd.
2. Don’t have a gimmick or gimmick tables.
3. Don’t promote workers/companies that are not affiliated with the company you work for.
4. Don’t call gimmicks, illegal moves, or objects, the referee is blind not deaf.
5. Don’t involve yourself in any angles unless scripted, even then keep to a minimum.
6. Don’t announce over the PA.
7. Don’t have your own entrance, if the promotions send you out to their company music that’s fine.
8. Don’t add adjectives to the moves until later until the match. Not every drop kick, clothesline, or punch is a BIG MOVE. Save the expressions for later in the match to help build up the finish.
9. Don’t take away from the match by being a distraction.
10. Don’t get up from your table unless it about to be broken. Stay seated unless your a ring announcer.
11. Don’t go around the ring shaking hands. If the crowd wants to meet you or get your autograph they will come to you.
12. Don’t treat your job as a hobby. It is a JOB. If you treat it as a hobby and “just do it for fun”, your getting in the way of those who want to make it further in their career.
Now this pretty much sums up the majority of what announcers and commentators should and shouldn’t do. I like many others have done what has been suggested to do and not to do. I hope to change that among us announcers. With so very few of us professionals out there it is becoming ever so difficult that the once pristine engine is starting to show its ugly side. It is up to us to educate those willing to learn and its up to those who want in our business to be willing to learn. Professionalism is the key to success, if it can fall in place first in their wrestling career they stand a better chance of making it.
We would like to know from you, the announcers and commentators, if we have left anything out. Leave us a comment here on our blog and let us know what you think. I hope those who need these tips will take them. They can mean the difference between a hot dog pay off or a cash pay off. Remember professionals get paid, amateurs get a hot dog.