Views From The Turnbuckle: Wrestling On The Airwaves, A Look At The Current State Of Commentary
I am actually in the minority when it comes to Tazz's counterpart Mike Tenay. I think that Tenay is one of the best play-by-play guys in the business, as fewer know the facts behind wrestling better than Tenay. I know people like to rag on him for overselling moments, but wasn't it the overselling that made us love JR? Mike Tenay has an almost infinite knowledge of professional wrestling, he truly is the professor, and he can fill a match with terrific and insightful anecdotes.
Outside the two major companies, commentary differs wildly depending on what company is being represented. Kevin Kelly is a bad fit for ROH, his commentating skills were made for the WWE, a place that couldn't differ further from Ring of Honor. Nigel McGuiness is wonderful when given the chance, but ROH's color commentary spot is in a constant flux. Lenny Leonard is very good for DG USA, as is Leonard Chikarason for Chikara. My favorite commentator in wrestling is probably Bryce Remsberg for Chikara, who is truly a delight to listen too. Excalibur and whoever he is paired with in PWG are always entertaining, as their commentary constantly delves into sinister dark humor. The forever nomadic Dave Prazak is also very good, wherever he may be (currently calling the action for Shimmer.)
I think the WWE's commentary team is currently limited by what they can say and the fact that VKM and WWE management basically control everything that they say, which really hurts them. TNA has one terrible commentator and one great one, which even out. The best commentating is by far on the independent seen, but it is difficult for any of them to get great exposure. Overally, I think commentating is in a down period, but hopefully it will pick up over the next few years as the foundation of pro wrestling continues to change.
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