As previously reported, legendary WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel is not well health-wise. Jerry "The King" Lawler speculated that Finkel may have suffered a stroke. In our latest Flashback interview, Wrestling Inc. looks back at a 2009 interview with Finkel conducted by our own Andy Malnoske at Signamania 5.
Finkel started working for Vince McMahon Sr. in 1975. He began performing ring announcer duties at Madison Square Garden shows in 1976 and he was soon the company's lead ring announcer. He had the honor of being the ring announcer for the first-ever WrestleMania in 1985, a memory he said he cherished. Finkel also mentioned WrestleMania III as a memorable moment because he faced the daunting task of announcing in front of 93,000 fans.
"They can never take it away from me," Finkel said. "It's something that I cherish and I've always enjoyed, that WrestleMania in 1985, moving even into the one in 1987 in Pontiac, Michigan. How do you think it felt to announce in front of 93,000 people? It's not easy."
Even though he is semi-retired, Finkel still relished any chance he got to get on the mic again. His most recent appearance on WWE television came at RAW 25 in January when he introduced The Undertaker.
"Whenever the opportunity presents itself for me to still go down that aisle and go into that ring, and be that sounding board, be that information source for the great WWE Universe, it still is like the first day I started," he said. "It's the best feeling in the world."
Finkel, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 during WrestleMania 25 weekend by "Mean" Gene Okerlund, also discussed his induction. The feeling was indescribable, but Finkel knows he earned the honor and he greatly appreciates being a Hall of Famer.
"I would've loved to have had the opportunity when I wasn't a Hall of Famer. And then when I got the word that it was going to be happening, I really kept it suppressed because I didn't want it to overtake me and my emotions. I wanted to keep it in check," Finkel said. "True story—when I got to Houston the afternoon of [WrestleMania 25], and I got into the dressing room and I had to change into my tuxedo, which is what I've done for years, then it started hitting me.
"They can't take it away from me. I've earned it," he continued. "That was my WrestleMania, my personal WrestleMania. It's just a great honor to be involved in such a prestigious group as the Hall of Fame classes of years past, and of course this year. To be a part of WWE for nearly 30 years, it's the greatest ride I've ever been on, and it's far from over."
You can watch the full interview in the video above.