Legendary wrestling announcer Howard Finkel passed away this month at the 69 years old.
The WWE Hall Of Famer began working as an announcer for WWE in 1977 and became a well-liked figure among wrestling fans and talent alike. After news broke of his passing, the wrestling world showed their appreciation and love for the late announcer.
Jim Ross, a legendary commentator himself, recently spoke to James Walsh of Wrestling Epicenter where he talked about his relationship with Finkel and how the announcer's passing affected Ross.
Ross said Finkel was the consummate professional during their time working together and that he was one of the greatest ring announcers of all time.
"It broke my heart when I saw it," Ross said. "I last saw Howard at a WrestleMania when I was asked to come back. Howard was a staple for me when I was in charge of talent relations. Howard was the first one connected to my department every single day. I never remember Howard missing one day's work ever and some days he probably should have because he came in with the sniffles or feeling rough. But, so many great memories!
"He's the best ring announcer to ever do it. In boxing, the great Jimmy Lennon certainly is sometimes considered it. But, Howard Finkel, certainly is the greatest ring announcer I ever worked with. Howard used to bring me the paper every morning, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. He used to get it at 5 or 6 in the morning when he was on his way to work. I could always tell what he had for breakfast because the reminisce was always left on the paper. (laughs) But, I loved him! His heart was good. I'll say this – Howard Finkel loved pro wrestling more than anyone I ever met. He is an everlasting part of the fabric of the wrestling business and I'm honored that I had the opportunity to work with him all those years. 26 years, I worked with Howard almost every single day."
Ross transitioned to talking about WWE's recent mass release of talent. Ross has already stated his desire to bring some recently released, and gave some advice to the talent on Twitter. Ross gave more advice during his interview with Walsh, saying the talent can still succeed in wrestling despite the setback.
"Don't allow anyone outside yourself or your family to stop you from your dreams," Ross said. "If you love wrestling, don't let this bump in the road turn you off to wrestling. As someone who got knocked down a time or two, you have the option to get back up. Or, you can stay down and feel sorry for yourself which I find to be embarrassing and unacceptable for myself personally.
"It is time to hit the reset button. Reinvent yourself! When you come back after been laid off, are you going to be better than you were when you left? Are you going to recognize what were perceived weaknesses and turn those weaknesses into strengths? This has a lot to do with talent… Maybe everything to do with the talent. How are you going to hit that reset button? How are you going to reinvent?
"Please don't get into the 'Woe is me, my dreams are over.' Your dream is not over! If you think like that enough, you're going to have a self fulfilling prophecy which I find unacceptable as well. It is not the end, it can be the beginning. Stay positive! Get better at who you are and what you are. And, come back with a plan!"
James Walsh contributed to this article.