Generally speaking, the best commentators in professional wrestling go to great lengths to simply narrate the action in the ring. Keep the focus on the superstars and not themselves – have the wrestlers substitute each other. However, nowadays anything that happens in the life of the broadcaster and in most cases most fans will know very well about it.
Thankfully, those headlines rarely, if ever, surface during any wrestling broadcast. But it still sucks to hear about some of the problems our favorite wrestling commentators can go through, often while there’s action to call on a week-to-week basis.
9 Mauro Ranallo – JBL
As the only commentator in fight sports history to address the UFC, boxing, and professional wrestling, Mauro Ranallo was rapidly gaining popularity in WWE, with high hopes that the company had found a new “Voice.” of the WWE”.
He got promoted from NXT to SmackDown and was immediately bullied by JBL, who joked with the guy about Dave Meltzer’s best commentator award. Mauro, who suffers from bipolar disorder, reportedly took a nosedive over this affair and abruptly left WWE.
8 Joey Styles – JBL
Speaking of JBL, did you know that he was born with chronic foot-and-mouth disease? He did it again when it came to another fellow commentator, Joey Styles. Only Joey didn’t quit the company, but instead punched Bradshaw in the nose.
While the company was on the 2008 Tribute To The Troops show, JBL was reportedly in thug mode backstage when Styles hit him with mush to shut him up.
7 The king has a heart attack
For almost 50 years, despite all the changes that occurred in the wrestling business, there was one constant: Jerry The King Lawler was Teflon. His approach to clean living and industry made him virtually indestructible. Until he didn’t. On September 10, 2012, when Raw was in Canada, shortly after The King helped Randy Orton get rid of Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk, he was back on Commentary when disaster struck.
Michael Cole heard him snoring and at first thought it was a rib, until he saw that El Rey was unconscious. Fortunately, paramedics were on hand to act quickly and pull The King out of the ring to save his life.
6 Cornette resigns from the NWA
As the song references on his podcast, Jim Cornette once had the audacity to intuit that, after being torched, Ronnie Garvin came up as The Challenger. The comment was in reference to the 1984 NASA Challenger disaster and Cornette launching a fireball into the former NWA Champion’s face.
However, comments like that and much worse than what Corny had made over the years have no place in today’s wrestling world. During his stint as a commentator for the new NWA, he made an incredibly rude comment that should not be reproduced here. Either he was convinced or he knew that he dug his own grave when he resigned soon after.
For nearly the entirety of ECW’s now folklore-like run, one man and one man alone called all of the wrestling action in the ring. That man was Joey Styles. For many fans, it was all academic: as soon as Jim Ross decided to hang up his Resistol black cowboy hat, “Mean Joey,” as Steve Austin called him, would take the reins as the voice of WWE.
On the May 1, 2006 edition of Raw, Styles decided to deliver a worked shot promo about how he had been forced to be a ‘Sports Entertainment’ commentator instead of a wrestling commentator and faced Vince McMahon before to give up
4 Bell’s Palsey by Jim Ross
Good old JR is just… well, you know. He is the voice of GD for wrestling. For many fans, he’s been in our living rooms in at least three promotions for nearly fifty years. He’s almost like a favorite uncle. For many fans too, we all know about JR’s battle with facial paralysis and Bell’s palsy. He once even called a full face-to-face PPV.
While JR’s temporary memory is a bit shoddy, on an episode of Grilling JR, the beloved announcer detailed that he had to call a UK PPV by holding the right side of his face up so he could be understood.
3 Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit
While Eric Bischoff coined the phrase, controversy makes money, but Jesse The Body Ventura embodied that mentality long before Easy E wrote the book on the subject. The Body was astute when he negotiated WWE contracts. He wanted royalties for his voice and his image and he was convinced that the boys and the announcers were not really going to get them.
Once he found out that certain people (namely Hulk Hogan) were receiving royalties, he went to court and won a large amount of change from WWE.
2 Corey Graves’ marital problems
While he used to refer to himself as The Savior Of Misbehavior, that didn’t mean Corey Graves wanted his personal life to blend in with his kayfabe one. But in 2019, his then-ex-wife-to-be and mother of his children was a little upset that their marriage had gone south.
The jilted former Mrs Graves had posted photos on her Instagram account hinting that Graves and Carmella were having an affair. After taking a few moments, she deleted the post because they were actually already in the middle of divorce proceedings.
1 Lawler resigns
For over five years, Jerry The King Lawler was not only the King of Memphis, but also the King of color commentary. He and Jim Ross became the quintessential combination of The Attitude Era. Until WWE let go of his wife, Miss Kitty, for no apparent reason.
Jerry certainly felt compelled to put down the ‘I’m going with her’ gauntlet. In fact, he did, and he was gone long enough to get divorced and miss the Invasion angle before returning the day after Survivor Series in 2001.