WWE has signed quite a few reputable names to their roster over the past few months, and without a doubt one of the most reputable names that they’ve signed is none other than Mauro Ranallo. Mauro brings something that was desperately needed in the WWE commentary department, and that is personality.
There’s no denying that the absence of Jim Ross at the commentary table has left a gigantic void in WWE programming. For years Jim Ross was the voice of the WWE, and to this day many fans refer to the WWE Hall of Famer as the “Voice of Wrestling” and rightfully so.
Jim Ross brought something to the table (and still brings something to the table on NJPW Friday nights on AXS TV with Josh Barnett, watch it, trust me it’s good) that just can’t be duplicated. Ross gave us something that no WWE commentator since has been able to do. He gave us quotes to attach to great moments that will live on forever.
Memorable quotes from the commentary have been few and far between over the past few years. But when it comes to Jim Ross, I could probably fill an entire library with books containing memorable quotes that came out of his mouth during his run with WWE.
When you hear JR’s voice, you know it’s his voice. It’s immediately recogniazble, and that is a priceless quality in the world of broadcasting.
Anyway, all of this praise for Jim Ross will eventually tie back into my original point which focuses on Mauro Ranallo, which I promise I’m getting to.
I was watching TV the other day and a commercial came on for Showtime boxing, which I can only attest to being vaguely interested in. But my ears perked up right away when I heard a sound byte from a familiar broadcaster and that broadcaster was none other than Mauro Ranallo.
Mauro, like Jim Ross has a voice that is unlike any other voice in broadcasting, and as soon as you hear him speak you either immediately recognize who it is, or if you don’t know who it is, you pay attention because he commands your attention.
During the recent WWE Draft edition of SmackDown Live there were 4 announcers at the commentary table and Mauro Ranallo stuck out like a sore thumb, but for all the right reasons.
For too long WWE commentary has felt subdued, and it’s lacked energy, which makes it tough to get emotionally invested in the show at times. Too often the announcers are trying too hard to promote the network, and drop pop culture references, that they forget to call the action. Mauro is somehow able to do all three of those things and he’s able to make it sound smooth.
Sometimes WWE fans need an enthusiastic commentator to convince them that a match is more exciting than it really is, and Mauro does that so well that Vince McMahon had to tell him “Not everything is Wrestlemania.”
“At first Vince thought, ‘Not everything is WrestleMania,’ but I think he’s learned that’s just me. Everything is WrestleMania to me,” Mauro told Sports Illustrated a few months ago. “I go into calling any match, any fight–I don’t care if it’s the main event or the opener–that these guys have put in their work, they’re here for a reason, and there’s a reason I’m calling this fight, so I do want to give it as much attention and respect and energy as I would the main event or a championship fight.”
Good wrestling commentary can set the tone for a match the same way music sets the tone for a scene in a movie.
WWE is an exciting form of entertainment and it’s unlike anything else in the world. There’s action, there’s drama, there’s comedy and everything else in between. Given that WWE is an exciting form of entertainment, it needs an exciting broadcaster to narrate the stories that are being told on WWE programming every week.
Michael Cole has been promoted as the “voice of the WWE” for several years now, but now that the brand split is in full effect and SmackDown is a live show, Mauro Ranallo really has a chance to branch out and make his name synonymous with WWE.
Mauro has done the seemingly impossible by making WWE commentary exciting again and most importantly, he’s made WWE commentary quotable again.
In the relatively short time that he’s been with the company Mauro has shown that he has the ability to take a good match and help it reach even greater heights that it would not have reached without him, and that’s why he’s the next voice of the WWE.