HAVE MIC, WILL TRAVEL

Mark Madden

Strangely, my phone isn’t ringing.

Tazz quit as Smackdown co-host and yet, Vince McMahon has not dropped the dime. He has not made the call to the still-beloved former co-host of one of America’s highest-rated cable programs ever.
 
Obviously, I could do it. Besides being the adrenal linchpin of Nitro, I’ve been a highly-rated radio host since 1996. If I can single-handedly enthrall a plethora of listeners every day, imagine my charisma boiled down to just two hours per week via the WWE machinery.
 
Here’s the beauty part, Vince: You won’t even have to produce me. No more screaming into the headset, no more forcing the color guy to ditch his careful preparation in favor of your ad-libbed nonsense, no more glaring at him like a misbehaving second-grader when he returns backstage, no more screwing up relationships like when you drove Mick Foley to TNA by acting like a gorilla at the gorilla position.
 
Yes, all of that would go by the wayside – imagine the time and aggravation you’d save! – because I would tell you to shut the **** up. I watched when you were a broadcaster, and you sucked. I’ve spent 13 glorious years behind a microphone and it’s resulted in great financial gain for all involved. I’m a professional announcer. You’re a wrestling promoter. I won’t lecture you on mangling WrestleMania, don’t tell me to yell, “THIS IS PERSONAL! PERSONAL, DAMMIT!”
 
You need to understand that you don’t know everything, or even very much. Besides wrestling, you’ve failed at everything. The idea that you know more about announcing than me – or Tazz, or Jerry Lawler, or Michael Cole, or especially Jim Ross – is utterly laughable.
 
I’m also going to keep my radio job. You don’t get to involve me in your petty human cockfights. You don’t get to hold me hostage. Being on the radio every day sharpened my game on Nitro, and it gave me career options. When you work for a nut, you need career options.
 
I’m also not going to lose weight, fix my teeth, cut my hair, or wear a suit. Wrestling announcers are on camera a few seconds per show. It’s not a beauty pageant. The idea is to advance storylines, fill in the gaps thereof, and provide emotion (though not gratuitously). You have to know when to shut up; when to use silence as a dramatic device. You have to be able to sell surprise even when you’re not surprised. You need a distinctive, identifiable voice. You need to be grammatically sound and minimally tongue-tied. It’s a lot easier to do all that, by the way, without some idiot constantly screaming in your ear.
 
As for money, I want $250,000 per year. True, people won’t turn on the television just to hear me, but I will become identifiable with the product. If it’s for worse, fire me. If it’s for better, I should be rewarded. I’m not desperate to return to the wrestling business. But the wrestling20business should be desperate to hire successful professionals from other walks of life, not just marks longing to be on TV. Want proof? Look how well Mike Adamle worked out.
 
If you don’t hire me, my suggestion is this: Do it yourself. You seem to know everything when you’re at the gorilla position, so take a risk and do it yourself. With the exception of Ross, WWE announcing quality is at an all-time low, but it’s not because you have bad announcers. It’s because you, personally, create a working environment that makes it impossible to succeed. The way you berate announcers under the guise of “producing” is not only ineffective, it’s shameful. Nothing good comes from it. You just like to do it because you’re a bully.
 
If you’d like a taste of my work, here’s how I would have called the aftermath of Randy Orton’s DDT on Stephanie while Triple H was handcuffed to the ropes: “HEY, ORTON, SQUEEZE HER MELONS! GRAB A HANDFUL, RANDY! MORE THAN A MOUTHFUL’S A WASTE!”
 
I’m fairly certain that’s what you’d have been telling Lawler to scream if it had been any woman besides your daughter.
 
 
SORRY, BUT I DON’T GET IT
 
 
Kyle Maynard is a congenital amputee. He has stumps instead of arms and legs. He has no knees or elbows. Yet he succeeded as a high school wrestler, posting a record of 35-16. Now Maynard wants to enter Mixed Martial Arts/Ultimate Fighting.


It’s brave. It’s determined. But a big part of me says it’s just dumb.


Armbars and ankle locks are a staple of MMA. So is striking. Isn’t Maynard skewing the whole premise? I assume he’ll focus on wrestling. Does that mean a foe crosses the line if he strikes Maynard? He’ll look like a monster, an unspeakable bully. Lose to Maynard, you’re a chump. Beat him, you’re a bigger chump. What if somebody walks into the octagon and splits Maynard’s eyebrow open with a punch?

I believe in Maynard’s right to compete. But the overall discomfort level when h e does might outweigh the feel-good part. I also dont believe that every single endeavor in society has to cater to the unusual.

Why is Maynard doing this? He won’t ever get a bout with Brock Lesnar, let alone beat him. Is it just a cry for attention?

Maybe I’m missing something. This just doesn’t inspire me. It’s a great story, but one that should have ended with Maynard’s scholastic wrestling career.

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