Michael Buffer On DX Stealing His Catchphrase, RAW/Nitro

Matt Boone

Justncredible818 sent along the following:

One of the world’s most-famous ring announcers, whose iconic "Let’s get ready to rumble" catchphrase has generated international success over three decades, and now, it was time to "get ready to Mayhem" with The Big Mosh, Blade, & MNM’s National Correspondent (and Michael’s former WCW colleague, Scott Hudson).
 
Whenever there was a big main-event match on a WCW Pay-Per-View offering, you knew Michael Buffer would be there for the ring announcing. After doing numerous matches over the years & eight+ years after the closing of WCW, Mosh began things by asking Michael about his favorite(s) of the bunch. "Some of the great memories was when did those shows in Sturgis ("Road Wild"). But when it comes down to my favorite moments, almost all of them would include Ric Flair. I’ve never a seen a professional, I’ve done movies, television shows, the World Series, etc, I’ve never seen somebody that had complete awareness of his presence. From the way he would make an entrance, to the time he left & went up that ramp. He was probably to me, in my seven years of being at ringside, I’ve never seen a more consummate professional in my life."
 
As many already know, the highly-anticipated "Rise And Fall Of WCW" DVD is mere weeks away from release, and as fans gear up for the release, many are remembering their favorite (and not-so-favorite memories from World Championship Wrestling). Over the years on "Your Home Of Wrestling Radio," Scott (Hudson) has given his many thoughts on what he feels were the contributing factors that led to the closing & demise of WCW. What are Michael’s takes on the subject of the "death" of WCW? "I came in ’93/’94 (during Eric Bischoff’s early reign), and everything (Turner Broadcasting) was ran out of Atlanta, and and they had made a decision to start paying these guys really big bucks, bring in the superstars to go head-to-head with the WWE, which was the biggest thing in the history of wrestling." He went onto add that the Pay-Per-Views were off the charts, and the episodes of WCW Nitro were spectacular events. "It was just this period where professional wrestling was off the charts. The middle to late 90′s: both Nitro & RAW were getting 10′s in the Nielsens…each. It’s unheard of…the audience was spectacular. Shows that are in the Top 20…network shows don’t even get numbers like that."

The end of WCW was not a surprise to most people, as the writing was on the wall for several months leading into the final episode of Nitro in Panama City Beach, FL. Mosh & Blade asked Michael if he was shocked about seeing the end of World Championship Wrestling. "It came as a surprise. For some reason, the ratings for both WCW & WWE started to change, so when that happened, somebody had to go…It just wasn’t working out going head-to-head."

Over the decade, we have seen many professional boxers step into the WWE ring, such as Mike Tyson & most recently Floyd "Money" Mayweather. With Michael’s specialty being the world of boxing, does he see Vince McMahon wanting want to work with boxers into the future, as well as more cross-promotion between boxing & wrestling? "I think we will again. Mike Tyson as a kid was a mark, he loved wrestling. So that was something he loved to do when he had the opportunity to participate. And when it comes to Mayweather, another guy who is a natural showman. So for him that was a easy transition to make, and he did a heck of a job. It all depends on the individual. I don’t think it was the last of a cross promotion. The numbers were huge for both of those events."

One of the members of The Mayhem Nation’s listening audience submitted a question for Michael, wanting to know how Michael felt making his return to the wrestling scene at "The World’s Most-Famous Arena," Madison Square Garden, for the "Saturday Night’s Main Event" TV tapings two summers ago (for the boxing match between Matt Hardy & Evander Holyfield). Will we have the chance to hear "Let’s get ready to rumble!" inside the WWE squared circle very soon? "We have a good relationship with Mr. McMahon, and he knows anytime he wants to give me a call, I’m there. And of course, we had that great time at The Royal Rumble in Madison Square Garden. Anytime I get a chance to work with the guys from the WWE, it’s a chance I jump at if I can. I had a great time, especially when you go into a place like Madison Square Garden. There’s nothing like a event at The Garden."

During the heydays of "The Monday Night Wars" between the WWE & WCW, Degeneration-X took Michael’s infamous saying, and gave it their own spin ("Let’s get ready to suck it!"). Since then, many fans of both DX & Buffer have been debating over the years if there was actually legit heat between the two. Buffer indeed put any fears or rumors of ill-will between him & DX to rest. "No, actually we call that a bastardization of the trademark. I thought it as pretty funny. It was pretty creative, and it kind of emphasized the competition that was going on between the two outfits. In a round-about way, it was almost flattering that they would take a hold of that, use as part of the competition, & make a sarcastic remark about their competitors. But I thought it was great, I loved it."

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