Friday, May 30, 2014

William Regal Is Coming Into His Own As A Broadcaster


I am going to save my thoughts on NXT Takeover for our podcast that will be out tonight. It is a big show for us as we welcome former ROH T.V Champion Matt Taven to our show. It is a very good interview and Matt has some really cool things to say about ROH heading to PPV on June 22nd. I really like Steve Corino who does commentary for ROH. I think he is growing into his role as commentator. He like many, not just in wrestling, but in sports was a former competitor in the ring. Not every former wrestler or pro athlete is cut out for broadcasting.

This all leads me to the point of this blog to talk about William Regal and the tremendous job he did last night and has been doing for awhile lately down in NXT. I have made it no secret that I am not happy with commentary on the main roster. I may have much more critical opinion having studied broadcast journalism. Still, I think the average person can tell the difference between good and bad. It isn’t rocket science but it isn’t as easy as people thing it is either. One of the things you can try if you think you can do it, mute your T.V and call the action you’re seeing and record it. Listen back and evaluate if you did a good job at describing and adding to what you were seeing visually. It isn’t easy for the average person it is truly a craft.  This is a skill that you always are looking to constantly evolve in. Each time you do a broadcast, or have a chance to interview someone it is a new chance to improve and grow. If you fall into a rut and just start to mail it in the results in that will show. That is what I feel is happening with the main broadcast crew on Raw.

One of the things in that little experiment that I failed to have you experience was having people talking in your ear as you talk. That is what happens during a real broadcast with director and in case of WWE a producer named Vince McMahon in your ear. That is a jarring experience the first time you do a real broadcast to both listen and talk at the same time is a unique skill. Add in the fact that it is Vince, which I have never experienced, I would think that only amps up the pressure.

William Regal has both an entertaining way about him, but a brilliant way of mixing that and telling the story of a match. He can have you laughing one moment about how he talked with Tyler Breeze and comes up with some ridiculous things his fur or feather jacked is made from. In the next moment he can get across the gravity of the match Breeze is about to compete in for a chance to be NXT Champion. He describes things in the ring and really sells the import aspects of a hold or point in a match. He does something that J.R was oh so skilful at and still is. He makes you get emotionally invested in the product and people you are watching.

Where wrestling separates from traditional sports is that it is a wrestling announcer’s job to get over the talent. While there is some of that in pro sports especially in hometown broadcasts, at the end of the day we expecting objectivity. While in wrestling we have no real expectation of that and in fact sometimes it is great if it is totally irrational thinking. You can play favorites, as wrestling announcer especially in a heel role on commentary. Jessie Ventura and Bobby “The Brain” would lay the verbal smack down on the babyface wrestlers. Jessie use to go to town on Tito Santana to the point I wonder if Jessie was owed money by him.

William Regal really has grown as commentator and is truly reaching the peak of his skills at it. When Bray Wyatt took out JBL I hoped for a brief second that Regal would come out and replace him. No such luck in terms of this happening.

I love him on NXT and he does a wonderful job getting the new talent over, but he is needed far more on the main roster. Where some of the people he has put over so well in NXT, are having a difficult time adjusting to things on the big stage. A big part of the reason for these failures of recent arrivals from NXT happening falls at the feet of Cole, Lawler and Bradshaw. They have failed in their role to get these new talents over. It takes the talent and writers as well, but commentary is a big part of that.

William Regal we need you on Raw or Smackdown to help bring your brilliance to a larger audience. You would be shocked how much better an average match can become with great commentary. It is not all that different from how a great crowd can make a show seem better and bad crowd can make a decent show seem terrible.

So save us William Regal, you maybe our only hope to save commentary from the evil trio of liars that Bray Wyatt has pointed out.