Dot Net Awards: 2014 Best Broadcaster
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2014 awards throughout the month of January. The following are the results of our poll for Best Broadcaster. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting. You can check out the past winners in our Awards section.
(1) Renee Young: 25 percent
(2) Jerry Lawler: 13 percent
(3) William Regal: 12 percent
(4) JBL: 10 percent
(5) Michael Cole: 10 percent
Others: 30 percent
Jason Powell's Thoughts: I couldn't possibly vote for any of the WWE or TNA play-by-play or color commentators for the top spot. In WWE, we can blame Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn for their bizarre tastes, and the horrific way Vince produces the commentary teams. Mike Tenay was the voice of a bad product for far too long. Taz has shown that he can be a very good color commentator, but he played the fun-loving, laugh at your own jokes role. He seems to be moving away from that in 2015, so here's hoping he can have a resurgence. Young is great at what she does and I wish we would see more of it. I don't care if she becomes a play-by-play voice, I think she's awesome in the role of backstage interviewer and I hope WWE gets more out of her in that role. Props to Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino, who are in my top five.
Will Pruett's Thoughts: Broadcasting seems like one of those lost arts in wrestling. The current Raw announce situation is dire. The up and comers contain Alex Riley, who could be an all-time worst. What's odd is that in this wasteland of a lost art, Renee Young has emerged as the very best in the world. She is likable in backstage interviews. She can host a panel full of idiots and make something intelligent of it. She has grown a ton as a commentary voice on NXT. Renee was already the best in the world last year (even though fans voted for Jim Ross for some reason) and she only got better in 2014.
Jake Barnett's Thoughts: This award belongs to Renee Young. I'm not sure if I'm violating the spirit of the rules here, but Renee's presence always gives off a level competence and class that is uncommon among WWE announcers, and she is able to lend a credible sports interviewer feel to a team of broadcasters that too often wears their clown shoes to work. I hope WWE antes up and gives Renee the contract necessary to keep her around, because if not I could see any number of sports network coming along to bring her into their fold.
Zack Zimmerman's Thoughts: Shinpei Nogami - Awarding Best Broadcaster in the U.S. this year would feel akin to awarding the sexiest vegetable. Shinpei Nogami, who is NJPW's lead commentator, is able to take viewers on the journey of the match at hand and the show overall without even speaking the same language. You're able to decipher the names of wrestlers and their big moves, and then tune into Nogami's emotion to understand the story and flow of the match. It's a really great display of wrestling as a universal language. A minor honorable mention to Rich Brennan in NXT who had a solid rookie year, and has not yet been trained out of being himself. I'm already excited for the 2015 version of this award; I'm looking at you, Mauro Ranallo.
Darren Gutteridge's Thoughts: Steve Corino would have won this award even if WWE commentary wasn't godawful in 2014. If there is one thing Corino does better than anybody, it's bring humor to matches. He has yet to show a mastery of "getting serious when the time comes", but he excelled in bringing light relief to ROH TV, and was a dab hand at expressing surprise and excitement.
Haydn Gleed's Thoughts: 2014 was not a great year for announcing I think it's safe to say. All the major US companies struggled with announcers who were either being over produced, too laid back or simply drifted into the background. I'll let you decide who I'm talking about there. There has been one bright ray of light amongst the darkness that was wrestling announcing, and that was Renee Young. Quite simply, she treats what she is calling or the wrestlers she is interviewing as real, and with an enthusiasm that translates over to the viewers. She doesn't take pot shots at wrestling fans or wrestling websites or other companies, she's just straight with her interview style or calling a match, and as a result is the only person deserving of my pick for broadcaster of the year.
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