Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote each of the 2016 awards categories. The following are the results of our poll for Best Broadcaster along with our staff comments. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
(1) Corey Graves (36 percent)
(2) Mauro Ranallo (33 percent)
(3) Jim Ross (10 percent)
(4) Renee Young (6 percent)
(5) Tie: Steve Corino and JBL (3 percent each)
Others: 9 percent
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: The voting results were hidden this year, even from the staff. As an evil prick, er, only person who knew the results of the voting before writing these comments, I will say that Graves winning surprised me a little if only because there was so much buzz over Ranallo being hired by WWE and whether the company would over produce and change him. I don’t feel like that has happened and he’s done a terrific job. Having said that, I also give the nod Graves in a tough call. Graves makes the Raw broadcast team listenable, which is not an easy task at times, and he is at his best on the NXT Takeover specials. It’s nice to see JR back on the list for his work on the New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS show. I wish Renee Young’s work on Talking Smack was seen on cable television so that she had a larger audience. She and Daniel Bryan are tremendous together, and she also seems to find instant chemistry with any of the replacement hosts. The likable Scott Stanford gets an honorable mention for making the pre-shows light and fun while they were still on the air.
Zack Zimmerman’s Thoughts: Corey Graves gets my vote. He sounds good, he looks good, he usually knows the proper line to walk, and above all else, his propensity for saying stupid shit is significantly lower than every other American announcer. Shinpei Nogami from NJPW is usually my default go-to when nobody else steps up, but Graves did enough this year to earn the distinction. Here’s hoping he continues the way he’s going and doesn’t let the WWE machine break him down.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: A year ago, when Mauro Ranallo coming to WWE was evident, I already had him penciled in for this category. Sadly, Mauro is on the worst of the WWE announce teams with JBL pointlessly yelling things and a pointless David Otunga. I’m going to vote for Corey Graves as the best Broadcaster. He brings some nice analysis to Raw and has been excellent on NXT.
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: Few people in WWE do their job as well as Renee Young does hers. I think I’ve given her this award two or three years in a row now, but more than ever it feels deserved. She brings an air of credibility and likability to her role that other interviewers lack, and her personality lends itself well as a contrast to the over the top characters that dominate Pro Wrestling shows. I’d love to see her get a shot at calling a Women’s Tournament later on in 2017.
Darren Gutteridge’s Thoughts: It is very hard to overstate how valuable Corey Graves is to the WWE. He is the only commentator, perhaps the wrestling world over, that you could deem “cool”, and the rest of WWE’s broadcast team are collectively about as cool as three day old oatmeal. His work has come on leaps and bounds, and while his heel antics can occasionally veer from “funny” to “distracting”, these are only rare blips on an otherwise stellar year.
Haydn Gleed’s Thoughts: The best commentator ability wise who is working on a consistent weekly basis is Mauro Ranallo, but it just doesn’t feel to me that he’s able to be himself. Instead, it feels that he is calling matches with the idea to please an audience of one as opposed to being the great sports like commentator that he can be. Thus, my vote this year goes to Corey Graves, as week in week out he is the only person who both entertains and informs me and, more importantly, the viewers.
John Moore’s Thoughts: Mauro Ranallo! Who else but Mauro? But not the Mauro after the brand split. I’ll give this to the pre brand split Mauro that was teamed up with Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler. If Lawler stuck around the rest of the year he might be in consideration for this award since he was seeing a career renaissance as a heel. He also filled in for Mauro’s weakness sometimes in defining babyfaces and heels in the ring. Mauro is the best commentator WWE has today because of his knowledge and eye for catching the action. His cheesy catchphrases are very funny too. Also, who doesn’t like to imitate an epic Mauro voice? I sure do.