By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote each of the 2017 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 (47 percent)
2. Mauro Ranallo (14 percent)
3. Renee Young (10 percent)
4. Jim Ross (10 percent)
5. Don Callis (4 percent)
Others (15 percent)
Jake Barnett’s Take: Corey Graves had a great year. It’s easy to see why WWE was quick to make him a presence on both Raw and Smackdown, as he provides the energy and wit that makes him an engaging foil for the other members of the commentary team. I am not a fan of WWE’s three-man booth approach, but Graves has been a bright spot in what has otherwise been dull run of WWE announcing.
Will Pruett’s Thoughts: If I were giving this award out myself, I’d give it to Michael Cole, who brings more to the table than any other broadcaster in wrestling. He’s shed his heel persona from the first part of the decade and now feels like the trusted voice of WWE. Every other commentator is a step below. Corey Graves deserves credit for being an excellent part of WWE TV. Mauro Ranallo attempts to be too clever for his own good. Cole does his job and does it well.
Zack Zimmerman’s Thoughts: Corey Graves is one of the few aspects of WWE to feel in-touch and culturally aware. He makes the most of he product and very rarely frustrates me as a viewer, which can’t be said for many other broadcasters. Honorable mentions to Mauro Ranallo and Don Callis.
John Moore’s Thoughts: This is an interesting one for me, because any other year he might have earned my “worst announcer” compared to a lot of others (though Alex Riley and Booker could have given him a run for his money). The negative perception is through his Ring of Honor and TNA work as a fill-in. I’m talking about Nigel McGuinness, who in WWE has been one of their best commentators throughout the shows he’s involved in. When paired with Michael Cole and Mauro Ranallo at different times, Nigel has offered strong attention to detail and credibility to the commentary booth.
Haydn Gleed’s Thoughts: If this was an award for the best broadcasting team it would be the ROH team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana as together they have the perfect blend of passion, knowledge and chemistry as a pair to really enhance the product. For an individual broadcaster however, I can’t look past Cory Graves whose analysis really conveys a true passion for the business while at the same time manages to keep credibility no matter what ridiculous “sports entertainment” is going on around him.
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: Corey Graves is overexposed as a member of both the Raw and Smackdown broadcast teams, but I don’t hear anyone complaining. He continues to be a strong color commentator and the best of the WWE in-house projects in a long time. It’s also good to see the readers acknowledge Mauro Ranallo and Renee Young. Ranallo gets a little too cute at times, but he’s a fantastic play-by-play voice. Young is too good for WWE. Or at least she’s too good for the limited role she plays. Bring back Talking Smack! I am with Haydn in that I really enjoy the team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana. ROH was in such a tough spot when they lost Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. We know Cabana was a good color commentator, but was anyone confident that Riccaboni was up for the job? He quickly proved that he was and I love the way he acts outraged by the actions of the heels and sympathetic for the babyfaces when they are wronged. It’s such a simple thing that is missing from too many calls these days.
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The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...