By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote per day for each of the 2020 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. Tony Schiavone (22 percent)
2. Mauro Ranallo (10 percent)
3. Jim Ross (10 percent)
4. Samoa Joe (8 percent)
5. Corey Graves (8 percent)
Others (42 percent)
Anish V’s Thoughts: I may be biased given I am ProWrestling.net’s 205 Live reviewer, but the broadcaster who not only did the most noticeable, but also the largest amount of quality work for me was Vic Joseph. Juggling both 205 Live and NXT with a whole host of different commentary partners, Vic has been a constant and really cemented himself as the easiest to listen to broadcaster in all of WWE. Vic’s voice works perfectly with the style that NXT has been building and has enough character not to fade into the background and feel legitimate in his back and forth with Nigel McGuinness and Wade Barrett.
Nick Perkins’ Thoughts: As a ’90s wrestling fan, I cannot tell you how good it has been to hear Tony Schiavone’s voice on TNT every week again. Jim Ross has been called “The Voice of Our Childhoods,” but I think that distinction could belong to Schiavone as well. His own personal story of leaving the wrestling business, doing what he needed to do to provide for his family, and then returning somehow better than when he left is one of the feel-good stories of wrestling. But the man is talented too. He can put over the talent, the matches, the stories in his sleep, but he also has a very subtle sense of humor that leaves me in stitches at least once a week. Schiavone was the voice of my childhood, and he’s the voice of my mid-30’s as well.
Colin McGuire’s Thoughts: While I’m inclined to think it’s not completely their fault, it’s often hard for me to distinguish between the three lead broadcasters in WWE. There’s Michael Cole, Tom Phillips (Michael Cole Jr.) and Vic Joseph (Tom Phillips Jr.). So, while I admire their success, they’re out for me. Even so, WWE does feature my second and third choices, Samoa Joe and Corey Graves. Turns out, the former is really great at this thing while the latter is a guilty pleasure of mine. Ultimately, though, who gets it? Excalibur. Say what you want about his tendency to go overboard with excitement, but his knowledge of multiple wrestling genres proves to be the motor that keeps the truck running in the AEW booth. He’s the perfect guy for a company like AEW, and frankly, his style serves as a welcome deviation from a lot of pro wrestling broadcasters we see these days. Plus, he does it in the background, overshadowed by the two legends next to him. Who knew that not going through the WWE ringer could actually serve as a good thing to some in the professional wrestling world these days?
Jason Powell’s Thoughts: Tony Schiavone’s return to calling pro wrestling is a feel-good story. He never seemed to immerse himself in the MLW product during his run on Fusion, but that hasn’t been an issue with his work in AEW. With all due respect to Schiavone and everyone else who cracked the top five, my vote goes to someone who didn’t make that list. Ian Riccaboni is the perfect voice of Ring of Honor. Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman are my favorite broadcast team in the game. The weekly ROH Wrestling television show improved greatly with a format change and the return of Pure Rules matches coming out of the pandemic. Riccaboni and Coleman embraced those changes and have done a tremendous job of leading viewers through the Pure Rules matches and explaining the nuances of all the matches they call. Riccaboni still has a lot of work to do when it comes to matching the big match call of Jim Ross, but there was no one better in 2020 when it came to storytelling. This award will likely switch to “Best Broadcast Team” next year. If that had been the category this year, Riccaboni and Coleman would have received my vote.