By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On wanting to announce the main event of WrestleMania: “It wasn’t any other company. It wasn’t just to do it. And it wasn’t I want to call this guy’s match. I want to be in this environment. It was this is the company I want to go to; this is the company I grew up watching. If it wasn’t for this person and this person, am I the person I am today? It was my goal in life is to call the main event at WrestleMania, throwing it out there. Because we talk about talent that’s in the ring. There’s only one main event each night of WrestleMania there’s only so many main events that have happened at WrestleMania there’s been countless matches, there’s only been one main event or two main events.
“I want to call a WrestleMania main event. I’ve called matches at WrestleMania. I’ve called championship matches at WrestleMania, but I’ve never called the main event and that to me is still what drives me to let me be different than what you’re hearing. Let me continue to work twice as hard. Let me, give me Beth Phoenix or Wade Barrett and then Booker T or Nigel McGuinness or Percy [Watson]. Like whoever it is, I’m going to make it work with their help, because everyone I’ve ever worked with has actually elevated me, which has been a beautiful thing in itself. But I want to call the main event of WrestleMania. And that is what drives me every Tuesday, or when I was doing Raw, or doing Mixed Match Challenge or 205 Live or Level Up, or now even with NXT. It’s to get to that specific moment.”
On the journey to WWE: “Dude, it’s really weird to look back. Because when we were in the car driving over here, we talked about it’s been nine years since I’ve seen you. And when I was at CBS, CBS approached me with a contract renewal, CBS Radio, and the Cleveland Browns network. They said, Hey, we want to re-up you for another two years. And I thought to myself, if I’m going to get to the WWE, I’m going to give myself 12 months to do it. Truthfully, balls to the wall. I don’t know if I can say that without getting edited. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. Tommy Dreamer and House of Hardcore at the time. I do the loops, the Indy loops, I do the stuff in Cleveland that we talked about. And I really said I’m going to give myself I told myself, I’m going to give it 12 months. And if it doesn’t happen, well we’ll see where we go.
“And I got a phone call. I was at a Guns and Roses show in Chicago at Soldier Field. And the day before I left for the show, Tom Phillips called me and said Michael Cole would like to know if you’d like to come in for an audition. That happened in September, and then I got signed in December. They let me finish out that Browns season, which I believe they went 0 and 16. And then I started in January. But I’ve never told anybody that before I came to the WWE, I walked away from CBS Sports, and I walked away from the Cleveland Browns. The place I had been that I had covered 4 NBA Finals. A city championship, which is near and dear to me still to this day to have done that a World Series, the drafting of Johnny Manziel, the releasing of Johnny Manziel, the self-destruction of the Cleveland Browns, so to speak during that part, but that was, and it’s weird to say now looking back, it was betting on myself.
“Knowing how much I loved the WWE, wrestling, sports entertainment, whatever you want to categorize as that this is what I want to do. This is what I love. This is what I am passionate about. And I don’t think if I would have taken that year to say, I’m going to do this, that Tom Phillips would have never called me, that I never would have gotten a face to face Michael Cole, that I never would have gotten signed, that I wouldn’t be sitting here with you today getting ready for WrestleMania here in Los Angeles.”
On Vic Joseph’s favorite match that he has commentated on: “I actually get the most compliments. And if you go back and listen to it, it’s Rey Mysterio and Brock Lesnar Survivor Series 2019. And Dominik is in his father’s corner, which now we’re at where we’re at here in Los Angeles, it’s kind of ironic to go back and look at it. But if you listen to the match, I forget where I’m at and kind of black out and I become a fan and my voice breaks. Where Dominik hits the Frog Splash with Rey, hits the Frog Splash, this is going to be it. Then Brock kicks out and you hear me go, Oh, my God, there’s like I thought they had it. But I lose myself because I’m still a fan. Every time I sit in that seat behind the desk, that’s when I get the most compliments about that’s the one, I’m really proud of thus far. And this weekend, I think I have an opportunity with Johnny Gargano Grayson Waller because of my personal feelings towards Johnny. And then the main event of Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes, because as they said, they’ve been the two guys since that rebranding or that revolution, evolution, whatever buzzword you want to use of NXT was put in, so I may have a moment this weekend. But it also comes back to all these to me are steps of a ladder to get me to that WrestleMania main event.”