Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wrestling Six Packs: Favorite Announce Teams

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All hail the great and devious lord of Chikara's
Commentation Station!
Announcing is such a tricky beast. You can have great announcers, but what good are they if their partner's a dud, or if they're miscast? That's why you can't really look at single announcers as much as teams. Here are six of my favorite announce pairings or trios in wrestling today.

1. Bryce Remsburg and UltraMantis Black

Of course Bryce was going to be here. Hell, I love nearly everyone that has ever gone into the Commentation Station, and Bryce's exuberance is a huge reason. For whatever reason, I think he pairs best with Mantis. The Great and Devious One's macabre and methodical tone plays as a perfect canvas for Bryce marking out like a less smarky Joey Styles. It's just a perfect teaming.

2. Excalibur and Chris Hero

In addition to being a world-class wrestler, Hero takes to PWG's announce table whenever he can. The results are pretty epic. Excalibur, when left to work freely behind the table for the Guerrilla, is just a treat to listen to. He's a trove of wrestling trivia and move knowledge, and the excited calls and cursing don't hurt for me at least. He's there with a bunch of different partners, but for some reason, he and Hero gel the best. I think that it's a combination of Hero's natural charisma and knowledge as well as the chemistry and friendship that's easily sensed between the two. One of the reasons why PWG stands out above the fray.

3. Scott Stanford and Josh Mathews

I don't know what it is about Scott Stanford that makes me like him so much. Maybe it's his cheesy, over the top delivery, his palling around with Zack Ryder, his nicknaming, the seeming non-sequiturs... he's such a throwback, kinda like a Vince McMahon, only a little more knowledgeable about how to call an actual match. Mathews serves as a good foil for him just because of how understated he is. He seems the most comfortable with Stanford. Matt Striker was too pompous. Michael Cole and he had too much of an inside relationship that got old more quickly than I thought (without some mediator in between, as we'll see later in the list). But with Stanford? Yeah, it's a shame no one watches Superstars, because they're missing out.

4. Lenny Leonard and Leonard F. Chikarason

There's nothing really flashy about this team, but then again, they call matches for EVOLVE... that's the meat 'n potatoes fed. Wins matter. The action matters. They're pitch perfect for the fed, and they're both really informative, both with the history and with the actual action. I really dig it.

5. Josh Mathews, Booker T and Michael Cole

Booker T makes this broadcast team. He absolutely does. I've noted before that he's an anomaly in that he's a true neutral voice. I also love his banter with Michael Cole, with Cole needling him and Booker playing it off pitch-perfectly. His bewilderment at certain happenings is just priceless too. Booker is just like Dusty Rhodes as an announcer. He really shouldn't be all that good, but he just fits and is memorable for what some might term "all the wrong reasons". But if liking Booker is wrong? I don't wanna be right.

6. Bryce Remsburg and Mike Quackenbush

And we come full circle with another Commentation Station pairing. While Mantis' theatrical style plays foil to Bryce in one way, Quack is similarly a counterweight in a totally different style. He's authoritative, cerebral, calling matches like us nerds would write announcers in our random e-feds. Like Excalibur, he knows all the moves, all the history. And he's got such an announcer's voice too. It pairs brilliantly as the straight man to Bryce's super-fan.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

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