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tiger_rick
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Best/Favourite commentary performances? 

Gorilla and Heenan in 92 get mentioned a lot. Gorilla and Ventura were awesome at times too though. WrestleMania 5 main event might be the creme de la creme. They're incredible telling that story. Both unashamedly biased. They're as much a part of that being a miracle as Savage is.

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Heyman was outstanding in his brief 2001 stint. He brought something else out of JR too, sometimes wrestling is great when two people having to work together don’t really like each other. He was regularly really effective at getting the story across to the viewer and along with Jeff Hardy was pretty much entirely responsible for getting Rhyno over.

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Heyman was a big part in how over RVD was in 2001 as well I think. RVD never got near to that level of popularity again. The standard of commentary dropped considerably once King was brought back, and JR resumed phoning it in for the most part. Heyman really seemed to push JR's buttons. He even made Michael Cole almost tolerable when paired with him on Smackdown back then.  

JBL's first stab at commentary in mid 2000's was really good too, did wonders for MVP when he was called up initially, despite his crap superman outfit. Same with Finlay when he came out of retirement. Can't think of any wrestler of today's era the shitty announce teams have helped, which is a bit crap.

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1 hour ago, tiger_rick said:

Best/Favourite commentary performances? 

Gorilla and Heenan in 92 get mentioned a lot. Gorilla and Ventura were awesome at times too though. WrestleMania 5 main event might be the creme de la creme. They're incredible telling that story. Both unashamedly biased. They're as much a part of that being a miracle as Savage is.

I used to love it as the big shows headed towards the main event, when to add drama, either Heenan or Ventura (depending on which one was working with Monsoon) would actually agree on a small point and both Gorilla & his colour commentator would both be disgusted with themselves at the mere thought of just for a split second, actually be on the same page as their foe.

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Best team for me was Vince, Savage and Heenan. Vince being the man in charge sold everything brilliantly, Heenan was usual Heenan, funny and smart. And Savage to me was an underrated commentator, he still had the zany antics that were popular in his promos, but could be serious and sell an angle too. 

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Individually, Lance Russell and Kent Walton for me, for similar reasons - both project a sense of warmth and familiarity, which is vital for a weekly TV programme. I've compared Russell to Terry Wogan in the past, in the sense that he had a conversational style that disguised just how good he was, and made it feel like he was an old friend talking directly to you. Because of that folksy, chatty style, it doesn't get mentioned enough quite how much he was able to add to an angle when he had to - he's a vital part of the Terry Funk/Jerry Lawler empty arena match, and countless Jimmy Hart angles.

Russell never insulted the audience's intelligence, never behaved in a way that didn't seem befitting his personality, and always seemed completely human. 

In WWF terms, as good as Bobby Heenan was, I prefer the team of Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon. Heenan will quite often take the opportunity for an easy punchline over adding to the story, outside of big matches, and could be a bit cartoonish as a result, whereas Ventura offered a lot of genuine insight into the heels' behaviour.

That said, Heenan early in his WCW run has been a revelation - I never really watched WCW at the time, so only knew him later in his run when he clearly didn't want to be there. Early on, he really puts a shift in to put over everything that's going on - he sells the first Hogan/Flair match amazingly well, and when they build to their Loser Leaves Town match, the way he sells how desperate Hogan would have to be to risk losing a spot in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world is wonderful.

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This might be a controversial one but I have always held Tony Schiavone & Jesse Ventura's Royal Rumble 1990 call in high regard.

In particular, the Hogan/Warrior showdown...."Hold on to your seats, this place is going to EXPLODE!!!" had the hairs on the back of the neck standing on end.

Other lines such as "Here comes the Macho Kiiiiinnnngggg" as Savage is back-dropped over the top rope worked well.

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When Schiavone is good, he's brilliant. Especially alongside Jesse, and to a lesser extent JR. When he's phoning it in and cashing his paycheque he's pretty bad. 

I really enjoyed Cole & Tazz on Smackers in the early 2000s. When Tazz was explaining why moves hurt as opposed to banging on about Rocket Busters he was decent. Cole was even reigned in a little. They worked well together. 

The absolute pinnacle of it was the Torrie Wilson/Dawn Marie angle because they unabashedly ripped the piss out of it. "go to a commercial, I'm begging." 

JR & Heyman during the Invasion were great. 

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Throwing in Joey Styles in ECW here. To carry the whole promotion on his own mainly from its beginnings to the end as well as doing PPV's solo was unheard of at that time. Throw in the Oh my god sparingly to really get a move over along with the more edgier style of commentary and promo work makes him stand out for me. 

 

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