Now as we move further into the month of May and almost always solidly better weather we need to continue or monthly Top 10 countdowns as well. For this month we profile the top play-by-play announcers in the wrestling business over the years, starting with numbers 10, nine and eight here.
Number 10: Kevin Kelly
Most wrestling fans will remember Kelly during his time in the WWE between 1996 and 2003, when he began as a commentator for the Raw is War portion of Monday Night Raw. He added good knowledge to the broadcasts, but would move on to become a backstage interviewer for WWE and be involved in several storylines. The most famous of these was part of the feud between Brian Pillman and Stonecold Steve Austin when Austin went to Pillman's home and Pillman pulled a gun on Austin. Kelly would also be a talent scout for WWE with many of its early developmental territories, including OVW, Heartland Championship Wrestling and more. WWE released Kelly in 2003 but since 2010 he has re-surfaced as part of Ring of Honor (ROH) as there main play-by-play man.
Number Nine: Mike Tenay
Anyone who watches TNA wrestling regularly knows the voice and expertise of the "Professor" since he has been partnered with Tazz and prior to him, Don West, during his tenure in TNA. Tenay has been described by even the likes of Eric Bischoff as a "walking encyclopedia" of wrestling knowledge. Tenay has been the only play-by-play man in the 12 year history of TNA during all the weekly pay-per-views events and since the inception of Impact. Many longer time fans also know Tenay from his time with WCW on Thursday night's Thunder broadcasts. He worked for WCW from between 1994 and 2001 before they were purchased by WWE.
Number Eight: Lance Russell
If you never followed wrestling in the Memphis area from 1959 to 1997 then you may have never even heard of Russell, but Jerry Lawler and so many stars in that area know him and his style so very well. He was a relaxed announcer during most of the in-ring action until needing to switch to sharp statements during heated segments of both inside and outside the ring action. Lawler gave him the nickname of "banana nose" that stuck with him during the late 70's and beyond and was utilized by many heel wrestlers, including when Ric Flair came in with the NWA World title in tow. Russell did not stay in Memphis when the territory became the CWA under Jerry Jarrett about 1989, and moved on briefly to WCW. He would only work for then for about three years and eventually retired altogether in 1997.
So there are the first group of the Top 10 wrestling announcers in the sport of pro wrestling. When next we profile more of the voices of wrestling we will advance our countdown next week in part two to number seven, six and five, and part three for numbers four, three and two.Tags: Eric Bischoff, Impact, Jerry Lawler, Mike Tenay, Monday Night Raw, Ric Flair, Stonecold Steve Austin, TNA, WCW, Wrestling, WWE