This past Smackdown, while Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were starting a marathon series of matches that would culminate in a 12man tag match, Dean Ambrose was on commentary. While on commentary, Ambrose added something special to the match with his quips, his digs at the Rhodes, and his vocal support for his team. He was so good on commentary that I was somewhat disappointed that he had to get in the ring to wrestle, because I wanted to see him continue to entertain more on the announcing side.
With that, it’s interesting to look at the current roster and consider who the best potential announcers based on their past work at the announcer’s table. These are the type of guys who could do a few guest stints of color commentary at the announcer’s table a la Macho Man from the early 90’s and CM Punk before the Summer of Punk and add something extra to the show and the commentary. Hell, in the worst case scenario, we know that they have a viable career waiting for them if they ever have to prematurely hang up the boots.
Ambrose- The paragraph above described how good he was on commentary, so much so that it doesn’t need mentioning here. His timing was spot on, he advanced the story, he put over both teams, and he even called moves in the match, despite Vince’s dislike for such behavior–because an announcer’s job is to move the story along instead of detailing what’s going on in the ring. Should Ambrose want to do commentary after he retires YEARS down the line, he’d be a natural fit.
Titus O’Neil- #Washrag. If you don’t know that significance of that hashtag, then you’ve missed out on a great segment from the November 19, 2012 version of Raw. After a few stints at the commentary desk, it was clear that Titus’ charisma would make the PTP stand out. Darren’s probably a decent wrestler, but Titus has every quality that Vince likes in a future star: size, speed, power, mic skills, and charisma. During his stints at the commentary desk, he dropped hilarious one-liners, made fun of Cole, and created genuinely hilarious and entertaining segments. Few fans would oppose Titus making a regular visit to the announcer’s table and trading barbs with Jerry and Cole, and maybe even JBL.
Punk- Used as a way to keep Punk at the front of the viewing audience’s collective consciousness while he rehabbed a hip injury, CM Punk’s work at the announcer’s desk was brilliant. Punk never completely aligned with heels or faces, providing a completely independent perspective on commentary, and that freedom was beneficial to his work as a color guy. Making fun of fellow announcers, giving relevant observations about the product, tying in pop-culture to the WWE, and dropping snarky remarks, Punk added a tremendous amount to the announcer’s desk. John Cena still owes him a diet soda.
Damien Sandow- During his run with Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow would make the occasional appearance at the announcer’s desk. His work there was funny, smart, cooperative, (in the sense of adding to the story in the ring) and perfect for his character. As the “intellectual savior,” it’s fitting for him to have a way with words and a pronounced ease with speaking in any forum. He moved along the story being created in the ring, put over Cody, weathered unexpected barbs from Cole, and spoke with the haughty disposition that has made Sandow one of the best performers on the undercard. Having Sandow at the desk to make snide remarks while his next feud opponent wrestles in matches against other midcarders would go a long way into creating the next compelling feud for Sandow.
It’s no surprise that most of the guys on this list are established, good talkers. The charisma, wit, and entertainment factor that makes these guys good talkers naturally translates to their work on the announcer table. Each time these guys are at the announcer’s table, they remind us just how versatile they are within the wrestling world.