View Full Version : Poor old Joey Styles

03-28-2006, 09:06 PM
WWE.com caught up with Joey Styles to get his take on the WrestleMania announcing team from RAW and much more:

WWE.com: When WWE.com first spoke to you regarding your hiring, you said your biggest goal was to announce at WrestleMania. Now that WWE has chosen to go with Jim Ross at WrestleMania, how does that make you feel?

Joey Styles: My initial response when I was told on Monday when I arrived at the arena in Omaha was disappointment. That lasted about 30 minutes. I was told in person and I do appreciate that. Probably 30 minutes after that, my ego took over and I felt angry for about an hour. And then after real introspection, I realized Iím not where they need me to be in terms of what the position is. And I think what readers of WWE.com and fans watching at home donít understand is what the position is: WWE doesnít have play-by-play men. They may call it a play-by-play man, but what that position really is, is a ďlead storyteller.Ē Itís a completely different animal than what I was trying to do.

The ironic part about this is that I was taught how to announce the play-by-play by Paul Heyman, who was taught by Jim Ross. And frankly, WWE has brought in Jim Ross himself, who is the best-ever at doing this, to train me so I can become as good as he is. And he told me that when he started with WWE, he had 20 years of play-by-play under his belt, and he had to be deprogrammed and start over again. He came in and called WrestleMania IX and then maybe another pay-per-view after that and then disappeared from television. He was calling, I believe, internationally syndicated TV working on not calling each and every move from a collar-and-elbow tie-up to a waist lock all the way through the end of the match and instead learning how to weave and tell the story. And Iím pretty much in the same situation he was in.

What Iím thankful for is that Jim has agreed to come in and in his words, ďpass the torch,Ē so that I can learn to do what he does, hopefully, as well as he does, between him coaching me and me working as hard as I possibly can. I can tell you that in preparing for RAW this past Monday, I spent five hours with J.R. going over notes and how to set the premise of each match and the story of each segment and how it would lead into WrestleMania. And I learned more in five hours with Jim Ross than I have in my first five months here at WWE. And it was amazing.

And I have to say that WWE has been great with me. There have been times where I know Vince was extremely frustrated with what I was doing because he was expressing that frustration afterward. And despite what people may have read everywhere, he was never nasty with me or condescending or screaming or yelling. He was always very professional with me. But I could tell Kevin Dunn (Executive Producer) was frustrated because he couldnít really show me how to build that bridge to storytelling and I didnít know on my own how to do it. So, I donít know how often J.R. is going to be available actually at the RAW events. And again some fans ó the Internet fans ó a lot of them think they know what ďproducing the announcersĒ means; they think it means feeding us every line, and thatís not the case. What a good producer does óand I thought J.R. did a wonderful job last night ó probably the best job Iíve ever seen in someone producing me in terms of storytelling. He may have only given me five lines in a five-segment match. Thatís it. But it was the right line at the right time. And itís a very difficult balance to weave that story from the beginning of the segment to the end of the segment. And now with J.R., helping me, I see no reason that Iím not going to get there. I mean, with the best-ever teaching me and the fact that Iím going to work as tirelessly as possible to eventually be as good as he is ó and I will not stop until I am, period.

Thereís no ďmaybeĒ for me. Thereís no ďI hope I can be as good as J.R. is.Ē I donít attack any goal that way. Itís going to be: ďIím going to be as good as J.R. is.Ē I donít know how long that is going to take, but with him helping me, thereís no reason why I shouldnít get there. Kevin Dunn told me that they are leaving me in the RAW lead announcer position because the only way Iím going to learn ó the only way you can learn ó is to do that show week after week.

I never understood why WWE worked so hard to not hire wrestling announcers and now I do. WWE announcers are storytellers and professional announcers need to be taught storytelling. The plus to hiring a professional wrestling announcer is we already have a passion for wrestling and we will learn the storytelling because there is nothing else in the world weíd rather do. I feel like I need to be de-programmed. When I sit at ringside itís hard to not call every move. I feel like an addict getting the shakes with an uncontrollable urge to call the moves.

The other thing I want to do because of my relocation back to Connecticut, which will be complete the week after WrestleMania, is Iíd actually like to ó if they would let me ó be the lead announcer on HEAT. I would actually like to come in and do lead announcing on HEAT every week with Coach and Grisham, who are currently the announcers, as color men for me, so I can continually practice the storyline premise of each match ó even if we have to make up a story for each one of those matches because thereís not always a story for the HEAT match, and practice the give-and-take. Thatís the problem with something like this; itís not like learning how to shoot free throws in basketball. You can go in your driveway and practice all day. Thereís no way to do this but to continually actually do it and practice it. And I canít very well set up wrestling matches in my house and clone King and Coach to sit there and do it with me ó not to mention who would do that to the world? Who would want to unleash two more of those men on the world?

So, as I said, the big picture of all of this is, I have what should be hopefully now with J.R. guiding me, not a difficult transition or lengthy transition to complete. Certainly, 12 months from now when itís time for WrestleMania 23, I fully expect that I will by then have made the transition to quarterback the RAW announce team for WrestleMania 23. But, you know, as I said, initially like anybody else, I was very disappointed because calling WrestleMania has always been my lifelong dream. After that, my ego took over, so I was angry. But theyíre sticking with me until I get this ó and Iím going to get this ó that Iíll call many, many WrestleManias in the future.

WWE hire the current best announcer in the business and then try to "de-program" him??? Reckon Joey really is cool with this as he claims, or reckon he's totally pissed off?

03-28-2006, 09:40 PM
I dunno, but he comes off incredibly professional in that interview.

I dunno... I loved when Gorilla and Brain used to just banter with each other, and I just haven't seen that. I think the best wrestling announcers have an antagonist to play off of, and vice versa.

Besides, a great wrestling match will tell the story by itself. The article comes off as pretty kiss-ass-ish, which is typical with WWE stuff, so I don't really put a ton of faith. To me, it sounds like they're trying to justify their formulamatic reaction moves, rathern than actually putting effort to improve the product.

The Naitch
03-28-2006, 09:43 PM
Get the Spanish announce team to clean house all over WrestleMania

03-28-2006, 11:32 PM


"¡Maldígalo! ¡Maldígalo al infierno!"

03-28-2006, 11:38 PM
JIM ROSS: So, Joey, when Kane slams Carlito's head into the turnbuckle, you don't say "Kane smashes Carlito's face into the turnbuckle pad," you say...

JOEY STYLES: "Those turnbuckle pads aren't made out of chocolate?"

JIM ROSS: Bah gawd, I think he's got it!

03-29-2006, 12:33 AM
All I have to say is, if WWE won't give people the chance to learn their craft, then how will they ever be worthy successors to the previous generations???

They killed off the old system of regional outfits where guys would make a living, gain experience and get to the WWF stage in their 30s with tons of experience under their belts. That is their own fault. They are a victim of their own success in that respect, so they need to have more patience, and who really wants Joey Styles to just be "the next Jim Ross" anyway? Was J.R. the next Vince? Or was Vince the next Gorilla? No, they all had their own distinct styles.

What Would Kevin Do?
03-29-2006, 12:56 AM

What the fuck is wrong with having a play by play man?

03-29-2006, 03:29 AM

What the fuck is wrong with having a play by play man?
Makes the guy shouting "Puppies!" every few minutes look bad.

03-29-2006, 03:36 AM
They needed to take someone out of that 3 man Raw announce team and it definately wasn't the two white guys.

What Would Kevin Do?
03-29-2006, 04:42 AM
They needed to take someone out of that 3 man Raw announce team and it definately wasn't the two white guys.

I disagree. If they have to remove one, remove Lawler.

Look at Joey's ECW work with Gertner and Cyrus. Granted Coach isnt' at good as them, give Joey a heel color commentator to be sarcastic w/, and he's absolute gold.

03-29-2006, 05:01 AM
I would LOVE to see Joey Styles do Heat. Granted, all matches need some kind of emotion in them, but what is wrong with calling moves occasionally? This isn't the Attitude era, that died a while ago. The WWE needs to act like everything that happens on its programming is so damn exciting, and start to let commentators add substance to it. The shows don't do that by themselves anymore.

And why does Joey Styles not get to call WrestleMania, but Michael Cole does? JR may have been a fantastic commentator in his prime, but when these matches begin to pick up speed at WrestleMania, and JR gets lost, the WWE has no one to blame but themselves.

I agree that RAW is overcrowded. Both Jerry Lawler & Jonathan Coachman work well when there is just two of them, but right now, it's crowded. I'd have Jonathan Coachman removed from RAW, but still do Heat with Joey Styles. Have Joey Styles & Jerry Lawler do RAW, and have all three do PPV, with Coachman & Lawler alternating matches as colour analyst. Eventually it will become apparent who the better colour guy on RAW is.

I have a feeling it is Jonathan Coachman.

03-29-2006, 06:04 AM
Sad for Joe but more happy that good old J.R. is back in action Oh My God!!!