Saturday, May 18, 2024
EditorialMauro Ranallo is Best for Business

Mauro Ranallo is Best for Business

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Since his debut Mauro Ranallo has been a breath of fresh air to the WWE broadcast team. His calling of the action is reminiscent of the golden days of wrestling, it’s really music to the ears of the WWE Universe. He brings out the best in his broadcast partners in just a matter of weeks he has helped bring new life into The King and is truly the best mentor to Byron Saxton. Ranallo has a vast level of experience and is a walking book of knowledge in all forms of combat sports. Excluding NXT just listen to the difference between a Raw call and one from Smackdown. You may never have thought about it but the differences are night and day.

With over twenty years in sports journalism, he’s called everything from hockey games to boxing bouts. Now he’s fulfilling his life long dream to work for the monopoly of sports entertainment. To listen to him you can tell a dream has come true, he just sounds like he’s having so much fun out there and it’s us the fans who benefit from him. The following is why Mauro Ranallo is “Best for Business:

He Lives Combat Sports

Whether it’s legit or rehearsed the guy is not just a professional of the art of combat sports, he really is just simply a fan. You can tell when someone comes to something like WWE and just isn’t comfortable. Tom Phillips is improving but you can tell he’s green in the game still at this point–and he’s not the only one! Take a guy like Ranallo he’d hands down beat other combat sports announcers in a trivia game around the subject. Not just because of his many years calling the action but because I could also see him and his buddies having a few Canadians, ordering in a pizza and watching some mixed martial arts.

When someone is not just a professional but a fan too you can hear such enthusiasm and decorum in his call. Watching Smackdown is now like watching a sport, and nothing like listening to a Shopping Channel pitch for three hours with a lot of replays. I listened to some of his old Fight Network wrestling analysis here in Canada back in the day and boy this guy hasn’t missed a step. Even with creative and booking decisions that were questionable over the years, I truly believe he remained a fan of the WWE to this very day.

The SmackDown Announce Team

Jerry Lawler has been as stale as he ever has been in WWE, for years you can tell he just didn’t care anymore. Then you listen to Byron Saxton on Raw with Cole and JBL, he just isn’t very interesting unless JBL or a heel guest is tearing him down. Enter Mauro Ranallo, what do you have? A resurrection of the King one of the best heel colour commentators of all time, behind only Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura. What about Saxton? Well say what you want I feel Saxton is a solid analyst, perhaps because he’s with a guy who can mentor him properly.

I’d much rather these three broadcast the Rumble yesterday over the Raw announce team. Hearing Saxton and Lawler bicker for comic relief, while a competent play-by-play guy with a distinctive voice is calling the action–it would be a blessing! Ranallo should have really called the Rumble well, could you imagine if Ranallo called AJ Styles debut?

His Cult Following


Most often times WWE signs new announcers they don’t have much of a social media following. They are actually never even really known by anyone, marks or smarks alike. That is certainly not the case with Ranallo! Sure a few younger members of the WWE Universe probably had to ask their old man who Ranallo was, but aside from them you know Mauro. He’s had years of television exposure, a solid social media following and has been the topic of Apter pages and forums for a decade or more. Most announcers who come to WWE would kill for that kind of background, it would make their lives so much easier.

He has followers from the world of MMA, boxing and pro-wrestling. He’s popular in his home country of Canada, the United States, Japan and the UK. Just basically, we have here a distinctively known voice heard from around the world. Ask someone in the UK if they’d heard of Rich Brennan upon his WWE debut. They will say Rich who? But you say do you know Mauro Ranallo chances are the answer will be “damn right”.

He’s Always on Point


Maybe one, two at most $9.99 pitches will be heard from Ranallo. Maybe a joke or two that would make my grandfather laugh. It’s entirely possible he may get caught up in heel Lawler and Saxton’s rants back and forth at each other. But for the most part, he’s not a car salesman or a washed up comedian–he’s a wrestling commentator! He never misses a near fall, he’s never delayed on a power move and his voice is just phenomenal to hear during a spot. Ranallo won’t be tripped up from a diving elbow or a flying elbow drop, a Frankensteiner is not a Hurricanrana, he simply know’s his stuff.

On top of all that his timing and vocal range is alway on key. He assists greatly in the storytelling. Look at the tables match a few weeks ago between the Dudley Boyz and the Wyatt clan. He pointed out the tables match is the Dudleyz signiture match, and yes most wrestling fans know that but to add it is a simple layer of storytelling. When the Dudleyz won Ranallo chimed in, “The Dudleyz have won their signature match” it was really refreshing to hear that and not just see a replay. The aftermath with the Wyatt’s beating the ECW originals down was also great to hear. He had no small part in adding a tidbit to the Wyatt’s dominant and ruthless behaviour post-match.

Simply put Ranallo is like the Paul Heyman of the announce team. Just as Heyman can put over a match or rivalry on his lonesome, so can Ranallo from the announce table. If that doesn’t make him great let’s move on to something I’ve touched on already but will go more in depth…

His Experience


Little known fact if a Natalya match is ever called by Ranallo it will not be the first time. When Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling based in British Columbia had their show on the Fight Network here in Canada, who was the play-by-play announcer? Why that would be Mauro Ranallo! Now known as Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, they used to have a half-hour spin-off of their females called SuperGirls which Natalya used to be a part of as Nattie Neidhart. Also, adding to that Becky Lynch under Rebecca Knox also had Ranallo call her early work in this promotion. Fast forward some years he’s already called two of her matches on Smackdown.

During that time he, along with John Pollock and Dan “the Mouth” Lovranski also were doing their thing on the Fight Network and Live Audio Wrestling (LAW). Recently replaced by Jim Ross on AXS TV for New Japan, Ranallo gave his distinctive voice to that great promotion as well. Outside of that, he was a broadcaster for MMA promotions PRIDE FC and more recently Showtime’s Elite XC. Let’s go back to his early years outside of combat sports he also broadcasted much Canadian football and semi-pro hockey games.

With over 20 years experience maybe the coolest thing about Ranallo is he was broadcasting for pro wrestling at just sixteen years of age when he was offered a national television spot for All-Star Wrestling in Vancouver.

His Wrestling Knowledge


This in a roundabout way does tie in with experience and him being always on point–but is a bit more detailed than that. You can have a guy call a pinfall but the transitional move into the pinfall be called something completely wrong. It’s egregious to me that can happen, but it’ll never happen with Ranallo. For example, let’s say Brock Lesnar is battling say Adam Rose for example (I know give me a moment it’s an example) and he puts him in a triangle hold while most would just call it a chokehold Ranallo would call it by its name. Do you think that Rich Brennan knows what a kimura is?

But I know what you’re thinking those are MMA holds (mostly) but the title is “wrestling knowledge”. Good point I’m not sure the exact episode of Smackdown or the match exactly, but I remember laughing uncontrollably when he corrected a miscall on a Sidewalk Slam from Saxton–although he surely did it. He always compares moves to a relatable legend who mastered the move as well. This not only pays tribute but at the same time makes the move seem more significant. What would happen if you were to have Michael Cole and Mauro Ranallo do a voice-over of a classic wrestling tape, then have them call the action? My guess is Ranallo would make Cole look like a preschooler while he looks like a Doctor of Psychology in the art of pro wrestling.

I’m all about sounding like a broken record but again here is a more detailed analysis on something I touched on earlier…

His Voice


He’s got to have just about the most distinctive voice in all of the WWE. His voice followed by this tone, range and expressions are unique and second to none. The rasp however does not get old it’s a great for telling the wrestlers stories inside the squared circle. The WWE should patten that voice because it’s now what you will hear on Smackdown hopefully for some time to come. In my opinion it’s a great voice in the world of combat sports in general but even moreso in pro wrestling. Distinctive voices are what make pro wrestling great to watch and listen to. Bland and generic voices just don’t click as well in this industry. But look at Jesse Ventura, Gorilla Monsoon, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan and non-Owner Vince McMahon. Those are all prime examples of great broadcasters with well established voices you can add Ranallo to.

He’s very good at selling the action going on in the ring as well. His pitch he gets after a snap suplex all the way to a suicide dive is like a more talented version of Joey Styles or Kriss Kloss in terms of excitement. I never get irritated listening to his play-by-play which is more than I can say about some other announcers in the WWE. I won’t go on about it any further or risk me having some form of attraction to his voice but it really is different (in a good way).

Smackdown


I’ve read comments on may sites including this one, one thing I often see if how Smackdown has become a more watchable show then Raw. I tend to agree with this argument as well. Longer matches, better storyline progression, focusing on the talents and their character development are some things along with the simple fact it’s only two hours. I’d rather watch wrestling with Ranallo calling the action in two hours then watch Cole call the Sports Entertainment on Raw for three hours with over forty-five minutes of replays. He’s on the better show for what he is–let me explain. You see Cole is a solid fit for Raw a show that overstays it’s welcome and I find myself tuning out after the hundredth Network plug. Yet two hours of wrestling with Ranallo is very refreshing.

I don’t want to say that it’s Ranallo that solely makes Smackdown great, the talents and the channel change I’m sure are more the reason. Regardless of the reason, Ranallo and Smackdown are a fit in size nine shoes. Only time will tell if he will move to the Raw brand but as of now he’s a wonderful edition to the roster.

Do you like Ranallo? Is he the best WWE has? Let the comment section hear your thoughts–until next time!

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