WWE Hall of Fame announcer Howard Finkel passed away today at the age of 69. He recently suffered a stroke as reported by Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. Lawler shared the news on a recent edition of his podcast. The King said Finkel had a number of health issues over the past few years as well. He announced the introduction of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and The Undertaker. An icon of ring announcing Howard Finkel is synonymous with a generation. A new generation of WWE fans became familiar with Finkel as part of the WWE Network’s Legend’s House series.
WWE.com released the following statement regarding his passing.
Howard Finkel has passed away at age 69.
A native of Newark, NJ, “The Fink” — a label that had been attached affectionately to Howard over the years — made his ring announcing debut at Madison Square Garden in 1977 for WWE’s predecessor, WWWF.
By 1979, Finkel was the full-time ring announcer for WWWF, and when WWE was established in 1980, The Fink became the first — and eventually longest-serving — employee.
Finkel’s distinctive voice was instantly recognizable, and for more than two decades Superstars such as The Ultimate Warrior, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and more would have a title victory marked by The Fink’s signature call, “and NNNEEEWWW World Champion!”
Despite being a ring announcer, Finkel didn’t shy away from in-ring competition in certain circumstances. In 1995, he battled his longtime rival Harvey Wippleman in a Tuxedo Match on Raw. He later helped X-Pac shave Jeff Jarrett’s head in a Hair vs. Hair Match at SummerSlam 1998.
In addition to his legendary tenure as a ring announcer, The Fink was an indispensable resource inside the WWE offices. Well respected by current Superstars, WWE Legends and Hall of Famers, Finkel’s encyclopedic memory and kindness made him beloved among his colleagues.
WWE extends its condolences to Finkel’s family, friends and fans.
As many wrestling fans that grew up watching the WWE(F) in the 1980s, his loss has a profound effect. During his acceptance speech at the WWE Hall of Fame, Finkel shared these thoughts. To hear them in their entirety click the image below.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) April 16, 2020
The outpouring of condolences to the loss of Finkel is quite extensive. We at Pro Wrestling Post send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Finkel.