Well, I am back with the latest edition of tales from ringside! Those that have followed me on social media may know this, but as of May 4th, I resigned my active roles with any wrestling promotion to work on other reporting endeavors. While I am not going into specific details on why I have left, it has led to a lot of time to reflect on my time in the business, and many of the events that were a major part of it.
When you finish off something, the first thing that comes to mind is how it all began. After watching Ring of Honor World Champion Matt Taven rip apart a local vlogger at ringside for his lack of preparation while doing commentary on his iPhone, in particular, the name of Taven’s finishing move (the Climax), it made me remember how this man’s lack of preparation created my in-ring career. (I could comment on the way that he was doing “live commentary”, but I will save that for another tale. Also, I usually mention peoples names in these stories, but I prefer not to give him free publicity.)
Going back to 2015, Real Canadian Wrestling was celebrating their twelfth anniversary in Edmonton. At the time, I had just started live-streaming shows involving promotions across Alberta, as well as my podcast was in its infancy. So, I was known to a point, but not to the level as I am now. Their regular ring announcer worked as a vlogger and “wrestling reporter” out of Calgary. While he had a great voice and great presentation, he lacked the preparation needed to help a good product.
Now to be a good ring announcer is not rocket science, but there are some essentials that most wrestling fans I would think would know. I have had professional training from some of the best that North America has seen, both on commentary and in announcing, but there are some things that are simply essential to be not only a good ring announcer but a good worker period. Be there early, get the matchups, grab everyone’s information, and check with the booker or promoter for any special information for the night. Those with respect for the business will always follow these rules. Those that think they are better than the business simply do not.
Now there were the typical mistakes throughout the night, which did not damper the hot crowd. There was just a usual mocking of the ring announcer and move on. But there are some cardinal sins that can’t be avoided.
The main event of the Anniversary Show was a 5-Way Elimination Match to crown a New RCW Women’s Champion, a title that laid dormant for years, due to lack of competition. I was really looking forward to this match, as I have always been, and still am, a big fan of women’s wrestling, done right. This match included some of the best women’s wrestlers in Western Canada, including Kat Von Heez, Bambi Hall, and Gisele Shaw.
The match begins, and Shaw gets eliminated by submission by Von Heez. The Ring Announcer demands the music be played and announced the new Women’s Champion, to which the entire crowd just booed the crap out of him. (I never knew you could get such a unison “You F***ed up” chant going for a ring announcer mid-match.) Eventually, following the confusion, the match continued, although the Ring Announcer still looks stunted at the time. In the end, Von Heez got the final pinfall on Hall and wins the match. The Ring Announcer gets on the mic… “The Winner of the Match, and New RCW Women’s Champion, Kat Von Heez!!! Congratulations _________” and proceed to use Kat’s real name over the microphone.
At that point, it’s almost like someone swore in a church, and the crowd goes silent. What in the hell did he just do? The stare coming from Von Heez towards the Ring Announcer, along with with half the roster coming out to clear the ring, and a hell of a lot of die-hard fans, was borderline psychotic. What was meant to be a triumphant moment for both Von Heez, but for Real Canadian Wrestling and Alberta Wrestling as a whole, turned into an annoying, possibly even embarrassing moment, for all parties involved?
At that point, the Ring Announcer was “ushered out” of the building, and I did not see him there for months. At that point, I offered my services as Ring Announcer and did so for the next two years. I’m pretty sure he was not allowed to cover any promotions in Alberta for that time.
Now as I fast forward four years, and see this guy still get ripped for the same issues, over and over again, despite his fame or numbers of “YouTube views”, I realize that there is a ton that anyone can do for respect in this wrestling business. Know your product, be prepared going into a show, and most importantly, always be prepared, because you will never know When Opportunity Knocks. This is just one of the many tales from ringside.
Until the next tales from ringside
To read past editions of Tales from Ringside click here.