Former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts recently appeared as a guest on the Cult Of Whatever podcast. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On what it’s like working for WWE Chairman Vince McMahon: “He is on top of everything; he makes sure everything goes the way he wants it to go. He micromanages everyone and everything. Sometimes he isn’t clear on direction and what he wants you to do, sometimes his direction doesn’t make sense, sometimes he will tell you one thing but he wants something else. It’s not easy to work for him but you’ll learn a lot from him, I can say that much because there is brilliance somewhere in there, it’s not everywhere but there is a brilliance that is a part of it. It prepares you for when you’re done to go and work anywhere else because once you work for Vince you can go anywhere.”
On the toughest part about being a WWE ring announcer: “The most nerve-racking thing was that I wasn’t allowed any note cards with the wrestlers towns and weights etc and I didn’t have an earpiece so no one was able to feed me any of the information, so a lot of the time I didn’t know what to say or when I was supposed to speak. When I was there they were really long announcements where not only did you introduce the wrestlers but introduced the match stipulations, the rules of the match, if the winner of the match would get a title shot at so and so PPV. Then the match could be a four way and I had to remember all of that information off the top of my head. When WWE used to have the regular guest hosts they were long introductions and a lot of the time you didn’t get the script until the show went on the air so I didn’t have much time to memorize that. Then you take a show like WrestleMania and in 2011 at WrestleMania XXVII when I was the sole announcer for the whole show there was so much to remember but that was an awesome experience.”
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On the infamous tie-choking incident with Daniel Bryan/Nexus: “That was crazy, every week for years I would look around and the people around me would get beat down but they never got me. They would always get the timekeeper and I was always safe. On that night when the Nexus invaded Monday Night Raw Arn Anderson told me before hand I may not be safe and that is when we found out what was going on. As far as the tie is concerned it wasn’t planned like Daniel came up to me and said he was going to get a tie and do this to me. He had a general idea of what was going to happen and Daniel Bryan is very smart, he is great at what he does and when he saw my laying there with my shirt off and tie around my neck instinct just took over and he saw an opportunity to get the job done which he was supposed to get done. They were told to go out there and cause havoc, nobody said don’t do this or don’t do that, they were told to make an impact. He really did strangle me and people still to this day ask me if I was acting and I wasn’t acting, I was legitimately getting choked. I tried to get my finger in-between me neck and the tie but I just couldn’t get it to go in, I was choked for a short amount of time but I was fine and when I got to the back everybody was happy with the way the segment went. Vince was happy, I was happy, Nexus were happy, the fallout came afterwards when one of the sponsors wasn’t pleased.”
Check out the complete Justin Roberts interview at CultOfWhatever.com.