SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Former WWE/TNA announcer Taz fielded a very interesting topic about announcers getting time off in WWE during the Monday, October 19 edition of the “Taz Show” call-in show.
Taz, who was an integral part of the Smackdown announce team during the mid-200s, noted that WWE will allow announcers time off for emergencies or family situations, but they prefer announcers be on the air every week for consistency purposes.
– Taz explained WWE’s perspective and how it affects announcers:
I think part of the problem as an announcer is the company has that set sound of voices that tell stories and navigate the audience through their shows. They do not want to divert from that sound. So, they need you there every week, week in & week out.
To sit here and say, ‘I need the week off,’ I’ve never heard of that happening. Michael Cole puts in a very rigid schedule, so maybe it’s happened with him. But, I’ve never heard that. Especially during my time with WWE, everybody was worried about their ‘spot.’ What are you going to do if you take time away and they put someone else in that spot?
The thing is you gotta wonder: ‘If I go away or take a week off because my family wants to go on vacation or I just need a break,’ I don’t think WWE is going to say you can’t have a break. But, you have to be careful because they’ve set the tone – and it’s not just WWE – where you could be replaced. Because there is always someone waiting to fill your spot.
– Taz also talked about the weekly pressure of being a WWE announcer, even when scheduled for one TV taping per week.
Your week is kind of lumped into that day. When I was doing Smackdown all those years as commentator, people would say, ‘Oh, you’re so lucky, you get to work once a week.’ Ehhh, not really. I have to prepare for that one day, I have all that pressure on that one day, I have travel time that leads into three days, and, most importantly, that one day encompasses the whole week. Everything is lumped into that one day when you’re doing Smackdown or whatever.
That’s the way it goes as an announcer. It’s all about that one day. There is a lot going on leading to that one day. Yeah, in essence, on paper, you work one day. But, there is a lot involved in that one day. After that day, it feels like you worked a week. As crazy as that sounds, it’s the truth.
It was nice having a couple days to chill, but you have to stay on top of everything. It’s not an easy job, especially in WWE, where it’s well-documented where Vince McMahon stays on top of the announcers. He wants you to be on top of your game every single time, sell the brand, sell the talent, sell the product, everything. Because you as the announcer are the last voice to the audience. That last sell-job, that last plug, that last character development point. You are literally the last voice to get that out there. So, that’s why I feel that Vince McMahon is so tough on the announcers because it is a super, super important, vital position. So, that is a big part of why there are those pressures.