As a fan one thing that was always such a big part of the Pro Wrestling experience was the commentary.
As a kid, I was fortunate to grow up listening to some of the greatest commentators in WWE history, like Gorrilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura, and Bobby Heenan, and Jim Ross.
Those were the top guys, but even the lower teir commentators were great back then with guys like Vince McMahon, Rowdy Piper, and heel Jerry Lawler.
Commentary can almost be every bit as important to telling the story as the action in the ring is.
At its best, the commentary can make a decent match, good, and a good match, great.
At its worst, the commentary can be a major distratcion and a major detractor to the match.
In the old days what made it great was that the lines were clear as to who each character was at the commentator booth, and all of them did excellent work.
There were the straight men, the ones who were the play by play guys, (Monsoon and McMahon, and Ross), and the color guys, heels who would root for bad guys and add the comedy (Ventura, Heenan, and Lawler).
Now this seemingly simple balance worked so well, because the play by play men would actually call the action, almost hold for hold while the color guys would add the extra talk and comedy while being extremely and comedically biased in favor of heels.
The banter would add so much because with this clear devide between commentators you the viewer would know exactly what was going on in the story and match.
This dynamic was always there until at some point the WWE made IMO, the worst commentary decision ever by making Michael Cole the lead play by play commentator and Jerry Lwaler the color commentator who roots for good guys.
Cole IMO always had a less than appealing, high pitched and whimpy voice, especially when compared to the typically strong and commanding voices of the previous play by play men of Monsoon, McMahon, and Ross.
To make matters worse Cole was never much of a play by play man at all, his style always seemed to be more of a color commentary style, as he tends to foresake calling several pieces of in ring action and seems much more interested in playful banter and talking about a matches backstory.
To top it off, Cole isn't very funny which makes his color commentary very annoying.
It was at this point when the Commentary became a major low point of each show for myself and several others I know.
By ditching the tried and true formula of one straight play by play guy, and one heel color commentator, the WWE created an annoying unbalanced mess at the booth where both commentators are rooting for the good guys and trying to be funny.
For a short abysmil period of time they tried to make Cole a heel which meant that the heel rooting for the bad guys and burying the faces would be the play by play man as well resulting in the absolute worst commentary I've ever heard by far.
Thankfully that experiment didn't last and Cole returned to being a good guy, and the commentary returned to being just bad instead off god awful.
Lately they've tried adding JBL into the mix, and while he's a much better commentator than Cole or good guy Lawler, the other two still being there means that overall the commetary is still pretty bad.
One thing that also stands out is the fact that before Cole's era, commentary was usually good enough that a blind man could tell you everything that was happening in the ring throughout a match, especially if Ross or Monsoon were calling it.
Nowadays that same blind guy wouldn't have a clue what was happening for most of the match until big spots happened like finishers or chair shots.
So will this ever be fixed, or is this even a problem for anyone else here?
All I know is that its almost depressing going back and watching old DVDs of classic WWE shows and listening to great commentary, and all of the passion that was so audiable back then, and just added so much magic to some of the best moments.
And now the commentary almost takes as much away from some moments for me.
So am I alone in this, how does the commentary make you guys feel these days?