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Tony Schiavone Says WWE Overproduces Their Commentary

Posted By James Walsh on 01/11/18

Tony Schiavone spoke with the Miami Herald promoting tonights MLW Zero Hour show in Orlando, Florida. Highlights are below:

On his return to wrestling commentary for MLW: I was wondering if my voice would hold out. The good thing was and is Rich is doing the play-by-play, and Im doing the color commentary. So, I can rely on him for a lot of the stuff. I dont think Ive ever been nervous, but I was wondering if I could still do it both physically and if maybe the sport had passed me byWith the podcast, we are talking about the old days. With MLW, we are talking about the new kids who are trying to make a name in wrestling for themselves. Though the podcast got me involved in wrestling again. Interested in what was going on because I hadnt watched it and been removed from it for 15 years. It got me interested in the product again.

on the talent on MLWs shows: I think everybody likes Ricochet, and we saw him at the first show. The stuff he can do. Shane Strickland is just a phenomenal athlete. I like MJF because he is a cocky little millennial. He reminds me of some of my kids. I like him and the stuff he does. Ill tell you I really like Darby Allin. He just does some unbelievably great stuff. I know he has a skateboarding background. I know those skateboarding kids throw caution to the wind and think they are bulletproof anyway, but he just does some incredible stuff in the ring. I even talked to him and said, You know kid, youre going to kill yourself out there. He said, No, Im going to be fine. They kind of shrug it off when they do this crazy stuff. Another, MVP, is just a tremendous pro. I really enjoy working with him. He appreciates the business. He is really old school. Ive got to also talk to Tom Lawlor a lot, who has the UFC background. He and Jeff Cobb are in a tag team match. The guys with the UFC background have a new-found respect and love for wrestling. I like seeing them in the wrestling ring trying to do something different. So, Ive enjoyed all of that.

On WWEs commentary being overproduced: I like Tom Phillips. I really do. I think he is a really good announcer. I like Booker T. I know a lot of people give Michael Cole a lot of grief, but I have always liked him. Corey Graves and all those guys are just very, very good. However, you can tell when they get lines. It kind of bugs me, because I remember back when I was doing WCW at the end, I was constantly being fed lines. Its like you hired me to do this and to bring your own personality into it, but if you continue to feed guys lines, they just become a talking head for what you want. I just dont think its right. Its overproduced on many levels. Not just announcing, but production. The look is sensational. Its to the point where if anyone wants to try to compete with Vince McMahon on a national level, they would have to put tons of money into production to make it look good. That means a lot in television.