During a recent episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross spoke on a key commentary lesson that he learned from Vince McMahon. Here’s what he had to say:
I know he wanted to stay involved and keep his TV presence established. I had a variety of partners in WCW, and all of them were good, quite frankly. I think he liked that rub. He sat in a good chair, and that chair facilitated a lot of guys to get exposure and so forth. Our first outing was not good because he talked too much. That sounds really, really shitty for me to say that because I talk all the time, but I’m the play-by-play guy. I’ve gotta set the table and stay between the lines. I have a big issue with commentary to this day – one is talking through false finishes. How do we know the false finish is not the finish unless we know the finish? So, all of a sudden we talk through a false finish because we know that’s not the finish. It takes the edge off.
The other thing is the use of pronouns. I know we make fun of Vince with that, but one of the things Vince taught me on commentary was not to overuse pronouns – ‘He hit him. He did it again!’ Who the fuck is he? If the TV is on down my hall and I’m in my kitchen and I hear ‘He did it’, I’m wondering who the hell they’re talking about. It doesn’t stick…..a lot of announcers do that today, and I catch myself doing that. I hate it. The best way to get talent over, and that’s the only job a broadcaster has is to get talent over – you do it with their names and nicknames……I tried to explain that to Dusty, and he got it quite frankly. Our second broadcast was better than the first broadcast, but still with too many pronouns in my opinion. He did fine. Dusty had great charisma.