You can’t overstate the importance of announcers and interviewers in the success of wrestling and its characters. A remarkable number, you may have forgotten most, have came and gone from the WWE. It is those people that are the focus of this piece.
The WWE has been littered with countless colorful and memorable characters. While the wrestlers usually get all the praise…there are the announcers and interviewers who play a key role in the company’s overall success. Whether it is calling a great match or asking the key questions….the WWE’s broadcasting team is essential to a top notch show. With that said, this piece isn’t about the greats…but rather the unforgettable. The men and women who are easily forgotten about in the history of the WWE.
For every Jim Ross…there was Steve Romero. For every ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund…there was Joe Fowler. For every Michael Cole…well…there is Michael Cole. I kid of course…I know Michael Cole isn’t a WWE favorite….but he isn’t the worst announcer WWE has ever had. He has been the voice of WWE for several years now and while he is no JR or even Gorilla Monsoon….he can hold his own if need be.
There have been some former WWE interviewers and commentators who quit or fired from the company and remained in the industry. Whether that be guys like Kevin Kelly who is now with Ring of Honor, Josh Matthews who is with TNA wrestling or Matt Striker with Lucha Underground…some have found success elsewhere in the business.
Then there are those who transitioned away from pro wrestling or “Sports Entertainment” and found success elsewhere. Guys and gals that just didn’t fit the WWE’s brand. Maybe they didn’t know the product very well..maybe they didn’t have the passion that Vince McMahon expects from his announcers or maybe in some cases…they just weren’t very good at it. *cough Mike Adamle cough*
In any case…some you may remember and others you may have totally forgotten about. (Maybe even blocked out from your subconscious) Whatever happened to these future voices of the WWE? Where did they go? Do you even care in the slightest? Well, even if you don’t…I’m going to tell you anyway. So without any further ado…I give you the announcers and interviewers that time forgot…at least for some of you….
Before being hired by the WWE…Marc Loyd was a sports talk radio host in the Orlando, Florida area. Loyd was signed in 2002 and remained with the company until 2005. He was mainly used as an interviewer…but did host many of the WWE’s C level shows such as Velocity and Afterburn.
Once his WWE career ended, Marc Loyd returned to Orlando, Florida and now stars as “Mr. Marc” in a local kids show called “Adventures in Fitness.”
Jack Korpela started his career as a news paper journalist…working for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review covering mainly high school sports in the area. From there, Korpela was hired by the WWE in 2006 and was used as a studio host for WWE On Demand shows and as a host for pre-shows for pay per views. He slowly moved up the ranks to announcer for many of WWE’s C level shows until 2013.
Korpela made the decision not to renew his contract with the company instead moving on to mainstream news reporting that included stops in Arizona and West Virginia. Currently, Korpela is a TV news reporter for WGAL in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Charlie Minn was hired by the WWE…then known as the WWF in 1994. He was mainly used as an interviewer and studio host of WWF’s Event Center to plug upcoming house shows in various areas. He didn’t last very long at all.
Minn went on to become a sports anchor for a CBS affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio for a period of time. He has since gone from in front of the camera..to behind it as a director/producer/filmmaker of various documentaries.
Todd Pettengill was a local radio disc jockey in upstate New York before getting hired by the then World Wrestling Federation in 1993. He was an interviewer/ commentator and in studio host for several WWF programs. He remained with the company until 1997…when he wanted to put focus on his first love…radio.
Pettengill has been a successful radio host and co host of several programs in the New York market. Including The Scott and Todd Show…The Todd Show and now Todd and Jayde in the morning.
Tony Dawson real name Tony Luftman was an NBA sideline reporter for the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trailblazers before getting hired by the WWE in 2012. He initially was the play by play man for NXT before becoming a backstage interviewer and host on the WWE’s App. Luftman quit the company after only a year.
Since leaving the WWE in 2013…Luftman returned to mainstream sportscasting. He is now an in studio host on the NHL network.
Craig DeGeorge real name Craig Minervini was hired by the WWF back in 1987 and acted primarily as an interviewer and host of the WWF’s control center reviewing the top stories of the WWF. He lasted until 1988..when he left the industry entirely.
Minervini now works as a sportscaster in Miami, Florida…mainly as host of the Miami Marlins pre and post game shows.
Before the WWE, Sean Mooney was a producer at Major League Baseball productions. When he joined the WWF in 1988…he was used as a backstage interviewer/commentator and host of the WWF’s Events Center. He left the company in 1993.
Mooney then went on to become a news anchor for a TV station in the New York/New Jersey market and has since become an anchor over at KVOA in Tuscon, Arizona.
Stephanie Wiand graduated Virginia Tech and later joined the WWF in 1994 and was used as a backstage interviewer as well as co host of the very first WWF In Your House pay per view. She lasted until 1995…when she left the company.
Stephanie is now a writer/producer of several independent films. Some of her work includes films like Revenge of the Bimbot Zombie Killers and Deliver the Mother. She resides in Los Angeles, California.
Steve Romero real name Todd Romero spent a decade in the Denver, Colorado area as a sportscaster and as a sports director in Kansas City, Missouri before getting hired by the WWE in 2004. He was used mainly as a play by play commentator for shows like Velocity and Sunday Night Heat. He remained with the company until 2007..when he returned to sportscasting.
Today, Todd Romero returned to Colorado where he reports on Denver Sports covering the Broncos, Avalanche and other local professional teams.
Joe Fowler was an actor hired by the WWE in 1993 to work solely as a backstage interviewer. It was extremely brief and Fowler found himself quickly out of the wrestling business.
Fowler found a new career as a TV pitch man. He has starred in numerous infomercials over the years selling things such as table saws, blenders and plastic wraps.
Maria Felipe was an actress turned WWF backstage interviewer. She was used mainly on the now cancelled WWF Spanish language program called Los Super Astros from 1998 to 1999.
After her stint with the WWF…Maria became a minister at the Unity Of Burbank Church as well as a motivational speaker. She resides in Miami, Florida.
Max Bretos was an on air host for Sky Sports in Great Britain covering soccer from 2003 to 2005. He was hired by the WWE in 2006 as a backstage interviewer and remained there for less than a year.
Max Bretos is now employed by ESPN and covers MMA, soccer and college football. Of course, Bretos joines two other former WWE employees Todd Grisham and Jonathan Coachman at ESPN.
So there you have it..the whereabouts of some of the lesser known or less popular on air personalities formerly employed by the WWE. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll see someone like Tom Phillips on Sportscenter or JoJo winning a Grammy. Only time will tell…