The WWE is filled with a roster of superstars both male and female that you probably know everything about. However, this piece won’t go into detail about the stars you know all too well, but the WWE personalities and employees you might not know anything about.
While I guess knowing what foods John Cena or Roman Reigns enjoy eating or how many pets Natalya has may be interesting to some…I find myself interested on other less known WWE employees and who they are, were or strive to be.
Never mind the “superstars” and “divas” oh wait…that term doesn’t exist anymore right? Let’s take a look at the ring announcers, timekeepers and referees you may be interested to learn about…if you haven’t already.
Byron Saxton– Color Commentator
Arguably the fastest ring announcer currently in the WWE. He does commentary for both Raw and Smackdown as well as being bumped up replacing Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler on pay per view events. While Saxton is making waves as a WWE announcer, it certainly wasn’t his initial goal within the company.
Before putting on a headset and grabbing a microphone….Byron Saxton had aspirations to be a WWE wrestler himself. He wrestled for a while in WWE’s old developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) and also for NXT. He mainly wrestled as a heel and even led his own faction of heel wrestlers called ‘The Conglomerate.’ After spending several years in WWE developmental as a wrestler…things just weren’t panning out Saxton’s way.
Dusty Rhodes and others took Saxton under their wing and made him an announcer as well as help in creative down in Florida. Saxton briefly teamed with Josh Matthews in the revamped ECW as a color commentator before returning to developmental to resume his wrestling career. Now with Saxton’s wrestling career seemingly in the rear view mirror. Saxton has flourished on the main roster as one of the voices of WWE.
Berkley Ottman– Timekeeper
The current WWE timekeeper is named Berkley Ottman. If that name even sounds remotely familiar, it is because he is the son of former WWE and WCW wrestler Fred Ottman aka Tugboat/Typhoon/Shockmaster. He is also cousins with both Cody and Dustin (Stardust and Goldust) Runnels. Fred Ottman married Dusty Rhodes sister.
Berkley was hired by the WWE around 2014 and started training to be a stage/floor manager and WWE timekeeper under longtime employee Mark Yeaton. After a series of staff cuts which resulted in the firing of Yeaton, Berkley became the full time timekeeper for the company.
Berkley Ottman is most know on WWE TV as the man who rang the bell prematurely in the Brock Lesnar/Undertaker match at SummerSlam 2015. The result was predetermined and not a legitimate error made by Berkley.
Eden Stiles– Ring Announcer
Eden Stiles, the secondary ring announcer for the WWE is the real life wife of Cody ‘Stardust’ Runnels. That we pretty much knew. She met Cody while training to become a wrestler herself in 2011. Her first ring name was Brandi and was a wrestler/valet. When the wrestling career didn’t pan out, she was renamed Eden Stiles and became an interviewer/ring announcer for the promotion.
She was released from the WWE not long after but would return to the company a couple of years later and resumed her career as a ring announcer. First with NXT and later on Raw, Smackdown and pay per view events.
Lilian Garcia– Ring Announcer
Lilian Garcia is the lead ring announcer for the WWE. She has been with the company on and off since 1999. Garcia has been involved in a few storylines during her career, including being attacked by Jeff Jarrett and having a love affair with Viscera.
When Lilian is not calling wrestlers down to the ring, she is working on her music with her band she calls ‘The Fuse.’
Drake Wuertz– Referee
You may or may not recognize him, but down in NXT a referee named Drake Wuertz is making waves. Wuertz signed with the company back in 2014 and after training to become a referee, has quickly climbed to the top of NXT officials.
If Wuertz looks familiar, you may remember him on the independent scene as a pro wrestler named Drake Younger. As Drake Younger, Wuertz wrestled many a hardcore match and was an indie favorite for several years.
Julie Youngberg– Seamstress
Do you like any of the ring outfits worn by the likes of Paige, Natalya or Becky Lynch? If so, more than likely they were created by longtime WWE seamstress Julie Youngberg. Youngberg has been a WWE employee since 1989 and has made countless outfits for some of the company’s biggest stars.
If the name Julie Youngberg sounds familiar in the least, she has made the wrestling news sites over the years. Not so much for her work with fabric and a sewing machine, but her personal love life. You see, Youngberg was once married to former WWE wrestler Darren ‘the Droz’ Drozdov. The couple eventually divorced and she remarried another former WWE wrestler Shannon Moore who she is still in a relationship with.
So if you happen to go to a live WWE event or watch from the comfort of your own home and see the staff mulling about, be curious and wonder who they are and where they came from, you may be shocked at what you come to find out.