Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s been a little bit of a while since we had a Crossfire on the blog. Today the column makes a welcome return as Brian and Craig discuss whether or not the WWE are ready for a female announcer. As ever, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Brian – No
I want to preface this by saying I think Renee Young is an amazing on-air talent. Not only that, but she is also really easy on the eye, too. With that all said, I do not feel Renee Young is ready for the big time by replacing Michael Cole or even Mauro Ranallo.
Is the WWE ready for a female play by play announcer? I am not 100% convinced. Historically, Vince McMahon has broken ground with having women in different types of roles. Whether it be female ring announcers, first with Mike McGuirk and then later Lillian Garcia and Eden Stiles or even a female referee, with Rita Marie Chatterton back in the 1980’s.
As I have stated, Renee is talented, I just don’t think that a majority of fans are ready to accept a female voice on major WWE programming. By and large, pro wrestling is still very uber-male even though many women have emerged as fans. Would she be an improvement over Michael Cole? Perhaps…perhaps not. I do think Cole gets a bad rap overall as an announcer.
With all things considered, I just do not feel the WWE is ready for an everyday female voice behind the mic. I certainly don’t want to seem sexist in any way, but maybe if the WWE had an all-female branded show, she can start out there.
Maybe have her do Main event or even Superstars as originally reportedly planned. I am in no way saying that Renee couldn’t do Raw or Smackdown or a pay per view. I just don’t think the world is ready for her…yet.
Craig – Yes
I have a lot of sympathy with what Brian has said, a lot. Perhaps wrestling fans aren’t ready for a female announcer on the main brand show. Maybe, as Brian suggests, she would be better suited to a female dominated show.
However, we don’t know, do we?
I mean, the WWE fan base haven’t had a chance to take a look at a female commentator on Raw or Smackdown Live so it is tough to know how the fans would react.
But I can’t help but think, that for several reasons the positioning of Renee Young, for example, as an announcer on either show would work out.
Firstly, and it’s the one with the weaker argument, it is good PR. She becomes the first permanent ring announcer for the most watched weekly wrestling shows in the world. That’s a big deal. The WWE can make a big play of having their first full-time female wrestling announcer.
Secondly, and this for me is the better argument, is the difference that a female voice would have on the sound of the show and that a female face would have on the appearance. Although Smackdown has managed to make itself look somewhat different from Raw largely on camera angles, there is still an element of likeness.
However, had Smackdown pulled the trigger on Renee, then it would have set comfortable difference between both shows. It’s worth noting that Renee is a compelling host when on WWE TV and a very authentic sounding voice when it comes to calling the action. Those are all attributes that would have been a welcome boost for the Smackdown brand on the lead up to the brand split, although it’s since transpired that they already had plenty up their sleeve.
Had the WWE went for Renee as a host for either show, and with their marketing team behind them, they would have been able to make a huge deal of it. Perhaps they deserve credit for avoiding what could have been described, in some circles anyway, as tokenism.
But I do believe that it was a missed opportunity. Renee Young has a lot to offer the WWE and I look forward, sooner rather than later, to hear, and see, her in action.
All ‘Crossfire’ posts can be found here.