When AEW unveiled the announce team for Rampage last week, some eyebrows were raised when we saw it would a four man booth of Excalibur, Taz, Mark Henry & Chris Jericho.
It’s not that all of them aren’t good talkers, but having that many voices on commentary can get a bit chaotic for viewers. Henry spoke on that while doing press ahead of Rampage’s premiere this Friday (Aug. 13), and what he told the New York Post makes sense - and makes it sound like a temporary thing.
“I’m the new guy. They already have a great relationship and they can put on a great show. I think it’s a safety mechanism. I think just in case that I get on there and I’m not good, [AEW president] Tony (Khan) had to put the safety mechanism in place and throw Chris [Jericho] out there just in case we have to save this thing. I don’t think he has that to worry about. I think we’ll start off a four-man booth and I think once they realize that I can handle it we’ll go to a traditional three-man booth.”
The WWE Hall of Famer also says his being a coach for AEW will allow him to bring a new element to Rampage’s commentary.
“I’m not gonna dummy it down if I see something that’s not good. This is something that I’ll put my coach’s cap on and I’m gonna have to pull that guy and that girl aside and tell them that, “Hey, you got to do better.” That’s a style of analysis that you don’t get on traditional wrestling because nobody’s doing double roles, triple roles. I’m putting my hand in the community area, I’m putting my hand in the coaching area and the physiology-based area and I’m doing commentary.
“I want the guys and girls that appear on television to realize that sometimes…I’m gonna be critical because it’s my job to be critical on [SiriusXM’s] Busted Open and I feel like that’s what people want. They want to hear our opinion. I will preface it, what I’m saying is my opinion. When I have a hard take, it’s gonna be this is opinion or the facts speak for themselves.”
We still don’t know much about what Rampage will be. AEW says it won’t a clear B show like WCW Thunder or WWF Heat, and by booking a Women’s title match for the premiere and hinting strongly they’ll debut CM Punk at “The First Dance” in Chicago on Aug. 20, they’re off to a good start.
How the star-studded announce team contributes to that will be worth watching as well.