WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel died today (April 16) at age 69.
Finkel, or “The Fink”, was one of the voices you hear in your head when you think about pro wrestling. If you love this wonderful, weird business/art, you’ve heard him announce the names of some of your favorite wrestlers and the stipulations & results of their most famous matches. It doesn’t even matter if you were watching during his 1980s and 1990s heyday. Either through his sporadic 21st century appearances or through replays & highlights, Finkel will always be part of the soundtrack of WWE, and wrestling, history.
Given all that, it’s no surprise his death has prompted a lot of reactions. Here’s a sampling from around the industry, where people who were colleagues, mentees, or just fans of The Fink honor a legend.
In what has already been a tough week for our @WWE family, today we lost our 1st ever employee and WWE Hall of Famer, @howardfinkel. Howard’s voice is iconic & recognized by generations of fans. He will be missed. #RIPHowardFinkel Thank you for everything. ❤️ ❤️— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) April 16, 2020
You weren’t someone until you heard Howard announce you. A championship win didn’t feel real until you heard him say “and the new!” His voice, his personality, and his positivity will be sorely missed. Thank you for everything...especially your friendship. https://t.co/CYSPt6vnvU— Triple H (@TripleH) April 16, 2020
So sad to hear of the passing of my friend, the greatest ring announcer in the biz, Howard Finkel, at the age of 69.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 16, 2020
The Hall of Famer is now ring announcing in Heaven. #RIPFink
No one was more loyal or loved pro wrestling more than The Fink.
Howard Finkle was on Team Hogan through the good and bad times,even when I was on the outs Howard would call on a consistent basis to tell me to always keep my head up,it was” never say never” and “you and Vince will work it out”,my good friend RIP,I love you 4LifeHH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) April 16, 2020
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I will miss this man. Howard Finkel was the voice @christian4peeps and I emulated when we performed our own ring introductions for our living room or side yard(depending on the weather) wrestling “shows”. I know there’s an entire generation of kids, now grizzled adults who did the same thing. He was “our voice”. When I debuted in the WWE and I heard Howard’s voice introduce Edge, I welled up. THAT’S when it became real that I’d made it. I will never forget the goosebumps I had the night on a house show at The Skydome when he said “and NEEEEEEWWWW Intercontinental Champion”. Our first tag title win at WrestleMania of all places. The voice? Howard. More importantly than all of that, he was my friend. He was a genuine, warm and compassionate man who absolutely LOVED his job. I remember standing with him nightly behind the curtain with a bunch of the boys firing him up as Welcome to the Jungle played for his ring intro music. This hurts. The Fink. The best. Ever.
Saddened about the passing of my friend & colleague, Howard "The Fink" Finkel. Fink was my main contact when I first starting getting myself & Jeff booked as extras in the mid 90s. Howard always took great care of us & had a soft spot in his heart The Hardy Boyz. #RIPFink pic.twitter.com/dNPTscanuR— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) April 16, 2020
The first great ring announcer is gone. RIP @wwe Hall of Famer Howard Finkel. pic.twitter.com/jvkGDDVh4u— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) April 16, 2020
Im crushed— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) April 16, 2020
I lost my friend today
I saw him once a month
The Voice of Wrestling
I loved him so much
The Fink pic.twitter.com/EOWmADTkjO
We lost one of the greatest ring announcers of all time, Howard Finkel. Howard was the man who came up with the name “WrestleMania” and he was one of the most beloved people in @WWE. Howard ring announced my dad’s very first match at @TheGarden. We love you, Howard. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/8TdmTvZQph— NattieByNature (@NatbyNature) April 16, 2020
I thought I was out of tears but I was wrong. The news just keeps getting worse. I just heard about the passing of a wonderful human being & one of the GREATEST RING ANNOUNCERS EVER @howardfinkel. I am going to miss that undeniable voice and his wonderful wit. #RIPHowardFinkel pic.twitter.com/59IE3eyoci— Charles Robinson (@WWERobinson) April 16, 2020
My sympathies and prayers go out to the family of HOWARD FINKEL. He wasn’t just a WWE Hall of Famer, he was a Hall of Famer in life! You’ll be missed brother. RIP. DDP pic.twitter.com/908mSHLEvY— Diamond Dallas Page (@RealDDP) April 16, 2020
The voice of a generation and the kindest, most loving human you could meet. RIP Howard. We will all miss you. pic.twitter.com/PA3CPyF1rp— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) April 16, 2020
I’m very sadddened to hear of the passing of my dear friend @howardfinkel Howard Finkel. The best ring announcer I ever worked with. My deepest condolences to his family.— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) April 16, 2020
Rest in Peace Howard Finkel.— Bruce Prichard (@bruceprichard) April 16, 2020
Greatest ring announcer of all time.
Historian and walking wrestling encyclopedia.
Hall of Famer.
Love you Fink. pic.twitter.com/tqvVq6gMeR
Last time I saw Howard was when a few of the boys got together to go visit him. He was very happy and so were we.— Kevin (@FightOwensFight) April 16, 2020
At one point, he busted out that trademark flawless ring announcer voice and rocked the whole place. He still had the pipes.
I’ll always cherish that memory. pic.twitter.com/WoSFPMVgZB
HOWARD FINKEL I LOVE YOU FOREVER #RIPFink pic.twitter.com/ZFszP8xfMO— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) April 16, 2020
HE PUT ME OVER. HE MAKE ME LOOK LIKE THE LEGEND. HE MAKE ME SMILE. FOREVER I LOVE YOU HOWARD FINKEL pic.twitter.com/cY8tTHDqds— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) April 16, 2020
Fink was not only an indelible part of my childhood but he couldn’t have been sweeter to me any time I saw him backstage. I’m grateful to have known him.— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) April 16, 2020
I saw a voicemail after a day of training at OVW, it was my call up to raw! Howard Finkel spoke as if announcing a new world champion, at madison square garden! I will never forget that + his “welcome to the jungle” entrance is unmatched & sparked us all to have a great show!— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) April 16, 2020
Howard Finkel was a staple of my childhood. The voice we all grew up with. I first met Howard backstage at WrestleMania 33. I walked up and as I said "Hello, sir" and went to introduce myself, he burst out "HELLO, JOHNNY!" I couldn't believe he knew MY name! #RIPFink— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) April 16, 2020
I’m gonna dearly miss my friend @howardfinkel. Passionate Mets & wrestling fan. An incredible soul. He’s the soundtrack to so many of our childhoods. Nobody has ever done it better. Rest In Peace Fink.— Brian Myers (@TheCurtHawkins) April 16, 2020
Sad to hear that #HowardFinkel passed this morning. I had the pleasure of sharing the ring with him so many times. Unforgettable voice, and a true loving soul. Prayers go out to his family ❤️— Dustin Rhodes (@dustinrhodes) April 16, 2020
I remember early in my @WWE career there was a Mexico tour where Lilian Garcia was unable to attend & Howard Finkel stepped in. When he announced me as I made my entrance I had the biggest grin on my face, I was that 10-year-old boy for a moment #ThankYouFink #ripfink— Santino Marella (@milanmiracle) April 16, 2020
Howard Finkel was a great friend and mentor to me. I was so blessed to be able to look to him for guidance, honesty and the occasional bit of humor. He spoke with kindness, and always had a sparkle in his eye when speaking about our industry. Thank you for everything Howard.— The Brandalorian (@TheBrandiRhodes) April 16, 2020
One of my fav things in wrestling was his extended pause when he’d say “Ladies & Gentlemen I’ve just been informed... (eyeroll) the “Genius”... has a poem for us all.” Truly the best at what he did, genuinely nice/hilarious and no one better to talk Mets with. #RIPFink #Legend https://t.co/XBsErEFne6— Brian Gewirtz (@bfg728) April 16, 2020
Man.. RIP @howardfinkel more blows to the wrestling world. You’ll be deeply missed my friend ❤️ https://t.co/iqZKrh4lpM— PAIGE (@RealPaigeWWE) April 16, 2020
Thank you Howard https://t.co/3B89bEWGYS pic.twitter.com/1nJhdqIp1K— Justin Roberts (@JustinRoberts) April 16, 2020
This all simply can’t be real right now...Rest In Peace, Fink. Friday will be for you. Absolutely heartbroken. #HowardFinkel #TheFink #OneFall— Greg Hamilton (@GregHamiltonWWE) April 16, 2020
Hearing him call my name was the most hype thing I have ever experienced. It validated me. Man Fink and I been up and down the road. So much love for him. #RIPFink pic.twitter.com/DZohfVeN5Z— Virgil (@TheRealVirgil) April 16, 2020
The Fink was awesome. Love you and miss you, my friend. #RIPFink— Kevin Kelly (@realkevinkelly) April 16, 2020
When I was growing up or even starting my career as a ring announcer, I wanted to be just like Howard Finkel. I quickly realized, no one could ever be Howard, there’s only 1. The best. Then. Now. Forever. https://t.co/7rAfSwMs5a— Bobby Cruise (@realBobbyCruise) April 16, 2020
Very sad to wake up to the news of Howard Finkel's passing. The most iconic voice in the history of the wrestling business. I was lucky to meet Howard on a few occasions and he was always so kind, complimentary & classy. My thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones today. pic.twitter.com/iIfdkVWMHC— Nick Aldis (@RealNickAldis) April 16, 2020
Thoughts are with the family, friends and fans of Howard Finkel. I only got to talk with him in passing once, but he had a deep impact on so many people dear to me. We're diminished by his loss, but greater because he was here. pic.twitter.com/xKJ55fxU7B— Rob Schamberger (@robschamberger) April 16, 2020