In professional wrestling, there has typically been at least a two-man broadcast team to call the action you see in the ring. The play-by-play man narrates everything you see in front of you and stops to hear insight from his partner, a color analyst who provides insight as to what exactly is happening inside the ring.
It is a shame, then, that William Regal, the best announcer in all of wrestling, can only be heard on Hulu Plus. Regal originally began his broadcasting during Season 5 of WWE NXT's old format, and the banter between himself and Josh Matthews on a show that was not under constant criticism from content standards was a joy to listen to.
Regal also pulled double duty and became a broadcaster for Florida Championship Wrestling before it was folded into the NXT banner. While he still wrestles occasionally, including two weeks ago against Zack Ryder on Saturday Morning Slam, his experience in the ring is an asset to what he brings to the announcing table.
With all due respect to Jerry Lawler and Taz, Regal has demonstrated more knowledge of vocabulary and vernacular within the confines of WWE programming in his time at the booth.
I do not know the inner workings of Raw and their production practices but with constant information being fed to them through headsets, I imagine it can be distracting for someone like The King to be able to recall every single hold, strike and counter in the book.
Regal makes it look effortless, singling out suplex variations as if he had just studied up on every variation the day before the match.
It isn't just his knowledge, it's Regal's humor and wit that keep him at the top of his game, something that Jerry Lawler unfortunately just doesn't seem to have about him anymore. Regal is so spot on with his observations, any time he uses a British euphemism that Americans normally would not understand, we in the States can still laugh because Regal makes the phrase his own.
He once told a story on NXT Season 5 about the origins of Hunico's stab wound that had me simultaneously howling with laughter and asking "How did this get approved by the producers and management?"
Regal will often go back and make reference to either his or other wrestler's history with other promotions and in other places around the world.
Calling matches for WWE rookies on NXT gives him the perfect environment to do this, as there are many people unfamiliar with people like Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Antonio Cesaro and Kassius Ohno before they were given their WWE names.
Thanks to Regal spending such a good chunk of time in the developmental system along with Jim Ross, he has the power to sell everyone on these hot young talents and how we should be watching them.
There are some who say Regal is "not being properly used," "being held down," and all of the other tired arguments that branch out of Internet flame wars. I imagine William Regal would give the exact same answer to this question as the one Jim Ross gives every time he posts a new blog on his website.
Being able to directly work with and shape the future of WWE has got to be a reward in itself. Regal is an encyclopedia of wrestling, having wrestled in just about every feasible location in the world.
If I were in his position, given the choice of fighting for a spot in WWE's current lineup or passing on my skills to the next generation, I would see much more opportunity in the latter.
I encourage everyone who can to subscribe to Hulu Plus to watch NXT. It is unlike any other WWE production right now, with a strict focus on wrestling and promos. A very bare-bones show that is mostly free of recaps and packages, the action you see in the ring is made even better with Regal on the mic.
It would have been nice to have him come up to fill in for Jerry Lawler for a bit, but I am glad to hear him on NXT every week. The more people that sign up for Hulu, the more will agree.