In this article, I will be discussing my views on WWE play-by-play commentator Josh Matthews.
Before I get into any specifics, I will give you a short history about Josh Matthews' time in the WWE so I can show you parallels with the “voice of the WWE,” Michael Cole.
Matthews made history when he was a contestant on the first season of Tough Enough, placing third in the competition before going on to wrestle on the independent circuit for a short time.
He was hired by the WWE in 2002, where he started out as a backstage interviewer and commentator on Velocity for the show's four-year run. He also spent a short time in the ring, occasionally teaming with Booker T in a storyline with John Bradshaw Layfield.
After Velocity's cancellation in 2006, Matthews became the commentator for Heat before it too was pulled off the air in 2008.
After hosting numerous online WWE shows, Matthews' career began to pick up in 2009 when he was hired as the commentator of ECW, serving as the voice of the brand until it met the same fate as Velocity and Heat in 2010.
Luckily for him, NXT came on the air around the same time, with Matthews serving as commentator for the show's first four seasons before being replaced by William Regal.
The exact time of Matthews' push and the reason I write this article was December 2010, when Matthews became a commentator on the three actual wrestling shows—Superstars, Raw and Smackdown—as well as pay-per-view events.
Do you think Josh is the future voice?
It is this that leads me to believe that he may very well end up as the voice of the WWE.
If we compare him with Michael Cole, the comparisons are pretty obvious. Cole started out hosting the low-key wrestling shows and as a backstage interviewer until he eventually ended up commentating on both shows and all main events.
Now, Matthews has come through the same way and at roughly the same age Cole started out as one of the main voices we hear.
In my opinion, Matthews is a talented commentator and though I struggled at first to understand why he replaced Todd Grisham, I eventually grew to accept it.
Having been on the first season of Tough Enough, Matthews obviously has a passion for the business and it shows when he talks. He has a good knowledge of wrestling and I never have any qualms when he is at the commentary table.
With Cole starting out at the same age as Matthews did and with him being a veteran of the business by now, I wouldn’t put it past the WWE to have Cole as a mentor to Matthews.
Considering his young age and the longevity commentators have, as evidenced by Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross, building Matthews up will enable him to have a firm foot in the business for many years to come.
Working alongside both Cole and Lawler will be a blessing to Matthews; even if they aren't serving as hands-on tutors, he will be learning a lot from two seasoned veterans.
As much as I love Lawler and Ross, I can’t see Ross coming back for good since he's only back as part of the current storyline. With Lawler, however, I believe he is losing his touch and, upon his exit from the commentary table on Monday, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing both Matthews and Cole as a team without anyone else.
There was no bickering and they both seemed like they were having fun working together. Whilst there were some objections on Matthews' part to things Cole said, there was no arguing and the commentary flowed really well.
If Raw were to stick with Cole and Matthews, I would have no objections whatsoever.
I know a lot of heat is on Cole for his part in the Lawler saga and with the WWE eliminating the word wrestling, there won’t be need for a wrestling commentator, rather an entertainment one.
I know a lot of you may not agree with me, but I genuinely find Cole an entertaining commentator when he isn’t being such a heel and arguing with Lawler.
I can definitely see Matthews being with the WWE for a long time to come and becoming the voice of the WWE.
I would love to hear from everyone about their thoughts on Matthews and how far he will go.