Updates from Wednesday, Oct. 15
Justin Roberts released a statement via Instagram on his release from WWE:
After 12 years as one of WWE's primary ring announcers, Justin Roberts' tenure with the company has come to an abrupt end.
According to WWE.com, the promotion decided against exercising its option in Roberts' contract.
The 34-year-old native of Chicago became Raw's lead ring announcer in 2009, and he had served in that role ever since.
Roberts' passion for WWE and sports entertainment was obvious, and he even revealed the root of his love for professional wrestling in a recent blog post.
In a 2013 interview with Jamie Sotonoff and Dann Gire of the Daily Herald, Roberts called ring announcing for WWE his "dream job."
"I got my dream job," Roberts said. "It sounded impossible, but I got it. That's why I tell people today, if you want something, go for it. No matter how impossible it may seem, anything and everything is possible if you follow your dreams."
Legendary WWE announcer Jim Ross is among those who were taken aback by WWE's decision to let Roberts go:
Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com, via PWInsider.com, reported backstage reaction to Roberts' release:
As expected, Justin Roberts' WWE departure is a big shock to a lot of people in the company. Roberts was extremely well liked backstage and many talents thought it could be a mistake, even though WWE announced it on their website. He worked RAW last night and word is that he was informed of his departure after RAW went off the air.
With Roberts no longer in the picture, it will be interesting to see how WWE disperses the ring announcing duties. Lilian Garcia is the main SmackDown announcer, but she could potentially see an expanded role.
Other possibilities include veteran Tony Chimel, who has seen his announcing duties cut drastically in recent years. Also, Eden has made the jump from NXT to provide announcing for shows such as Main Event and Superstars, so it is possible that WWE will decide to use her on its flagship shows.
Although Roberts' departure may not have a huge impact on the product, those who have been watching since 2002 will certainly be in for an adjustment period without the presence of his recognizable announcing style.
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