Dot Net Awards: 2013 Best Broadcaster
Dot Net readers voted on a variety of 2013 awards throughout the month of January. The following are the results of our poll for Best Broadcaster. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting. You can check out the past winners in our Awards section.
(1) Jim Ross: 31 percent
(2) JBL: 19 percent
(3) Renee Young: 10 percent
(4) Michael Cole: 9 percent
(5) Jerry Lawler: 9 percent
Others: 10 percent
Jason Powell's Thoughts: Jim Ross didn't call live wrestling this year, but he still finished on top. Why was he included as a nominee? Honestly? Because I didn't want to count 1,066 write-in votes via email. Michael Cole gets my vote albeit somewhat by default. It is truly impressive that he can do everything WWE asks him do during a live broadcast, particularly with a lunatic screaming in his ear. Still, I wish he wasn't so quick to play the clown and focussed more on becoming the trusted voice of the company. Renee Young is a real breath of fresh air as a backstage interviewer. JBL has the ability to be great, but he spends too much time telling jokes designed to humor the Vince McMahon. Kevin Kelly does a nice job for Ring of Honor. I wish I could say the same for Mike Tenay and Taz, who continue to be the voices of a bad product. Taz still shows he can be gets excited about something, but it seems like he's phoning it in and amusing himself most of the time.
Chris Shore's Thoughts: Me! OK maybe not, but I could make a case for being listed not because I was great, but because the state of commentary in wrestling right now is atrocious. Michael Cole is not a bad broadcaster, but he is often directed to talk about things not going on in the match and that's absurd. JBL has had a good run, but his character is very quirky and cheers odd things while often burying people instead of heeling on them. Taz and Mike Tenay are terrible. Steve Corino does well in ROH but his involvement with storylines leaves him in a messy spot. Jim Ross didn't do very much this year, but he wins by default because no one else has really stepped up to the plate this year.
Will Pruett's Thoughts: I don't want to burst the readers' collective bubble here, but Jim Ross didn't call a single live wrestling match in 2013. I can't say he was the best broadcaster this year. He's the best ever, but he wasn't the best this year. This leaves a rough crowd. The regular commentators in WWE and TNA were Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, JBL, Mike Tenay, and Taz. None of them were very good. When I opened my search up to all broadcast personalities, the choice was obvious. No one did their job better than Renee Young this year. She is the perfect backstage announcer. Every part of what she does works. Young is great interacting with wrestlers, other commentators, or simply the camera. She is a gem.
Jake Barnett’s Thoughts: My vote for best broadcaster of the year goes to Renee Young. Her growth on television has been fun to watch, and now she seems more than comfortable in her role, and she adds and air of class and authenticity to the segments that she is in. I groan every time she has to read off the twitter handles of halfwit WWE Fans in the social media lounge segments, but that’s not really her fault. She’s without a doubt an up and coming star, and I hope WWE finds a way to make her a major part of the WWE Network launch.
Darren Gutteridge's Thoughts: I never thought I'd see this day, because I hated Michael Cole just a few short years ago. Heel Cole was one of the most insufferable things wrestling has ever produced, but now that silliness has passed, he has refocussed, and got back on track as a great lead commentator. Yes, he's still cheesy, but that is the only part of his game that can be blamed on him. The shilling is corporate mandated, and he does a good a job as can be expected marshalling the stale Lawler and rapidly worsening JBL every Monday night. He may not be the second coming of JR, but Cole is starting to crawl out from under that very large shadow.
Zack Zimmerman's Thoughts: Well done, Dot Net readers. You've proven – despite some of our best efforts – that the IWC is an entity with a general tendency to view wrestling the same way and favor things that it has an affinity for. Jim Ross, as legendary as he may be, did not call one single live match in 2013. In fairness, he deserves to be on this list no more than Jesse Ventura, Gordon Solie, Mike Adamle, or Todd Grisham. The runner up: JBL. Really? While he may be entertaining for a line here or there, he doesn’t add to the product as much as he takes away from the other characters on the show. As far as I'm concerned, the two legitimate choices here were Michael Cole and Renee Young (who combined, received merely one-third the votes of J.R. and JBL combined). Cole, for the sheer amount of information he relays every week and the professionalism with which he does it, is the best in the business. Renee Young has breathed life back into the role of a wrestling interviewer and enhances every segment she's involved in with her subtleties. I love our readers, but damn you guys fumbled this one.
Ryan Kester's Thoughts: As always, this honor belongs to Jim Ross, but I can't in good consciousness give the award to a man that only called a few televised matches at best. For my money, JBL was the best broadcaster of the year, as he provided Raw with a more stable dynamic and between himself and Michael Cole, established an old-fashioned heel and face-favoring team with Lawler serving the role of old hand with silly jokes and anecdotes. JBL's contributions as a broadcaster directly improved the WWE product, and for that he takes the award.
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