Is Tony Schiavone the most underrated play-by-play man of all time?

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May 22, 2012

Jim Ross discusses his broadcast partnership with Tony Schiavone.

Tony Schiavone is currently the play-by-play voice of the Atlanta Braves’ AAA farm team, the Gwinnett Braves, but for many years Tony was a fixture at ringside for Jim Crockett Promotions, WCW, and, for a brief time, WWE. Tony was also one of my most enjoyable broadcast partners back in the ’80s and early ’90s. (PHOTOS) Contrary to what many online gossip mongers would have you believe, Tony and I got along well, but to say that wrestling politics didn’t take a toll on our relationship would be inaccurate.

I first met Tony when Jim Crockett Promotions and Bill Watts’ UWF co-promoted the Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament in New Orleans at the Super Dome in 1986. We had much in common since both of were major sports fans — Tony with baseball and me with football.

When Crockett purchased the UWF from Watts in 1987, Tony and I became co-workers, but within the old school world of wrestling it was generally whispered that I was there to “take Tony’s spot” or “Tony wants you gone.” Same can be said for the wrestlers involved in the acquisition. Instead of this business deal being a game changer, it became a game ender due to mismanagement and other factors — but that’s another story for another day.  

Tony and David Crockett had their established TBS gig, but soon after I came to work for Crockett, I was added to make it a three-man broadcast team. The whispers continued. I can’t honestly say that the three of us truly ever developed much chemistry, but we dealt with it as best we could.   

At the same time, for syndicated TV production, Tony and David did the “A” show, which was called Worldwide Wrestling while Bob Caudle and I did the “B” show entitled NWA Pro Wrestling. There was a competition between the two teams, but I’d describe it as healthy. Egocentrically, I felt that Bob and I were the better duo. I’m sure that Tony and David felt that they were the better team.

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