Where Are They Now? Todd Pettengill

Page 2 of 3
October 16, 2012

As soon as he was hired, Pettengill was one of WWE’s go-to announcers. One of his first assignments was hosting the new show WWE Mania, which took a look at the wackier side of sports-entertainment. (WATCH) Todd also hosted Action Zone, Challenge, LiveWire, All American Wrestling, “WWE Superstars” and Challenge, in addition to interviewing duties on Raw and pay-per-views.

And like anyone who’s come through the doors at WWE, Pettengill remembers his first WrestleMania very well. His first Show of Shows was WrestleMania IX, which took place at Caesar’s Palace and was billed as “The World’s Largest Toga Party.”

“I had to call home and say, ‘I’ll be the guy in the toga,’ ” he recalled. “And then everyone was wearing togas.”

After ditching his Roman garb, Pettengill became an integral part of WWE’s announce team as the company began transitioning toward monthly pay-per-views. Todd began hosting 30-minute countdown shows before the events, which he looks back on fondly.

“Those were probably my favorite because I like to do things live,” he explained. “My background in radio helped with that.”

When WWE launched the In Your House series in 1995, Pettengill was given a monumental task. He and co-host Stephanie Wiand drew the lucky winner of a luxurious house given away at the inaugural event. Todd called the excited winner, Matt Pomposelli, and the rest was history. (WATCH) He was, however, a little sour that the winner never gave him a call.

“He could have invited me over, I gave him the damn thing,” Pettengill joked. “Well, Mr. McMahon did, but I announced it.”

Pettengill even got to bring a little bit of his radio personality into the WWE Universe. At the 1996 and 1997 Slammy Awards, he opened the ceremonies with a side-splitting medley of song parodies poking fun at the Superstars. He regularly creates parodies for “Scott and Todd in the Morning” and jumped at the opportunity to work his magic for WWE.

“I ran the idea past Mr. McMahon and he said, ‘Give it a shot,’ ” he recalled.

After getting The Chairman’s approval, Pettengill went to work rewriting classic rock hits, TV theme songs and any other tunes he could rework to fit the wild world of WWE, like this number about Shawn Michaels, set to the tune of Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine”:

He’s the sexiest thing that ever stepped in the ring, Shawn is,
With his earrings and hair and his thong underwear, Shawn is
Such a stud, such a hunk. I said hunk, not Hulk, Shawn is!

Unleashing his rapid-fire hilarity on the Superstars at the annual award ceremony (WATCH: 1996 SONG | 1997 SONG), Todd was glad that the Superstars didn’t take offense at his jabs.

“Everybody knows we’re there to entertain,” he said. “They were great, I think they actually enjoyed the songs.”

Despite having the time of his life with WWE, Todd decided he needed to scale back his schedule a little bit during summer 1997 after several years of trying to maintain a balance between his WWE duties, his gig at WPLJ and his personal life. He was using vacation days at WPLJ to free up time to work WWE pay-per-views and the grind was catching up with him.

“I didn’t get fired, I didn’t quit, my contract was up and I went in and said, ‘I can’t physically do this anymore, I need a break,’ ” Pettengill explained.

Though sad to see him go, WWE officials understood Todd’s situation. They did, however, ask him if he knew anyone that would be a good fit for the position. Pettengill ended up making a perfect recommendation.

“Michael Cole used to be my news guy in Albany,” Todd told WWEClassics.com. “I knew he’d do great there because he was a huge fan [going in]. He knew a hell of a lot more than I did.”