The Fink reflects on 35 years of ring announcing

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January 17, 2012

 

”Many dreams come true and some have silver linings/
I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold.”
- Led Zeppelin, "Over the Hills and Far Away"

When that song came out in 1973, little did I realize those words would have an impact on me some four years later. On Jan. 17, 1977, a dream of mine did come true when I made my ring announcing debut at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Today is Jan. 17, 2012, and I proudly celebrate 35 years of servitude to my profession.

Howard Finkel makes his WWE debut in Madison Square Garden on Jan. 17, 1977
As I reflect upon that first night when the New York fandom looked at an unknown entity in me, I wanted to make an impression in performance and style. Other than the expected butterflies that I had, my confidence in my performance was strong; I knew I was going to give it my best effort. As far as style, well, a tuxedo was in order for my debut … and a yellow one at that! I felt on that evening the first impression I made might not be a lasting one, so I wanted to jazz things up. Honestly, it very easily could have been a “one and done” for me … but it wasn’t.

When I got the word that I was to become the permanent Garden ring announcer for the then WWWF events, the feeling I had was beyond euphoric. Here I was, nearly two years removed from my first handshake in New Haven, Conn., with Vince McMahon, and I was put into a most important position in the No. 1 market for the company. I vowed that I would not only work hard for the company, but for myself as well. Since then, I have lived my dream to the fullest, and the “pocketful of gold” is the wonderful memories of the great cities around the world I have visited, as well as you, the WWE Universe. It still remains my pleasure to have met so many of you, and to have entertained you in my own unique way.

WWE Hall of Famer, Howard Finkel returns as CM Punk's personal ring announcer at the 2011 Survivor Series
You know, I am constantly asked what stands out as my most memorable ring announcing moment through the years. There are so many of them that it’s always been hard to isolate on just one. However, thanks to CM Punk, he was instrumental in creating a very special moment for me. I had the pleasure of introducing him last November at Survivor Series, in the place where it all started - Madison Square Garden. And when I was introduced, the reception I received was very nice. But then all of a sudden the Garden faithful started chanting my name, and that moved me to tears. It was like I had come full circle; they were not only welcoming me back, but saying thank you as well.

But I also say thanks to all of you, who with your support have allowed me to continue to live a dream that today hits the 35-year mark. And thinking of that slogan “life begins at forty,” rest assured I hope to accomplish that milestone from a ring announcing standpoint as well!

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