At ECW Barely Legal in 1997, Styles became the only announcer to call a live pay-per-view event by himself.
Joey Styles: Bio
Controversial, opinionated and never at a loss for words, Joey Styles has been one of the few voices of reason in the wild world of sports-entertainment since he debuted with Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1993.
A lifelong WWE fan, Styles joined ECW as their sole commentator at the tender age of 21. At first glance, it may not have looked like a perfect marriage. The renegade Philadelphia promotion was wild, carnal and barely suitable for television. Styles, on the other hand, was well-groomed, well-dressed, eloquent and looked more like an ad exec trapped in the middle of a barroom brawl.
But this disparity between the competitors throwing chairshots in the ring and the man calling the shots in the announce booth was exactly why it worked so well. While Terry Funk and Sabu tore each other apart in a brutal Barbwire Match, Styles would call the action with humanity, bringing a realistic edge to the ensuing carnage. Think of it this way — Styles was the calm in the middle of a storm. That was until there was a truly unbelievable moment in the match, in which case The Extreme Announcer would unleash the three simple words that became his signature phrase: “Oh my God!” When the ECW faithful heard that exclamation, they knew something epic just went down.
Beyond that, Styles was an announcer that took a real interest in the maneuvers the competitors in the ring were executing. When Mexican standouts Rey Mysterio and Psicosis battled in the ECW Arena, the commentator proved he had done his homework by identifying "hurricanranas" and "pescados" as they happened. It was a sign of respect for the action in the ring that is too often missing in sports-entertainment.
Styles was a key part of ECW all the way until its initial demise, becoming one of the most recognizable parts of the promotion in the process. When the relatively small company made its pay-per-view debut with Barely Legal in 1997, he was there. When ECW made its cable premiere on The Nashville Network in 1999, he called the action. And when the promotion made its triumphant return in 2005 with the "ECW One Night Stand" event, Styles was the man on the microphone.
The Connecticut-native was such a key part of ECW, it was hard to imagine him working anywhere else. But that would change in November of 2005 when Joey Styles became a commentator for Raw. It was a shaky relationship for the outspoken play-by-play man from the very beginning. The way Styles liked to call the action was not the way they did it in WWE and he suffered because of it. He was kept off pay-per-view events and interrupted by his color commentators while trying to do serious play by play. When it got to the point that he’d had enough, Styles quit on the air, delivering a controversial rant on "sports-entertainment" filled with brutal truths live on cable television. What Styles said that night was so extreme that only an edited version can be found here on WWE.com.
The commentator's career did not end there, however. After the monumental success of two WWE-produced ECW pay-per-views, it was decided that Extreme Championship Wrestling would be relaunched with the inimitable Styles in the announce booth. Now joined by former ECW Champion Tazz, the analyst returned to his roots and called the hard-hitting matches of ECW icons like Rob Van Dam and Mahoney with the same passion he had in the mid-90s. Styles even had the opportunity to sit at the announce table at WrestleMania 23 when ECW Originals Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman made their debut on The Grandest Stage of Them All — a serious achievement for a group of guys who first plied their craft in a bingo hall in Philadelphia.
In 2008, The Extreme Announcer put on the headset for the last time to take a position as Vice President of Digital Media Content for WWE.com. Styles has pubicly stated that he has no plans to return to commentary, but fans are still clamoring to hear one more, "Oh my God!"