RAW gets 'better looking'


Jonathan Coachman knew it was just a matter of time.

After six years with WWE, Coach has finally taken a permanent seat alongside Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler as part of the Monday Night RAW announce team. Coach moved to the main table for Vengeance in June and has been doing RAW with J.R. and The King ever since.

"Vince (McMahon) and the producers came to me the day before Vengeance and said I might be doing it," Coach told WWE.com. "They wanted the broadcast team to get a little younger and a little better looking. But I didn't know for sure I was in until a few hours before the show."

The short notice hardly bothered Coach, who relishes his current role as a color commentator. After making a few RAW cameos in previous years when Lawler or Ross were unavailable or actually had to wrestle, Coach is now a full-fledged member of the announce team.

"The three-man booth wasn't easy at first, but it's been more than a month now and it's getting easier," Coach said. "I've been taking crap from those guys for six years, but now they realize I'm here to stay. I don't always see eye to eye with J.R., but I think that makes for a good dynamic in the booth."

While Coach claims he's always prepared, he does admit there's a different mindset on Monday night when you're on-air for the entire two hours instead of just a segment or two.

"Of course, it's a different mindset, you have to think about the whole show and what you're going to say throughout the night," Coach said. "But I'm just as sharp mentally as I am physically, and when that red light goes on, I'm always ready."

Still, Coach understands there might be some loyal RAW fans that simply don't like change and consider the Coach's presence a mere intrusion on their Monday night viewing.

"I can't worry about those fans," Coach said. "If you're old school, that's fine. But change is part of life. If they don't like me, that's fine, as long as they watch the show they know I'm going to entertain them. And I still run into people at the airport and at restaurants who say they love me as part of the announce team."

Coach considers himself a big part of WWE's future, with his latest promotion signaling the start of a new era as well as being a reward for the work he's already put in.

"Wrestling is one of the hardest sports to call," Coach said. "I've done other sports, and those were easy compared to this. But I'm sitting next to one of the legendary play-by-play guys in the business in J.R. and The King is no slouch. We're making each other better every week."

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