The Fink looks forward to going home
Howard Finkel has served as the ring announcer for some of WWE's biggest events, including every WrestleMania. WWE fans have heard The Fink's voice resonate throughout arenas all over the world over the past four decades. No one will ever forget the style and excitement he uses in introducing a new champion. The Fink has even tried his hand in a few matches over the years. He has seen the best of the past and present, and now he's looking forward to seeing the two come together at WWE Homecoming on Oct. 3 on the USA Network. WWE.com was able to catch up to The Fink on his thoughts on the much-anticpated event.
WWE.com: What are you most looking forward to about WWE Homecoming?
The Fink: This is going to be a huge event. I'm looking forward to all aspects of the evening. I've enjoyed many-a-time with the legends that will be there and also with our current Superstars. It will be a great mixture of yesterday and today that will hopefully transcend into a continuation of bigger and better things to come. It will be a spectacular night Monday.
WWE.com: Do you think there's a place in today's WWE for the Legends to keep coming back?
The Fink: To have the legends involved in today's WWE atmosphere is a tremendous plus. You can see that with the advent of 24/7. We have decades-worth of footage from our organization and other organizations from back then, and there's always a market for that. There are a lot of fans from 20 years ago or so that can now pass along their stories, thoughts and opinions of some of the great stars. Today's fans can also take a walk back and see some of these people for the first time. Take a look at Hulk Hogan or Roddy Piper for example. When they came back the fans went crazy and it was like they never left. There is a place for the legends in this business -- make no mistake about it. I've always been a fan of nostalgia. The legends have paved the way and pioneered what our great Superstars have today.
WWE.com: How do you think the Legends will interact with the current Superstars?
The Fink: You can kind of see a parallel with Old Timer's Day at baseball games. The former stars of yesterday mingle with the stars today. The baseball players are absolutely respectful of the stars from yesterday and can't wait to go meet them, talk with them and even get autographs. You can compare that with our legends, not that they're all old timers. I think our legends will be very well-received by the current Superstars. I would love to see a Legends tour. Not necessarily a wrestling tour, but I'd love to see these legends make appearances across the country and around the world and come out and sign a few autographs and reminisce.
WWE.com: Are there any Legends that you're looking forward to seeing in particular?
The Fink: I'm looking forward to seeing all of the legends because I've had the pleasure of being involved in all of their matches at one time or another. But the one that I'm looking forward to seeing most is Chief Jay Strongbow. When I started ring announcing in 1976, one of the first matches I announced was in New Haven, Conn. and it was Chief Jay Strongbow vs. Professor Toru. He had amazing fan support. The stardom he attained was always well-deserved and he was always very humble. I haven't seen Jay since 1994 at the Hall of Fame event. I've spoken to him on the phone, but I'm looking so forward to seeing him.
WWE.com: What positives do you see for RAW moving back to USA?
The Fink: WWE really got its cable baptism with USA back in 1983. Our first show was All-American Wrestling in 1983 and that grew into other shows like Primetime Wrestling. Then, of course, Monday Night RAW started in 1993. So to come back to USA, it really is a homecoming. I think it's a tremendous positive. I know some of the other legends have said they'll be able to see it more when they're on the road because it will be available in more hotels. I feel there'll be more penetration of cable homes. One other avenue that is great about this deal is tapping into the Hispanic market. It's an untapped resource, and we should be involved in it with great zest and emotion. The Hispanic market in this country is exploding, and to be on the air on Telemundo and Mun2 is going to open up even more new avenues. There will be so many new opportunities for us. It's win, win. We win and the fans win.
WWE.com: Are there any moments on RAW that stick out for you personally?
The Fink: There have been quite a few memorable moments for me on RAW. One night I was an honorary Bushwhacker and came out with Luke and Butch, which was quite unique to say the least. I was also involved in an ill-fated Tuxedo Match in Houston against Harvey Whippleman. In that match, unfortunately, we both lost almost everything and that was rather embarrassing. Then my car was involved in another early episode. There was a situation with Shawn Michaels and the late Mr. Perfect. It was parked outside the Manhattan Center, and then all of a sudden the two started brawling, taking it to the streets. It was very interesting and exciting, but it did a lot of damage to my car. There were quite a few dents and dings -- from a cracked windshield to a dented fender. I wasn't in a good mood after that, but it was all part of the entertainment package. But the most important thing about being on RAW was I had fun. And when the show is live like on RAW, there's nothing like it.
WWE.com: Do any matches stick out for you as far as announcing goes?
The Fink: There were so many matches. But that first night from the Manhattan Center in 1993 was ground-breaking. That was a milestone. It was live TV and there were a lot of nerves, and anticipation. There's an old slogan that when it's live nothing can go wrong, so we had to do our best to make sure that was true.