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#ImpactPROSE "Dastardly Commentators & the Knockouts Who Marry Them"

Picture this: a commentator, who favours the rulebreakers. Not a new concept, of course ~ Hall Of Famers Bobby "the Brain" Heenan & Jesse "The Body" Ventura readily come to mind, as some of the very best. They were the epitome of nuisances to their Dudley-Do-Right-supporting broadcast partners, regularly turning a blind eye to the flagrant cheating of the in-ring Snidley Whiplashes & their equally-nefarious managers / valets. Some of the best wrestlers were able to make you respect their talent, regardless of whether you liked their actions.

These announcers, similarly, had a great appeal, with their lightning-fast wit & near-constant array of zingers to put down wrestlers & broadcast partners alike. But a particular announcer, from around about when Total NonStop Action Wrestling became Impact Wrestling, was... a little different. He was a villainous commentator who feuded, for the most part, almost exclusively with his broadcast partner. As fantastically cash-repulsing as that must've sounded to most folks in Dixie-land, it surely was a wang-dang-doodle of an idea that probably sent somebody scrambling to tell the Powers That Be. Yes, Josh Mathews was a ruthless tarheelian & turned his wrath on none other than... Jeremy Borash.

What a poor sap. Jeremy too.

Now, I had not much respect for ol' Josh around about this point. He didn't really come off as much of a professional, during his time in World Wrestling Entertainment {WWE} when announcing. He was originally going to be a wrestler, as part of WWE Tough Enough. That didn't pan out, so he turned his passion toward broadcasting. He was... alright. Nothing really to write home about. I still remember a particular episode of the original NXT {when it was still a competition} where he & Michael Cole were so unconcerned with what was happening, that they were both seen ON CAMERA scrolling through their phones... but I assume that was more WWE's doing, then either man's choice, so it can be excused. Maybe. But I digress... his commentary during this time, had that effect. On me, in a rather extreme way, as I'll get into later.

Anywho, whatever Lanny Poffo type that postulated that Mathews would be able to hold his own against his fellow commentators, hopefully ended up fired, because the cringeworthy tripe that spewed out during matches are enough to turn a country boy from his chitlins. If they were on a plate, placed in front of Josh Mathews & said country boy had to traverse a minefield of Joshisms in order to get to it. Hell, I would've rather faced the Steiner Brothers or the British Bulldogs in their heyday, than listen to him go on & on about... whatever he could say to be contradictory & negative towards poor Jeremy Borash. This led me, a long-time fan {of both this particular product & of wrestling, as a whole} to make a rather drastic decision. Before I get into that, I should probably explain why that was such a big deal. Strap yourselves in & get ready for an Exploding-Ring-Deathmatch-Up-Abyss'-Own-Arse of a personal history lesson!

I started watching wrestling in 1989... the earliest show I remember enjoying was the Main Event before Wrestlemania 5. The earliest I remember, however, featured the original Sheik & involved a screwdriver... I ran from the room crying & I'm quite frankly surprised that I came back, ever! But regardless, I was dragged back into this wonderful world of wrestling... happily as it turns out! I was an early fan of such notables as Bret "HitMan" Hart, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, the Ullllllllllltimate Warrior, the Legion of Doom, plus many others who I learned to appreciate more, as I slowly began to understand the nuances of the performances. Then there's the Wrestlecrap, but... maybe another time, okay?

In 1997 I got in contact with a local wrestling promoter who "liked to smoke stuff" that's now since been legalized here in this wonderful leafy-smelling country of ours... & my in-ring career was underway! Too bad I had a problem taking bumps, but that led to me doing something that ultimately was a lot more fun for both myself & the fans of Cutting Edge Wrestling: I was Reverend Jacob Clemens, the Extremist Evangelist, who led my Holy Smackdown Warriors to noticably-less-than-victory, while nailing their opponents square between the peepers, with my trusty Holy Bible! Soon replaced with a faux copy of my "autobiography" {a fake book thingy, with plenty of heavy things in it... & a condom, in case I "accidentally" dropped it & stuff were to "embarrassingly" come flying out!}

I went from an all-white suit, to an all burgundy suit, to a black suit with a genuine priest shirt! I was living the dream. Well, somebody's dream, I'm sure. Plus, the fans loved my antics about as much as I enjoyed pulling them off. In 2002 I stepped away, due primarily to the internal politics of a promotion that didn't pay its performers {I was a Treasurer for CEW, as well as an Assistant Booker, for a while, so I was aware of how little we were bringing in... with those who didn't deserve to do so, having their hands stuck out for "their share"}. But I digress... again. Get used to it, I'm afraid.

Then, around that time, I started doing a wrestling music & news show on our local university radio station... & CHMR's Ring Rust was born! I occasionally interviewed local performers, as well as international stars {John Morrison "made" me sing "Biscuits & Gravy" but sadly I'm not very boisterous, so he rather effortlessly drowned me out! I'm sure I still have the recording somewhere...! & I introduced Chris Jericho to my "Uberstar of Jerichlean Proportions" nickname, which he probably sadly almost immediately forgot, as he was touring with Fozzy & not wrestling}

I've been doing that show ever since, even parlaying that into a pair of other shows. What with the pandemic, I had to stop doing all my shows for a spell, but I'm back to doing Ring Rust, the Friday Morning Markout & Cavalcade of Uberswank live on the air, since COVID restrictions have eased up a smidge, locally.

Long-story-short, wrestling's pretty much in by blood now, as it was around the timeframe I speak of.

So fast-forward to when, while watching iMPACT! Wrestling {still miss how they did that, with the logo & any printed text!} Josh Mathews showed us what *really* landed him Madison Rayne {I assume} & started blasting not only the good guys in the ring, but TNA's version of Jimmy Olson as well. The nerve! Bad enough, he was snapping off textbook horizontal suplexes with a particular favourite of mine of the Knockouts division... but now he was assailing my ears with some banality. So I made a rather heartbreaking decision... & stopped watching that product. I only came back about a few years ago, so I hungrily lapped it all up again!

Fortunately, I'm all caught back up again & regularly viewing this fine show. Either on the Impact website or on Game TV here in Canada. I'm hoping to do this on a regular basis... though hopefully not quite this long-winded!

I look forward to contributing to this fine site & our insect overlords!


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