Women have contributed to the voice of wrestling throughout its history, despite the strong testosterone levels. Your favorite wrestler’s voice, the one that keeps the adrenaline running and tells you why you should be engaged in this big-time bout.
Missy Hyatt was my first female voice outside of wrestling. She might commentate WCW Power Hour and Main Event on TBS. It was nice to have a female co-host with Jim Ross. Missy’s humor, timing, and unique southern drawl complemented WCW’s approach at the time.
Sunny contributed some WWE backstage news and insight to programs like Livewire and Shotgun Saturday night in the 90s. Sunny was the confident, brash, arrogant girl next door that we needed.
Late in the decade, Lilian Garcia’s voice molded a decade. We heard Lilian’s voice as we were set for a huge contest. She gave us goosebumps while reading the tape’s story for icons like The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H, etc. Lillian also gave comfort and hope after 9/11 with her lovely and angelic rendition of the national anthem.
Terri Runnels became a great interviewer during the Ruthless Era on Raw and was often attacked by the Divas.
Early on, Impact Wrestling was exceptional at balancing the voices. Christy Hemme’s feisty demeanor came in handy when she began ring announcing in 2011. She also hosted for TNA Global Impact. Hemme really cared about Impact and became a strong advocate for it.
So Cal Val began her Impact career as a ring girl, but soon became engaged in stories and eventually became a backstage interviewer. Impact launched one of my favorite YouTube series, Pillow Talk. It was great to watch the Knockouts relax with So Cal Val and show the audience another side of them. Fans appreciated So Cal Val’s vaudeville, big, glamorous, clever, Lucille Ball-like comedy.
Shimmer was an independent promotion that tried to have female perspectives on commentary to create a realistic and fascinating debate. More wrestlers were given the chance to commentate on subsequent bouts, which I’m sure inspired many to try their hand at it.
Allison Danger was a major advocate for women becoming voices of corporations and having women at the discussion table.
NXT developed fantastic ring announcers in Jojo and Eden aka Brandi Rhodes in the 2010s. Renee Young began her career in NXT and eventually became the first female commentator on Raw.
Melissa Santos, a ring announcer for Lucha Underground, matched the intensity of the action in the ring.
We are hearing more female voices than ever before. Beth Phoneix went from wrestler to NXT commentator in before of our eyes. NXT needs Alicia Taylor’s great metal loud voice. Her entrance boosts any wrestler’s fierce credibility.
Quinn McKay became the company’s voice, recapping and introducing the product every week.
Along with Maria Kannellis and Lufisto, Alyssa Marino helped deconstruct the work of the ladies of honor and present all parts of the division during the summer.
Velvet Sky presently works in NWA as a commentator, predicting the contestants’ thoughts.
Many corporations have made that female voice ring loud and clear the standard. But it’s great to remember the women who were in the minority and rose to the top.