Tony Schiavone: My Niche Is Making People Feel ‘Warm And Good’ About Wrestling Again
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard
For many fans, Tony Schiavone remains the voice of wrestling. As a steady presence in World Championship Wrestling, Schiavone called the action for the company’s legendary highs and infamous lows. The downfall of WCW pushed him away from wrestling, but in recent years, Schiavone has found his way back to the business.
Schiavone recently guest-wrote a column for Atlanta Magazine and looked back on his remarkable career. First, he recalled one particular highlight of his WCW run — the night Goldberg won the world title in Georgia. He explained how watching this unforgettable match turned him into a genuine fan.
“My biggest memory from that time was at the Georgia Dome, where we had Bill Goldberg beat Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the world title on Monday Nitro in 1998,” wrote Schiavone. “Goldberg was such a phenomenon, plus he was a former Georgia Bulldog. It was one of our largest crowds ever. I’ve always said this, and I still believe this today: The great matches that you call, you cease to be an announcer. You become a fan of the work. That night, I became a fan.”
After Schiavone explained how he was “burnt out” following WWE’s purchase of WCW, he recalled how doing his “What Happened When” podcast with Conrad Thomspon helped bring him back to wrestling. The former WCW broadcaster wrote that he was “shocked” at the positive response to the show. From there, it was only a matter of time before he officially returned to the business, and once he did, Schiavone found a new home with All Elite Wrestling.
Almost two years into his AEW run, Schiavone reflected on how much he enjoys helping younger wrestlers through his work with the company. He also made it clear that he continues to enjoy this phase of his career because he can help people feel “warm and good” about wrestling.
“I thought, if I can help these kids and their careers in wrestling move forward, maybe there is a place for me,” wrote Schiavone. “It makes me feel young, which is not a bad thing to feel at my age. The young talent is so wonderful. They’re hungry, they’re good kids, they’re so respectful. All of them have watched me in the past and appreciated my work. Even if they didn’t, they tell me they do.
“I saw someone write that I’m on the AEW announcing team because I make people remember their childhood and feel warm and good about wrestling again. When I read that, I realized what my niche was. I’m so fortunate, I really am. I’m having the time of my life.”
This Sunday, Schiavone will be at ringside to call the action for AEW Double or Nothing, a buzzworthy show that, among other matches, will feature the official in-ring return of Sting, another WCW legend.