Sam Navagero was the voice of Professional Championship Wrestling for close to three years. We catch up with our former ring announcer turned podcaster to see what he is up to now!
What made you fall in love with professional wrestling?
As a child, I used to watch it in black & white on Channel 7 when the shows were at Festival Hall in Melbourne. I loved the pre-bout interviews and the entrances accompanied by music.
Did you always want to ring announce?
I ALWAYS wanted to be a ring announcer, from as far back as when I first saw WWF/WWE Hall of Fame ring announcer, Howard Finkel announce at Madison Square Garden at the first Wrestlemania. I loved how the mic “The Fink” announced from was dropped from the sky.
You’ve been keeping busy, ring announcing at boxing events and with your own podcast. Tell us more about this.
The boxing announcing work has been a lot of fun but very intense.
I have been MCing weddings for a few years now which is the equivalent to announcing the main event, as you only get one crack at it, so I always try to prepare as best I can to keep the bride happy.
My “Exceptional People” podcast (see iTunes or visit www.exceptionalpeople.com.au) is going very well and most of my interviews are with current & ex-fighters of the local and national boxing fraternity. Fighters that step into a ring and literally put their lives on the line each time fascinate me.
What was the most memorable match you ring announced?
The most memorable match that springs to mind is the main event between Danny Psycho and Daniel Swagger in Warrnambool, where there were multiple tables & a very very long ladder involved.
The highlight of my life was announcing Hulk Hogan to the fans a few years ago.
You always had one foot in the marketing camp, and were instrumental in negotiating the deal for SEEC. How do you feel seeing PCW’s success?
While I was ring announcing for PCW I oversaw the PCW merchandise we sold at the Hallam & Rowville events as well as worked closely with Claude “the” Wolfe on the food and beverage side of things.
I was just a very, very small cog with the negotiations of the establishment of the SEEC and was happy to be part of a team.
There was a lot of initial push back to the establishment of the SEEC by the locals and neighbours and I’m very happy to see PCW and SEEC flourish today.
An event space like the SEEC, that is run by a sports entertainment organisation like PCW is unheard of and was a “game changer” at the time and still is today.
Will we ever see you again in a PCW ring?
If PCW can arrange a mic to be dropped from the ceiling at SEEC, Madison Square Garden style, then I might be tempted to don my black and white tuxedo and come back and announce one last match, as long as their current ring announcer doesn’t mind.
Do you have any tips for aspiring ring announcers?
- Look “the goods” and get dressed up. I always suggest wearing a tuxedo. How you present reflects the organisation you are working for.
- Also, be prepared. Do your homework on the combatants’ details (what they weigh, where they are from,etc.).
- Find out what their entrance music is and don’t announce over it, speak to the sound guy so he knows when to lower the music and turn it up for a bigger impact.
- Ask the talent if there is anything you can do to assist them in getting a bigger “pop” from the crowd.
- Lastly, always remember that as an announcer, it is NEVER about you. Not one person at the show has paid to see you. A ring announcer’s role is to “shine the light” on the performers entering the ring. An announcer makes the splash for the performer to ride the wave to the shore.
One word answers:
Ken also gave me my first shot at being a ring announcer for which I will always be grateful. I framed my first payment Ken gave me.
Professional / mentor / all class
His entrance music was perfect and he always hit the marks where he knew my announcing was going to give him the biggest reaction from the crowd. a true pro
Mark was the first performer that included me in his storyline by “knocking me out” on his way back to the change room
Tim Tam Slams
He always cut a great promo
- To follow Sam’s latest project, the My “Exceptional People” podcast, see iTunes or visit www.exceptionalpeople.com.au