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Noah Anthony "Tony" Schiavone (/ʃəˈvɒni/, shə-VON-ee; born November 7, 1957) is an American broadcaster. He is the play-by-play broadcaster for the Gwinnett Stripers of minor league baseball's International League, and a commentator for Major League Wrestling (MLW). In the past, he has been a sports radio host and a professional wrestling announcer known for his work in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). A 2013 WWE.com article noted: "At the height of the Monday Night War, veteran broadcaster Tony Schiavone's voice was as vital to the onscreen product of World Championship Wrestling as Jim Ross' Oklahoma growl was to WWE."[2]

Tony Schiavone
Tony Schiavone with Paul Billet (cropped).jpg
Birth nameNoah Anthony Schiavone
Born (1957-11-07) November 7, 1957 (age 61)[1]
Craigsville, Virginia
Spouse(s)
Lois Schiavone (m. 1981)
Children5
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Tony Schiavone
Billed height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Billed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Debut1983

Contents

Broadcasting careerEdit

Professional wrestlingEdit

Jim Crockett Promotions (1983–1989)Edit

Schiavone broadcast alongside David Crockett starting in 1985 until 1989 on Superstation TBS. Together they hosted NWA's World Championship Wrestling live in front of a small in-studio audience in Atlanta. The show aired on TBS on Saturday Mornings at 9am and Saturday evenings at 6pm and was used as a vehicle to promote live NWA arena events and introduce their stars to a national audience as TBS was the premier nationally broadcast cable station at the time.

World Wrestling Federation (1989–1990)Edit

He was signed by Vince McMahon's WWF for a one-year contract from April 1989 through April 1990.[3] During his time with the company, he was most notable for being the main play-by-play announcer for their SummerSlam 1989 and Royal Rumble 1990 pay-per-views alongside Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Schiavone returned soon afterwards to WCW, the former Crockett promotion by then owned by media mogul Ted Turner. For the WWF, other than Ventura, Schiavone commentated alongside others including Lord Alfred Hayes, Gorilla Monsoon, Hillbilly Jim, Rod Trongard, and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Behind the scenes, Tony produced numerous home videos for Coliseum Video.

Schiavone, who has remained on good terms with the McMahon family in the years since, admitted years later that leaving WWF was his biggest career mistake, and that he asked McMahon for his job back as soon as he realized what the Turner Broadcasting System had done to the former Jim Crockett Promotions upon acquiring it. McMahon turned him down, so that Schiavone wouldn't have to move his young family again, but was open to working with him in the future.[4]

World Championship Wrestling (1990–2001)Edit

Schiavone became the lead voice for WCW's flagship program, Monday Nitro. He also served as the lead announcer of Thunder, typically working alongside Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, and later with Mark Madden and Scott Hudson. Before the advent of Nitro and Thunder, Schiavone, hosted WCW Saturday Night and WCW WorldWide. He made an appearance in the movie Ready to Rumble. When WCW's main assets were bought by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF/now WWE) in 2001, he was not retained by WWE.

During his tenure with WCW, Schiavone developed a reputation for his over-the-top announcing style, proclaiming many Nitro broadcasts to be "the greatest", or "most explosive", telecast "in the history of our sport." However, when this hyperbole was repeated on a weekly basis throughout the Monday Night Wars, the phrase lost meaning. Schiavone stated that it was the whole truth and anyone who states otherwise is a fool and is the worst kind of fan.[5] He claims to have been very comfortable with his constant shilling of the WCW product and said that every night constantly topped the last night and thus became the next greatest night in the history of our sport.[5]

Mick Foley incidentEdit

An infamous incident involving Schiavone occurred on the January 4, 1999, Nitro. Nitro was airing live against the pre-taped WWF Raw is War on USA Network and was to feature a rematch between WCW World Heavyweight Champion Kevin Nash and former champion Bill Goldberg from Starrcade, where Nash had ended Goldberg's undefeated streak and taken his title under controversial circumstances. The Nitro episode was also the first appearance of "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan since he announced his "retirement" from professional wrestling on the Thanksgiving 1998 edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Meanwhile, Raw was to feature Mick Foley, who was wrestling as Mankind at the time and who had previously for WCW as Cactus Jack, winning his first WWF Championship in a match against The Rock. However, at the time Raw was taped while Nitro was live, and it was a practice for WCW and executive producer Eric Bischoff to spoil pre-taped Raw episodes, by telling the WCW audience the results of the Raw show, and not give fans reasons to change the channel.

According to Foley, who wrote about the incident in the first chapter of his book Foley Is Good (and the Real World is Faker than Wrestling), this was to be a pivotal night for WCW as people believed that WCW, whose record streak of 84 consecutive Monday night wins in the ratings had been snapped by Raw in April 1998 and had only eight head-to-head wins after that, would turn the ratings tide back to them and potentially take over the lead in the Monday Night Wars.[6] During the show Schiavone spoiled the result of Raw's main event by saying that Foley, the former Cactus Jack, would win, sarcastically remarking "That's gonna put some butts in the seats".

Foley was genuinely upset by what he had heard and telephoned Schiavone to talk about it. When Schiavone called Foley back, he told Foley that Bischoff had ordered Schiavone to reveal his title win over the air. The strategy, however, backfired on Bischoff. Almost immediately after Schiavone spoiled Foley's title win, 600,000 households switched from Nitro to Raw, to watch Foley win the title. This was enough to give the WWF the ratings win for the night, with a 5.7 final rating to Nitro's 5.0. WCW's ratings never saw more than a 5.0 going head-to-head with Raw again and Nitro's rating sank below 5.0 and by the end of the year was struggling to stay above 3.0.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003)Edit

In 2003, Schiavone made an appearance in NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA: TNA, later Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) during one of their weekly pay-per-views. Schiavone interrupted an interview with Goldylocks and Percy Pringle and proceeded to cut a worked shoot promo in which he insulted both of them.[7] Mike Tenay, TNA's lead broadcaster and Schiavone's former WCW colleague, then entered the ring and the two got into an argument over their careers and what happened during the last days of WCW, where both men lost their jobs. The promo ended when Vince Russo entered the ring and promised Schiavone a job with him. However, nothing ever came of that as Schiavone only made one more appearance in TNA.[8]

Major League Wrestling (2017–present)Edit

On October 5, 2017, Schiavone returned to professional wrestling at the inaugural event of the resurrected Major League Wrestling (MLW).[9] At the show, Schiavone provided color commentary for the event's matches. He has since continued to provide his commentary work for MLW's television show, MLW Fusion.

BaseballEdit

After wrestling, Schiavone became the morning sports anchor for both WDUN in Gainesville and WSB-AM in Atlanta simultaneously, despite the two stations having different owners (WDUN has a partnership with Cox Communications, which owns WSB-TV and WSB-AM.) Schiavone also has done morning sports reports for Cox sister stations WHIO AM/FM in Dayton, Ohio. Additionally, Schiavone is a writer for the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network and produced the Best of the Bulldogs, which won the AP Award for Best Sports Program in 2004.[10]

After a few years of work with the Braves system including pre-game and post-game radio coverage, and also spot duty as an official scorer for games, Schiavone returned to play-by-play duties on radio when the Gwinnett Braves began their first season in Lawrenceville, Georgia as Atlanta's AAA-level affiliate for the 2009–10 season.

FootballEdit

Along with being a writer for the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network, Schiavone also works one of the post game talk shows on the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network for home and away games alongside former University of Georgia quarterback David Greene.[11]

Podcasting careerEdit

On January 30, 2017, Schiavone began hosting the What Happened When? podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson on MLW Radio discussing stories from Schiavone's time with Jim Crockett Promotions, his stint in the WWF and his WCW tenure. Schiavone also co-hosts the "Pro Wrestling Wednesday" podcast with lifelong wrestling fan Beau Le Blanc for WZGC FM 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, a station in which he often does fill-in work for their sports flash updates.[12]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Born in 1957 per Intelius check of "Noah A. Schiavone" giving age of 50 as of June 29. 2008
  2. ^ 14 Superstars you didn't know appeared in WWE: Tony Schiavone. WWE. February 15, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  3. ^ "Tony Schiavone On Joining WWE, If He Would Return, If Vince McMahon Produced Him, The End Of WCW - WrestlingInc.com". WrestlingInc.com. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Tony Schiavone Says He Immediately Regretted Leaving WWE, Reveals Vince McMahon's Response - WrestlingInc.com". WrestlingInc.com. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Tony Schiavone". The Ross Report. Episode 28. August 29, 2014. PodcastOne. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  6. ^ Foley, Mick. Foley Is Good. ReganBooks, 1999. ISBN 0-06-039300-9
  7. ^ "youtube.com: Tony Schiavone Heel Turn In TNA". Retrieved October 30, 2008.
  8. ^ "youtube.com: Tony Schiavone As A Heel In TNA". Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  9. ^ Tony Schiavone Returns to Wrestling for MLW’s 'One-Shot' - Sports Illustrated
  10. ^ "wsbradio.com: Inside wsbradio.com Tony Schiavone". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "PWW: Pro Wrestling Wednesday". 92.9 The Game. April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  13. ^ Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2011). "Biggest issue of the year: The 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, CA: 1–40. ISSN 1083-9593.

External linksEdit