I’ll keep this one short though I’ll warn you – I tend to go into long rants when I’m discussing professional wrestling characters and figures who were staples of my childhood.
I tend to use this phrase a lot when it comes to professional wrestling, but recently I listened to the “30 Years of Wrestlemania” podcast featuring Howard Finkel, who is one of the voices of my childhood.
Also known as “The Fink,” Finkel is the longest tenured employee in the WWE, going all way back to 1977. When I started watching wrestling at age 3, The Fink was the announcer in every match. He was the first voice you would hear when superstars were making their entrances to the ring.
During my youth when I had aspirations of being a professional wrestler, I imagine Finkel announcing my hometown and my name as I walk to the ring at Wrestlemania in Madison Square Garden, as well as his phrase “and new World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental champion!” Or it would be my and my best friend’s name when he said “and new World Wrestling Federation tag team champions.”
Although my aspiration of being a wrestler were replaced with different goals, I still kept that image in the back of my mind and would replay it whenever I felt down.
The Fink has also been involved in some angles such as when he was a self-professed Jerichoholic or when he had a tuxedo match with Harvey Wippleman at Wrestlemania X … which really weren’t’ some of my favorite Fink moments, but at least he was getting TV time.
Finkel would be inducted in WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2009 and it was more than deserving. He has a one-of-a-kind voice that can never be duplicated and I think he’s one of the most underrated announcers in the history of sports and entertainment.