Former WWE Ring Announcer Justin Roberts Buries Triple H In New Interview - PWPIX.net

Former WWE Ring Announcer Justin Roberts Buries Triple H In New Interview

Justin Roberts

Justin Roberts, who spent 12 years as a ring announcer for WWE, discussed his time in the company in an interview with SI.com.

Roberts, who parted ways with WWE last October after organization officials opted not to renew his contract, says his final 18 months working there were difficult.

“I was unhappy and contemplated leaving, but I didn’t just want to give up,” Roberts explained to Justin Barrasso of Extra Mustard. “It was WWE’s decision—they told me they were going a different direction and did not want to renew my contract.”

He continues, “Live events used to be really fun. It used to be myself, a production manager, and a road agent. We would make decisions and the shows would be great, but they became a lot more complicated in the last year-and-a-half. Writers who are so out of touch with wrestling fans and wrestling in general were making decisions, and it became really hard to show up to work knowing the product was suffering because of it.”

Roberts cites the 2014 Royal Rumble, where wrestling fans clamored for Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble Match. He did not appear in the match, which was won by Batista and featured Rey Mysterio as the final entrant. Fans voiced their displeasure by booing Batista and Mysterio and complaining on various social media platforms.

“The crowd tells you what they want,” Roberts said. “But again, Vince [McMahon] was doing what he wanted to do. And that hurt a guy like Rey and hurt Dave Bautista. Everything about it was wrong. I was hoping they would really do what’s best for business. But [the WWE] wants to show that they controlled the show, not the crowd.”

Roberts confirmed plans to write a book about his WWE career, which is described as a tell-all by Extra Mustard—the date of publication and publisher have yet to be determined. Roberts, who devotes a great deal of time to Paul “Triple H” Levesque in his autobiography, is critical of his ability to run the sports-entertainment organization.

“Hunter is portrayed as the savior of wrestling, and people think he’ll save the business once he’s in charge,” Roberts said. “We all thought that, too, until he started running things. Paul started overseeing a bunch of divisions and one of them was live events. When he took over, our live events schedule was brutal. We’d start in one place and flew all over. Since he used to be one of the boys on the road, we thought he’d stand up and stop that, and he didn’t. The schedule got worse.

“Hunter started squashing stuff that really started getting over. If you notice, it’s all about the future, and the future is NXT. But focusing on the future shouldn’t mean ignoring the present. Zack Ryder got over huge to the point to the point where the crowd was cheering for him at Madison Square Garden while The Rock was standing in the ring. Dolph Ziggler got over. Primo and Epico [now known as Los Matadores] are fantastic wrestlers, but they get lost in the shuffle. There is a glass ceiling, and anybody they don’t want to get over is squashed despite the fans strongly getting behind them. Daniel Bryan is a rare exception, despite the company fighting it over and over.”

Shortly after his departure from WWE, Roberts says he met with UFC President Dana White about ring announcing opportunities when UFC Fight Night was held in Phoenix, Arizona, where he resides.

“I feel like I did everything there was to do as a pro wrestling ring announcer. I like UFC, and while I was there, I met with Dana White and a few other executives,” Roberts said of the December meeting. “But they have their guy [Bruce Buffer]. He does very well at UFC, and I know that and I would never try to step on his toes. If anything ever changes, you never know what the future could bring.”

In the interview, Roberts offers more insight in WWE politics and his upcoming book. He also discusses his future plans, Paul Heyman butting heads with Vince McMahon and fellow Chicago native CM Punk.