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YMMV / Tony Schiavone

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  • Base-Breaking Character: Opinions about his role as commentator are all over the place. Detractors point out that when the luchadores were killing themselves with suicide dives and chair shots, he was either ignoring it, making fun of the masks/names, droning on about some nWo stuff, or laughing at some vaguely racist joke; and overreacting to something like David Flair winning the Hardcore title (to which he would give his "the greatest night in the history of our sport" act) and so on. However, supporters point out that, re-watching WCW in its sad, dying days, the man had to sell absolute car crash TV, but with a vigor and air of professionalism few could muster. Moves are being called, talent is being put over—and when he's in there with Mike Tenay, calling lucha or puroresu matches, he does brings his A-game. Most of the outright hatred comes from his near-omnipresence on WCW television, shilling it to death (similar to the backlash against Michael Cole today), Bobby Heenan's criticism of him, or due to the "put some butts in the seats" comment. He has been getting better reception in his stint in MLW and AEW.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: He appeared once on a TNA show in 2003 (as a heel no less), only to never return.
  • Critical Backlash: People love to exaggerate how bad his commentary was, especially if they don't like WCW (He was voted "Worst Television Announcer" in 1999 and 2000 by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter). He did tend to shut down his partners when they'd say something stupid, occasionally make mistakes (he had a habit of mixing up the names of moves sometimes, such as calling certain moves a "sidewalk slam" or calling the "inverted atomic drop" the "atomic drop") and would repeat the "greatest in history" line more than a few times, but put a lot of effort and energy into getting wrestlers over and treating wrestling as serious as any other sport (Keep in mind that Gorilla Monsoon, though considered a Sacred Cow today, was voted "Worst Television Announcer" six times, and five of those were consecutive). Many are even asking for WWE to rehire him today, believing that he'd do far better than the current crop of commentators would in getting talent over (aside from perhaps Mauro Ranallo), and the announcement that All Elite Wrestling did hire him as commentator received an overall very positive response.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • His unofficial catchphrase "It's the greatest 'X' in the history of our sport!"
    • "That's gonna put some butts in the seats! *scoff*" Explanation 
    • On a more positive note "Hulk Hogan, you can go to Hell. Straight to Hell." Explanation 
  • Mis-blamed: Zig-zagged. While he was forced by Eric Bischoff to reveal the results of the Raw episode in which Mick Foley won the WWE Championship on Nitro, Schiavone himself came up with the "butts in seats" line regarding the idea of Foley winning the title on the fly. However, he'd show regret right away as he called Mick Foley to apologize days after that Nitro aired. He later admitted that he would've changed the channel to see Foley win too.
  • Moment of Awesome: Schiavone was no Jim Ross, but he did get his fair share of awesome calls.
    • His "Hulk Hogan, you can go to Hell. Straight to Hell." remark at the closing moments of Bash at the Beach 1996, following Hulk Hogan's famous Face–Heel Turn, was perhaps the best summation of how shocking the turn was. Bonus points for being off-the-cuff.
    • One of his best came when Diamond Dallas Page got one up over Randy Savage by wrestling him in disguise as La Parka and catching the Macho Man with a surprise Diamond Cutter, knocking him senseless for the pin.
      Schiavone: When he wakes up, let him know that was a Diamond Cutter!
  • Narm: Tony became an unintentional comedy gold-mine for calling the wrong moves (referring to most as "slams", "jams" and "pancakes") and declaring each new wrestler as "undefeated" (presumably he meant undefeated in this wrestling promotion... but he often ignored losses on Thunder, too).
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Almost any time Schiavone is mentioned, expect the "butts in the seats" comment to pop up. He's been getting heat for 20-plus years because of that.
    • A later incident of his that got a lot of talk was him reportedly applying for a job as a barista on Starbucks, which was taken as many as a sign of How the Mighty Have Fallen after having once been the lead announcer of what was for a while the biggest pro wrestling promotion in North America. After being hired by All Elite Wrestling, wrestlers such as The Young Bucks and Dr. Britt Baker would make fun of this by presenting him with coffee cups (the Bucks, being faces on the promotion, were more light-hearted and friendly about it and mostly relegated it to Being the Elite whenever Tony has appeared on; Baker, who's a heel, not so much).
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Tony seems to be mostly remembered for his Insult Backfire against Mick Foley and heat with Bobby Heenan rather than any merits as an announcer.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Many argue that Schiavone would have been better off as a heel announcer. He almost was one in TNA, but he opted not to sign a full time deal with them after being appalled by Don West's commentary.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: This seems to be the ultimate problem with him, as he was forced to sell a lot of the dumbass stuff that WCW did in its final years. Gotta give him points for trying. And in the end, even he eventually gave up.

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