Wrestling world reflects on the life of Howard Finkel


WWE Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel has died at the age of 69. Finkel spent more than three decades working for the WWE, and his voice is tied to many of the biggest moments in WWE history, stretching from the very first WrestleMania match, between The Executioner and Tito Santana in 1985, to serving as CM Punk's personal ring announcer at Survivor Series in 2011.

Between his on-air role and constant presence backstage at WWE events, Finkel connected with many different generations of WWE talent. Stars of the past and present expressed their appreciation for Finkel on social media in reaction to Thursday's news.

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I will miss this man. Howard Finkel was the voice @christian4peeps and I emulated when we performed our own ring introductions for our living room or side yard(depending on the weather) wrestling "shows". I know there's an entire generation of kids, now grizzled adults who did the same thing. He was "our voice". When I debuted in the WWE and I heard Howard's voice introduce Edge, I welled up. THAT'S when it became real that I'd made it. I will never forget the goosebumps I had the night on a house show at The Skydome when he said "and NEEEEEEWWWW Intercontinental Champion". Our first tag title win at WrestleMania of all places. The voice? Howard. More importantly than all of that, he was my friend. He was a genuine, warm and compassionate man who absolutely LOVED his job. I remember standing with him nightly with a bunch of the boys firing him up as Welcome to the Jungle played for his ring intro music. This hurts. The Fink. The best. Ever.

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Finkel had a big impact on the careers of many wrestlers, but he also paid it forward to future generations of ring announcers. That group includes former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts (now with AEW), Greg Hamilton, who currently fills that role with WWE, and Brandi Rhodes, who worked as a ring announcer in WWE before becoming a wrestler and on-screen personality with AEW.