When it comes to the greatest icons of the past in the world of wrestling, the mind immediately goes to the greatest icons in history, such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Andrè The Giant or The Undertaker.
But there is a character who has seen all these legendary athletes and has been at their side in all the most important moments in the history of WWF (and later WWE) wrestling, and who has accompanied generations of fans, making these moments immortal thanks to his legendary voice.
This man is not a wrestler, but a ring announcer, or the person who has the task of presenting the wrestlers and proclaiming the winner of the match.
There have been tons of announcers in WWE history, but Howard Finkel is undoubtedly the most famous thanks to his voice, his stage presence, and the professionalism shown in decades of career.
The public has always loved “The Fink” as he was called by the fans and made him one of the most recognized WWF characters.
Howard walked into fan houses every week, introducing wrestlers, announcing the winner and new world champion.
I, too, was always enthralled by that voice. Howard announced the rules of the matches and was very good at highlighting the winning wrestler without stealing the show.
Howard was also a crucial part of Wrestlemania, the most important wrestling show of the year. He was not a wrestler, although he had shown several times that he could defend himself from the harassment of bossy managers.
The Madison Square Garden audience cheered when Howard, during Wrestlemania X (in 1994), finally reacted to manager Harvey Wippleman’s arrogance and pushed him to the ground.
One of his last public appearances as an announcer was in “his” Madison Square Garden, during the 2011 Survivor Series, in the role of CM Punk’s personal announcer. Howard’s voice marked the beginning of the WWF reign of champion of CM Punk, which lasted over a year.
Howard had many health problems, which he preferred to keep private, preferring to be remembered in his glory days and died on April 16, 2020, shortly after Wrestlemania 36.
I’m sure Howard watched the show, and he wished he was there to announce it one more time.
Howard Finkel wrote the history of wrestling in a secondary role but will be remembered forever. Without him, wrestling in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s wouldn’t have been the same.
Some Interesting Howard Finkel Facts
- Howard was the first employee of WWF, hired on April 1, 1980.
- He invented the name Wrestlemania and was the only person to appear in all editions from 1985 to 2016, stopping only for health reasons.
- He had 8 career matches.
- Howard was the voice of so many iconic moments, such as Hulk Hogan’s victory over Andrè The Giant at Wrestlemania 3.