WWE Hall of Fame announcer Howard Finkel passes away

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Howard Finkel

WWE announced on Thursday that Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel has passed away at the age of 69.

“The Fink” made his ring announcing debut for the WWWF at Madison Square Garden in 1977. He brought a grandiose voice and enthusiasm to the position, especially when the world championship changed hands and he would proudly announce “and NNNEEEEEWWWWWW World Champion!” which would become his signature call. His style and passion while calling so many historic moments have made him widely considered as the greatest ring announcer in wrestling history.

As a full-time ring announcer, Finkel became the first employee for the WWF when it was established in 1980 and eventually its longest-serving employee as he continued to work in a backstage role for the company in recent years.

Finkel took on a lighter schedule by 2000 as new announcers including Tony Chimeland Lilian here hired by the company to work on Raw and SmackDown. However, Finkel continued to announce some pay-per-view events. Later that decade, he was scaled back further to only announcing at house shows and also introducing the WWE Hall of Fame inductees at WrestleMania. During that time, he continued to work backstage in various roles.

On April 4, 2009, Finkel was given his spot among the greats when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. At the 2011 Survivor Series, he made a surprise appearance when he introducer CM Punk for him match against Alberto Del Rio who had his own personal announcer in Ricardo Rodriguez.

Finkel was an encyclopedia of wrestling history and was a  walking history lesson with his ability to remember various moments over the years. He was widely known as a kind man who simply loved professional wrestling and his job within it.

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Brian Fritz

Brian Fritz is the owner and editor-in-chief of Between The Ropes. He has also covered wrestling and MMA for The Orlando Sentinel, AOL Fanhouse, and Sporting News. You can email Brian at btrfritz@gmail.com.

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