For the first time since 2001, Tony Schiavone is returning to call pro wrestling.
“I’ve been receiving a lot of tweets asking me to come back and call wrestling matches, and I know this is a ‘one shot’ opportunity, but I am looking forward to seeing if I can do it again,” Schiavone said. “This will be the first time I did any broadcasting since WCW closed down and I called some XWF matches with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.”
One-Shot will be available to stream on demand 72 hours after the event at MLW.tv. The 59-year-old Schiavone, who also calls games for the Triple A baseball Gwinnett Braves each summer, says wrestling still runs through his blood.
“I’m really excited to return, and the reason I am so excited is because I respect what these wrestlers do,” said Schiavone, who shared that he is particularly looking forward to calling the matches of Ricochet, Sami Callihan, and Jeff Cobb. “I’ve seen enough independent shows to know how hard these wrestlers work, how much effort and time they put into their craft, and how much they respect the business.”
WWE Hall of Famer JJ Dillon, who was the long-time manager of the legendary Four Horsemen and also worked behind-the-scenes for over a decade in the World Wrestling Federation under Vince McMahon, believes MLW hired the best available wrestling broadcaster in the world to call One-Shot.
“Tony was always a natural with wrestling,” Dillon said. “He’s a very talented announcer, to the point where he has never received the credit for just how talented and how good he is.
“A great wrestling announcer is like a great referee; he’s important to the match, but doesn’t need a lot of attention to do his job. Tony Schiavone is one of the all-time greats, and I have a lot of respect for him both personally and professionally.”
Dillon marveled at the fact that Schiavone called the Four Horsemen for Crockett Promotions and WCWNitro, and now has the opportunity to connect to an entirely different wrestling era with One-Shot.
“There is something so intriguing about professional wrestling, which is more than the athleticism because it is the emotion,” Dillon said. “There is a very emotional investment in wrestling, and Tony is going to do a great job calling those timeless qualities of wrestling.”
Schiavone also works with Court Bauer’s MLW Radio Network, as his What Happened When podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson examines the “Monday Night Wars” from the perspective of someone who worked beneath the Mason-Dixon line. Schiavone confirmed that his philosophy of calling wrestling matches, despite the gap in time since his last match, remains unchanged.
“My job at One-Shot is to go out there and enhance the talent,” Schiavone said. “I want to share my excitement to shine a light on the talent. I’m going to take the time to meet them all, get to know them, and make sure they’re treated on the air like the stars they are.”
Schiavone will share broadcast duties with play-by-play man Rich Bocchini.
“The idea of calling wrestling action feels brand new again,” Schiavone said. “Now when I get to the building in Orlando, it may feel like I’m back in an arena in Spartanburg, South Carolina or Shelby, North Carolina where we did Crockett TV, but this has a brand new feel to it.
“I love Orlando, Florida. We spent a lot of time there back in the day with WCW, and I look forward to going back for One-Shot.”