Interview - Jason Justin Roberts

Interview: Jason Justin Roberts, Wresting Announcer - 27th May 2003

What's your background?

G'day! Always wanted to say that it's out of the way, I'm not sure what you mean exactly, but I'll answer anyway...I am 23 years old and I began ring announcing for Pro-Wrestling at 16 in 1996. I started by announcing two matches for an independent organization in Chicago, IL/USA :) and went from there. I did not know one person in the business, but knew I wanted to be a part of it. I worked my way up the ladder of independents and hooked up with Dale Gagne's AWA and FX's Toughman after sending them my demo tapes. Those two groups gave me the experience and exposure that I needed for a great push. Working for them along with other indy groups gave me the opportunity to learn from the veterans and improve on my work. Besides announcing, I attended grade school, jr high school, high school, and graduated from The University of Arizona. I hope that answered the question.??

When did you realize you wanted to be a ring announcer?

I really loved the wrestling business and knew there was no way possible that I could be a wrestler. I knew in order to break into the biz without knowing anyone, I couldn't get scammed into ref or manager "training" so I figured since I could 'do voices', I would use my 'announcer voice' to try and break in as a ring announcer.

How did you get your break?

Dave Prazak ran a popular wrestling 'hotline' in Chicago. I was friends with him and asked if I could record a message on the hotline. He wouldn't let me. So this kid who ran a hotline that no one called, happened to go to my high school. I asked if he would like me to help him out and the hotline took off. Through the hotline my character "Enzo Reed" (and my sidekick 'Stone') built up a VERY small following which got me connected to a THIRD hotline-this time, they were hooked up with a local independent group and I asked if Enzo could be a guest ring announcer. They hooked it up and I was set to work with Dave Prazak as a guest announcer on the show. I worked two matches, I was awful, they liked me, and used me for their sporadically run shows over the next two years!

What sports did you play growing up?

Um. Hockey on ice @ 4(yrs), Football at 8, basketball at about 11 and 12. Sorry to all the sports people for the disappointment, but it gets worse...

What's your athletic background?

LOL. Most kids grow up in a "let's play catch" household-so it seems, or a "let's watch the game" house. I have a great relationship with my parents, but we would rather sit on the couch and watch the "A-Team" and soap opera-ish TV than play catch in the yard. I lift weights everyday, but announcing for sports is about as athletic as I get these days

How exactly did the WWE deal come about?

I sent them video clips of my announcing for some time, and I received a phone call that they wanted me to tryout at a Raw and Smackdown taping the next month in Northern California.

Did you have a sit down with VKM or Howard Finkel, or someone else? - what happened?

You would think, right? No interviews whatsoever, they do it the right way---they hand you the microphone and send you out in front of thousands of people to do what you think you do best. Why sit and tell them what I can do....instead, I went out there and did it.

What have been the highlights of your career - movies, announcing, WWE etc?

No question about it, my dream was to announce for WWE since I love announcing and WWE is the top of the game. While in 23 years I have had some awesome experiences, WWE is what I am most proud of since it is so difficult to obtain.

What voice and acting training have you done?

I took acting classes in 3rd grade I think it was, and I was in chorus during my pre-college school days.

Do you ever get nervous?

If you have a fear of speaking in front of people, you get nervous....since I have been doing this for a while, beginning at an age where I thought more about being in a ring than thinking about the people being out there - I got used to it and fortunately do not have that fear...therefore I don't get nervous being in front of the people or talking on the mic...but sometimes it's intimidating having to memorize long introductions.

What motivates you?

Good crowds!!!

What's some funny stories from the road?

I could write a book, but not enough people have heard of the most of the guys I traveled with the most. Without going into details...hitting a skunk with our car at 4am on a LONG 15 hr road trip, hitting a rabbit on a road trip and the guys' reactions...(it's rough to think of good stories where you wouldn't have to be there to think they were funny).

How much do you travel?

It's never consistent - sometimes a real lot and sometimes a real little.

How do you deal with the lifestyle?

I am part time, so I really have it easy compared to the guys who travel 5 days and are home for 2. When I'm super busy, I deal with it and look forward to coming home and sleeping and getting right back out there again, because announcing is what I enjoy doing. For YEARS I loved talking about the business, but was always surrounded by non-wrestling fans. When I work shows, I am surrounded by other people who have a love for the business.

Where do you live?

Arizona, USA

Do you have an agent or coach, or are you self managed?

It's all me...I feel that if I don't do everything myself, it doesn't get done the way I want it.

What is the biggest crowd you have announced to?

I'm not sure, the biggest house show is probably London, Ontario and the biggest TV crowd....maybe 20,000? in Chicago IL which was awesome for me--the crowd was HOT and that arena is where I grew up attending WWE shows. Phoenix, AZ and Toronto Ontario, also had huge crowds, but I'm terrible at estimating crowd sizes.

What is the worst stuff up you ever made?

If you mean talking to the crowd, I really don't know. I was and still am a huge fan so I like to be honest with the crowd, and treat them how I liked being treated when I was a fan sitting out there with my signs. There were times in the indies when I was placed out there to announce that advertised talent wouldn't be showing up, and I just tried to break the news as honestly as I could. I was just as disappointed that the talent wouldn't be there as the fans...

When did you realize you had a talent for impersonations?

At about 4 years old...I would entertain my family at family gatherings and I watched a lot of Saturday Night Live and tried to imitate their characters like they imitated others.

Who are you best at impersonating?

Dr. Evil, Andy Kaufman, Mrs. Doubtfire, man you put me on the spot here....

You speak at least 5 languages and at least 8 did you develop this talent?

I only speak two languages fluently, but can alter the dialects..which were probably developed from imitating people from other countries.

How many countries have you traveled to?

Only three :(

What do you know about Australia, and have you been here?

I have heard that it is AWESOME there. I also caught a glimpse of it on 'The Facts of Life' television show. I would love to work in Australia but have not gotten the opportunity. I sent e-mails to a couple of guys that ran shows out there, but it never worked out. If you have shows requiring an announcer--contact me through

What else would you like to share with our media and sports savvy readers?

Thank you all for reading this, I appreciate it. Please continue to support pro-wrestling...and Check out!!! (sign the guestbook and let me know you're from Australia!) If you hear of a show in your area, please tell them to use Justin/Jason Roberts!