Jason Justin Roberts, Wresting Announcer - 27th May
What's your background?
Always wanted to say that...now 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.??
did you realize you wanted to be a ring announcer?
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.
did you get your break?
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!
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...
your athletic background?
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
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.
you have a sit down with VKM or Howard Finkel, or
someone else? - what happened?
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
have been the highlights of your career - movies,
announcing, WWE etc?
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
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.
you ever get nervous?
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
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).
much do you travel?
never consistent - sometimes a real lot and sometimes
a real little.
do you deal with the lifestyle?
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.
do you live?
you have an agent or coach, or are you self managed?
all me...I feel that if I don't do everything myself,
it doesn't get done the way I want it.
is the biggest crowd you have announced to?
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
is the worst stuff up you ever made?
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...
did you realize you had a talent for impersonations?
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.
are you best at impersonating?
Evil, Andy Kaufman, Mrs. Doubtfire, man you put me
on the spot here....
speak at least 5 languages and at least 8 dialects...how
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.
many countries have you traveled to?
do you know about Australia, and have you been here?
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 JJRoberts.com
else would you like to share with our media and sports
you all for reading this, I appreciate it. Please
continue to support pro-wrestling...and Check out
JJROBERTS.com!!! (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!