Beth Phoenix Discusses Who Has Helped Her On NXT Commentary, Having Trouble Looking At The Monitor

In May 2019, Beth Phoenix joined the NXT commentary team on a full-time basis alongside Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness.

Phoenix is a WWE Hall of Famer and a former WWE Women's and Divas Champion. Despite her vast in-ring knowledge, transitioning to the commentary booth wasn't an easy one, but Beth had plenty of help along the way.

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"A village of folks," Phoenix told Ryan Satin on Out of Character when asked who has helped her on commentary. "Tom Phillips with integral in being a part of encouraging me and teaching me. Mauro (Ranallo) and Nigel (McGuinness), being my partners for a long time and being my support system when I literally did not have any clue what I was doing. Michael Cole has been my champion for so long, believing in me, giving me this opportunity, sticking by my side even when I was sucking top to the bottom and encouraging me. Now, Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett, I told them that I love my job, but they made my job fun. I have so much fun. Our production and producers, everyone is great. Wade and Vic, I feel like our chemistry together as a team is perfect. We're the right team for NXT and I love picking on Wade Barrett, it's one of my favorite pastimes."

Beth continued, explaining how she's viewed wrestling differently as a commentator.

"I always knew that commentators were a big part of the show, but as a wrestler, we only had to get ourselves over and worry about your segment, your match, your promo. As a commentator, it's our job to get everybody over and bring forward strengths and hide weaknesses and connect the dots if things go awry or not as planned. We have to cover injuries. There's a lot of responsibilities in the lap of a commentator, but most importantly, we're the voice of the audience. We're trying hard to represent what the audience wants to see and what the audience is feeling. We're trying to connect with them and resonate to say out loud what they may be thinking. There's a lot to the job that I didn't understand in the beginning and even just now, I'm just starting to crack the surface on what my role is as one of the voices in NXT," she said.

Though announcers have a front row seat for the action, they have to look at the monitor and not what is actually happening in front of them. For Phoenix, that remains a challenge.

"It's terrible," she said about focusing on the monitor. "I was so bad at it. I would get busted all the time when I started and worked with Vince in production and him being like, 'Beth, look at the monitor' and learning that because your eye is drawn to the ring, it's right in front of you where the noise and action is, not looking at the screen. We were just talking about this on Wednesday, we had a thing where a skateboard went flying in NXT and went right by Wade's head. So many times, wrestlers are coming flying over our desk and I'm almost catching a foot in the face or something is hitting us because we're not looking up, we're looking at the monitor and you're not completely aware of your surroundings and in those moments, you have to be ready to move out of the way."

During the pandemic, Phoenix wasn't able to be present for every NXT event. As a result, she did remote commentary. You can learn how she was able to do remote commentary by clicking here.

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