Vince McMahon had his strengths and weaknesses at the commentary desk.
Speaking on the latest Q&A episode of his Something To Wrestle podcast (via AdFreeShows), Bruce Prichard was asked how he would rate Vince as a play-by-play guy, and who he thought was his best commentary partner. Prichard joked about how McMahon was awful because because he never really called anything, but that he succeeded in the role because he added more emotion to the matches than anyone else. He said the following:
"Oh God no [not Jerry Lawler], I'd say Jesse Ventura was the best with Vince. Look, Vince was terrible. Vince never called shit. It was like [does Vince impression] 'Ah, Yokozuna with an arm drag [laughs]. Wait a minute! He's got him! He's got him! 1-2-Oh no! Oh no!' Vince just was cliches would take you on a ride, however emotion wise, I think you would be hard pressed to find anybody that could match the emotional rollercoaster that Vince would take you on.Sometimes it was hyped up a little bit over the top, but it was, but I mean to this day I still do the [does another Vince impression]. There were a lot of Vince-isms back in the day. [Does yet another Vince impression] 'Oh what a maneuver!'"
McMahon took over commentary duties, for what was then his father's promotion, in the early 1970's. He held the position until 1997. According to Prichard, however, right from the time he began working for the WWF/E, they were always searching for the next play-by-play guy. Here's what he said:
"I don't think Vince ever fancied himself a great play-by-play guy. In the beginning, without a doubt it was out of necessity because his dad's play by play man just walked off the job one day. So yeah, that was why Vince had to do that job never having done it before. Later on it was, he the guy, he was the face that had done it for so long that he continued to do it. When I came in 1987, probably the first or second month that I was there, there was always a search for that next play by play guy. Even then, like '87, he didn't want to do it. He wanted to find the right guy to come in and do play-by-play."
Bruce Prichard works alongside Vince McMahon to this day, currently serving as the Executive Director of both Raw and SmackDown.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Something To Wrestle with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.