For the first couple of AEW events, the company experimented with different announce teams. Jim Ross and Excalibur were the two mainstays, but they were joined by Alex Marvez or 'Goldenboy' Alex Mendez depending on the broadcast.
When AEW Dynamite premiered in October, Tony Schiavone was added to the booth while Marvez transitioned to a backstage role and Mendez joined in spot duty. Speaking to Richard Deitsch on the Sports Media podcast, Ross revealed he pushed for Schiavone to return to the commentary booth.
"I pushed really aggressively to hire Tony Schiavone for our team. It was inevitable, for whatever reason, that the trend has been three-man teams. It's the trendy thing. I just thought Tony would be an amazing addition because of his product knowledge. You can't buy product knowledge, you have to develop it, earn it, and experience it. He didn't watch wrestling for 20 years. He was done. He wasn't a newsletter guy, a podcast guy, he was done. He got revitalized. Whether it's play-by-play, color, in-studio, in-ring, there's not anything where you hold a mic that Schiavone isn't good at. And he's not a kid. He knows how to travel. A lot of people take the travel for granted. Traveling is the shits," stated Ross.
Schiavone stepped away from the sport full-time following WWE purchasing WCW, but returned in 2017 to provide commentary for MLW. Schiavone not only does commentary work for AEW, but also commands the AEW Control Center and does in-ring and on-stage interviews. He is set to host the official AEW podcast in 2020.
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