Justin Roberts Talks Mauro & JBL, Looking Back On His WWE Career, and 'Triple H's Guys' In NXT

Former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts spoke with Ring Rust Radio for a new interview. You can listen to the interview above and submitted highlights are below:

Why now was the right time to release his book: 

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“I thought it made for a cool story many years ago while I was actually with the company. I thought because I was a huge WWE fan and a wrestling fan in general for so many years and then I made it to WWE, I was able to work with a lot of the guys a group watching, and I just thought it made for a cool story. The idea came while I was actually still there. I pitched it to WWE magazine and they weren’t interested in my story so it was still in the back of my mind and I thought it was a cool story and I’d like to share it. I started working on it while I was there and I had a good amount down and then once I wasn’t with the company anymore it just made it easier to go back in and speak more freely and talk about anything I wanted to talk about in the story. So, once it came together and it felt like it was where it needed to be, that’s when I released it.”

His thoughts on the current situation with WWE and Mauro Ranallo: 

“A lot of people asked me about it and I said I don’t know Mauro. I don’t know him at all and we never once talked. I don’t know his situation. All I know is the experiences that I’ve had which I clearly stated were in 2003 when that was happening with JBL. Case in point, after the incident with Joey Styles, when he stood up to him and punched him, he basically disappeared shortly after that. When he came back, he was a much different person. That stuff wasn’t going on and the locker room had changed completely. So, when he came back it was a different world with different guys and a different mentality. The guys who were around in the early 2000s knew what happened and later on, I don’t know what happened with Mauro. So I can’t say anything about that, but I did say when people asked me if he should be fired and I would say no. It’s not just something with JBL; it’s a mentality in the company. They like to ride people and I don’t know if that had anything to do with Mauro because again, I don’t know anything about his situation for sure, just the accusations that we have heard that are going around.”

What he might do differently if he could relive his WWE career: 

“I’m happy with everything I got to do I feel like I got to do everything that I dreamed of and more. Stuff that I couldn’t have even dreamed of. I’d always try to speak up if I had an idea or something that I saw at a live event or on TV. If there’s something I thought they could be better, I would bring it up. If there’s something in the script that just didn’t make sense from a fans perspective, I would speak up. I always tried and I got shot down a lot. If I brought something up or if I tried to turn up my announcing or if I saw an announcement that just felt like it wasn’t big enough and I would turn it up and make it a bigger announcement, I would be told to turn it down and bring the announcement down. So, I feel like I tried. I tried to do everything I could to be the very best that I could, but I knew that I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of the things that I thought they were better for announcing or better for the announcers to do. I don’t have any regrets because I tried. If I got shut down, I got shot down, but at least I tried.”

What is the biggest mark he thinks he left on WWE

“I think maybe some of those announcements that have become memorable to a lot of people. I hear from a lot of people about the John Cena introduction, the Undertaker introduction, and the Jeff Hardy introduction. Some of those introductions that became part of the entrance and those guys didn’t need me by any means. They are big stars on their own, but just that my voice was able to contribute in a small way to their introduction and to leave a mark on people the same way Howard Finkel had on older fans. The people that grew up hearing my introductions for those guys that they were watching, things like that are pretty cool.”

What he thinks of the idea that Triple H has saved WWE through his work with NXT: 

“I mean, he takes care of his NXT guys. I think there are a lot of guys that aren’t NXT guys that aren’t treated very well and can’t reach the heights that they can with their potential. There always seem to be someone or something working against them while his guys always seem to look good and the guys he isn’t into tend to not look so good. In my dealings with him, when I talked about the live event producer position, here was someone who was at every single show, watching every live event, every TV show, every PPV from ringside and all of them from beginning to end. I saw how it was broken and I wanted to help fix it and just to help this company. Someone like Triple H kept blowing me off and saying that I didn’t have enough experience and then bringing in guys that knew nothing about the business and they didn’t come from a wrestling world and didn’t know how to put together a wrestling show or the psychology behind it. It’s a psychological roller coaster that you take the fans on during a show. For him to tell me I didn’t have enough experience and then he brings in guys with no experience just didn’t make any sense. He was the top heel and when we were in Australia, he was the top authority figure, but he would start a live show welcoming everybody and he was out there as a baby face. People would boo when he came on because he is a heel on TV, but at the same time, he wants to be a baby face and accepted by everyone. Things just didn’t make sense and that should paint the picture for you.”

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