The goal of a professional wrestler is to get a reaction out of the crowd. According to former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts, though, the company used to instruct him not to pop the crowd "too much."
Roberts discussed those instructions and more during a recent interview with Hannibal TV. Roberts currently is promoting his new book, "Best Seat in the House: Your Backstage Pass Through My WWE Journey."
Roberts said the following about being told not to pop live audiences too much:
“I love that rush. Unfortunately, I used to get in trouble if I popped the crowd too much. So, you want to go out there and say ‘Good evening’ and get the crowd into it, but at the same time you can’t do it too much, I couldn’t do it too much or I would get in trouble. So, it was always a weird feeling of wanting to pop the crowd, but at the same time knowing that my bosses didn’t want that, so doing it within the limits and kind of took away some of the fun and excitement. But [I] still got to do it and still announce and get the reaction.”
Roberts went on to explain the reasoning behind the instructions, from WWE's perspective, and why he changed his introductions at the start of an event to a more generic greeting rather than dropping the name of the city where the event was happening.
“I used to get in trouble because I was always told that the crowd had so many pops in them and I shouldn’t be wasting pops with my announcements. Like when I used to start a show I would say ‘good evening, Chicago,’ or whatever town we were in, and that got taken away, so then it would be like ‘good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome’ and try not to get the crowd excited because the crowd only had so many pops in them,” he said.
Roberts was in the news last week when he spoke out on both a Reddit AMA and for passages in his book regarding being bullied by JBL. The behavior of JBL has been picking up widespread media attention as of late, as it regards him reportedly bullying fellow commentator Mauro Ranallo.