Howard Finkel will be remembered as a WWE icon.
Howard Finkel will be remembered as a WWE icon.

WWE in mourning as iconic figure dies

The WWE announced today that legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel died at the age of 69. The cause of death was not disclosed.

"The Fink", whose career began with the company (then the WWWF) in 1975, became its longest-serving employee, serving as the full-time ring announcer for more than two decades, before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

Finkel debuted as a ring announcer in 1977 at Madison Square Garden in New York and was the voice of countless major moments in wrestling history during the 1980s and 1990s wrestling boom, sparked by "Hulkamania".

Finkel's signature call - "and NNNEEEWWW world champion" - marked the transition of several monumental moments in the company's history, as he stood beside legends such as "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock and many more.

On occasion, Finkel even got involved in the action. In addition to being featured in several storylines over the years, Finkel fought manager Harvey Wippleman in a match in 1995.

In a 2014 interview with Slam! Wrestling , Finkel said he came up with the name "WrestleMania" for the company's massive 1985 show, which would soon become WWE's version of the Super Bowl.

"This was 1984, so I said 20 years ago four guys from Liverpool came across the shores to the United States and made a phenomenal impression on everybody. They called that Beatlemania," Finkel said, referring to The Beatles. "So I said, 'There was Beatlemania. Why can't there be WrestleMania?' The rest is history."

Finkel's passing marks another blow in a brutal week for the WWE, which fired wrestlers and furloughed several employees on Thursday, citing financial issues caused by COVID-19.

"In what has already been a tough week for our WWE family, (Thursday) we lost our 1st ever employee and WWE Hall of Famer, @howardfinkel," Stephanie McMahon, wrestler and daughter of WWE godfather Vince McMahon, tweeted. "Howard's voice is iconic & recognised by generations of fans. He will be missed. #RIPHowardFinkel Thank you for everything."

Legendary WWE commentator Jim Ross and wrestling megastar Hulk Hogan were among many to pay tribute to Finkel.

 

 

 

This article first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

 

Originally published as WWE in mourning as iconic figure dies


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