In a Wrestling Rumors exclusive, our own Derek Stoughton had the opportunity to interview former WWE ring announcer, Justin Roberts! Each day this week, we’ll be bringing you part of the interview, as they discuss his new autobiography, “Best Seat in the House: Your Backstage Pass through My WWE Journey!”

In part 2, Derek asks Justin about his being a fan growing up, and how he got involved with WWE. They also discuss college, and a potential Justin Roberts action figure.

Wrestling Rumors Exclusive: Interview With Justin Roberts!

Be sure to check out to find information about picking up your copy of the book! You can also follow Justin on Social Media:

Twitter: @JustinRoberts
Instagram: @JustinRoberts

Derek: You talked about being a fan growing up.  How did you get involved with the company?  Did you always know that you just wanted to be an announcer?  Did you have aspirations to be an in-ring performer?

Justin: I wanted to do anything in wrestling.  I lived for wrestling and wanted to do anything I could.  I never, from early on, I didn’t just go to a show and watch. I went to a show and went backstage and met wrestlers and always saw that other avenue.  It wasn’t just going and observing.  It was like, “No, I want more and want to meet these guys and talk to these guys and ask them questions.”  And, I had my opening when I was 16, to get into wrestling without going to wrestling school.  And I looked into wrestling school and I looked into managing and refereeing.  But, ring announcing, that was my easy way, so to speak, of getting in.  I worked my way onto a show at 16.  And from then on, it was like “OK, cool, I’ll be a ring announcer.”  I liked hosting and always liked being on a microphone.  And I loved wrestling, so when you combined it all, it just worked out.  So, I started at 16, very small, in Chicago for about 2 years, and then started branching out once I went on to college, and worked my way up.  My path was an interesting one.  I crossed paths with so many guys who went on to do a lot in the business, which I talk about in the book.  It’s really cool, all these people that I crossed paths with and the influence that they had on me and help get me to where I got to.

Derek: Where did you go to college?

Justin: The University of Arizona, in Tucson.

Derek: OK, cool, so Go Wildcats!

Justin: Go Wildcats!

Derek: I don’t really have any allegiance to the Pac-12; as long as you didn’t say USC, we’d be good.  Because I cannot stand USC.

Justin: I don’t know the first thing about sports, so, I wish the best for all the teams.  I hope they all do well.  Go Sun Devils, as well!

Derek: You said you were a big fan growing up.  What were some of your fondest memories growing up?  Was there a particular moment that you thought “I knew I wanted to do this?”

Justin: I posted these videos on my Instagram, using hashtag “that path” #thatpath.  And these videos, in case you’re not interested in reading, you want to know my story, it’s a good way to see my story in video form, without reading the book.  I put together these little video clips that show you my path from getting hooked as a fan, to basically, my last night at WWE.   And in the video clips, there is one that I showed that was basically my favorite memories from the early 90s, that really made me a fan.  Now, these are the storylines that I really got into.  But, at the same time I’m going to rent Blockbuster videos, and the Coliseum Home Videos of WrestleMania IV, V, VI, VII, you know, all that stuff.  The early 90s, the stuff with Savage, Jake, Warrior and Undertaker, and those were all the storylines that I posted in the video.  Those were the ones that really got me hooked.  I was into it at that point, but those are the ones that I really remember.

I love that, because every week, it was huge when an angle actually happened on WWF Superstars, or Challenge, because that didn’t happen often.  Like when Shawn Michaels threw Marty Jannetty through the barber shop window, that was big!  It didn’t happen very often.  And those were the things that you were remember because they were special.  It’s wasn’t like something happening every week.  Storylines would build week after week after week, SLOWLY, and pay off at a pay-per-view; there were only four a year.

All of that stuff was really well done.  The characters were well done, the storylines; all of that.  It was entertaining, especially when you are 11, 12 years old.  It’s quality entertainment.

Derek: Absolutely.  I’m 34, so I remember those times just as you did.  What it was like, where there would be a slow build, and then on the Saturday night show, something would happen, and you’d be like “whoa, that’s crazy!”  And then we would always ask our parents to get the pay-per-view, and they wouldn’t do it!

Justin: It was expensive to be a wrestling fan, so when I first started getting my paychecks from WWE, it was like “OK cool, I’m starting to make some of my money back.”  Because those Hasbro action figures added up, and you needed all of them, and in order to get Demolition, if you wanted Crush, you’d have to get Ax and Smash again.  You’d have to spend more money, and pay-per-views were expensive, and it was expensive to be a wrestling fan.  T-shirts, those weren’t cheap.

Derek: The Justin Roberts action figure, was that ever a big thing?

Justin: I wish it was a real thing; a guy made a custom figure for me, which was cool.  But, that was the one thing in my career that I always hoped for, always dreamed of.  That, even though I was following my dreams, never got a figure.  But, that could have been a rib too, because they knew that I wanted it so badly.

But, when you play with wrestling figures, there’s no ring announcer!  I’ve used Gonzo from the Muppets, I had a little Gonzo figure that was holding a flower in a tuxedo.  So, it kind of looked like a microphone.  But, he was my ring announcer.  I just figure when you see people playing with their figures, or they post videos playing with their action figures, they’re making the ring announcer voice, but there’s no character standing in the middle of the ring!  So, I just thought it was a logical idea to make any ring announcer.

Derek: If you could have somehow gotten Statler and Waldorf that would have been even better.

Justin: My audience was my Hot Wheels cars.  There was a play set, when I was a kid, of four kids and a teacher, so they would always have front row seats for all the shows.  The rest of the audiences was hot wheels cars.

Derek: At least you know you wouldn’t get booed by the cars.  So, there’s that.

Justin: I guess the logic was they’re watching a drive-in movie, so they could still boo or cheer.  The windows were open in most of the cars.

Derek: The ants that resided inside were the ones that were booing.

You can find part 1 of the interview at this link.

What do you think of Justin Roberts’ comments? Leave us a comment below, or post a comment on our Facebook page!



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