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 5, Derek asks Justin about his ring announcing transition from WWE to “Knockout Night” Boxing on CBS Sports.

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: I understand that you’ve been working with Jim Ross as a boxing announcer for Knockout Night on CBS Sports.  How did you get involved with that?

Justin: It’s a really funny situation.  I was on tour with Tool, and I’d been doing some tours with them, and I’m actually going back on tour with them a week from Monday.  And on the tour, I’ll do some signings while I’m on the tour, like piggybacking, which is awesome, and they’re cool with that.  I was on the bus myself; the band was going to fly instead of taking the bus.  So, I’m like “Oh, I’ll just take the bus, because I don’t like flying.”  Not that I’m scared to fly, I just don’t like dealing with airports and flights; I just got scarred by all those years with WWE.  

So, I’m this really nice bus by myself, and ended up having a conversation with a gentlemen named Mike, who’s a producer.  He produces a boxing show for CBS Sports.  Really nice guy.  Jim Ross had referred me to him.  So, he called up and we had this conversation while I was on the bus.  He told me what his concept was and I said “I’m down with anything that JR does or endorses, so I’m cool to give it a shot.”  So, he was telling me about all the shows that he had, and I said “Why don’t we just focus on one show, and if it goes well, if I’m happy and you’re happy, then we’ll talk again.”  And you’re always a little skeptical working with new people, because you just never know; there’s a lot of shady people out there.  But this guy, Mike, from the moment I met him, was just a really good, genuine guy.  And had really good ideas, and was a super nice guy.  

So I went out and did the show, and it was such a weird mix of people.  It was JR from wrestling commentating, Al Bernstein from Showtime Boxing, Sean Wheelock from MMA.  Our director; there’s one director from boxing and then there’s one director from wrestling; he was at TNA and was a WCW guy, Keith Mitchell.  So, I had heard about him; I had never met him before.  And just meeting with all these guys, it was like “Oceans Eleven.”  Guys who were all really great at what they do, and a totally different mix of people.  You see them sitting a dinner table and you think “how does this group all get along and know each other?”  Everybody on the crew was really cool.

Joey wasn’t at my first show.  His name popped up, I remember meeting him, but I don’t think he was on that show.  And then Joey came on the next show; that’s Joey Varner from MMA.  Joey’s great.  Every one of those guys: these are really good guys, we all work well together, everybody has their own different ideas.

Traditionally in boxing, you might not say this or you might not do that.  But, why?  The logical thing to do is this, so just because traditionally you don’t do it, why can’t we do it?  And traditionally, you’re supposed to do this, but this doesn’t make sense, so why don’t we just do this?  It wasn’t a standard boxing show; we had the wiggle room to not do whatever we want, but do whatever we want.  We all work together, try this, try that, and we’ll give stuff a shot, and it was really fun.

In fact, the last CBS show that I did, Nico Hernandez, whose an olympic bronze medalist, was from Kansas, and the show we did was fin Wichita, Kansas.  And I basically made the main event like a wrestling match.  Made the guy that he was fighting, who was from Las Vegas, made the heel, made Nico the babyface, obviously, and I got the crowd to boo the guy from Las Vegas, and cheering Nico.  And it’s really cool to have that freedom and to have fun with it.  And things like “I just want you to be you.  Go in, and announce how you want,” versus WWE, when they were like “don’t pop the crowd” and “don’t go overboard.  Tone it down, bring your announcements down.”  He just said, “go do whatever you want.”   So, I’m not getting carried away, but having fun with it.

Derek: That’s how these things get created.  You throw something out there and see what happens to stick.  Be creative, think outside the box, and then something just happens to click and work.

Justin: They’ve got JR calling Boxing.  JR’s the best.  Anything he does sounds awesome.  Al Bernstein is a boxing announcer, so its good that they have him doing traditional boxing announcing, and then the MMA guys bring a different flavor to it, so it’s a really cool concept, it’s a really cool crew, and it’s he’s a great producer.

Be sure to check out Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4 of the interview!

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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