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Legendary WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel dies at 69

The news of the wrestling personality’s death was confirmed by the company today.

Howard Finkel has passed away aged 69.
Howard Finkel has passed away aged 69.
Image: YouTube screengrab

HOWARD FINKEL, a legendary ring announcer who worked in professional wrestling since the 1970s, has passed away at the age of 69.

A recurring presence in World Wrestling Entertainment over a number of decades, Finkel was inducted into the company’s Hall of Fame in 2009 and had been their longest-serving employee.

Some of the biggest names in wrestling, including Stephanie McMahon and Jim Ross, were among those paying tribute to Finkel on Twitter today.

Part of a statement from WWE read: “When considering the greatest ring announcers in the history of sports and sports-entertainment, you’d be hard-pressed to name one better than Howard Finkel. A native of Newark, NJ, “The Fink” — a label that had been attached affectionately to Howard over the years — made his ring announcing debut at Madison Square Garden in 1977 for WWE’s predecessor, WWWF.

“By 1979, Finkel was the full-time ring announcer for WWWF, and when WWE was established in 1980, The Fink became the first — and eventually longest-serving — employee. Finkel’s distinctive voice was instantly recognizable, and for more than two decades Superstars such as The Ultimate Warrior, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and more would have a title victory marked by The Fink’s signature call, “and NNNEEEWWW World Champion!”

“Despite being a ring announcer, Finkel didn’t shy away from in-ring competition in certain circumstances. In 1995, he battled his longtime rival Harvey Wippleman in a Tuxedo Match on Raw, and later helped X-Pac shave Jeff Jarrett’s head in a Hair vs. Hair Match at SummerSlam 1998.

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“In addition to his legendary tenure as a ring announcer, The Fink was an indispensable resource inside the WWE offices for his vast knowledge of sports-entertainment history. Well respected by current Superstars, WWE Legends and Hall of Famers, Finkel’s encyclopedic memory and kindness made him beloved among his colleagues. The Fink was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 4, 2009.

“WWE extends its condolences to Finkel’s family, friends and fans.”

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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