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WWE legendary announcer Howard Finkel dies

WWE legendary announced Howard Finkel dies
Howard Finkel has died at 69. Pic credit: WWE

Iconic WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel has died.

The news of his death was revealed on Thursday morning with the organization posting a tribute on its official website.

Howard Finkel dies at 69

While Finkel was with WWE for longer than any other employee — he was the first person hired by the company, according to Jim Ross in his latest book Under the Black Hat — the former announcer was only 69.

Many WWE fans grew up recognizing the voice of “The Fink” as he introduced the opponents in each match for decades.

Whether it was classic wrestlers like Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan or Attitude Era stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Finkel was there to call their names and eventually announce them as the “New World Champion.”

Finkel introduced his first match at Madison Square Garden of all places, a huge beginning for a legendary career. At that time, WWE was known as WWWF and was owned by Vince McMahon Sr, the man who hired Finkel.

When WWF started in 1980, Finkel was not only its first hired employee under the new banner but also the longest-tenured of anyone when he finally left.

Many fans in the Attitude Era also got to see Finkel in the ring in other ways, such as when he fought a manager named Harvey Wippleman in a Tuxedo Match and then helped X-Pac shave the head of Jeff Jarrett at SummerSlam 98.

Howard Finkel entered the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

In 2011, WWE brought back Finkel for a huge moment at Survivor Series.

As Booker T called him, Finkel was the “greatest announcer of all-time.”

There is currently no cause of death reported.

Howard Finkel tributes

Wrestlers from all over the world sent tributes in memory of Howard Finkel after his death.

Frankie Kazarian from AEW called him “all class” and said that his voice introduced kids to their heroes in WWE for the first time. He called him the “voice of a generation.”

Stephanie McMahon, who grew up around Finkel as a child, also sent out a tribute.

She pointed out how WWE lost its first-ever employee in what was an already tough week for the company. “Howard’s voice is iconic & recognized by generations of fans,” she wrote. “He will be missed.”

Brandi Rhodes, the wife of former WWE superstar Cody, also sent out a tribute, calling Finkel a “great friend and mentor.” Brandi worked as an announcer in WWE as well.

Also current stars poster tributes, including John Cena, Big E, and Kevin Owens.

Howard Finkel last appeared on WWE television in 2018 at the 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw where he introduced The Undertaker. That final appearance was not live, but prerecorded. He also worked for WWE in a backstage role in his later years.

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