Chris Van Vliet interviewed WWE Friday Night SmackDown ring announcer Greg Hamilton for his YouTube channel this week. Hamilton talked about his job in WWE, his “Best in the World” intro for hand McMahon, Shinsuke Nakamura and more.
Below, Hamilton explains his pre-WWE days and how he was hired by them:
“At 21, I was here in Ohio. I decided I wanted to travel. I thought it would be cool to work on a cruise ship. I sent resumes to different cruise companies. I had never even seen a cruise ship at that point in my life. I got a call back from Carnival. I did a couple phone interviews and then went down there for an interview. I started as a social host at 21 just doing bingos, activities, karaokes. By the time I was 24, I was appointed to cruise director where I was in charge of the entire entertainment department hosting all the major shows…I met a producer from CBS on the cruise ship. They were filming a tour package for their morning show about cruising and vacations. The executive producer came to one of my shows and afterwards asked if I ever did television before? I said, no. He said you should try it. He said if I’m ever in San Antonio, come be a guest morning show host on our show. A month later, my contract ended on that ship. I had a month or two off. I called them up and said if you’re serious I will come to San Antonio. I guest hosted the morning show. It went well.
He called me a month after that and said the normal male personality is leaving. Do you want to audition to be the male host of the show? I did and I got it. I was there for 2 years with the goal of getting signed with an agency in Las Angeles which I did. I moved to L.A. and signed with an agency in 2006. I did get an opportunity to move to Orlando for the American Idol experience. We would hold auditions for our producers and hopefully make the preliminary show. If they win their preliminary show, they would go to the finale show. The winner of the finale show gets a dream ticket to go to the front of the line at any American Idol audition in the country. This was at the peak of the show. Fast forward and the show was coming to an end. I’m calling my former agent. Right after the show ended, one of the audio techs was playing a pick up basketball game with a guy at Full Sail who happened to be a producer for WWE. He said we are going to start this live hosting stuff. We are looking for a host, not just an announcer and he said yea, my buddy Greg. I sent them my demo reel. He liked it. He sent me back some stuff he wanted me to put on camera like different announcements. I wasn’t even watching at that time. I submitted it. Apparently he liked it because he brought me and two other guys to the WWE Performance Center. I got hired in 2016.”