Former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts spoke with Cult of Whatever about his time with the WWE. During the interview, he was asked about the Nexus angle where Daniel Bryan choked him with a tie back on the June 2010 episode of Raw. This led to WWE releasing Bryan because WWE felt the incident was too violent for their TV-PG programming. However, Bryan returned to WWE two months later at the SummerSlam pay-per-view.
“That was crazy, every week for years I would look around and the people around me would get beat down but they never got me. They would always get the timekeeper and I was always safe. On that night when the Nexus invaded Monday Night Raw Arn Anderson told me beforehand I may not be safe and that is when we found out what was going on. As far as the tie is concerned it wasn’t planned like Daniel came up to me and said he was going to get a tie and do this to me. He had a general idea of what was going to happen and Daniel Bryan is very smart, he is great at what he does and when he saw my laying there with my shirt off and tie around my neck instinct just took over and he saw an opportunity to get the job done which he was supposed to get done. They were told to go out there and cause havoc, nobody said don’t do this or don’t do that, they were told to make an impact. He really did strangle me and people still to this day ask me if I was acting and I wasn’t acting, I was legitimately getting choked. I tried to get my finger in-between me neck and the tie but I just couldn’t get it to go in, I was choked for a short amount of time but I was fine and when I got to the back everybody was happy with the way the segment went. Vince was happy, I was happy, Nexus were happy, the fallout came afterwards when one of the sponsors wasn’t pleased.”
In 2002, Roberts got a job as a ring announcer on SmackDown and was later moved to the Raw brand. He was with WWE until October 13, 2014, when WWE released him after opting not to renew his contract. When asked about the toughest part of being a ring announcer for WWE, he said that the most nerve-racking thing was that he was not allowed any note cards with the wrestler’s towns and weights. He said that he didn’t have an earpiece, which made it to where no one could tell him any of the information. This led to him not knowing most of the time what to say or when he was supposed to speak.
“When I was there they were really long announcements where not only did you introduce the wrestlers but introduced the match stipulations, the rules of the match, if the winner of the match would get a title shot at so and so PPV. Then the match could be a four way and I had to remember all of that information off the top of my head. When WWE used to have the regular guest hosts they were long introductions and a lot of the time you didn’t get the script until the show went on the air so I didn’t have much time to memorize that. Then you take a show like WrestleMania and in 2011 at WrestleMania XXVII when I was the sole announcer for the whole show there was so much to remember but that was an awesome experience.”
Roberts also talked about working with Vince McMahon and more. You can read the entire interview here.