“The Great ER” Eddie Rich started out training to be a wrestler. On one chance night he had the opportunity to ring announce. He loved it, he began to crave it, and in the midst of it all The Great ER has become The Gold Standard when it comes to ring announcers, not only in the southeast, but in the entire indy circuit. The following is part two of my interview with the man, the legend, the centaur, The Great ER.
How many months did the APW training last? After training to wrestle how did you end up as an announcer?
I think it was like a 6 or 8 week crash course. Just enough to not get yourself killed the first night.
As for becoming an announcer, I had ordered gear from Highspots.com. Completely custom made boots, trunks, etc.$400 dollars worth of stuff. Well, because of it all having to be made, there was an additional 6 week wait. Chief was smart, he told me and some others not to go and buy gear so soon. I guess he didn’t want everyone blowing their money on boots and never completing the class due to them dropping out.
Anyways, Dan Paris, who was the regular APW announcer wasn’t there one night when I was hanging out in the back. Chief yelled at me, “Hey dawg! How’s your voice? You wanna ‘nounce tonight?” I thought what the hell and did it. It was a lot of fun, too. Chief told me that everyone liked how I did it, rather than being bland like Danny or Charlie Babb. So, I kept doing it. I was having so much fun doing it, I never had my first match. The only use my wrestling gear actually got is that Jeff Lewis is using my kneepads because his got stolen.
A very small part of me still wishes to be able to go and wrestle. I wouldn’t be anything special by no means. But I know that I’ve gotten along farther in wrestling by doing announcing than I ever could at actual wrestling.
What promotions have you announced for besides APW?
There’s a long list of them. Of course APW, HVW, SWA, and WWC. The local ones close by. Then there’s NWA Anarchy, AWA CWF Mid Atlantic, Live Action Wrestling, NWA-East in McKeensport, Pa, and etc.
Out of the promotions you have worked for which has been your favorite? How does it differ from the other indy promotions out there?
To me, my favorite thus far has been getting to announce for Anarchy. I rode down with Blake to Hardcore Hell 2005 and it blew me away. The wrestlers there didn’t look like guys who just did it as a hobby. It was guys who wanted to make something out of themselves. A year later, I was offered a spot as a ringside announcer. So, I left APW and headed to Cornelia, Ga. After a month, they moved me in as the full time ring announcer. It’s been great. That and traveling with Kirby and TJ Mack w/ T-Dawg. It’s been a fun year doing that.
What are your short and long term goals in the wrestling business?
Eh, they change constantly. Once I’ve done something that I wanted to do, I cross it off and move on to something else. I’ve been able to do a lot of things that I would have never thought possible. So, really, the only thing left is long-term goals, and that’s the same as everyone else’s in wrestling. To “make it.” I’m just on the staircase, trying to climb my way up.
What qualities make a good ring announcer?
To me, someone who actually knows what they’re suppose to do when they’re out there. Someone who isn’t out there to put themselves over, but to only out there to put over the actual wrestlers. Someone who isn’t afraid of “looking stupid” in front of people. Someone who is willing to accept that a ring announcer is not, will not, nor ever be a drawing point for a show. Like I said before, in baseball, if an umpire did his job right. You didn’t even know he was there. Same goes for an announcer.
Why do you believe Bruce Campbell is the second coming of Jesus Christ?
Bruce Campbell brings the world together through his awesomeness. That’s why!