A little while back, I asserted that Mean Gene Okerlund was the singular most iconic voice in WWE. Well, friends, Thursday marked the passing of another iconic voice – perennial WWF/E ring announcer, Howard Finkel.
Finkel started with the WWF (then known as the WWWF) in 1977, ring announcing at Madison Square Garden. Three short years later, he became the company’s first official hire. Finkel would remain with the WWF for the next twenty years, his iconic “aaaand..NEWWWW world champion!” heralding title changes in arenas and stadiums all over the world.
Finkel, or “The Fink” as he was better known, was inextricably linked to the careers of the biggest stars in the industry. He was associated with generations of WWE performers, including Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, and dozens of others. Fink had wound down his career over the last 20 years, but was still a mainstay in the WWE, providing mentorship and friendship to a new generation of wrestling superstars and announcers.
So sad to hear of the passing of my friend, the greatest ring announcer in the biz, Howard Finkel, at the age of 69.
The Hall of Famer is now ring announcing in Heaven. #RIPFink
No one was more loyal or loved pro wrestling more than The Fink. 🙏
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 16, 2020
In recent years following his Hall of Fame induction in 2004, Finkel was a fixture at conventions and the occasional appearance on Raw. He also lent his powerful voice to a number of weddings, which are immortalized on Youtube. But beyond his iconic voice, Howard Finkel was known as one of the kindest and most generous people in a business that is neither.
Howard Finkel was a great friend and mentor to me. I was so blessed to be able to look to him for guidance, honesty and the occasional bit of humor. He spoke with kindness, and always had a sparkle in his eye when speaking about our industry. Thank you for everything Howard. 💛
— The Brandalorian (@TheBrandiRhodes) April 16, 2020
I’m sad to hear of the passing of Howard Finkel! He was a gentleman and kind soul! I will always be debted to him for escorting Eddie from Minneapolis to Phoenix after he passed. When he called me….he said…”I don’t want Eddie to be flown home by himself”. RIP love you friend pic.twitter.com/gZM1ZMCltQ
— Vickie Guerrero (@VickieGuerrero) April 16, 2020
Finkel had been in poor health over the last few years and suffered a stroke about a year ago. He passed away on April 16th, 2020 at the age of 69.