Chris Van Vliet did an interview with AEW ring announcer Justin Roberts. He talks about Brandi Rhodes offering him the AEW job, why he decided to sign with them, his expectations for AEW, his most memorable moment in the ring, getting fired from WWE and much more.
Brandi Rhodes was the person who offered him his job in AEW:
“I did ALL IN in September and that was awesome. That was an amazing show, I had a great time and then I got a call and they said ‘Hey are you available to do some other stuff if anything pops up?’ I said ‘Yep’ and then I got a text from Brandi Rhodes and she asked me about doing it and I said absolutely, I would love to.”
He says he wants to try some different announcements in AEW:
“I don’t practice or rehearse anything but I have to be honest with you, as soon as I found out I was going to be doing this, ideas started coming into my head and I do have some ideas that are somewhat based on what I did at ALL IN. When I watch ALL IN I think about things I could have done better and you critique everything. That’s how I’ve always tried to grow as an announcer. I do have some ideas that I’d like to try that maybe aren’t so traditional and as long as the company is cool with me trying these different announcements. It’s exciting to think about not just being standard and giving the same introduction to everybody, I don’t want to do that. I want to make the announcement appeal to each wrestler that is coming out.”
His expectations for AEW:
“I look at the company from a fan’s perspective. I’m looking at this as my own hopes and assumptions because I don’t know. I don’t ask anything, I’m not told anything. I don’t know what the plans are. I would hope that there are characters that I can get behind as a fan and storylines that I just get wrapped up in and I’m following from week to week. That’s what I’m really looking forward to, sitting at ringside watching every event.”
What has changed for him since leaving WWE?
“A lot. I got to live out the dream. There was good, there was bad, there was everything, but that’s going to happen. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, you’re going to get good and bad. I’ve really just had a chance to relax and get my head together and spend a lot of time with my family and as I like to say just come back down to earth. I’m really just in a good place and excited again to jump back into wrestling. I needed to step away for a bit and just kind of lay low and take very short term gigs as they popped up and not take anything long term until I really found what I loved. I’ve enjoyed everything that I’ve done but I love wrestling and I’m really optimistic and excited about getting back in with AEW.”
His most memorable moment as a ring announcer:
“I think back to the Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker match at WrestleMania 30 where Brock ended the streak, I didn’t know the outcome. So when I made the announcement, it was a real announcement you know? There was about a minute pause. Usually it’s the bell and then the announcement and when the bell rang my stomach dropped. I looked around like ‘Is this a mistake?’ I didn’t know. I just sat there and after a minute Mark Yeaton the timekeeper gave me the cue to make the announcement so I said ‘Here’s your winner’. I always say that was one of my biggest post match announcements that got the most minimal reaction. It wasn’t everybody booing, it wasn’t everybody cheering, it was like ‘huh?’ It was different.”