Former NXT and SmackDown broadcaster Rich Brennan has found a home with Major League Wrestling under his real name of Rich Bocchini. Bocchini was on the call for MLW's Intimidation Games TV tapings on March 2 and our Nick Hausman caught up with Bocchini in Chicago.
The first topic of conversation was about the former Rich Brennan and whatever happened to him. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Bocchini discussed his former WWE persona and why no one sees him around anymore.
"Who's Rich Brennan?" asked Bocchini. "Didn't he die in a train crash a couple of years ago or something? Didn't he electrocute himself?"
Brennan may no longer be around, but Bocchini is alive and well and he's an integral part of MLW's broadcasting team. Another big part of that team is former WCW play-by-play man Tony Schiavone and Bocchini revealed why Schiavone wasn't at the MLW Chicago TV tapings.
"Tony had basketball," stated Bocchini. "I know a lot of people are asking where's Tony Schiavone. Tony is a producer for Georgia Bulldogs radio and it's March Madness, so he's busy with that….Sometimes he has conflicting dates but my understanding is that we will see Tony at the broadcast booth again.
"Don't hold me to that but I've been told that's the plan."
As a veteran broadcaster, Bocchini likely has many pet peeves when it comes to commentating. But even if that may be true, he didn't want to reveal those pet peeves at risk of alienating anyone in the business.
"Oh, I don't wanna do that," Bocchini replied when asked about his pet peeves. "I have a way I like to do things and a certain psychology or philosophy that I believe in, it doesn't mean everyone needs to do it like that. But for me to say I have a pet peeve with X, then somebody can boil it down and say, 'Oh he doesn't like this guy.' I'm not gonna do that because I would never publicly critique another announcer."
But Bocchini would reveal his biggest personal influences within the broadcasting industry, and surprisingly, the first name he mentioned wasn't the person in WWE who was grooming him.
"No not at all," Bocchini replied when asked if Michael Cole was his biggest influence. "Tony Schiavone and Fred Cusick – Fred Cusick was the voice of the Boston Bruins. Tony 85-88, TBS, Jim Crockett Promotions – he was one of the first voices I ever heard and gravitated to."
Some fans criticize Michael Cole for being for his style of commentary. But Bocchini says that he is exactly what WWE looks for in a commentator.
"I liked Cole and he was a great teacher and taught me a ton. He gets a lot of crap from people that is undeserved. For what WWE wants, there is nobody better. No one," stated Bocchini.
Rich can be heard on commentary every week as part of MLW's Fusion television series. Fusion airs Saturdays at 9/8 CT on BeIn Sports.
The full audio for Wrestling Inc's exclusive interview with Rich was included in a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard in the embedded player below.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.