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Jack Reynolds

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General

Jack Reynolds (1937 – October 16, 2008), born Joseph James Rizzo, was a broadcaster from Cleveland, Ohio who was better known outside of his hometown as a professional wrestling announcer.

Broadcasting career

Cleveland area native Rizzo (who used the Jack Reynolds name on-air due to a feeling back then that his real name would sound "too ethnic") had a career in radio and television in Cleveland which spanned several decades, perhaps most notably as a DJ/talk show host for The old WGAR AM 1220 (now WHKW), and The old WWWE AM 1100 (aka 3WE - now known as WTAM), and as booth announcer for then independent TV station WUAB channel 43 (now Cleveland's affiliate for My Network TV), where he was the original host (and later frequent substitute host) of the long running afternoon Prize Movie. He was also an on-air spokesman (on both radio and TV) for several local businesses. He was also an extra in the wedding scene of the Academy Award winning movie, "The Godfather" (1972).

Professional wrestling

Nationally, Reynolds was known for being a professional wrestling play by play voice. His first stint announcing wrestling came with the short-lived IWA promotion in 1975, which had attempted to establish a national wrestling promotion years before Vince McMahon had done so. He also worked alongside Pedro Martinez's son Ron announcing for the Buffalo, NY-based National Wrestling Federation.

This experience had apparently served him well, as Reynolds joined the World Wrestling Federation's broadcast team in September 1984. He replaced Vince McMahon as the play-by-play announcer for the WWF's syndicated program All-Star Wrestling, which was being taped at various venues in southern Ontario and repackaged and aired in Canada as Maple Leaf Wrestling.

At the broadcast table, he was initially paired with Canadian Football League legend turned professional wrestler Angelo "King Kong" Mosca, but, in January 1985, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, making his broadcasting debut, replaced Mosca as color commentator when Mosca left his broadcasting job to concentrate on managing his son, Angelo Mosca, Jr., who had just entered the WWF. Reynolds and Ventura were also the original hosts of WWF Prime Time Wrestling when it debuted in January 1985 on the USA Network.

In addition, during his time with the WWF, Reynolds was the regular play-by-play announcer, paired with Billy Red Lyons as color commentator, for matches taped at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto that aired on Prime Time Wrestling or other WWF programming.

In July 1985, Gorilla Monsoon replaced Reynolds as the play-by-play announcer for All-Star Wrestling and Reynolds left the WWF. Monsoon had also replaced Reynolds as host of Prime Time Wrestling.

Post WWF (now WWE) Reynolds continued to work in wrestling, traveling around the world on tours with former WWF stars such as Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, King Kong Bundy, Kamala, Brutus Beefcake, and others all throughout the 90s and into the 2000s.

Reynolds died at age 71 on Thursday, October 16, 2008.

One of his sons is Tony Rizzo, former longtime sports director at WJW channel 8 (Fox) and current host of The Really Big Show, a radio talk show on WKNR AM 850, both in Cleveland.

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