Joseph Carmine Bonsignore (July 14, 1971) better known by his ring name Joey Styles, is an American professional wrestling play-by-play commentator and former professional in the field of advertising sales. He was well known for his time in WWE as the Vice President of Digital Media Content for WWE.com.
He is probably most well known for his work with Extreme Championship Wrestling. He served as the promotion's primary play-by-play commentator from 1993 until the promotion folded in 2001. He also did play-by-play commentary for Major League Wrestling from 2002 to 2004. He started working with WWE in 2005 when he called the One Night Stand pay-per-view in 2005. From 2005 to 2006, he briefly replaced Jim Ross as Monday Night RAW 's lead commentator after Ross suffered another Bell's Palsy attack. Later in 2006, he became the lead commentator for the revived ECW brand, a position he held from 2006 until his retirement from commentating in 2008.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Styles worked as an intern for the magazine, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, before becoming the commentator for ECW. As mentioned by Styles on The Forever Hardcore DVD documentary, the man who was originally going to be the commentator for ECW was Mick Karch. When Paul Heyman gained control within the company, one of his first moves was to give the job to Joey Styles.
Styles made his debut for while ECW was still Eastern Championship Wrestling at the Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular event and was the play-by-play commentator for Extreme Championship Wrestling throughout its existence. He became famous for his vast knowledge of the sport and his catchphrase, "Oh my God!" which he would yell when something dangerous/extreme would happen in (or out of) the ring (which, in ECW, was quite frequent) in sometimes a very high pitched and raspy way, unique to him. He was also the first and remains the only play-by-play commentator to call a live play-by-play broadcast alone with no color commentator on April 13, 1997 at ECW Barely Legal and called seven subsequent pay-per-views alone as well.
Prior to signing with WWE, Joey Styles was the co-owner of the wrestling news website, 1wrestling.com.
World Wrestling Entertainment
One Night Stand PPV
He appeared at Shane Douglas's Hardcore Homecoming event on June 10, 2005 at the ECW Arena. He put aside past conflicts with WWE and agreed to appear at the company's ECW One Night Stand 2005 PPV, which aired on June 12, 2005, two days after Hardcore Homecoming. Styles handled play-by-play with Mick Foley on color commentary. He began a verbal tirade against Mike Awesome during the latter's match against Masato Tanaka, calling him a "Judas" and a "piece of crap" referring to the circumstances surrounding Awesome's defection from ECW to World Championship Wrestling (WCW). This tirade continues to baffle fans and marks alike as to if it was a worked shoot or an actual shoot.
During this event, he made a controversial comment just before the main event. After Nova was hit over the head with a chair, Styles shouted, "That's more painful than having to be Simon Dean on national television", referring to Nova's character in WWE.
On November 1, 2005, he made an appearance at World Wrestling Entertainment's Taboo Tuesday. Styles was brought in to fill-in for Jonathan Coachman, as Coachman had a match against Batista. Joey joined WWE's RAW as a play-by-play announcer on November 7. On December 4, 2005, it was confirmed by WWE.com that Joey signed a five-year contract to be the official play-by-play commentator for RAW; in an earlier interview done by WWE.com, he mentioned that becoming the voice of RAW would be a dream come true for him. Styles has also stated that calling WrestleMania to be one of his lifelong dreams growing up.
However, despite being the lead announcer for RAW, it was announced that he would not provide commentary for WrestleMania 22, which instead featured Jim Ross calling the matches for RAW. Styles learned that he would not be announcing at WrestleMania 22 when he arrived on RAW on March 27, 2006. The reason for Styles not calling the event is that Vince McMahon disliked pure play-by-play announcing and wanted a "storyteller" instead. Jim Ross had a similar problem when he first joined WWE, and Styles has credited Ross for teaching him the WWE style of commentary upon his return.
However, Joey Styles was present at WrestleMania 22, losing his "WrestleMania virginity" as he put it, calling the hardcore Match between Mick Foley and Edge. This was Styles' idea, as he wanted to achieve his lifelong dream of calling a match at WrestleMania and pitched the idea to WWE by explaining that he had called more hardcore/ECW style matches than any other announcer in history.
On the May 1, 2006 edition of RAW, Styles announced that he was quitting by delivering a worked shoot promo, in which he bashed Vince McMahon, WWE, sports entertainment, and the fact that people "buy into this crap". To further the storyline, his profile was removed from both the RAW superstars section and the ECW One Night Stand subsite.
Styles remained under contract with WWE after he quit RAW; however, making his next appearance at WWE vs. ECW Head to Head. Here, he provided commentary with Tazz and announced that (now former ECW Representative) Paul Heyman had reinstated him as commentator of the new ECW brand of WWE. He provided commentary for ECW One Night Stand 2006 on June 11 and went on to announce ECW's weekly show on Sci-Fi.
In April 2008, Styles began working on WWE.com, with Mike Adamle replacing him as ECW's play by play commentator. He stated on his fan nation blog that he has indeed retired from announcing and is thrilled to continue and work on WWE.com as Director of Digital Media Content.
ECW.com added Joey Styles to the page, replacing Tazz as the color commentator of ECW.
- "The Voice Of ECW"