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Sean Mooney Reveals Why He Left The WWF In 1993

Sean Mooney

Legendary Old School WWF Announcer Sean Mooney was interviewed by WrestlingNewsCo and opened up about various topics, including his beginnings, as well as his 1993 farewell from the World Wrestling Federation.

Below are the highlights:

Joining the WWF in May 1988:

“It was a pretty crazy route I took to actually end up in the WWF/WWE. I, at the time, was working for Major League Baseball Productions in New York. I was a producer there and also started doing some stuff on camera. There was a show that they put together called ‘Light Moments in Sports’ with Joe Namath. He was the host of the show and I was one of the producers. Joe of course didn’t have the best knees. He couldn’t get out and do a lot of stuff, so I raised my hand and was like, ‘Anything you need done’, and I would go out and do these crazy stories.

I went out to this big fair in California where I rode camels. I went to a paintball camp. One of the stories we did was at The Monster Factory. I don’t know if anybody remembers that with Larry Sharpe. He let me come in and be that idiot reporter and get tossed around. The story goes that Vince McMahon saw it. It was on the NBC affiliates out there. I had a friend of mine who had been working up there in Stamford who said, ‘I know that guy’, and Vince said, ‘Well, get him up here’.”

Working for the WWF:

“It was one of the best times of my life. It’s helped me in every aspect of my career. I’m forever grateful to Vince McMahon for taking that opportunity with me and letting me have it. It was pretty awesome back then because the company was very small at the time. We’re talking 1988 when I first went there. Everything was based in Stamford. They hadn’t built the Tower. The Tower wasn’t done, so they still had offices downtown and then we had the TV facility. I always referred to it as Camelot because basically the McMahon’s owned Stamford. There wasn’t anything really that big there.”

Leaving the WWF in April 1993:

“I was stupid; I think at the time there was a lot going on and I had this vision; I was thinking, ‘Do I want to be known as a wrestling announcer for the rest of my career’, and I was thinking I was gonna go and do all these other things, which I got a lot of other opportunities, but I look back and I say, ‘I should have stuck around there’; I don’t know if they would have had me because things change, but I don’t think looking back I was really ready to leave.

I think it came down to things I wanted to do, other stuff, because I really loved doing things like more vignettes; I wanted to be at more shows instead of just The Events Center; I was throwing that out there and Vince was like, ‘Well, we really need you in The Events Center because that’s what you do and it helps us’.

My contract was coming up and I was like, okay, I’m leaving. Vince was convinced I was going down to WCW. I’m like, ‘Nope. If I’m going to work in this industry, it’s for you.’ I don’t think he believed me. When I did leave, I ended up working at WWOR in New York and I eventually became an anchor there.

I remember the first night I was on the air. The next day he sent me a telegram congratulating me. First of all, it was like, okay I believe you that you didn’t go down. I think the other thing is the legitimacy. You always want that legitimacy that this is real. For me to make that transition from being the wrestling announcer guy to being the news guy meant a lot to him to say that, yeah, we’re legit. These people can go on and do other things as well.”

Sean Mooney had already given a lengthy interview to the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling in 2017, in which he discussed several other topics, including his original audition for the WWF, as well as the influence of ‘The Immortal’ Hulk Hogan.

Below are the highlights:

His audition and getting signed by the World Wrestling Federation:

“At the time I hadn’t come from a news background, I had worked for for Major League Baseball Productions so I had a sports background and the way I was hired was that I was on a show that MLB Productions had produced that the WWF had seen and I was given the opportunity to audition and going in there Vince liked what I did in front of a camera. In the audition you know how many hundreds of people are wanting to get this position so he liked what I did but I don’t think they knew what the heck to do with me when I got there.”

How he put together the famous WWF Event Center segments:

“They had me filling in at different places and Craig DeGeorge was getting ready to leave and they had just started that Event Center and Gene Okerlund didn’t want to do that because it was so intense. We used to customize markets and average about 90 markets a week because you were building up these house shows three weeks prior.

It would take me usually four days a week and eight plus hours a day in front a camera doing those markets. If somebody got hurt and you’d get the phone call on the big red phone I used to keep on my desk telling me that for example The Berzerker got hurt and if they were on a card you had to redo all of those markets he was in. So it was really intense but think about what a brilliant idea it was to do it that way?

We were able to customize every single market and Gene had given me a tip early on that when you go to the cities to pay attention to what is around the arena. It was a way to really customize it and you couldn’t do it today because they literally sent video tapes to markets and now they don’t have it that way because everything is digital and you couldn’t do that way for each market.”

Hulk Hogan’s role in the locker room during the 80s and early 90s:

“I’ll tell you that one thing I always appreciated and I still think back about it, when you can really appreciate stuff like that and when you hear guys say that when Hogan was on the card they made more money. We used to do shows at The Garden or shows at the Boston Garden and seeing that respect that the boys had for each other is going into these locker rooms and these were televised shows but they were regional network shows and in a lot of way like a House Show and whenever you’d go into the locker room, every single one of the boys when they came in they would walk around and shake every single person’s hand.

If there was a big guy on the top of the card like Hogan and he is in town, you are going to make money that night. That is how they got paid back then. They weren’t under contract and they didn’t get money for showing up to TV, they made money going on the road doing what they did and doing show after show after show so you wanted the big guys. It was the same thing as an announcer. I wanted to do that big interview with Warrior and wanted the best guys on the card and the biggest superstars and Hulk was always like that. He is certainly one of the guys who is bigger than life.”

His personal opinion of Hogan:

“I was never that close to Hulk, at that point he was kind of on another level and I wasn’t on the road with him very often but I certainly appreciated how he did his promos and I appreciated what he could do in the ring as far as getting the folks to react and putting people over and say what you want about his wrestling ability, it doesn’t make a damn difference just look how gigantic he was. Look at what he did not just for the WWF but what he did for all of professional wrestling.”

Sean Mooney began his career in WWF in 1988, taking on various roles including interviewer, play-by-play announcer, and hosting segments like the WWF Event Center, making his pay-per-view debut at SummerSlam 1988. He occasionally portrayed fictional sibling Ian Mooney and also co-hosted WWF Wrestling Spotlight. Mooney’s last major appearances were in 1993, before his contract expire. Sean made sporadic returns to WWE TV over the years in 2005 for the Homecoming episode of RAW, in 2012 for the 1,000th RAW episode. He later also appeared on multiple WWE DVD releases.

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