Wrestling, interview with Luca Franchini and Michele Posa, the Italian voices of the WWE

Wrestling, interview with Luca Franchini and Michele Posa, the Italian voices of the WWE


20 years of commentary, participation in the first and only television taping of Monday Night Raw in Milan in 2007 and commentary at the ringside of WrestleMania 31, in 2015. These are just some of the great achievements of Luca Franchini and Michele Posa, historical voices of WWE in Italy. From The Rock to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, from Eddie Guerrero to Shawn Michaels, up to John Cena, Roman Reigns and all the stars of the current generation, the commentator duo have narrated the deeds of some of the greatest champions who have ever walked the ring. A work also appreciated by Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer, who congratulated the two on Twitter. After their experience in SKY, Franchini and Posa are currently the commentators of WWE programming on DMAX and Discovery.

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You have been the voices of WWE in Italy for the past 20 years, first on Sky, now on DMAX. Can you tell us your first approach to the comment table together and with which event you started your adventure?

Luca Franchini: Our first adventure behind a microphone took place on a sunny Sunday in September 2000 in the headquarters of a television that has written the history of local television and commercial television in general. Antenna 3 Lombardy. In that mythical building, at the end of the seventies and at the beginning of the following decade, personalities of the caliber of Enzo Tortora, Teo Teocoli, Massimo Boldi, Giorgio Faletti, Zuzzurro and Gaspare and company peeped out. Michele and I found ourselves in those studios to do our first Wrestling commentary with an episode of WCW Nitro, a federation that at the time was a competitor of the WWF / WWE because the then director of Sport Stream, our mentor and discoverer Fabio Guadagnini , together with the legendary Maurizio Mosca, hosted the Sunday broadcast Antenna 13, where football matches were followed.

On that occasion Fabio brought the tapes from Rome, where he would return in the evening as every week after the show, and Michele and I went on stage for what initially was to be a sort of definitive audition, but which then became in effect a "good the first". Those first commentaries were broadcast a couple of days later on Sport Stream and since then the Bard and I have been on the air continuously with Wrestling, on national television, for almost 21 years, or if you prefer for 246 months, or if you like to more than 1076 weeks.

Michele Posa: At the time of the first commentary, which took place in September 2000 for Stream, we only knew each other through previous experiences on the web. Relationships were not completely relaxed, but the possibility of realizing a common dream generated a team chemistry that has refined and perfected over time, so much so that we can create completely particular phrases, catchphrases, idioms and insertion times . The inaugural show on which we deposited the voice I believe was a WCW Nitro, and we also did quite well. That recording should have been the definitive audition to allow Stream to decide who to entrust the task of narrating the exploits of the champions of the ring, instead it ended up airing a couple of days later. In short, it was liked a lot, net of inexperience and bitterness, and made us outperform the competition offered by other options being evaluated by the issuer.

You were great protagonists of the first and only television recording of Monday Night Raw in Italy, in 2007. What do you remember about that experience? Were you able to meet Vince McMahon in person as well?

Luca Franchini: The WWE Raw broadcast from the then Dutch Forum in Milan on April 16, 2007 is without a doubt, together with our first live participation at WrestleMania 31 in 2015 with our commentary table at bordoring, the pinnacle of our 20-year career as WWE commentators. The thrill of being live worldwide alongside the most iconic American commentators of all time, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, gives you goosebumps at the very thought. And what about the extraordinary ovation that the more than 12 thousand present gave us on the occasion of our entry on the scene? And then, the extraordinary choirs of the audience, Santino Marella who wins the intercontinental title in his debut match. Chills, chills, chills. Extraordinary and indelible memories.

As for Vince McMahon, yes, we have met him. Twice. The first when we were about to enter the scene. We saw him in the dark in a small tunnel alongside trusted collaborators Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson, giving us a sign of agreement before receiving the roar of the Forum. The second time we met him, again at the Forum, in the backstage of Smackdown, which was always recorded in Milan the next day on Raw, when he complimented us on our "performance" at the commentary table the night before.

Michele Posa: Vince McMahon wished us good luck backstage, but I was wearing my usual sunglasses and only later realized who it was. I remember the tension before going on stage, which is a classic flaw of mine. I was not standing still, I was wearing out the soles of my shoes. I had to move. Then, once we got to our booth, it was all downhill.

Over the years, you've met some of WWE's biggest superstars. What were the moments that most of all remain in your heart?

Luca Franchini: Every interview with WWE superstars is unforgettable. But at the top of this list there can only be John Cena, with whom we shared a plane trip Milan-Rome and back and of whom we co-organized his only concert in Italy in the autumn of 2005, a few months before his presence at the Sanremo Festival the following year. Personally, I also put on the podium the interview I made with Brock Lesnar in New York in 2016 on the occasion of the presentation of the official WWE video game of which the mayor of Suplex City was the cover man. Making him laugh wasn't easy at all. But I repeat, all and all the gladiators in the ring deserve a mention. From Kurt Angle to Rey Mysterio, from Sheamus to Santino Marella. From Stephanie McMahon to Batista through Ric Flair and Roman Reigns. And as the icing on the cake I mention my all time favorite, Bret The Hitman Hart, interviewed in Italy in 2006 on the occasion of the release of the official DVD dedicated to him.

Michele Posa: Every WWE athlete we have interviewed turned out to be unique and inimitable. From John Cena, who remembered our names every time, to Batista, always available to answer the most bizarre questions. And how can we not mention the contagious cheerfulness of Santino Marella, the chutzpah of The Miz, Carlito spitting an apple in the face of one of our collaborators, or Jeff Hardy's magnetic gaze? We sang with Charlotte Flair, laughed with Lana, received a kiss on the cheek from Summer Rae, made Elias speak in Italian, listened to Titus O'Neil tell us about his meritorious charity works, saved the penalties kicked by Rey Mysterio and interviewed with our English macaronic Stephanie McMahon. How much stuff. How can I draw up a ranking? It was all beautiful. However, among my most cherished personal experiences, I remember with particular pleasure a chat with Daniel Bryan, from which transpired his great passion for wrestling and for the study that he has always poured into the discipline to improve himself as a performer.

20 years of commentary, an indelible mark in the world of WWE in Italy. What are your plans for the future? Have you ever thought of an age in which to retire?

Luca Franchini: In my future I see another twenty years as a WWE commentator. At least. Because even in my and I believe in our twenty-first year of commentary, the enthusiasm is that of the first day. I am aware of having the privilege of bringing through my voice, my screaming, my translating, my storytelling, the great show of the WWE in the homes of Italians and I intend to do it very, very long. Retirement can wait.

Congratulations @godzfranchini and @ mkp17! 20 years commentating for @WWE in Italy. Thank you for all your hard work! @WWE_Ufficiale @dmaxitalia #DplayPlus https://t.co/D9nLST8ubn

- Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) October 5, 2020

Michele Posa: I always have desire to do. And I would like to continue forever, as long as head and heart hold up, what has always been my dream since I was a child. I wanted to be like Mike Bongiorno, write books and be a Wrestling commentator. Growing up with age, I replaced the great Mike with Fiorello, in short, with another character unattainable for talent and ability. But having said that, I managed to follow the other two roads and walking on them is exhilarating. I do not feel the rust of the jamming custom. I would like it to always be like this, that it is the flame, reciprocated, of this inexplicable love that makes me live.

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