Gary Cappetta has nearly 50 years of experience in pro wrestling and has worked as a ring announcer for WWF, WCW, ROH and many other promotions. Two weeks ago, he made his AEW debut as the Master of Ceremonies during a Dynamite weigh-in between Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley.
Cappetta discussed how his Dynamite appearance came to be when he joined The Wrestling Epicenter.
"It was kind of a crazy week. I had heard some podcast chatter and then AEW contacted me on Sunday," revealed Cappetta. "Then, Booker T told some kind of story on FS1 [WWE Backstage] about a conversation we had years prior. I was a bit uncertain, to tell you the truth as I had just been notified about three days before. My first instinct was to walk away from it. But, they said, 'Nah, we want you to do this.' [Laughs] So, they sort of talked me into it!"
He then went into more detail about why he initially didn't want to do it at first.
"When it was first presented to me, it was presented as me hosting a segment. They didn't tell me it was going to be a weigh-in. I'm a ring announcer and hosting a segment isn't something I know how to do," said Cappetta. "I knew it was to promote the main event of their pay per view so it was very important.
"Then, you're working with a technical crew you've never worked with before. So, there are things they assume you know when it has been 25 years since I've done a major production. I mean, the last time I did a major production, I didn't even have wireless! I was hard wired to the truck! So, there were all these factors... Plus, I was very protective of myself as well. If I was going to come back on a major stage, I wanted to be sure I had everything possible working in my favor and all of those things were not in my favor [laughs]."
As Cappetta mentioned, it had been 25 years since he last announced and that was with WCW in 1995. During the weigh-in, Chris Jericho took a shot at Cappetta and said he was one of the reasons why WCW went out of business.
Cappetta responded to Jericho's jab.
"I told David Penzer I took a bullet for him on that one [laughs]! Chris Jericho is masterful. I don't know if he thought this out or if it was just his great natural instincts. But if you look at what he said – he belittled me but he didn't berate me. There's a difference, a big difference between the two," stated Cappetta.
He added that they had spoken beforehand and Jericho sent Cappetta a video of what he envisioned for the weigh-in which is what sold Cappetta on being a part of it.
"So, he sent me a long video of his vision and when I saw his vision, I said, 'Yeah, I can do that.' So, I spoke with him in his dressing room earlier in the day. In fact, his first insults I couldn't really understand what he said because the crowd was so loud," admitted Cappetta. "I just knew that he was insulting me so I reacted to a general insult [laughs]."
Someone else that helped Cappetta gain comfort in this role is Tony Khan and Cappetta discussed his conversation with AEW's President.
"The gentleman that contacted me originally, when I said I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, he said, 'Why don't you give Tony a call?' I said, 'All right.' I called him and he called me right back. He talked to me about my entire career," said Cappetta. "We talked about the Ring of Honor days, the WCW days... I don't think we got back to the WWF days but that was before his time [laughs]. But, he's a wrestling historian too! He was very complimentary and encouraging."
AEW will present Blood & Guts the Match Beyond on Dynamite on March 25. It will take place from Cappetta's home state of New Jersey and he was asked if he'll return to introduce the competitors.
"We spoke after the show on Wednesday night. We talked about them possibly bringing me back to do something down the road. I would consider anything that they brought forth," said Cappetta.