Finkel, who was the first-ever permanent staff member of the WWE (then the WWWF), joined the company as a ring announcer in 1979 and his booming voice quickly became synonymous with the professional wrestling outfit throughout the 1980s.
His famous ‘And new!’ declaration following a title change became one of the WWE’s most immediately recognizable phrases, becoming an integral part of the company’s ‘Rock n’ Wrestling’ era in which names like Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior graduated from carnival attractions to be global attractions and household names.
Finkel remained in his role as ring announcer until the 2000s before he moved a part-time position, while primarily working for the WWE in a behind-the-scenes capacity. His contribution to professional wrestling was enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.
He became so intrinsically linked to the organization that his voice was every bit as recognizable to fans as those of the company’s top in-ring talents and was involved with the WWE’s marquee event WrestleMania from its very inception. He even claimed to have recommended the title of the flagship show to Vince McMahon more than three decades ago.
He was not quite as well-known for his athleticism but did compete in several matches throughout his tenure with WWE, beating manager Harvey Wippleman in a so-called ‘Tuxedo Match’ in 1999, and losing an ‘Evening Gown’ match to fellow announcer Lillian Garcia three years later.