Tony Chimel is no longer working for WWE. According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, the longtime ring announcer was released from WWE during the latest layoffs. It was reported that 10-15 staff members were let go, and Chimel is the most notable name.
Chimel, 53, has been with WWE officially since 1991 and was the first ring announcer of SmackDown. He started announcing WWF events in the northeast back in 1983, but when he came to WWE in 1991, he was brought in full-time to be a technician. He became a ring announcer full-time and would be the announcer for SmackDown until he moved over to ECW in 2007. Chimel returned to SmackDown and was involved in several storylines. He also announced at NXT and took time off and announced at house shows. Chimel is also known for his TV appearances for Christian and WWE Hall of Famer Edge, including making cameos on their show on the WWE Network.
The news of Chimel comes months after legendary WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel died at the age of 69. Many consider Finkle as the best ring announcer in WWE history. Chimel being released also comes just weeks after former ring announcer Lilian Garcia returning to the company but only as a host of the show Chasing Glory, which can be seen on the WWE Network. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Garcia and revealed she came very close to not becoming a ring announcer for WWE.
"I almost didn't even go to the audition," Garcia revealed. "When my agent told me about it, I was like, 'The World Wildlife Fund?' He was like, 'No, no, no, the World Wrestling Federation.' I was like, 'Wait, wrestling?'" Garcia then said her agent told her to go to the audition because "you never know." She also noted it was the "best advice" she took. "Have an open mind and do it anyway," Garcia said. "You never know."
When it comes to the current WWE ring announcers, Greg Hamilton works at the SmackDown brand while Mike Rome take care of the duties at Raw. Bot has been with WWE since 2016, and Rome is even a former WWE champion. In December of last year, Rome won the 24/7 title after beating Samir Singh. However, Singh quickly won the title back after pinning Rome by a surprise rollup.