Don West (sportscaster)

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Don West
Don West October 2010.jpg
Don West in October 2010
Birth name Donald West
Born (1963-06-20) June 20, 1963 (age 51)[1]
Chicago, United States [2]
Resides Wenatchee, Washington, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Don West
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) [1]
Billed weight 281 lb (127 kg)[1]
Debut June 19, 2002
Retired June 2012

Donald "Don" West (born June 20, 1963) is an American pitchman, television personality and former wrestling broadcaster [3] West previously worked as a host for the Shop At Home Network as well as a pro wrestling color commentator and sales director for TNA Wrestling. In the 1990s, West achieved a degree of fame for his loud, energetic, abrasive sales pitches on late night television, and his blunt obvious observations, with his persuasive style.

Career[edit]

Don West is the pitchman for WildWestDeals.com, an internet marketing site. West was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Purdue University, where he majored in sports broadcasting.[2] West currently resides in Longport, NJ.

Shop at Home Network[edit]

West initially became involved with television shopping when he applied for a job with the Shop at Home Network as the host of a sports memorabilia show, Sports Collectibles. Despite his degree in sports broadcasting (and the fact that his brother Dale was the chief financial officer of the Shop at Home Network), West was rejected on the basis of his "scrabbly voice". In 1991, West began selling knives on television, and in March 1993, he was finally given the job with the Shop at Home Network that he had applied for. Between 1993 and 2001, sales rose from US$3 million to US$150 million. In addition to sports memorabilia, West also pitched products such as Beanie Babies and Pokémon collectibles.[2]

Between November 1996 and March 1997, Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan parodied West and his co-host, Eddy Lewis, on three episodes of Saturday Night Live.[2][4]

In 2001, West amicably left the Shop at Home Network and began hosting a sports talk show on WNSR.[2]

In 2000, West was contacted by World Championship Wrestling booker Vince Russo, who invited him to join the company. West declined the offer in favor of "the sure thing" (WCW was purchased by its chief competitor, the World Wrestling Federation, in March 2001).[2]

According to the December 9, 2007 episode of Shop At Home's The Sports Room show with hosts Kevin Hite and Shawn Leflar, Don West would be a guest host on the December 16, 2007 episode of The Sports Room and make a sculpture of the Empire State building out of butter.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling[edit]

Don West in January 2006.

In 2002, West was hired by Jeff Jarrett, who had been introduced to West by Russo, to serve as the color commentator for his newly formed professional wrestling promotion, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. West made his professional wrestling debut on June 19, 2002, commentating on the inaugural TNA pay-per-view alongside Ed Ferrara and Mike Tenay. Ferrera departed TNA in August 2002, reducing the commentary team to Tenay and West.[2]

Aside from commentating, West accompanies Jeremy Borash on the YouTube-based show TNA Today, where he promotes new TNA merchandise and special packages, called "Don West's Insane Daily Deals." He is also an unlockable character along with providing commentary in the first ever TNA video game, TNA Impact!.

On the December 14, 2006 episode of Impact!, Kurt Angle put West in an ankle lock, making West pass out (kayfabe); he was replaced that night by Jim Cornette.[5]

During the Fish Market Street Fight between Curry Man & Shark Boy and Team 3D (Brother Devon and Brother Ray) at Destination X in 2008, he repeatedly made mention of the competitors creaming each other with a fish.[6]

On the February 26, 2009 episode of Impact!, West turned heel when he verbally assaulted and walked out on his commentary partner Tenay, leaving him to call the remainder of the show alone.[7] The following week, West once again verbally assaulted Tenay, took the sides of heel wrestlers, and then once again walked out on Tenay.[8] The week after that West showed up late, in a drunken state and again walked out on Tenay, after Tenay suggested West to leave. Since then, West was back at the announcers table as a heel commentator. At the August 17, 2009, tapings of Impact! TNA removed West as a color commentator and replaced him with Taz. The company later announced that West had been promoted within the organization to oversee merchandise development and sales initiatives.[9] On the October 15 edition of Impact! West returned as Amazing Red's new manager, turning face in the process.[10] However, West's role of managing Red ended shortly thereafter. Since then, he has appeared mainly on TNA's internet programming and at house shows selling his merchandise. On May 28, 2012, it was reported that West had given his notice and would be leaving TNA shortly,[11] having accepted an offer to become the new director of sales and marketing of Wenatchee, Washington based Wenatchee Wild ice hockey team.[12]

Radio[edit]

From 2001-2008, West hosted a daily mid-day sports talk show called "The Sports Reporters" on SportsRadio 560 WNSR AM in Nashville, Tennessee. The locally-aired program featured a rotation of different co-hosts from Nashville media (including David Boclair, Eric Yutzy, Steve Wrigley, and Paul Kuharsky), with each co-host appearing on a specific day of the week. The program covered sports topics of the day and ongoing local sports issues. However the show often shifted focused to additional topics, such as film, pop culture, and quite often "hot chicks." The show achieved the top ratings spot for its timeslot, a considerable accomplishment for a sports-themed program airing on an AM station. The economic downturn of 2008, in conjunction with West's TNA Wrestling obligations (in the later years, tapings of TNA Wrestling made it impossible for West to host the program on Mondays), ultimately led to the demise of the show.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Don West at Cagematch.de". Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Nation, Ryan (2006-01-31). "The evolution of Don West". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  3. ^ http://www.impactwrestling.com/roster/Wrestler-Roster/item/1615-don-west
  4. ^ "Don West at the SNL Archives". Retrieved 007-03-27.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ "TNA Impact December 14, 2006 Results". 18 July 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2006. 
  6. ^ "Riduclous TNA Matches". Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "TNA Impact February 26, 2009 Results". Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  8. ^ "TNA Impact March 5, 2009 Results". Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  9. ^ "Tonight: Taz Joins The Announce Team". TNAWrestling.com. Retrieved 2009-08-21. [dead link]
  10. ^ Wilkenfeld, Daniel (2009-10-15). "WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/15: Ongoing (but suffering an hour lag) "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast". PWTorch. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  11. ^ Martin, Adam (2012-05-28). "Report: Don West gives notice, leaving TNA". WrestleView. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  12. ^ Martin, Adam (2012-05-28). "Update on Don West's departure from TNA". WrestleView. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 

External links[edit]