Todd Grisham

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Todd Grisham
Grisham in 2008.
Born (1976-01-09) January 9, 1976 (age 40)[1]
Hattiesburg, Mississippi[1]
Residence Bay Minette, Alabama[2]
Spouse(s) Alyson DeRenzis
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Todd Grisham[2]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Billed weight 160 lb (73 kg)
Debut 2004
Retired 2011

Todd Grisham (born January 9, 1976)[1] is an American sports reporter who, since 2011, has been employed by ESPN. His duties for the network include being the in-studio host for Friday Night Fights as well as a SportsCenter anchor.

Prior to joining ESPN, Grisham worked as a professional wrestling commentator for WWE.

Early life[edit]

Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Grisham was raised in Bay Minette, Alabama, and attended Baldwin County High School for his freshman year, where he played on the school's soccer team as a forward. His family relocated several times after his freshman year, and Grisham graduated from Orange Park High School in Orange Park, Florida.[3] Grisham attended Wingate University on a soccer scholarship and later transferred to the University of West Georgia, where he received his degree in communications.[3] His first professional job in the television industry was with KTVO of Ottumwa, Iowa, where he worked for a year and a half. He was then a sportscaster for KOLD-TV Tucson for approximately five years before signing a two-year contract with WWE as an announcer, officially joining them on January 14, 2004.[4][5]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Voice of Heat, Byte This and Bottom Line (2004–2008)[edit]

Grisham debuted in WWE in 2004 as the voice of Heat, doing play-by-play alongside Jonathan Coachman, Josh Mathews, and others for just over four years. Grisham also formerly co-hosted Experience with Ivory, but after her release from WWE, he hosted it alone until mid-2006, when Josh Mathews started hosting the show. Grisham also hosted WWE's premier web show, Byte This!, which was canceled in 2006. In addition, he did backstage interviews for the Raw brand. In 2005 Grisham also began hosting Raw's catch-up program Bottom Line after Marc Loyd was released from the company. In September 2007, Jack Korpela started hosting that show.

Grisham also hosted Unlimited segments, a web-only broadcast that allows viewers to witness events during commercial breaks of Raw. On May 1, 2006 Grisham called the main event on Raw, alongside Jerry Lawler, filling in for Joey Styles, who had just quit, in storyline.[6]

During an episode of's Byte This!, Grisham responded to a letter sent in by controversial superstar The Ultimate Warrior where Warrior declined an invitation to come on the show to talk about his DVD The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior. In the letter, Warrior insulted recovering cancer patient Bobby Heenan and called Todd Grisham "gay". Grisham responded in good humor by joking that he experimented in college, but that was no reason to call him that. Grisham also participated in a series of conversations on Byte This! with fans of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) who interrupted the show to both proclaim TNA a superior product, or to insult Grisham directly when he chose to sugarcoat and dodge TNA-related questions. Grisham retaliated with his own retorts, some humorous and some hostile (once calling one TNA fan a "retard"). He sometimes did respond to the questions, citing that TNA was not at the level that WWE was.

In 2008, Grisham and Josh Mathews were doing commentary during a match on Heat between Snitsky and Val Venis when Matthews mentioned that a "former" WWE wrestler by the name of Issac Yankem, DDS would match up well against Snitsky. Grisham then made a comment that Yankem resembles Kane and suggesting that they might be brothers, thus breaking kayfabe by outing Glenn Jacobs as the man who portrayed Yankem before his more famous gimmick as the younger brother to The Undertaker. Although the commentary was edited out before being uploaded to for the United States market, WWE still sent the original, unedited version overseas before it was noticed by company executives. Grisham was reprimanded for the incident.[7]

ECW (2008–2009)[edit]

Grisham became the new play-by-play commentator for the ECW brand on the July 29, 2008 episode of ECW on Syfy.[8] He replaced play-by-play commentator Mike Adamle, who had become the Raw brand General Manager, and was paired with Tazz, who was the color commentator.[9] This announce team was short-lived, however, as Tazz moved over to SmackDown to fill in for Mick Foley (who was injured by Edge and then left the company) and Matt Striker moved back to ECW to take over Tazz's duties as color commentator.

Since then, their commentating had been highly praised by fans and Grisham and Striker even won the 2008 Slammy Award for Announce Team of the Year.[10] During his run as ECW commentator he still conducted interviews on Raw and also became the new regular interviewer for SmackDown as Eve Torres took a more in ring role. On April 4, 2009 Grisham hosted the 2009 Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

SmackDown, NXT and departure (2009–2011)[edit]

Grisham (left) during his run on SmackDown with fellow commentator Jim Ross.

On the April 7, 2009 episode of ECW, Grisham and Striker's near eight-month commentary partnership came to an end as Josh Matthews became the new play-by-play commentator for ECW. Grisham was promoted to Smackdown play by play commentator. Jim Ross switched to color commentator, thus replacing Tazz, who had just left the company. Grisham made his SmackDown debut as play-by-play commentator on April 10, 2009.[11] On October 30, 2009, he was reunited with his ECW broadcasting partner Matt Striker, who was moved to SmackDown to replace Jim Ross.

During the December 7, 2010 tapings of Friday Night SmackDown, which aired on December 10, Grisham was replaced as SmackDown's play-by-play commentator by Josh Matthews, thus again ending his commentary partnership with Striker. Grisham replaced Michael Cole on NXT as play-by-play commentator and joined with Matthews. After Season 4 of NXT, Matthews was replaced by William Regal.

After becoming the lead play-by-play announcer for WWE NXT for five months, it was announced on the August 23, 2011 edition that Grisham would be leaving WWE to pursue new interests.[12] Grisham's last WWE appearance was on the August 26, 2011 edition of Smackdown when he interviewed Randy Orton backstage.


In 2007, Grisham was named the host for Fox Soccer Channel's Major League Soccer broadcasts, working alongside Christopher Sullivan for pre-game and post-game coverage of the network's Saturday night broadcasts until 2010, later picking up announcing duties for WWE NXT.[13]

On August 24, 2011, a day after serving as NXT play-by-play commentator for the final time, it was announced that Grisham would be joining ESPN.[14]

On October 16, 2011, Grisham debuted as a co-anchor for ESPNEWS for the overnight hours of "Highlight Express", presenting live from 11p-2a ET and replayed until 7am ET. He was joined by Adnan Virk. He also did the morning sports updates for ABC's early morning program America This Morning and prepackaged reports for ABC O&O stations who do not have a morning sportscaster. He presented on ESPN again on October 18, co-presenting with Sara Walsh. He was named one of the official overnight anchors for ESPNEWS and alternated to present updates for the ABC stations and America This Morning.[15] On October 22, 2011, Grisham inadvertently caused some minor internet outrage when he referred to the loss suffered by Oklahoma at the hands of Texas Tech as the "Trail of Tears". Grisham apologized for the gaffe.[16]

On November 10, 2011, Grisham replaced Jon Anik as the host of MMA Live. On December 28, 2011, Todd made his SportsCenter debut, presenting SportsCenter from Bristol, Connecticut until 11:30pm, when ESPN's Los Angeles studios resume SportsCenter.

Personal life[edit]

Grisham has an older brother named Jeff.[3] Grisham became engaged to Alyson DeRenzis in June 2009; they are now married.[3] Grisham also has a daughter, Mia Mae Grisham. Grisham is also a long-time season ticket holder of the Atlanta Falcons.

Job titles[edit]

  • Heat Play-by-Play Commentator (2004–2008)
  • Byte This! host (2004–2006)
  • The Experience Host (2004–2006)
  • The Bottom Line Host (2004–2007)
  • Raw (Substitute) Play-by-Play commentator (2006)
  • Raw (Substitute) Ring Announcer (2006, 2007)
  • Raw Backstage Interviewer (2004–2009)
  • Fox Soccer Channel Host and Play-by-Play commentator (2007-2011)
  • ECW Play-by-Play Commentator (2008–2009)
  • WWE Friday Night SmackDown Backstage Interviewer (2009-2011)
  • Friday Night SmackDown Play-by-Play Commentator (2009–2010) [17]
  • WWE Superstars Play-by-Play Commentator (2009–2010) [18]
  • WWE NXT Play-by-Play Commentator (2010-2011)
  • WWE Pay-Per-View Backstage Interviewer (2009–2011)
  • ESPN employee (host, MMA Live) (presenter, SportsCenter) (2011–present)

Awards and accomplishments[edit]


External links[edit]