Player Profile

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly

Nationality :American
Date Of Birth :May 9, 1967
Height :5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight :240 lb (110 kg)

Kevin Kelly: A Brief Biography

Known by his ring name Kevin Kelly, Kevin Foote (born May 9, 1967) is an American sportscaster, radio host, professional wrestler color commentator, executive, manager, pundit, and former ring announcer. Since 2015, Foote has been employed by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) as an English-language commentator. Additionally, he provides commentary for All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) Saturday Collision program. Prior to joining ROH in 2010, he previously worked for WWE from 1996 to 2003, Major League Wrestling in 2004, and WWE from 1996 to 2003.

Titles

  • East Coast Wrestling Association
    • ECWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2005)
    • ECWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Best Television Announcer (2018, 2019, 2022)
    • Best Announcer of the Decade (2010s)

Height of Kevin Kelly, Weight, and Body Stats

Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight240 lb (110 kg)

All-time Career of Kevin Kelly

Radio

When Radio Kelly started working as a disc jockey and playing music in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, he first got involved in broadcasting.

Kelly once served as the host of the “Plan B” segment on the Voice of Wrestling online radio show. The Kevin Kelly Show, Kelly’s own program, debuted on the Wrestling Radio Network in August 2007. On ClubWWI.com, Kelly also hosts the audio program The Big Picture. The Kevin Kelly Show, a podcast about pop culture and professional wrestling, was launched by Kevin Kelly in 2014 on Place to Be Nation.

Professional wrestling

Independent circuit (1991–1996, 1999–2005, 2011)

In 1991, Kelly made his independent professional wrestling debut. He began his career as a ring announcer for Eddie Mansfield’s International Wrestling Federation in Orlando, Florida.

As a manager, Kelly made his debut in the Delaware-based East Coast Wrestling Association in November 1999 and established several heel stables. Billy Fives and Rick Fuller, who was part of Kelly’s Alliance of Defiance stable, assisted Kelly in his ECWA Heavyweight Championship victory over Cheetah Master on April 7, 2001, in Wilmington, Delaware. On May 5, 2001, Scoot Andrews defeated Billy Fives to win the vacant title, robbing him of his title. Kelly was admitted to the ECWA Hall of Fame on December 3, 2005.

He worked for the original Major League Wrestling from 2003 to 2004.

Kelly served as a Lucha Libre USA Season 2 announcer from May 28 to October 22, 2011.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1996–2003)

Billy Gunn, a fellow IWF alumnus, intervened to get Kelly a tryout with the World Wrestling Federation as a ring announcer. In June 1996, he started working for the WWF as a backstage interviewer. Alongside Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, Kelly provided commentary for Raw is War, the WWF’s primary television program, from August to October 1996. Kelly once more worked as a commentator for Raw is War with Jim Ross and Michael Cole from December 1997 to March 1998. Kelly then resumed conducting interviews on Raw is War and (after SmackDown! debuted).

Kelly was involved in many interviewing facets. The contentious “Pillman’s Got a Gun” angle from the November 4, 1996 episode of Monday Night Raw, which was filmed in Fort Wayne, Indiana, received the most media attention. The angle was framed by the ongoing conflict between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brian Pillman. Live footage of Kelly interviewing Pillman and Pillman’s wife Melanie in their Walton, Kentucky home was shown throughout Monday Night Raw. Dok Hendrix informed Vince McMahon during Monday Night Raw that Austin was allegedly making his way to Pillman’s house. When Pillman learned of this development, he produced and loaded a 9 mm pistol and threatened to “blow [Austin’s] sorry ass straight to hell!” Kelly, who was terrified, said, “Pillman’s got a gun!” Austin visited Pillman’s house during the interview and, after fending off several of Pillman’s friends who had surrounded the house to protect him, broke into it and moved toward Pillman. Pillman responded by pointing his gun at Austin, and as Kelly and Melanie Pillman screamed, the live camera feed went dark. Pillman was being restrained by his friends when the camera feed resumed, and Kelly told McMahon that there had been two explosions but no one had been hurt. At that point, Pillman pointed his gun at Austin while yelling profanities and threats. Pillman’s friends then forced Austin out of the house once more. Jerry Lawler, the color commentator for Monday Night Raw, told Kelly to “get the gun” as he yelled for someone to “call the police.” As Melanie Pillman sobbed, the broadcast came to an end with Austin being ejected from the residence. Later, Pillman and the WWF would apologize for the segment.

The Rock frequently made fun of Kelly during interviews in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, referring to him as an “ugly hermaphrodite” and calling him “Hermie.” On September 24, 2000, at Unforgiven, Kelly was trying to interview Stone Cold Steve Austin when he was attacked by the returning Austin.

Later, Kelly would start presenting Byte This!, a weekly WWF webcast. Kelly worked as a WWF talent scout, keeping an eye on wrestlers in the Heartland Wrestling Association, Memphis Championship Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling, and Urban Wrestling Alliance developmental territories in addition to his on-screen roles. Kelly was in charge of reviewing tapes of matches that job candidates had sent to the WWF for review. Kelly was the author of the plot in which Stephanie McMahon wed Triple H, founding the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. Kelly also had a minor creative influence on the WWF. Kelly also produced WWE Confidential.

Kelly was let go by WWE on March 21, 2003, as a result of several budget cuts. Kelly has criticized his former employer’s corporate practices and artistic direction ever since he was freed.

Major League Wrestling (2004)

Joey Styles was replaced as Major League Wrestling’s announcer by Kevin Kelly in 2004, but the promotion soon ceased to exist.

Ring of Honor (2010–2017)

Jim Cornette made the announcement that Kelly had signed an agreement to voice Ring of Honor on Internet pay-per-view on March 2, 2010. Kelly was the primary play-by-play announcer for Ring of Honor pay-per-views and television tapings between 2011 and 2017.

On February 2, 2017, it was announced that Kelly, ROH’s chief play-by-play announcer, had resigned from his position. Up until July 11, Kelly worked for ROH part-time. However, because he is connected to the Japanese promotion as their English-language play-by-play announcer, he will continue to call ROH matches that are a part of New Japan Pro-Wrestling events.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2015–present)

The English-language commentators for New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s King of Pro-Wrestling on NJPW World on October 12 were Kelly and Matt Striker.

On January 4, 2016, Kelly made a comeback to NJPW English commentary at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in the Tokyo Dome, once more working with Matt Striker and NJPW wrestler Yoshitatsu. At Invasion Attack 2016, he made a comeback as a member of the NJPW English commentary team alongside Steve Corino, who filled in for Matt Striker. Don Callis took Corino’s place as of January 2017.