Lilian Garcia Talks Announcing Accidents, Post-9/11 SmackDown, WWE Stars Backstage, Viscera, More

Feb 27, 2017 - by Marc Middleton

Former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia recently participated in an “AMA (Ask Me Anything)” on Reddit. You can see the full chat at this link. Below are highlights:

Of all the wrestlers you introduced during your time in WWE, what name did you enjoy saying the most?

RVD was a fun one to say… The Rock was a fun one… Stone Cold Steve Austin… and then there were some that were so hard to say. Because they’re only one syllable, like Kane and Edge, which was harder to make an impact. So I started putting a growl into it, like a rocker style, which I started using in all my announcing which would give it some grit and a rocker edge.

What’s your favorite accidental announcing screw-up, whether yours or someone else’s? If you don’t have a favorite, what’s the most memorable for you?

Definitely mine, because I had some good ones. I think it was pretty funny when I was in Toronto, even before the show, and I said, we were in the Air Canada Center, and I said, “Welcome to the Air American Center.” The crowd was like “What?” And I played it off that I was just kidding with them. The difference between being a ring announcer and a commentator is we don’t have the chance to say ‘excuse me, or I mean’ we just have to live with it.

Hey Lillian big fan here. Do you have any funny or weird stories about Vince?

I would say a funny one was the Iraq trip. We’d be in a huge military plane, and the bathrooms were kind of like port-a-johns and people could see you go into them. And when I went to get out, I could feel someone was holding the door, keeping it closed. I knew that it had to be one of the superstars, and when the door opened it was Vince. It was funny, to be cutting up like that. Vince and I have always had a great relationship and I value every opportunity he’s given me during my time here at WWE.

After the incident of Charlie Haas (2006) knocking you off the apron, what happened backstage?

I just remember going to the trainer’s room and they were trying to check out how bad the injury was on the wrist – it wasn’t until I was, I can’t remember if it was an X-Ray or MRI, that I’d torn a ligament in that wrist. Which is why I was screaming so much at ringside because that sucker hurt. Another example of live TV, where anything can happen and that one got turned into a storyline.

What was it like performing the national anthem on Smackdown so soon after 9/11?

So emotional. Extremely emotional. I knew how important that moment was, and I was also very traumatized by the events because I lived in New York city at the time. I knew that I had to get through it, and I knew it was something bigger than myself. I just wanted to help in anyway to bring the arena together as much as possible in such a hurting moment.

How were you first approached about being a part of the Viscera storyline? Any funny stories about that experience?

I remember that they – I don’t remember who it was. But they told me that Viscera was going to come out and serenade me in the ring. And from there, it became such a huge watched episode and the response was so big, that’s when they decided to turn it into a storyline. It was never supposed to be a thing. I loved working with him. Such a big teddy bear, a loveable guy. He always thanked me for getting him a part in that storyline, and I always laughed and thanked him. I miss him. May he rest in peace. What a beautiful soul.

How often are billed weights changed and do you commit all of them to memory or do you have a cheat sheet while waiting by ringside?

It’s really rarely changed, and everything is from memory. From day one, even my first day on the job, I didn’t know until going live my first Raw that I had to have everything memorized. I had a little panic attack. They don’t use cue cards.

Hello Lilian, after introducing a wrestler, what were your duties at ringside?

Well, at ringside, especially during live shows, things can change all the time. I’m always making sure there are no new changes for upcoming matches – if there are rules, I’m learning them, because we can’t use cue cards. You’re still going over everything as much as you can during a live show because things keep changing constantly. Always go over their weight, town, title, and if there were any rules for the match.

Hey Lilian! Thanks for doing this AMA 🙂 Who’s wrestling persona differs the most from what they are like in real life?

I think I’d have to say John Cena, in that when he’s out there – the big, and animated, just bigger than life persona… backstage, he’s quiet and humble and it’s different. Yea, it’s a different persona. Kind of the same with Roman Reigns, very quiet and humble. I’ve noticed that with a lot of guys. They definitely know how to turn on the entertainer switch.

What was it like for you when you first came in to the WWF during the Attitude Era?

Exciting, and scary. Because I had NO training and I really didn’t know what I was doing at all. And the shows were so huge, they were always sold out. And the energy was always so high, and I’m a person who always wants to do my best. It was exciting and scary at the same time. What a special time to be a part of, and it was also a great learning experience to walk in and have to learn on the job.

What was your favorite angle you were involved in?

I’d have to say the Viscera angle. It was pretty extensive, and like I said, I really loved working with him. I like how that whole storyline evolved. They turned it into a beauty and the beast type story, and I was definitely the beast haha

Ever piss anyone off backstage?

Not that I remember. I had a really good relationship with everyone. I honestly don’t remember anyone being mad at me. I wasn’t one to stir the pot, so to speak.

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