top of page


For this edition of the THURSDAY VETERAN SPOTLIGHT, I decided to go a different route. I wanted to write about one of my all-time favorite independent wrestling commentators. This gentleman truly is the “Voice of the Independents” and has a voice loaded with passion for the sport of professional wrestling.

This week’s veteran is LENNY LEONARD.


The first time I learned about Lenny was from Full Impact Pro, an independent promotion based out of Florida. In front of the FIP Studio Style background at the top of the entranceway, Leonard emceed the entire Emergence event, while simultaneously working as an interviewer.

Almost immediately, I got a positive vibe from Lenny. Born in New York City, his strong accent carried through, mixing with a strong baritone voice bellowing into the microphone. He carried himself like a professional and made sure that every talent had a few moments to vocalize their thoughts to the small, but loyal Florida crowd.

Leonard would eventually come to Ring of Honor as a commentator for the DVD releases, beginning in the Summer of 2005. Alongside his broadcast partner Dave Prazak, Leonard’s burgeoning abilities calling the matches enhanced the phenomenal in-ring action ROH was known for.

Leonard and Prazak began clicking on all cylinders, and by the Spring of 2006, they were the best broadcast team in wrestling, in my opinion. They played off each other well, and never overshadowed one another.

However, after a debilitating injury to both of his legs in May 2006, Leonard was out of action for several months. Although Jarrod David did a solid job in his absence, Lenny’s voice was sorely missed. Thankfully, Leonard returned back to the booth by Final Battle weekend and was on the headset when Homicide won the ROH World Title in the Manhattan Center on December 23, 2006.

Leonard and Prazak made their debut together on pay-per-view on May 12, 2007 for Respect Is Earned, and even made a rare on-camera appearance together in front of the hot crowd in the Manhattan Center. 

A few months later, both men called one of my all-time favorite matches: the finals of the Race To The Top Tournament at the Inman Sports Club in Edison, NJ on July 28, 2007 between Claudio Castagnoli and El Generico. It was a perfect match all the way around, rounded out by the duo’s tremendous commentary.

Leonard would continue on with ROH until 2009, when he was quietly phased out of the broadcast booth. However, he would not be out of wrestling for long, as he quickly joined up with Dragon Gate USA, run by former ROH and FIP booker Gabe Sapolsky and Sal Hamaoui. In short order, Leonard ultimately would become the voice of the World Wrestling Network.

Although he had commentary partners from time-to-time, including Rob Naylor and Leonard F. Chikarason in particular, Leonard called the majority of WWN events solo. Whether it be for DGUSA, EVOLVE, Shine Wrestling, WWN Supershows, or anything in between, you would always know Lenny Leonard would be on the headset, calling the action with professionalism and passion. He was just that damn good.

I always considered Lenny to be the Joey Styles of the independent wrestling scene. He mixed calling the action with little quips and one-liners that always made me laugh. However, it never, ever took away from the matches one iota.

The biggest high-profile moment of his career came on July 13, 2019, as Lenny called the EVOLVE 10th Anniversary Show at the ECW Arena in South Philadelphia, PA on the WWE Network. This event was the first, and only, non-WWE event to stream live on the fledgling platform. Similar to ECW Barely Legal on April 13, 1997 with Styles opening the show in the ring, Leonard did the same. Overall, he was fantastic on the call for the evening, as per the norm for the majority of his commentary.

Taking a huge step back from professional wrestling after the COVID-19 pandemic, Leonard sparingly has made appearances for Game Changer Wrestling events. However, in this writer’s opinion, his voice is solely missed in the game today on a regular basis.

Jon Harder, the founder of this website, had a few words to say about Lenny:

“I had the opportunity to talk to Lenny once during my time in independent wrestling. After a Dragon Gate USA show in the ACE Arena in 2011, in which I was there watching, I spotted him cleaning up his commentary table prior to leaving. Trying to become an efficient pro wrestling commentator, I asked him for a minute of his time and peppered him on what I needed to do to effectively be a better play-by-play man.

He was so gracious and gave me a few pointers. One of them revolved around not talking while the referee was counting a pin attempt. He said that it took away from the match and lessened the importance of a possible victory in the moment. Lenny said that he learned that trick from Gabe Sapolsky, who was taught that by Paul Heyman.

I immediately applied that to my commentary and it benefitted me immensely. I highly doubt he’d ever remember that, but that conversation has stuck with me to this very day. No one was better in commentary than Lenny Leonard, and he really was, and still is, the last of a dying breed of true wrestling broadcasters.”


I’m so happy to have put the THURSDAY VETERAN SPOTLIGHT on Lenny Leonard this week. If there is anyone who deserves his flowers in the wrestling commentary game, it is he. Thank you for your contributions in the world of independent wrestling.


Follow Us
Recent Posts
bottom of page