It is no secret that I am a huge fan of wrestling. I have been watching is since I was 4 years old and never missed a beet. I remember my first pay per view, I have been to Wrestlemania, and I’ve seen some of my favorite Superstars come and go. The current WWE roster and storylines have been some of the best in years. With fresh young talent like Wade Barett, The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, and Kofi Kingston I find myself on the edge of my seat every Monday and Friday for RAW and Smackdown! respectively. There is, however, one excepting to this silver age of wrestling, and this one exception is being force-fed down our throats. On BOTH shows. I speak, of course, of Michael Cole.
Michael Cole, real name Michael Coulthard, has been a ring announcer for WWE for several years now beginning on the Smackdown! brand. In 2008 he was moved over to RAW in an incredibly unpopular decision by WWE higher ups. Ever since I found myself longing to watch RAW with the ‘mute’ on. You see lately Michael Cole has taken a heel (bad guy) turn and went from being a sub-par announcer…to being one of the most annoying people ever on WWE TV. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t mean he is annoying in an ‘I’m the bad guy, hate me’ sort of way…I mean in the ‘I’m an unskilled ring announcer, and now I’m also going to talk about how great I am, which I’m not,’ way. It was bad enough when Cole was just doing announcing, but now he’s talking about why he’s the best there is and he went from an annoying voice int he background, to the only voice you hear half the time.
Now you should know by now that when I don’t like something, it’s not just a mindless rant. I’m not here to just mindlessly spew out my hatred for Michael Cole, I’m going to back it up with facts. My biggest complaint? Michael Cole does not come from a wrestling or even a sports background. Before coming to WWE, Cole was a journalist for CBS Radio and covered mostly politics. With the announcing talent WWE has just sitting in the back, people like Scott Stanford who has a sports background and is just a better announcer, as seen with his play by play on WWE Superstars, I can’t figure out why I still need to listen to Michael Cole every week. As if that weren’t bad enough, two of the best Wrestling announcers of all time, Good Ol’ J.R. and ECW’s Joey Styles (who happens to be one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter: @JoeyStyles) are just sitting in the back with desk jobs! Can you imagine watching RAW and listening to Jerry “The King” Lawler and Jim Ross again? Or King and Joey Styles? Heck I’d almost prefer to have Mike Adamle back than listen to this new heel Michael Cole!
“Thank you for joining us………from Oakland.” That pause there is from when Michael Cole forgot to say the name of the city at the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View. As mentioned before, Cole has been with WWE for quite some time. Though he did come from political news broadcasting, he has been with World Wrestling Entertainment for going on 15 years. To be behind an announce table for THAT long, and to still make mistakes like that is inexcusable.
Even more recently, Cole has been getting involved in in-ring competition. Now this is where Cole REALLY becomes a detriment to the WWE as a hole. With every win he doesn’t earn, Cole brags more and more and compares himself to the WWE Roster…and instantly discredits whoever he is talking about. Even from just a storyline standpoint, to have someone like Michael Cole talk about how he’s on par with superstars like Randy Orton and the Undertaker (which he has done) and not have them retaliate discredits and defames those superstars. Now I am not a mark (someone who still thinks it’s not scripted and these people actually act this way). I understand it is a show, there is a script and they are told to act this way. My problem is, from a writing stand-point, having Cole run his mouth like that makes the Superstars he is talking down, who could eat him alive in a matter of seconds, makes them seem weak. Making your top talent seem too weak or just unwilling to defend their names against someone like Cole is not the image that the Superstars should be trying to portray.
Another annoying habit WWE has had with Michael Cole lately is him repeating himself. A weaker talker hiding behind a bigger guy and taking credit for it is nothing new in WWE, in fact it’s almost textbook. It’s a great way to get heat (boos) for your heel. But in the case of Michael Cole, when he is dancing around saying “What’ya say Lawler? What’ya say Lawler? What’ya say Lawler? What’ya say Lawler?” It’s no long heat…it’s just annoying.
Frankly I feel like that is Michael Cole’s purpose at this point. It’s becoming less and less like he’s there to provide heel heat to the announce booth (an important part of any successful announce team) and more like he is simply there to annoy us. I understand the point of having characters you are supposed to hate (Vickie Guererro), but with Michael Cole and his complete late of credentials, lack of wrestling knowledge, and now his heel turn, I feel he is not adding heat, but only that he is now more annoying (and not in a good, or intentional way). Frankly there are much better ways to get some heel heat behind the announce table and I expect better from the WWE.
See also: A Look Back at Wrestlemania
Filed Under: Film and Television