Michael Cole Is Good…
"Great" might be a stretch at this point, but "good" is an understatement. Michael Cole has finally given wrestling fans an actual, legitimate reason to hate him and he’s playing the part to perfection. It’s not traditional, but it’s working.
Jerry Lawler should be accredited for the fans’ emotional attachment to the angle, but Cole earns points for morphing into a viable and credible character to counter Lawler in his first WrestleMania match. Don’t believe me? Jim Ross posted that the Cole/Lawler segment was the most watched part of Raw. That’s saying something.
Michael Cole isn’t the greatest announcer in the world – and probably never will be – but he hasn’t been given a fair shake since taking over J.R.’s announcing duties and becoming the "voice of the WWE". But it doesn’t matter, because no one would have been given a chance by the hardcore wrestling fans. They weren’t ready to let go of Ross. That should be a testament to how good Jim Ross was rather than used as ammunition against Cole.
Did you see Raw on Monday? (Yes, that’s a rhetorical question)
Michael Cole is getting crazy heat, second to only Vickie Guerrero. That’s not just because of Jerry Lawler; it’s because fans "believe" in the story being told. It’s easy to understand why too since there’s genuine emotions between the two. As much as the fans weren’t ready to see good ol’ J.R. leave the booth, Lawler wasn’t ready either. He rode Cole hard (sounds pretty sick, doesn’t it?) week in and week out for months before finally letting off of him. When your legend announce partner is basically telling the world you suck, it’s easy to believe.
From what I’ve heard, Cole is kind of an odd duck. A loner. An introvert. This has been a while though and maybe that’s changed. I do know first-hand that the wrestling industry is competitive – right down to its very core. That means that yes, even the announcers stick together and group off from one another.
Just picture it. The conversations at the late night bar, Michael Cole and Josh Matthews whispering their sweet, sweet secrets about the other announcers, Striker and Grisham looking over their shoulders to see if the others can hear what they’re saying. Sounds a bit like junior high all over again, doesn’t it? But I’m positive it happens.
Michael Cole was the victim of bad timing. But kudos to Vince McMahon for finally making the switch. There was never going to be a "good" time to replace Jim Ross. Even more, kudos to Michael Cole for stepping up, taking the shots (figuratively and literally, more than likely) and slapping the fans right back with persistence, confidence and hard work.
He slapped us so hard that we ended up liking it. We like it so much that we’re actually looking forward to paying $60 (or however much it is these days) for WrestleMania 27, in part to watch him get what he deserves from the King.
Michael Cole will never be Jim Ross. Period. But he doesn’t have to be. He just needs to be good enough to keep fans from missing J.R. every time they hear his voice.
And he is.