Nick: I say just let him go back to being a straight play-by-play guy. I don’t buy him as a heel. In fact, and I think this is the reason why most people have never liked Michael Cole, I don’t buy him as an announcer period. He has no passion for his job and it’s apparent in his announcing. He goes through the motions, spitting lines that you can really tell are being fed to him or written. Listen to him try and sell the WWE Studios movie trailers. You can honestly tell he’s never seen any of the movies that he claims are "so good." Listen to him call "The Chaperone" this year’s "field trip comedy." He’s reading it off a non-existent teleprompter. It completely lacks passion. Cole is the Ron Burgundy of wrestling announcing.
People loved Jim Ross because whether or not he saw the movies, he made you believe he did. He made you believe that the current WWE product was must-see, and he made you believe that he was genuinely into and affected by the product. So I think the reason why there are so many mixed feelings about Cole’s current "persona" is because people don’t dislike Cole because he’s a "heel," they dislike him because he simply isn’t good at his job. Which is a shame because I’m sure there are thousands of talents out there who’d pour their own real passion into doing what Cole gets to do.
Chris: Well, don’t sugarcoat it brotha! While I can see where you’d come to that conclusion, I really don’t agree. I think Cole does have passion for the business and it comes through every week. His skill level isn’t where it should be yet, but come on, anyone taking the place of Jim Ross at the time Cole did simply didn’t have a chance to win fans over. J.R. wasn’t ready to give up announcing; therefore, the fans weren’t ready to see him go.
Back to the original point about Jerry Lawler, why is everyone dismissing the idea of him actually winning the title at Elimination Chamber? Remember: not only has Lawler not wrestled a match at WrestleMania; he hasn’t won a WWE Championship either. There is plenty of time between this pay per view and ‘Mania for Lawler to drop the title back to Miz (24-hour title run, perhaps?), so it’s not far-fetched to assume "The King" wins this one. Which, I guess would end up answering your first question. How could the WWE turn this predictability into spontaneity and excitement?
Have Lawler win! Hell, it can’t possibly hurt the Miz any further than they already have, right?
Nick: Ya that’s the exact plan I can imagine to legitimize this feud. The unpredictable nature of the Elimination Chamber PPV would lend itself to Lawler winning the title, and honestly, it would be very easy for WWE to pull off. We know that the company is building to Lawler/Cole and Miz/Cena at WrestleMania, so with the mix of Alex Riley, The Miz, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Cena all involved in some way during the title match at Elimination Chamber, WWE could pull off a title switch without burying The Miz.
This brings us to the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. If WWE ran a title switch during that match too, and had Ziggler come out on top, then the February PPV could really end dramatically. This would then set up a Triple Threat match at ‘Mania involving Ziggler, Edge and Del Rio. Like you said Chris, Lawler can easily drop the title back to Miz a week after he wins, and the current WrestleMania plans are still very much intact.
Chris: Regardless of the Miz/Lawler outcome at Elimination Chamber, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to give Ziggler the strap. If WWE plans on establishing him as a top star, I don’t see how they can do it anytime soon if he loses "yet another" title match. And what would his role in ‘Mania be if it’s not in the Heavyweight Championship match? I think John Cena is practically a lock at this point to regain the WWE title at ‘Mania, so rather than having multiple title changes in the course of a month and a half, let Ziggler retain at ‘Mania in a triple-threat with Del Rio and Edge. Del Rio still has plenty of time to get over before he wins his first Championship and Edge can go on to continue giving younger stars a rub before he retires.
The predictable and more likely route is for Miz and Edge both to retain at Elimination Chamber and go on to face Cena and Del Rio, respectively (with the possibility of Ziggler still being thrown into the latter match). However, it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility for one or both of the titles to change hands in two weeks at the ppv. The fact that neither titles changed hands at the Rumble is reason enough to assume it’s possible.
Do you have thoughts on this discussion? Send them to Chris by emailing WZChrisCash@yahoo.com and Nick at VOWNick@gmail.com!
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