Michael Cole has some of the best mic skills in the industry, because that’s his job. That’s his only job. The man is a professional journalist, has been employed by the WWE since the late 90s, and has worked closely with the likes of Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, Kevin Kelly, and Jim Ross. He knows the business and he knows how to call a match. He’s been around longer than most of the guys in the business right now, and WWE has been able to call upon him to fill a spot they needed to fill. Now, my stomach is churning right now because since last summer I’ve been the biggest anti-Cole spokesperson I know. I believe I even commented in the forums at one point about how he was the worst thing about the WWE. This is why you keep your words soft and sweet, because I now have the humiliating task of eating everything I’ve said up to this point. But here’s what I’m really trying to get at…
How often does WWE stick to any one thing nowadays? How many short title reigns have we had that degrade the value of the major championships? How many pushes come out of nowhere and leave just as suddenly? Kofi Kingston had a major role against the villain Randy Orton during the prime of his heel push, only to get thrown back down the card and eventually moved to Smackdown. Jack Swagger won Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania and captured the World Title, only to lose it and get left behind to guys like Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. Instead of building new contenders that have proven themselves and legitimately earned their spots in the main event, WWE has propelled young superstars to the top at record breaking speeds. It’s sort of like taking them up in a plane, only to throw them out of it without a parachute.
But I applaud the WWE for the longevity of the Anonymous GM angle. They’ve really seen the whole thing through, and along with it the Miz as WWE Champion. They’ve taken a character that has been laughed at and left behind and made him a central focus on Raw for months (well, as central as you can really get with John Cena on the scene). They pushed a character because they thought he had potential, and they didn’t apologize for it. And now it looks as though the Miz may be headlining Wrestlemania in a match with John Cena for the WWE Championship.
Michael Cole may be annoying. He may even sacrifice great match-calling for his man-crush on the Miz. But in an age where the wrestlers don’t really wrestle, the play-by-play seems a lot less important as a result, and I’m more willing to accept Michael Cole’s ultra-heel character. It’s something different, and by the end of the year it’ll be done and we’ll all be complaining about something else. The Anonymous GM angle has effectively taken care of a staffing problem and allowed WWE to search around for a replacement at their own convenience. It has taken advantage of Michael Cole’s enormous potential for heal heat and redirected it all onto the Miz, who isn’t really interesting enough to support himself in a championship reign. And most importantly it has set up a platform for a future angle involving a real GM. You may argue that difference for the sake of difference isn’t what the WWE needs, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.
A word of caution however: they really need to figure out a single personality for the GM. They’ve teased so many different returns, favored heels, favored the faces, and at one point I think it both liked and hated the Nexus in a two week period. There is not a single person that could be revealed as the Anonymous GM that would have it all suddenly make sense. They will have to answer for their instability, if only to the IWC. But at this point, the GM is more a reflection of Cole than an authority figure, and when the actual man behind the mask is revealed I’m not sure if they’ll be cheered or hated as a result. The concept is a mix of lazy decision-making and genius problem-solving, and I honestly think it’s worked out pretty well. I’m willing to ride the angle until Wrestlemania, but any more than that and I might have to go back to hating Michael Cole with a passion.
I’d like to express my appreciation for the overwhelming response I’ve had to my debut column. I’ve had a lot of fun talking with all of you this week! Keep the emails coming!
Mike Killam is a writer exclusive to WrestleZone.com. You can email him at MikeKillam@gmail.com.
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