A week hasn't gone by in the last year where a wrestling fan tells me how annoyed they are with Michael Cole. I can't count the amount of times I have heard wrestling fans say how much they would love to meet and talk with Vince McMahon. The irony of it all, what you get annoyed by courtesy of Cole, is primarily the opinions of McMahon.
Michael Cole is labeled as the voice of WWE but he is very much the voice of Vince McMahon.
If you have ever spent anytime inside or around WWE, it doesn't take long for you to figure out that Vince is very critical of his announcers. Jerry Lawler gets a pass. Perhaps it is because Vince worked with Lawler for so long on commentary. It could be that Lawler has been very loyal to WWE with only one brief departure in 2001, stemming from personal issues. King has been there since 1993 and remained relevant to the audience. Coincidence or not, Lawler is also the one announcer who could kick Vince's ass.
Everybody else though, past or present is fair game. Josh Matthews, Scott Stanford, Matt Striker, Jack Korpela, Todd Grisham, Jonathan Coachman and Jim Ross can all go to hell. Booker T is another unique case. McMahon doesn't understand Booker, but knows he is different and ridiculous which has some odd appeal. Don't think for a minute that Booker isn't fair game and subject to being made fun of on the air.
When Michael Cole makes jokes of Booker T's commentary and says something like
“Now that Hornswoggle can speak, he sounds better than Booker.”
Who do you think thought up that line? It wasn't Michael Cole.
Think about what Michael Cole does. He pushes the Twitter agenda as if every tweet is money in his pocket. Cole doesn't care that much about Twitter. Cole has an account he tweets from once a week on. He speaks as if it is the most important thing because to the voice in his ear, it is. “Anal Bleeding” trending is a highlight of the night.
Cole bashes the internet and how people think Daniel Bryan is a star because he is an Internet darling. I am not saying Cole is a regular lover of the internet but his aggressive taunts at the Internet's validity is coming from a higher power and not from his heart.
Michael Cole wasn't suppose to be a heel for this long. When that ship first set sail, the payoff for it all was going to be WrestleMania 27. Cole use to be just another announcer that Vince didn't like, but McMahon realized what he had with the Cole character. He realized that he had a heel that gets great heat from the audience and that Cole could be the voice of what Vince McMahon thinks.
The Jim Ross antics are the most obvious examples of Michael Cole's role. He does the verbal dirty work. Cole does the dirty work and he doesn't mind doing it. You can't blame or be mad at him. He might be a pain in the ear to listen to and a little too cocky for your taste to be around in person, but he is doing what is best for his career as a WWE employee. Yes, he is an employee unlike the wrestlers.
He spent more than 10 years with the company and he was just another announcer, but now he has security. He has a son that works for the company, he has followers who do dirty work for him because they recognize it could help their announcing career and he is as popular as he has ever been with the audience. Oh and let's not forget the handsome payday. No matter how much any of you who love the internet or Jim Ross, you would be saying the same things if it meant a laugh and approval from Vinnie Mac.
For two hours on Monday and Tuesday nights Cole is making good money while appeasing the boss. However, making the boss happy and a speculated $400,000 yearly salary, can't buy total happiness. Cole previously worked in news as a legitimate reporter. He is proud of his journalism background. Have you ever flown on a plane with him or seen Cole outside of the commentators booth? He doesn't look happy or have many happy interactions with co-workers. I guess being an award winning news journalist turned verbal hitman can take a toll on anyones career morale.
Chair Shot Reality fans have given me the compliment several times over of how they wish I was on commentary for WWE. I appreciate the kind intentions behind those comments but if it was me, you would probably hate me even more. You would hate me because I use to be the guy that you enjoyed on CSR but now am the guy you hate on RAW or Smackdown. I would have no choice. If you want to keep that headset and chair, you gotta do the verbal dirty work.