I've come to terms with the heat I'll receive after posting this.
I've been one of the only writers I know to consistently defend Michael Cole's work and I'll continue to do so. I seriously believe his good qualities outweigh the bad ones. It's a fine line WWE often crosses, but when they find that happy medium with Cole's heel persona, I think it's effective.
Cole's work on Smackdown Friday with AJ was entertaining. It wasn't "too much". It also continued the interesting dynamic between Cole and Bryan now that both are heels. I've been expecting Cole to eventually begin showing favoritism toward the World Heavyweight Champion, but I'm glad they've waited a bit. It wouldn't have made sense for Cole to change his tune too early.
It seems they might be starting that process now, however. Direct Cole's heat toward AJ over Bryan, so when Bryan ends up turning on his "girlfriend", Cole can jump on the bandwagon then. To what degree is unknown, but I definitely believe it happens eventually.
The biggest issue I have with fans' criticism toward Cole is this idea that he lacks passion. I couldn't disagree more. I think he's very passionate about his work — IN WRESTLING — and it rains through every performance.
Hate him for reportedly being a complete jackass in real life, but that's probably the reason I feel he's so good at imitating that on camera. It's easy.