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Michael Cole Compares His WWE Tenure To Network News Anchors: There’s A Trust Factor There

Michael Cole says he’s still on WWE TV because he not only wants to create some consistency, but he wants to build something for the next generation as well.

Michael Cole appeared on Thursday’s episode of The Pat McAfee Show and spoke about his tenure with WWE as well as some of his responsibilities in the company. Cole detailed his role and some of the variables that are presented, and McAfee noted that Cole still has to manage his own team and work with higher-ups to present it all, and it’s “a lot of shit” and like a management role. 

After joking that he wanted to move out of “middle-management,” Cole said that he loved the company and McAfee said his loyalty was noteworthy. 

“June will be 25 years on the air here, I want to make it 25 years because there’s not anybody, at least in our line of work,” Cole noted, “that’s been on the air 52 weeks a year for 25 straight years.”

McAfee joked that Cole’s a psychopath to enjoy it for that long, but Cole said it’s as much about the future and setting things up for the next tenured voice of WWE as it is giving back for all that he’s been given over the years.

“I want to set an example for the people that are just starting on the team, but WWE’s given me everything in my life. They have, they’ve given me everything in my life. I’ve put kids through college, my wife had a kidney transplant that was able to be taken care of because of this company, and I want to give back to the company everything that it gave to me. Also, when we have a young announcer like a Vic Joseph on NXT, or a Jimmy Smith on Monday Night RAW, or Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, all of those guys,” Cole explained, “I want to be able to give back to them a bit and help them along the way so that they can become the next generation of the great announcers in WWE history. There’s been very few that have been at the level that I’m at. There’s Vince McMahon and you had Gorilla Monsoon, you had Jim Ross and you had me, and now you’re looking for that next person that’s going to fit into that role.”

McAfee noted that Cole was specifically talking about play-by-play announcers and not color commentators, then Cole said he also aims to give the brand some consistency and talked about how that familiarity has been there in broadcast history.

“They also ask me too, ‘Why has Michael Cole been on the air for 25 years?’ and ‘Why was Jim Ross on the air for here for 20 years?’ And it goes back to the old adage of when network news was so prominent in our lives, the ‘60s, ’70s, ‘80s and the early ‘90s. You had the same network anchor every single night, whether it was [Tom] Brokaw or [Walter] Cronkite or Peter Jennings, and the reason that person was in that role every night is because — and you’ve got to remember too, back in the day, in the ‘70s and ‘80s, there were four channels, so you would sit down at night and put on ABC News, and there’s Peter Jennings. He would be there every single night for you, so you began to trust him and there was a trust factor there. It’s the same thing in what we do, there’s a trust factor. Whether or not you agree with Michael Cole or how he calls commentary, you know what Michael Cole is presenting, you can trust that,” he stated. “You can trust that he’s going to be able to handle the situation, no matter what happens, and it’s the same thing whether it’s Joe Buck on FOX. Joe gets a lot of flack, but I think he’s the best in the world at what he does, because he’s there each and every week.”

McAfee closed by saying it’s a comforting feeling as well as knowing you can execute your job at that level. 

Read More: Michael Cole: My Job Is To Direct Traffic, Tell Coherent Stories That Help Get The Superstars Over

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