WWE Commentator Leaving TV?

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by Jack-Hammer, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Jack-Hammer

    Staff Member Moderator

    Mar 26, 2009
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    There's a report via PWInsider.com that states Michael Cole is highly interested in moving into a backstage role off camera. Cole reportedly handles some aspects of WWE production and works with up & coming announcers, with Nigel McGuinness being his latest project. The report doesn't state when Cole will transfer to a backstage role full time, just that there's really a lot of talk about it.

    Now if this is true, nobody should blow their load just yet because whomever would step into Cole's spot on Raw would still have Vince McMahon or Kevin Dunn screaming instructions to them through his/her headset. You know, like to ignore little things like heatedly calling out heels on their heelish behavior like babyface commentators are supposed to do.
  2. @smarkmouth

    @smarkmouth Friendly Neighborhood

    Jul 21, 2010
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    If true, I'd actually be a bit disappointed. I've long been a proponent that Cole is great, but as Jack suggests, it's the job description that's ****. I'd love to see Cole used sparingly, with appearances at special programming like the UK tournament, where he isn't forced to shill everything but the match happening.
  3. Navi

    Navi With the safety off!!

    Apr 15, 2010
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    That's very interesting because on Talking Smack a few minutes ago, Jerry the King Lawler was on. Renee Young mentioned that Lawler would be calling the Royal Rumble. Now he hasn't called a PPV in a couple of months now. Also with Tom Philips joining SD Live, I wonder if JBL will be moved again to RAW or maybe Mauro. Would be nice to see Graves take a more active role, and bring McGuinness in to do 205 Live.
  4. No Count Pup

    No Count Pup Just call on me brother

    Aug 1, 2007
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    It would be unfortunate for Michael Cole to leave the commentary booth. He has made huge strides over the years. Even though Cole is not the greatest announcer in wrestling history he fits perfectly in the modern era. Vince McMahon for many years juggled wrestling commentary with backstage management. Eric Bischoff was the president of WCW when he called the action for Monday Nitro. Jim Ross was the head of talent relations when he sat alongside Jerry Lawler on Raw.

    In the case of McMahon and Ross, they stuck around on commentary until their successors were ready. There is no heir apparent to Michael Cole's seat today. Some may argue Mauro Ranallo is the next man up. Ranallo is good but he can't carry a crew like Michael Cole can. Ranallo has not proven that he's ready to be the "voice of WWE."

    Michael Cole may do marvelous work backstage. He may even make for an awesome on-screen commissioner. But I think WWE needs him on commentary more than anywhere else.
  5. No Count Pup

    No Count Pup Just call on me brother

    Aug 1, 2007
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    Michael Cole showed a knack for scouting during the ESPN NXT special. He would fair exceedingly well at working with up and coming wrestlers on character development. Cole has been in WWE for almost twenty years. He has seen experiments yield great success, and he has also seen numerous flops. I have no doubt Cole would succeed in any role WWE puts him in, I just feel WWE as a TV product needs Michael Cole on camera calling the matches.
  6. The Life Of Pablo Ren

    The Life Of Pablo Ren I know my name/avi/sig don't match.

    Jan 16, 2013
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    The wheels may already have been set in motion with the call-up of Tom Phillips to the Smackdown commentary team. There HAD to heave been a reason as to why they would have a 4 man booth, maybe it was to get Tom Phillips some main show experience.

    Moving JBL back over to RAW wouldn't make much sense, you would essentially then have 3 color guys, or 2 color guys and a Byron Saxton... whatever he is. I'm sure Corey could handle the play by play if he had to, but I'd much rather have him in his current role.

    You're not gonna move Otunga because... well... he's useless.

    That leaves either Mauro and Tom Phillips. Mauro is obviously the more experienced commentator of the two but there's speculation on his future as well. There are rumors that say after his current contract expires, he's gonna go back to boxing. You would think that whoever they have replacing Cole, they would want them there for the long term.

    That only leaves Tom. Now personally, I don't think that he has the voice to be THE voice of RAW. It's not very distinct, but that could be said for the majority of the current commentators, as much as I like Graves, sometimes I can't tell if it's him or Byron talking. BUT regardless of that, because of his inexperience it'll be very easy for WWE to turn him into the commentator that they want, whereas Mauro would be a lot harder to contain and control.

    As much as Cole can irk me sometimes, I think I'd take him over the successors that I just mentioned, neither of them are really a good fit. If I had to place money on it though, I'd say it's gonna be Tom Phillips and based on the call-up to Smackdown, I wouldn't be surprised if it happens pretty soon, maybe right after WrestleMania.
  7. The Perfect Max

    The Perfect Max I Am Jericho

    Feb 17, 2011
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    I think ultimately, whomever replaces Michael Cole, is subject to the same heat from the audience no matter what. That's just a matter of job description, as above posts have suggested. I'm a little surprised that Cole is wanting to move job roles considering this has been his primary role now for well over 10 years, maybe even closer to 20, I'm not really sure. Perhaps that is a good enough reason.

    Michael Cole and Tazz was always a great combination to me. They were different to how Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler functioned on Raw, but I liked it. Hell, I really enjoyed Cole and JBL back in their little run around 2007. I don't think the whole thing with The Miz and Lawler really helped his case much, but you can't deny that he has done a damn fine job with what he has been given. It's noticeable that when he calls special events with no input, he's so much better.

    I'll be interested to see who WWE thinks can take his role. Quite frankly, the commentary team on WWE programming is shocking at the moment. It's over saturated and with the likes of David Otunga and Byron Saxton hanging around, I really have to question what they are thinking sometimes. It's difficult to listen to. And not just because of what they are saying, but the delivery. It can be quite poor. Michael Cole stands out in a positive way, as does Mauro, but as above posts have said, I'm unsure if he can take that lead on SmackDown. Just my opinions.

    Regardless, good luck to Cole in whatever he does. Let's hope whoever is next is good.
  8. wrestlingmasters55

    wrestlingmasters55 Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2011
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    You kinda heard in Cole's voice that he doesn'T really cares anymore about doing play by play on Raw and he'S just doing this because they don'T have anybody else ready to do his job on the flagship show. But just like JR before him, the guy has paid his dues as a play by play guy and he did one hell of a job considering the number of plugs that vince was forcing him to do every single week. He deserve to have a less stressful job backstage and i hope he gets it.

    Has for who i would have replace him, i think mauro ranallo could do a great job a Raw with Graves and Saxton. You would need an explanation as to why shane and bryan let mauro go to Raw but that could be explain the same way they did it when they move cole and JR by having him be traded to raw when they do the next draft. And you could easily put Tom Phillips in mauro's place on smackdown because he'S a great play by play guy but they really don'T want to give him a chance to prove it since he'S stuck doing main event and nxt and being the worthless fouth guy on the smackdown announce team.

    In the end Cole as done pretty much all he could do as a play by play guy and got criticize more then any other play by play guy in history by the fans that hated the fact that he took J.R. Spot. He deserve to get a break from this and i really hope that after wrestlemania, he'S able to move on and get a job backstage like he wants.
  9. The Gribbler

    The Gribbler Gribble me this, Gribble me that...

    Aug 12, 2009
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    There is no way we could ever be that lucky. Something the fans might actually want? Far more likely that it now becomes the Michael Cole power hour and he single handedly commentates all WWE content.

    No, joking. Micheal is fine when he isn't playing a heel and I think some fresh blood in the booth could be a really positive thing.

    Just My Opinion.
  10. Vanilla Midget

    Vanilla Midget Registered Suplex Offender

    Apr 9, 2014
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    Michael Cole had the difficult task of being the guy to follow Jim Ross. That in of itself already will put scrutiny on you. Follow that up with a company mandate to have commentary fill other roles than calling the action and telling the story, and you have a recipe for hate.

    Cole had the distinction of being the guy who was forced to oversee the introduction of endless social media plugging, endless selling of the WWE Network (get your free month now, only $9.99/mo after, eh?), and the decision to have commentary bicker amongst themselves as WWE on whole wanted to be known for entertainment over wrestling.

    Cole's heel turn was another example of something forced during his days on commentary. It was entertaining in spurts but once he was a focus of Raw, it became overexposed.

    Michael Cole is good commentator when allowed to call the action. Check out The Beast in the East commentary or even the recent WWE UK title tourney. When he's not being screamed at to plug Twitter or $9.99, there's good that comes from him.

    As others have said, the job itself frustrating and he had a tough act to follow (the GOAT that is JR). The Tom Phillips fourth man on Smackdown makes a lot more sense now. Perhaps they're introducing the voice now, so when the time comes they move either Tom or Mauro to Raw. I doubt they start a whole new commentator on Raw.

    I also doubt this happens any time soon. Not until at least past WrestleMania. Giving up the commentary seat on Raw isn't an easy thing. If anything a transition suggests that it could occur over the next several years. JR left commentary in his 50s, so did Gorilla. Cole is 48, so I'd say a transition means the next two to five years at the earliest. Crazier things have happened though.
  11. BestSportsEntertainer

    BestSportsEntertainer I Don't Need No User Title

    Jun 29, 2015
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    I used to really dislike Michael Cole, but now I feel like he gets too much hate. This may sound ridiculous, but he has a lot on him. Vince is probably screaming in his ear every five minutes, demanding him to say the things we ridicule him for saying. He also had to follow up Jim Ross, the best of all time. He had a lot of pressure on him. I wish Vince would let commentators (and wrestler) be themselves and not try to control everything. Michael Cole's commentary at the Best in the East network special was great. He was allowed to call the match and not forced to plug the Network or Twitter every five minutes.

    I can certainly understand Cole wanting to transition to a backstage role. If he does, the question becomes who replaces him. I'm not really sure honestly. I would keep Mauro and JBL on SD as they have done a great job since the draft. As I said earlier, it's not going to be an easy job to take over, especially considering how much the play-by-play commentator is expected to do and say. Tom Phillips probably isn't ready. I don't see this happening for another two-three years.
  12. RedRegan1005

    RedRegan1005 Leading A Revolution

    May 19, 2013
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    Maybe that's why WWE keeps cramming more guys on the commentary teams in hopes to find somebody who can eventually fill Coles spot. Because the booths are way too crowded. Three is the max, and at times doesn't work for me. Now they have four on Smackdown for some crazy reason. With Tom Phillips seemingly only there to transition from one thing to the next. Its just seems weird. And on top of that they've started paying to have Austin Aries come to raw just for whatever ten minute cruiser weight segment they throw on the show.

    Despite my negative opinions on some of Coles work on commentary I'm forced to admit that if he was to up and leave the booth tomorrow it would leave WWE with a huge hole to fill. They really don't have anybody who could step in as the go to play by play commentator. Mauro Ranallo is great and I really like the way his commentary adds a more legit sports feel to the show. But if he went to raw then you would have that hole on Smackdown, and with the Brand split It seems important to have two grade A guys leading the commentary team on each show. The best new guy to me is Corey Graves, but as the heelish color commentator not the lead play by play guy.

    In short, WWE has much more talent right now in former wrestlers/ color commentators. But very few options, only one in my opinion, when in comes to solid play by play guys who can be the "Voice of the WWE".

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