Wednesday, September 22, 2010


What has happened to this man?

Photo courtesy of this guy's website

Has it been the years and years of verbal and physical abuse from both fans and wrestlers? Or the years and years of witnessing baffling events unfold before his very eyes? Maybe it's all of the telekinetic mental vibes of rage I sent him whenever he replaced JR on RAW when I was twelve (I sent a lot of rage vibes). Whatever it is, Michael Cole has officially gone postal.

And I don't even mean just in kayfabe. Sure, he's lost his marbles on NXT - but that's the most entertaining thing he's done in his entire career. I'm more talking about the two sides of his ever-evolving character.

How can the same guy absolutely derail one show and make another show completely unmissable? Not only that, but how can he do that by bouncing back and forth between heel and babyface behaviour? I don't know, but Michael Cole is doing it.

On NXT, he is a complete and utter genius. He's quick, clever and actually biting with his commentary. All of this started with his burial of Daniel Bryan on the first season of the show, that gave that entire season a level of emotion that wouldn't have been there without him. But on RAW, flip on that bipolar switch because Cole is a mess. He's confusing, constantly babbling and inconsistent. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to who he hates, likes or gives a shit about, and his commentary detracts from matches more than it adds.

With NXT, Cole's direction is clear. He began as the regular old company man he is, getting his back up when everybody starts talking about an "internet darling," a man who's made his name on the independent scene. This of course makes sense, because Michael Cole will defend the WWE to it's death, and this Daniel Bryan guy hasn't done squat until he does it in the WWE. Now, after being subject to another season featuring an "internet darling" in season two, Cole is watching the third season of NXT flush down the toilet, and he snaps. It all makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is the guy that we see on Monday nights. Cole is forced to continue this same character on a show that requires him to do more than just hate on everything. He needs to promote RAW, it's wrestlers and the WWE in general. But now he's also weaving in this character that buries the Hart Dynasty, hates "What's Up?!" but still gets behind John Cena and Randy Orton.

There is serious conflict in the 2010 Michael Cole - both in the quality of commentary he produces, and conflict within the character himself. Something needs to be done. I don't know what that is.

What I do know is that the little bit we got to see of Michael Cole in a feud all on his own was certainly special. The way he cut down Daniel Bryan ("because losers have no HEART!") was stellar. So if we were to see Cole as a manager (or even just hanging out with Miz and Alex Riley), it would be phenomenal. It would cure us of the seriously frustrating commentary on RAW, and would give us a character that the WWE Universe is already conditioned to hate. Whether there is someone ready to take his place at the announce table on Mondays is a whole other question, but if Cole were to step out to really embrace this new, outspoken character, I think we'd have something far better than what he's doing on RAW right now.

Maybe, to go full heel, he'll go back to the frosted tips and round goatee.

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