Forward planning isn't one of WWE management's strong points at the moment. As Bryan Alvarez of f4wonline.com is reporting, the latest example of this was the postponement of the Michael Cole Challenge, whereby Jim Ross would take the loudmouth on in a gimmick match of his choosing for the right to win back his previously long-held lead WWE announcer position and banish Cole from Raw:
The JR segment was cut in part because the Muppets were contractually guaranteed to get all of their segments on the show. It wasn't a last minute decision, though, as his segment was eliminated before Raw went live. And unlike what Cole claimed, Ross was in the building.
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realise that time would be scarce on a show where they had to feature a dozen Muppets on top of forwarding all the storylines for the Survivor Series pay-per-view, so a side issue like this would be best waiting a week, but it doesn't seem like the WWE creative team worked this out for themselves until they started scripting out the show.
However, this creative mishap also had the handy benefit of pulling the rug out from underneath Good Ol' J.R. for the umpteenth time this year as Vince McMahon continues his version of Chinese water torture against a loyal employee that he just loves to hate, as Dave Meltzer discussed on his latest radio show. Not for the first time, it allowed Vince to script Cole to mock some of his past real-life medical ailments as the reasons for Ross' apparent no-show, one of which, diverticulitis, he himself has suffered from, but as he's such an alpha male, no-one has ever been allowed to make fun of him on TV for that. It also meant that Ross had an unnecessary trip to Atlanta this week and, as luck would have it, they're taping Raw next week in Liverpool, England, meaning Ross will miss his beloved weekend American football games and have to take a long transatlantic flight instead, which he probably won't be too happy about privately. Meltzer even speculated that Ross might even win the match, so McMahon could continue to get off from jerking him around at will. I suppose when you're a near billionaire, people let you get away with such petty minded cruelty.