Michael Cole can be, as he and his WWE announce partners have said about many a Superstar, polarizing.
But whether you love him, hate him, or have just learned to tune him out, you can’t deny the man has been a constant for pro wrestling fans over the last quarter century or so. He’s provided continuity on shows where continuity isn’t a strong suit, and provided more than a few memorable moments along the way.
Cole was talking about that history, and one of those moments (his ecstatic call of John Cena’s arrival at the end of Money in the Bank last weekend), with his SmackDown broadcast partner Pat McAfee on McAfee’s daily sports talk show Monday. While they chatted, Cole provided what I think it a fair assessment of where he ranks with the other “voice of WWE”, current AEW announcer Jim Ross.
“At the end of the day, listen - I’ve busted my ass for 25 years in this business, and nobody can ever take that away from me. I may not be the greatest of all time, I honestly and will truly say that when it comes to emotion, Jim Ross is the greatest ever in this business. I think I’m the greatest ever when it comes to running a show, running traffic.”
I’ll accept that evaluation. You try to do what Cole does on a weekly basis, period. Then imagine doing it with a billionaire making fun of you while you try to do it.
Cole said he got a lot of positive feedback about the July 18 PPV, and he & McAfee even got a standing ovation when they left Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. That was unusual: “usually I walk out of the building and it’s like, ‘You’re a piece of shit, you suck, go home, you look like an idiot’.” Good and bad, though, it’s all part of the gig, and Cole loves it:
“But no matter what you think about me, listen - that’s your opinion, that’s the beauty of this business, that’s the beauty of wrestling. You can love people, you can hate people, but you’re never gonna be able to take away the fact that I’ve worked at this for 25 years... and I’ve literally missed two television shows in 25 years. To me, that’s a badge of honor... It’s a grind, but hey, it is what it is and I love it. I love what I do.”
Cole also praised McAfee and what he’s brought to not only SmackDown, but Cole’s outlook on the job he loves.
The reason I can do what I do on #SmackDAHN is because of just how damn good @MichaelCole is..— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) July 19, 2021
I'm incredibly lucky to get to work with an absolute LEGEND like him #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/SRtuYyM0iO
Definitely agree on that.
What do you think of Michael Cole’s self-assessment?