A lot of changes were quickly evident shortly after Vince McMahon exited his day-to-day operational roles at WWE. Chief among them was that the proverbial shackles were off lead play-by-play voice Michael Cole.
SmackDown’s lead announcer, who many consider to be the voice of the company, was clearly looser and just seemed to be having more fun without Mr. McMahon “in his ear” during broadcasts. One of the people who pointed that out was Pat McAfee, Cole’s partner on Friday nights when he’s not on hiatus to do ESPN College GameDay on Saturday mornings.
With the show McAfee calls SmackDAHN in Indianapolis this week, Cole stopped by the FanDuel ThunderDome, aka the studio where Pat & the gang broadcast The Pat McAfee Show live five days a week. A fair amount of WWE was discussed while Cole hung out during the Nov. 10 episode, and when Pat asked how things have been while he’s been away, Cole said:
“Everything’s been great. It’s been a great change of scenery the past couple of months. Things are going wonderfully. Ratings have been good, stories have been great — it’s a different world.”
Pat wanted to clarify what’s been different, and Cole responded:
“Vince McMahon... I worked under Vince for 25 years, and I knew nothing else. He was a second dad in many ways. I grew up in the company. It was a shock when it [Vince’s resignation/retirement] first happened, and I think we’ve all settled in and realized, ‘Hey, the show must go on,’ is what Vince always said. The show’s going on, we’re doing well, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
This brief conversation wrapped with what could have been a joke about McMahon’s reputation for screaming into the production microphones, when McAfee asked, “How’s your hearing? Come back at all?” Cole’s discussed in previous visits to Pat’s show and elsewhere how he’s at approximately 65% hearing loss and needs special earpieces as a result. He’s never blamed it on Vince yelling, but...
Anyway, Cole also revealed during his appearance that he’s hoping to have McAfee back at the commentary desk by January (Pat didn’t confirm that though). He also disrespected legendary Pittsburgh meteorologist Joe DeNardo, but that probably only matters to yinzers like McAfee and me who grew up watching Joe Say It Would on WTAE news...
If you miss Cole and Pat cutting it up, they were together throughout today’s edition of The Pat McAfee Show. Watch it here.