On the SummerSlam broadcast Saturday night, Michael Cole and Corey Graves had a brief exchange during Pat McAfee match with Happy Corbin. The absence of Vince McMahon wasn't mentioned, but the implication was clear.
Graves: I liked you better when you didn’t have an opinion.
Cole: That’s changed. A lot’s changed.
Reports have been around for years about what it's like to have Vince "in your ear", and it always sounded annoying at best. As a play-by-play announcer for WWE since 1998, Cole's listened to -- and probably been yelled at by -- McMahon more than anyone else in history.
So it figures he'd be an immediate beneficiary of shows without Vince sitting in Gorilla. His SmackDown commentary partner McAfee seemed to confirm that on his daily sports talk show today.
“He does seem to be a little bit more relaxed whenever we go into shows now. I don’t know, something must have happened. He’s just a little bit more... he seems like he’s a little bit more relaxed going in there.”
Cole isn’t the only person who’s probably feeling “more relaxed” on commentary these days. Graves and his regular Raw partners Jimmy Smith & Byron Saxton also seemed to be a little looser last weekend.
We’ll see if that continues with another Triple H-led Raw tonight, and how Cole & Pat Mac sound on Friday night.