From the first shows after Vince McMahon’s resignation from all of his jobs at WWE, you could sense there was something different about Michael Cole. SmackDown’s play-by-play announcer and the current “Voice of the WWE” was looser, more energetic, and just seemed to be having more fun.
It was so apparent, his partners Pat McAfee and Corey Graves made reference to it in their commentary. Even Cole alluded to it.
Now his former colleague Renee Paquette has joined the chorus. Paquette, who back when she went by Renee Young had her own struggles dealing with Vince McMahon’s aggressive micromanagement while she was part of the Raw announce team, talked about the changes she’s seen in WWE since Triple H took over creative and talent relations on her The Sessions podcast. Cole’s name came up multiple times:
“My takeaway from all of that is how happy I am for how many awesomely talented people that maybe didn’t get to be quite as talented as they could be due to restrictions and limitations and whatnot. Now we’re gonna get really great glimpses into how awesome some people can really be.
“Whether it’s Michael Cole doing his shit on commentary and being just as good as he actually is, to Killer Kross and Scarlett Bordeaux being brought back into WWE, to Bayley working with IYO SKY and working with Dakota Kai. Ronda Rousey is being booked properly. Shayna Baszler is being booked properly. Oh my God, what a relief...
“I’ve said this a million times and I’m just gonna reiterate how good [Cole] is. People have literally crapped on him for years and years and years. ‘We hate Michael Cole. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.’
“You guys don’t even know how good he is and what a regular Raw looks like for him and what SmackDown looks like for him. Whether he’s taking notes from the truck, whether Vince is talking to him in his ear, like that dude is in a pressure cooker every single show and he takes the brunt of it.
“But now to see him actually just show his talent and get to show his love of professional wrestling, and the fact that he has been in this business for 25 plus years, and the depth of knowledge that he has in professional wrestling, it’s awesome. It makes me really happy to see him get to breathe and do his thing, but also to see people being like ‘Oh shit, Cole is awesome.’
“It’s like, ‘Yeah, he is.’”
Agree with Paquette’s assessment? Let us know, and check out her rundown of the current wrestling lanscape on the latest edition of The Sessions here.
H/T WrestlingNews.co for transcription