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Michael Cole’s call made SmackDown’s great Sami/KO reunion even better

My partner-in-blog Geno Mrosko’s done his usual bang-up job explaining how great the latest twists and turns in The Bloodline saga were on SmackDown last night (Mar. 17). That led to the long-anticipated reunion of Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, as Zayn (and Cody Rhodes) finally convinced KO to join the fight to bring down Roman Reigns and The Usos at WrestleMania 39.

I share Geno’s opinion that pretty much everything about the final scene was perfect, so I won’t rehash the build-up to the hug here. What I did want to single out was Michael Cole’s call, which I would add to the list of perfect things in that main event segment.

Many have pointed out that Cole is perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Vince McMahon no longer being a hands-on producer of WWE weekly television. Without the boss in his ear, the longtime “Voice of WWE” has been able to prove he can do a lot more than just parrot company-approved vocabulary. He’s looser, able to show his personality, and therefore to add more to the action he’s calling.

There’s rarely been a better example than last night.

For one thing, Cole lets the scene play out. After calling Owens’ pop-up powerbomb to Jey Uso, neither Cole nor partner Wade Barrett say anything for about a minute. They let Owens, Zayn and the crowd tell the story.

Once we’ve seen Rhodes nod his approval and KO’s theme kicks in, Cole gets back to work. He sounds as relieved and enthused as many of us were by the reunion. He channeled that into his closing lines, which put a bow around what we just watched in a way that evoked the long history between KO & Sami while still appealing to universal human emotions and experience.

“Truly great friends are hard to find. They’re difficult to leave, and they’re impossible to forget. Kevin Owens did not forget — friendship is not an accident.

“KO and Sami are back!”

Is it a little cliché? Sure. You can find those lines on many a Pinterest. But the sentiment WWE’s aiming to convey here isn’t some esoteric concept.

What it is is a great pro wrestling call, exactly what was needed for a great pro wrestling angle. It’s also one we should be hearing in highlight packages for years to come.

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