Michael Cole has become THE VOICE of WWE and is probably the best announcer in the business

How’s it going folks? Good I hope. I have felt very inspired to write this piece and it feels almost as if a lightbulb appeared over my head as I watched SummerSlam this past weekend.

The topic of today’s article is not just a debate BUT it is strictly my opinion. I am not asking any of you to agree with my thoughts about it but I am always happy to also read your thoughts as to why you may disagree, no hard feelings.

Over the last few years the plaudits and the praise for this man have come full circle and it is somewhat surprising to read or hear so much positivity surrounding his work. Better late than never? Absolutely.

The man in question is Michael Cole.

Michael Cole is renowned as a journalist and has been on assignment for so many of the world’s most important moments, notably the war in Yugoslavian Civil War in 1993. It was somewhat surprising to read that, especially after he wound up in the world of professional wrestling by joining the then World Wrestling Federation in 1997.

He came to the Federation as a replacement for the outgoing Todd Pettengill and by late 1997 he was one of RAW’s three announcers. NOW the more I think this, the more I perhaps hate myself for thinking out loud.

At a time where you had a seasoned veteran in Jim Ross around, you know he was going to be preferred over Cole. His experience and the fact that he had been around professional wrestling for X amount of years at that point was enough for Good Ol’ JR to be in the hot seat and be the voice of the company. His voice is rightfully plastered all over some of the biggest moments of the business and definitely was all about it being in the right place at the right time. His chemistry with The King Jerry Lawler was paramount to the success of the company. Where did this leave Michael Cole? Well I dare say lost in the shuffle. He wasn’t exactly JR and I admit that very honestly and due to JR’s unfortunate battle with Bell’s Palsy in 1998, all eyes and the pressure was on Cole to perhaps shadow or mirror JR’s enthusiasm.

It wasn’t till 1999 and the premiere of SmackDown that allowed Cole to elevate himself and to try and become a good announcer and I dare say, it worked. His initial broadcast partner was Jerry Lawler but after Lawler’s departure in February 2001, he would be joined by his Sunday Night Heat broadcast partner Tazz. I find their work very underrated, it was very comical at times but they got straight down to business when it mattered and it showed. One of my favourite moments of the duo involved WWE Hall of Famers The Bushwhackers being interviewed by Lilian Garcia at WrestleMania X-Seven on Sunday Night Heat. YouTube it and tell me that it wasn’t hilarious!

The Brand Split was also very favourable for Cole as he had more freedom to shine and to say the least he became the voice of SmackDown. When Tazz joined the relaunch of ECW’s broadcast team in 2006, he would find a sublime match in the now WWE Hall of Famer John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield. Almost six years after being exclusive to SmackDown, he was drafted to Monday Night RAW in the WWE Draft of 2008.

I dare say it was in 2010 where all eyes shifted to Cole and his heel run was without a doubt very enjoyable, he was a natural and he was able to push buttons and in the end get punished for it. Who could forget his heel work on the first season of NXT and his constant bashing of Daniel Bryan?! I also found his heel work especially his promos on Jerry Lawler leading and after their WrestleMania XXVII match very Andy Kaufman-like and it made for great TV.

I was always a Michael Cole fan but as a Journalist myself, I have to pinpoint the moment that enhanced my love for his work and for him as a professional. It was on the September 10th 2012 episode of Monday Night RAW in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Business as usual of course until The King had a heart attack LIVE on TV. The ever consummate professional, Cole delivered updates to the fans at home and cemented in my eyes his place in the WWE Hall of Fame. He quickly from there turned babyface and it was made more official upon The King’s return on the November 12th episode of Monday Night RAW.

Whilst many have come in to try and become The Voice of WWE, Michael Cole would dub himself the moniker during his heel run but the truth is, he wasn’t kidding and with his ever present enthusiasm, passion and work ethic, he has become THE VOICE and without a doubt, he is probably the best announcer in the business.

As I stated at the beginning of this article, you don’t have to agree with me, I am not even expecting you all to agree but these are my personal thoughts and I hope I am not the only one that feels this way.