During the latest edition of his “Grilling JR” podcast, Jim Ross commented on Michael Cole working as a heel announcer, facing Jerry Lawler at WrestleMania 27, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On WWE making Michael Cole a heel announcer: “I thought it was a philosophical mistake. You have to trust your play-by-play guy. The play-by-play guy is like the point guard of your broadcast team. It’s his job to get talent over, but he’s also to feed lines, scenarios, opportunities to the antagonist on the team. People have got to trust him. How can you trust a heel who lies or embellishes or exaggerates? Is he telling me the truth or is this part of his character? I think that’s kind of what that was. I think Michael got put in a very daunting situation, and truth be known, he wasn’t comfortable with it either. But that was the assignment.
“I’ll say this for Michael Cole, he works his ass off. He’s worked through a lot of hardships with his wife’s physical illness over the years. He’s a good family man. But he was in a position where Schiavone followed Solie. You can’t win it. I think Cole was in a scenario where he was following JR and The King, and it was tough on him. I thought philosophically, it was the shits. I don’t know if he’s ever gotten over it, and to this day, I don’t know if people fully trust him or not. I have a lot of respect for his work, and I like him. I think it was a mistake. It was Vince trying something different, and sometimes in his world, doing something different is always better.”
On Cole’s match with Jerry Lawler at WrestleMania 27: “It was too long. That killed it. You’re telling me that a Hall of Fame guy like Lawler can’t beat an announcer with his finish. That’s what they should’ve done. Overthought, overanalyzed because Vince had made this big investment in turning Michael Cole heel. The voice of reason, the lead play-by-play guy we need to trust and believe in was turned heel because of Vince and his quest and obsession to reinvent things that did not need reinvention. But 13 minutes, way too long. The DQ finish was weaker than a plateful of piss. It told me where Vince’s head was as far as Cole is concerned, and therefore I knew when I got the call on Monday morning to come back to RAW, I knew why. They’ve gotta get something back on Cole to get him made whole again after the DQ finish. The finish took away everything they’d built – both guys worked hard on this thing.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)