Ask the WWE Universe who the most hated person in the WWE is and you will get many different answers. While those many different answers will show, it is almost a guarantee that one name will basically headline that list: Michael Cole.
Cole, who was largely an unnoticed play-by-play commentator for years, became a huge talking point in 2010 when he made one of the most surprising and affective turns in recent WWE history. It all began when WWE made one of the strangest and most painful decisions in the company's history and exchanged Cole for JR on the respective WWE brands.
Once Cole went live on Raw, he instantly drew venom. People hated him left and right for poor or annoying work, which slowly led to a heel turn based entirely on the fact that people could not stand Cole. Thanks to NXT and Daniel Bryan, coupled with the job of reading the emails of the Anonymous Raw GM, Cole went quickly from being the most hated commentator in WWE to embracing that hate.
To this day, people still hate Cole, but why do they hate him? The answer lies most simply in Cole's role. Cole is a play-by-play commentator. He is meant to simply put over the moves in the ring. When Cole began to fail to do this, it became increasingly more annoying.
On the other side, we have the color commentator who drives the flair of the contest. Simply put, the color commentator is there to add the emotion to the contest in their own way. This role is a much less defined role that usually lends itself to a character.
Typically, a heel commentator is a color commentator. Why? Because that works. You are allowed to be biased and emotionally persuasive as a character when you are adding color to the match. But as we see in Cole, it is hard to be a convincing heel play-by-play commentator. In fact, it may be impossible.
The reason why Cole comes off as so annoying is not because he is bad at what he does, but rather he simply is borrowing too many ideas from the heel color commentators. There is a reason for the separation. Just who is Cole borrowing from? Some of the best of all time.
The following may not all be inspirations for Cole's character, but they are the best of what he wants to be: a great heel color commentator. They are a testament to what Cole is not. These are the five greatest heel color commentators of all time.