Love him or hate him—though probably hate him—Michael Cole has made a name for himself by being a despicable heel in the WWE. Throughout the past couple of years Cole has been force-fed down the throats of WWE fans in ridiculous storylines—usually at the expense of Jim Ross. But despite his gimmick, last night after it was announced that Jerry Lawler had some health complications (recently announced to be a heart attack via CNN.com) Michael Cole showed his true colors—as a dedicated journalist and true friend.
Holding back his tears, a visibly broken Michael Cole prefaced his announcement claiming that the news he was about to give were not "part of [the night's] entertainment." Shocked, the 15-year WWE veteran announced that Jerry Lawler had collapsed—his face told the entire story.
Despite being billed as rivals week after week, it is clear that Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are in fact close friends in the real world. Cole's concern for his longtime broadcasting partner became noticeable as he earnestly called upon fans to pray for "the King's" health.
In a bold decision, Michael Cole relayed the news that out of respect for Jerry Lawler the announce team would be going off the air, thus leaving the remaining matches of the night without commentary.
Silent, except for the occasional thud against the mat, Raw continued with its broadcast—the episode was surreal.
In a stranger-than-fiction turn of events, CM Punk demanded (as part of a storyline) the respect of the WWE Universe and his fellow WWE Superstars, but in reality the theme of respect was carried out throughout the night through the actions of Michael Cole, who not only showed a great amount of respect for Jerry Lawler, but also earned it in the process—eerily fulfilling the words earlier said by the King himself, "you have to show respect to earn respect."