It has been a few weeks since Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a frightening heart attack while commentating during Monday Night RAW, but luckily he is expected to make a full recovery. When King does return to the announce table, however, the WWE should use it as an opportunity to make a change.
In Lawler's absence, John "Bradshaw" Layfield filled in at Night of Champions, but on the ensuing RAW, there was a three-man booth with JBL, Michael Cole and Jim Ross. It seemed to work well as the three of them all brought something unique to the table, and each filled a role throughout the telecast.
JBL has several outside ventures to attend to, so his presence was only temporary, but Ross was in King's chair once again on Monday alongside Cole. Perhaps Good Ol' JR isn't quite as crisp as he used to be when it comes to calling matches, but his knowledge is vast and I believe he deserves to have a regular spot.
With that said, putting Cole, King and Ross together on a regular basis would really strengthen RAW's commentary moving forward. Now that Cole is back to being an impartial announcer, he is tolerable and even solid on play-by-play. Ross is a play-by-play man by trade, but he is more than knowledgeable enough to do color, while Lawler brings the entertainment factor to the table.
All of them have a ton of experience, and since they're all essentially faces, the broadcast should be quite pleasant. I don't have a problem with a little conflict on commentary when done correctly a la Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, but Cole came on way too strong when he was playing the heel role.
Another reason to go with the three-man booth is to ease Lawler back into action. He said on Monday during his interview with Cole that he would be back on RAW as soon as his doctors clear him, but it's uncertain when that might be. When the time does come for him to return, though, it would be smart to take some of the pressure off him.
What type of announcing situation would you like to see on RAW?
With Ross acting as a buffer, Lawler could contribute as needed but not necessarily take on the full workload he has grown accustomed to. That doesn't mean that Lawler couldn't handle it—since I'm not entirely sure how the recovery is going to affect him—but it's best to err on the side of caution.
Truth be told, I've been searching for an excuse for Ross to be put back on full-time commentary for quite some time. JR does commentary for NXT, so he is obviously still interested in calling matches, and I have little doubt that he would jump at the chance to join the team if that opportunity should arise.
The way Ross was phased out always left a bad taste in my mouth because he was still the best announcer at the time and can more than hold his own now. Ross obviously keeps up with the product based on his in-depth discussions on his blog, so you simply couldn't ask for a better third wheel to throw into the mix.
While the best announce booths over the course of wrestling history have normally involved two people, I believe that Cole, Lawler and Ross could make it work on RAW. I wouldn't say that it's an absolute necessity, but in the interest of making things easier and more comfortable for King, it is the most practical option at this point.