If you are like many WWE fans, you are probably puzzled by some of the direction of the recent story lines that we have been given over the recent months. What started off as a hot summer item with the "shoot" promo by CM Punk—and the subsequent buildup of his character—has taken its share of twists and turns over the last few months, and I really have no idea where they might be heading.
The one thing that is interesting about this new direction is that the person who was most hated by many in the WWE universe has been awfully quiet.
For the first part of the year, Michael Cole's character was built up to be a huge heel, even to the point where he was receiving the most heat each evening on television. As we watched him battle back and forth with Jerry Lawler (which lasted too long), his character slowly gained momentum as a legitimate heel. When he took the mic and addressed the live audience, you could feel the anger build in the arena as he proclaimed how good he was and what a wrestler he could become.
Thankfully, that angle ran its course—albeit about two months too long—and Michael Cole continued his role as lead announcer on WWE programming. While the return of Jim Ross was met with mass approval by the WWE universe, it did nothing for me. I wrote an article over the summer about why I did not think it was all that important for the business of WWE. The interesting thing is that when Cole continued his role as an announcer, the heel tendencies in him never left.
Following along closely to the commentary on Monday Night Raw, and you will hear Cole speak fondly of the characters that he loves and that we love to hate. Watch as the recently fired Miz did his usual routine, and you can hear (and see) the passion in his voice as he speaks glowingly about the Miz and how he would sing praises on Vicki Guerrero throughout her run on SmackDown and Raw.
Why do I say about all of this? I believe that Michael Cole is waiting in the weeds to play an important role in all of the shakeups that we have seen over the last month. Do I have any inside information that supports this theory? No, of course not. I've just noticed that over the last few weeks, he has maintained his heel persona, but has not been involved in too many of the issues dealing with the superstars of the WWE.
Look at last night, for example, as Mark Henry plowed his way through Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, but never approached Cole for any reason. Did Henry think that it was enough that he beat up Lawler and bullied Ross? Is Michael Cole going to be the guiding hand through this, and arrive at the right time to form his stable of men that wreak in the WWE, a la James J. Dillon and his role as manager of the Four Horsemen?
Cole would be the perfect leader of a stable, or a faction, of such wrestlers. He has the ability to draw heat from the crowd, is not afraid to cut a promo of decent caliber, and will do anything to support his guy. That is the ideal leader of a faction and someone that the heels can rally around.
Cole would be the perfect person to assume this position. Why else would they bring back Jim Ross, unless they were planning to bring him back on a permanent basis? Granted, Ross does not excite me like I mentioned earlier, but why bring him back? The ratings are not affected by who is behind the mic, but rather who is in the ring.
Imagine the picture of Cole bringing out his stable and walking down the ramp to disrupt a championship match, or even disrupt the entire night of programming. That would be exciting, and if done right with certain wrestlers, would be beneficial in keeping the momentum that has been slowly building for the last couple of months.
This is pure speculation, but I have noticed that Cole has seemed to take a reduced role on television, only to continue with his announcing. Is this intentional, or is he just waiting for the right time to strike?