The WWE has gone through many changes over the years.
Many men and women have come and gone throughout the WWE's history.
Fans will always look back on their heroes and state that they were the best and that no one can top them.
Stone Cold > CM Punk, The Rock > John Cena, Bret Hart > Kurt Angle, Ric Flair > The Miz, Chris Benoit > Daniel Bryan, Curt Hennig > Dolph Ziggler.
These are not always direct comparisons, but they happen all the time. Some may be true. Some may not be. The point is that we look back and only appreciate the stars of the past without giving credit to the stars right in front of us.
While this is most apparent with wrestlers, this has also been the case for WWE commentary.
The biggest comparison in WWE today is that Jim Ross is better than everyone, but, most notably, JR is better than Michael Cole.
In his prime, no commentator was better than JR. If you compare each of the commentators today with JR in his prime, they are all not quite up to his caliber.
However, there is one commentator who never gets the respect he deserves.
Everyone vituperates Cole for creating a character and living within that character. There are people who hate WWE commentary because they cannot stand hearing Michael Cole talk. Cole has caused an entire acronym to be formed in spite of his appearance: GDYC. Some great writers on the WWE absolutely despise Cole especially IGN's Matt Fowler (who can somewhat be credited for the creation of GDYC).
This is a ridiculous stance. Michael Cole is one of the best heels in WWE today. When he gets on the mic in the ring, he has more charisma and presence than many current main event stars.
How does that prove he is a great commentator? It doesn't, but it proves he is great on the mic.
I will admit that I have had times where Michael Cole's comments get on my nerves as well, but he is playing a character and doing his job better than anyone else today.
Now, before I analyze Cole's actual commentary skills, let's look at the current state of the commentary in WWE.
Both Raw and SmackDown are not in the greatest shape since Vince McMahon decided that each show should have three commentators. There was really no need as it just adds too many voices to the table.
On SmackDown, Josh Matthews is the least noticeable presence on commentary. He simply exists to plug the online and "hipness" of the WWE. He barely commentates regardless of his skill in the area.
Booker T is so ridiculously bad at commentating that he seems to think every move is a sidewalk slam which is ridiculous because he used to use the sidewalk slam in matches, and now he can't differentiate it from a spinebuster. His commentary amounts to "awwwwws" and grunts mixed with the occasional self plug. Whenever he tries to make a real comment, it is horrible. His latest antic is reciting lines from a spiritual children's song about anatomy, Dry Bones, telling us which bone is connected to which other bone.
On Raw, Jerry Lawler has degraded into a shell of his former self. He usually has very little to say except when there is a Divas match or John Cena is wrestling.
Jim Ross is a strange case as he just does not exist much anymore. He is there on commentary, and he will make a few good comments then just sit around. With the current landscape, he just can't seem to find a way to comment anymore with the full consent of higher authorities in the WWE.
Michael Cole is the center of all the commentary. He leads conversations, states important points, and actually gives wrestlers credit as they are due. Sure, he marks out for the heels like the Miz and Christian, but it is part of his character (and who doesn't love watching these heels dominate on the mic).
There is a reason Cole is on both brands beyond the immense love Vince McMahon has for the character. He is a leader. He takes control of the commentary and guides it. At time, he may seem abrasive or overpowering, but that is just his way of continuing the focus on story and ring work.
Cole basically is the SmackDown commentary because he exists and makes intelligible comments. On Raw, he leads the booth again while Jerry Lawler tries to defend the good guys (but still put down Punk for some reason) and JR talks about the wrestling a few times a night.
Michael Cole has one of the most important jobs in professional wrestling as he must try to give a voice to the action and storylines. No one, on either brand, is applying themselves as much as Cole at working commentary.
Is he unlikeable? Yes because that is his job. Blame Vince McMahon for the character change.
The better question is: does anyone do a better job putting over the action and stories in the WWE today? No, not even the great JR though politics may be weighing him down.
With the way Vince McMahon now controls commentary, Michael Cole is possibly the closest thing to a bright spot in the profession.
Before people start calling for his eviction from the table, think about the implications.
Does anyone really want to listen to Booker T rant for two hours on SmackDown without a mediator?
Could JR put up with Vince McMahon breathing down his neck and forcing endless restrictions on him each week?
Without Michael Cole on commentary, every move on SmackDown would be a sidewalk slam, and there would be near silence on Raw until the Divas match and the main event.
Michael Cole is the greatest commentator in WWE today. He won't let you forget it, so many just have to live with that fact.
So Cole haters and people who mute the WWE commentary each week, I've got two word for you: Comment below!