Jim Ross had a shocking return to the WWE nearly a year ago at the historic Old School Raw special. Since then, Michael Cole has repeatedly gotten under the skin of the long-time loyal commentator.
In a classic case of master vs. apprentice, Creative appears determined to make this a big rivalry—bigger than anything else they produce with the actual wrestlers on the roster.
Ross's part-time appearances on the Road to WrestleMania earlier this year only added fuel to the fire. The two even competed in a bloody battle on the night of the 2011 WWE Draft.
This past July, WWE COO Triple H re-signed Jim Ross to a lucrative commentary contract. Ross signed—only to be once again humiliated in his home state of Oklahoma last month. He was unceremoniously fired at the hands of newly-crowned Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis.
The following week, the die-hard Boomer Sooner fan returned to Raw in Mexico. He teamed up with John Cena to successfully defeat WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio and Michael Cole in the main event.
After taking a series of unnecessary shots at Ross, Cole then challenged his foe to a "Michael Cole Challenge" on the Halloween edition of Raw. Ross would have replaced Cole on commentary had he came up short.
However, due to time constraints at the hands of the illustrious Muppets, the anticipated contest between the two voices of WWE was scrapped—no future date was announced.
As of this writing, it's still unknown as to whether it will transpire on tonight's pre-taped Raw show from England. (Please avoid spoilers in the comment section.)
If the match takes place on tonight's jam-packed edition of Raw, there is one, and only one, outcome—Ross must emerge victorious.
Trust me, I'm not just pulling for Jim Ross to win because I'm a huge fan of his work (who isn't?!). It's just logical.
Let's take a brief minute to analyze this rivalry and its possible outcomes:
If Michael Cole was to be declared the victor in his long-awaited match with Jim Ross, what does he have to gain?
His heel act is mildly entertaining, but he has become extremely annoying and stale—subsequently taking away from the intense action occurring in the ring.
His antics with WrestleMania 27 opponent Jerry "The King" Lawler have certainly reached a breaking point. It's only a matter of time before Cole's once-strong heat turns into go-away heat.
Jim Ross, on the other hand, is one of (if not the) best commentator in WWE history.
Yet, Vince McMahon continues to belittle Ross by mocking the Oklahoma native's real-life surgeries and weight—despite the fact Ross has stayed loyal to the multi-billionaire through thick and thin in the last two decades.
His commentary at the conclusion of last month's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view made the vicious attack from Awesome Truth ten times more intriguing than it actually was.
Why keep Cole on commentary for absolutely no reason when Ross could enhance the drama of the product more than Cole ever could?
Sure, it's been rumored that Ross brings in ratings for the flagship show—hence why they brought him back to team with Cena a number of weeks ago.
So, this challenge could just be another example of a cheap attempt to garner ratings. Either that or it's an attempt to once again raise the hopes of the Ross fan base, only to crush them in a controversial fashion.
One scenario has been buzzing through my mind all year long, and I think it's about time Creative finally brings it to fruition. Here's how GSM could book the angle:
In a shocking turn of events, Jim Ross defeats Cole in his own challenge tonight on Monday Night Raw, much to the liking of the English crowd.
With Cole subsequently fired (per the stipulation), the audience sings the traditional "goodbye" chant. Ross takes his rightful place alongside the King on commentary.
Later in the night, Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis announces that a new General Manager by the board...which turns out to be none other than Michael Cole himself.
Let's face it: although Cole may be blandly obnoxious at the broadcasting table, he could play the authority figure role to perfection—especially after the rumors that Cole would be revealed as the voice behind the symbolic laptop (that idea slowly faded away this past summer).
Not only that, but Laurinaitis could take on a lesser role on television. He wouldn't have to fulfill the GM duties any longer. Personally, I find this scenario a logical win-win for everyone involved.
Creative, if you're not down with that, I've only got two words for you: BOOK IT!
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and be sure to offer your two cents on the Jim Ross/Michael Cole dilemma below in the comment section.
Join me tonight as we look to answer many of the aforementioned questions on the upcoming edition of Monday Night Raw!
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling as well as my WrestleRant and Spoilers podcasts for more of GSM's thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, recaps and more. Follow me on Twitter @SAVE_US_GSM.