Jim Ross has discussed Michael Cole becoming an on-screen villain in the lead-up to an unlikely WrestleMania match with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.
In 2010 Cole had become an obnoxious, unlikable character on WWE television. This caused a rift with longtime broadcast partner Jerry Lawler. Cole went so far as to cost Lawler an opportunity to win the WWE Championship during a match with The Miz.
This led to the bout at WrestleMania 27 in 2011. Lawler appeared to have won the match – the only WrestleMania match of his career before the decision was overturned. Michael Cole was then named the victor by disqualification.
Jim Ross, the current lead announcer of AEW has discussed the story of Cole and Lawler on his Grilling JR podcast. No stranger to being called into in-ring action during his time in WWE, Ross was not a great fan of the story.
“[Michael] Cole had no experience, I’m not knocking him, it’s just not his thing. I will say that he gave it his all and was invested in it. But I think those days of him being used in the ring for angles and things subsided. He was very happy [about it]. I was beat up so many times that it was silly.”
“You’re telling me that a Hall of Fame guy like Lawler, can’t beat an announcer with his finish? That’s what they should have done. Overthought and over analysed, but Vince had made this big investment in turning Michael Cole heel. The lead play-by-play guy, who we need to trust, need to believe in, was turned heel because Vince again in his quest to reinvent things that did not need reinvention.”
As far as the match at WrestleMania between the two announcers, Ross did not like it:
“13 minutes, way too long. The DQ finish was weaker than a plate full of p*ss. It told me where Vince’s head was as far as Cole was concerned. When I got the call on Monday morning to go back to RAW, I knew why. They got to get something back on Cole to make it whole again after the DQ finish. Both guys worked hard on this thing, and the DQ finish took away from everything that it built.”
Jim Ross has also discussed Finlay’s controversial firing from WWE around the time of WrestleMania 27. The producer was let go after members of the US National Guard were upset at a show he had been producing.