Todd Pettengill is a name familiar to wrestling fans of the mid-90s, and now the former WWE broadcaster has discussed the man he drafted as his own replacement, Michael Cole.
Pettengill was a morning radio show DJ in New York where he acquired two high-profile fans in Vince and Linda McMahon. They got in touch and soon Pettengill was appearing on what was WWF television beginning in 1993. A ride through The New Generation passed and Pettengill waved goodbye to the world of wrestling at SummerSlam 1997.
Now searching for a replacement for Pettengill, the man himself knew just who to turn to. An old friend from his radio days in the eighties. Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Pettengill explained how he came to be Michael Cole’s way into the world of wrestling.
“Well number one, he was a friend. We go way back! He was my news guy at my radio station in Albany, New York back in the ’80s. I went on to New York City at PLJ and he was at CBS Radio and clearly, we stayed in touch.”
“He was a massive wrestling fan! So, when it came time for me to step aside, he was the first choice. I knew he knew the product, he sort of looked like me, which I thought – ‘this is kinda funny, too!’ I respected the heck out of him and still do. I just knew that he was gonna be the right guy. He always talked about [wrestling]! I was like, ‘Dude, enough! We gotta talk about other things here!’ He was always a gigantic fan, and that gave him a great, great lane to come in and say, ‘Hey, I’m familiar, I know it, you don’t have to start all over with me.’”
Todd Pettengill then discussed Cole’s longevity in the wrestling business. Michael Cole has been an on-screen broadcaster of some kind for almost a quarter of a century.
Pettengill shared his thoughts on Cole’s legacy in wrestling and touched on Cole’s polarising presence among wrestling fans:
“I think it’s terrific. I think when the time comes for him to step aside – and I hope that’s not for many years – he’ll be very proud of what he’s accomplished. Listen, if everybody loves you, you’re probably not doing it right. I just think you have to, at some point, be you and that means you have opinions.”
“Everybody’s not gonna like that, but it shows that you’re certainly a multi-dimensional person when you allow people to see different sides of yourself. I think his legacy is certainly cemented and he’s done himself and the company very proud.”
Todd Pettengill has also recently talked about how he was brought into the WWF and the bathroom encounter with Vince McMahon that let the Chairman of the Board know that he’d got the right man.