Having taken in a full dose of WWE this week I feel I have enough thoughts built up in order share them. There has been some good things happening; the tag team division is starting to take shape, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan had a cracking match at Over The Limit and Christian has returned. There have also been some bad things happening; John Cena and John Laurinaitis’ terrible match at OTL, Big Show’s heel turn and forthcoming headline feud with Cena and Daniel Bryan interfering in Kane’s match. The last comment is bad because instead of a Bryan vs Punk feud we could get a Bryan vs Kane and Punk vs Tensai feud.
However, with all this going on my attention was driven to the commentators. At Over The Limit we were presented with a full spectrum of commentating quality. There was very good commentary by all three men at times and absolutely awful commentary by a certain individual at others. I picked up on this because it’s never usually this bad or this good and having both instances so close together highlighted just how much WWE needs to sort this team out. If they won’t do it then I will, here is how I would reshuffle the announce table.
I like Cole, but not as a play-by-play announcer. He has too much personality, he’s a heel and he’s hated by the fans. Now think back to JR in his prime. He was without doubt WWE’s best ever play-by-play announcer and he had none of those things going for him. Michael Cole has all the tools to be the perfect colour commentator, did you hear him during Cena’s match with Laurinaitis? Some of the things he was coming away with were priceless, perfect colour commentator stuff. Cole is in a tough position, he has to show bias to remain over in his own right as a heel, yet he still has to speak some sense because he is the lead announcer and has the job of putting all superstars and events over. He’s logical and almost always in the right, which is great if you’re the play-by-play announcer, but completely counter productive as a heel commentator.
Again, I like Booker as a commentator. He’s followed on from Tazz and JBL as the retired pro that helps to shine light on the intricate details of a match. Actually, “intricate details” may be a bit strong in Booker’s case but he gets the job done. I particularly like him as part of a three man team because he doesn’t have to talk as much but when he does it’s usually with something worthwhile to say. When he’s part of a two man team he has to talk a lot more and can come away with some pretty stupid comments. All he really needs to do to make an improvement is think before he speaks. I like having retired wrestlers on commentary and I like Booker T so there’s no complaints from me, he stays in my commentary team.
Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler
Done? Ok, well it’s not 1998 anymore and King has to go, he’s awful. He has so many bad points it’s remarkable how he still has a job.
For starters he’s sexist. Listen to the difference between him and Michael Cole when they call a divas match. Cole will call the action while King will almost always try to bring it back to how the ladies look. I mean compliments are fine, Booker T dishes them out too, the difference is Booker moves on from it and concentrates on the match like he’s supposed to.
He’s a bully, which is sadly ironic given WWE’s Be A Star campaign. The way he talks about Vicky Guerrero is not only getting old but damn near uncomfortable. The fans get on her back because she’s annoying; she’s the classic pantomime villain, we love to hate her. King on the other hand still focuses on the way she looks. “Look you can see her naval” he kept saying that during the tag title match at OTL, he sounded like an over excited 10 year old. Booker T may occasionally take a pop at Vicky, but it’s occasional and harmless. This is fantasy booking gone crazy but next time King makes fun of a 44 year old mother of two because she doesn’t look like Kelly Kelly, Ziggler and Swagger should kick his head in!
He’s just rubbish, he’s the reverse of Michael Cole actually. If Cole is a heel that makes too much sense then King is a babyface that doesn’t make any sense. He still tells lies and tries to bend the truth like he’s a heel, but he’s a babyface and he can’t do that. A few weeks ago on Raw Michael Cole fully explained how Big Show ended up losing his tables match to Cody Rhodes at Extreme Rules but King shot him down by saying “that’s not what happened at all” when what Cole said is exactly what happened. He makes counterproductive comments countless times per show, he’s useless,
He also has this unwavering support for John Cena which does little to endear him to many WWE fans. You can see people caring less and less every time we hear his music and he has a surprise match. He elected no reaction as Daniel Bryan’s opponent a few weeks ago in a beat the clock challenge. What’s funnier still was the support Bryan received in his easy victory in the match. He’s also ancient and out of touch.
So with King gone there’s a spot open. I’ve already decided to move Cole over to be the colour commentator so I’m looking for a solid play-by-play announcer, which rules William Regal out despite his work on NXT. I think Josh Mathews could fit the bill. He’s a good solid announcer, he’s a young fresh face to put on TV and can hold his own when the banter gets going. Also, something most people forget is that Josh has more experience than just watching wrestling. I remember him from a very early season of Tough Enough, so he knows his way around the ring too.
Josh Mathews, Michael Cole and Booker T should be the new WWE announce team. We’ve seen it a good number of times on Smackdown and I think it’s time to give Josh the chance on a permanent basis. If each man knows their role, i.e. Josh is installed as the official play-by-play announcer, then over the long run this could be a really good announce team.