I liked Jerry "The King" Lawler. I enjoyed him as a wrestler. I liked how he argued with Jim Ross on commentary, how he made random observations during matches and especially how he said "Puppies!" during matches, segments and promos that involved the fairer gender.
But the WWE has changed. With its reshaped products aimed at a younger demographic than ever before and its "social" stance on bullying, Jerry Lawler has been forced to change his character. While previously, he used to be the resident badmouth at the table, he is now a "babyface" that keeps his act clean while Michael Cole sits beside him and tries to do both play-by-play and color commentary. This is a failing combination.
"The King" has been turned into a babyface and he seems to be uncomfortable in the character. He ends up staying silent most of the time, while Michael Cole gives us the rundown of the match and runs down the good guys at the same time. To add insult to the situation, Lawler's "jokes"—random snippets which seem to be fed to him through the headset—often fall flat. And, most disastrously, he is often pushed into storylines and wrestling matches where he never manages to deliver.
So, this is what I am proposing: WWE should remove "The King" from commentary and replace him with "The King of Kings."
Do you remember the days when the chairman of the WWE, Vince McMahon, would sit at the announce table and do commentary himself? Vince was not the only one. Most promoters have done quite a bit of announcing/commentary in their own promotions. And while Paul Levesque is not (yet) the owner of the WWE, he is a high-level executive in real life and chief operating officer in storyline.
And Hunter Hearst Helmsley is quite good on the mic.
Triple H can be a good color commentator. He can jump from being humorous, like his original DX persona was, to serious, like the "Cerebral Assassin" gimmick, without effort, making him natural at the task. He also has an extensive knowledge of ring psychology and moves, so he can add knowledge to the information the fans receive. And when Triple H says, "Shut up, Cole!" Michael Cole will have to obey.
What Triple H's presence adds to the table is not merely a capable talker. He is also a quality wrestler who can get physical if the situation demands, although it would be good if he became a bit more patient now that he is "retired."
Most important, however, is Triple H's role as an authority figure. Since he is the man—or one of the men and women—in charge, he can take action on the spot. It gets boring when you have to wait for three minutes for a general manager to come out and make decisions that are painfully obvious. Why waste all that time when Helmsley can just pick up a microphone and say, "His foot was on the bottom rope, Jack! Restart the damn match!"
Note: You might want to watch Triple H on commentary during the 1998 King of the Ring tournament final.
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