Watching Monday Night Raw last night made me realize one thing: the WWE does not need the voice of Jim Ross any longer. If it is not Jim Ross, then get rid of the three-man booth that is clogging up too much airtime during the shows.
Granted, Booker T provides an element of humor to the show, though he does not do it intentionally, and it is fun to listen to what he has to say. However, Jim Ross is a voice from another day and does not fit in to the scheme of the broadcast nearly as well as he used to.
Michael Cole is the lead announcer and should remain that way. He has become the voice of Monday Night Raw and has earned the position over the years. Many fans forget that Cole has been doing this close to 15 years, so he is not an amateur when it comes to announcing. Remember, he was a war correspondent for crying aloud!
For those fans that are crying for Jim Ross to return to the booth full time, please get that thought out of your mind. Ross was symbolic of the Attitude Era, and his broadcasting now does not fit with today's product that we are watching.
Listening to Jim Ross announce the return of, "Stone Cold, Stone Cold" was classic announcing, but if you switch those wrestlers with today's names, it does not fit nearly as good. Hearing Ross yell, "Punk, Punk" would do nothing to excite the average fan.
If you can block out the negativity that you may harbor for Michael Cole, you will hear someone that is very good, and has worked hard at what he does. He has been through the fire over the last six months for his non-nonsensical feud with Jerry Lawler, but has continued to produce each week behind the mic.
Cole's personality suits this generation of wrestlers and fans that tune in each week. He mixes enough humor and heel personality to make it work, but continues to be bashed in the message boards across the country. The ironic thing about this is that we as the wrestling community used to love announcers such as Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura when they played this role. How can we love them, yet hate Cole? Am I the only one that sees a problem in this line of thinking?
Michael Cole is head and shoulders above everyone else on the announce team, and it is time that we give him credit for it. A good announcer adds a lot to a show, and a bad one takes away from it. I do not remember a time when I turned off the television thinking Michael Cole just ruined that for me. I feel as though he has really picked up his game especially over the last 12 months, and will continue to establish himself as a lead announcer on cable's longest running episodic show.