Wrestling fans are a contentious bunch. The human embodiment of Newton’s Third Law, they prove that for every opinion there is an equal and opposite counterpart. One thing that has recently managed to carve its way into some semblance of consensus is the realization that WWE’s modern commentary is terrible.
As of writing, it's a bloated mess of misplaced hyperbole, constant shilling and mindless banter. With a few bright sparks aside, it is one aspect of WWE programming that is fundamentally broken.
Unfortunately, bad commentary is not era specific - and is a plague that can affect any promotion. The role of any good commentator is to be the viewers' guide throughout the show. They lead audiences through the segments, help tell the story of a match, and enhance the overall production with an engrossing, knowledgeable tone.
As awful as the aforementioned problems are, the biggest crime a commentator can commit is to simply take the viewer out of the action.
Wrestling is built upon a precarious suspension of disbelief. When a commentator makes a call that simply feels forced or unnatural, it breaks that illusion and ruins the moment...
10. Michael Cole Stays On Script (WrestleMania 32)
Hearing Michael Cole described as “the voice of the WWE” is akin to learning that your parents must have had sex for you to exist in this world. You know that it’s technically true though, you still refuse to accept it as reality.
One of the biggest criticisms of Cole’s style is that his passion often comes across as forced or formulaic. There is no better example of this than in this entry.
At WrestleMania 32, Shane McMahon and The Undertaker faced off inside Hell in a Cell after entering in to one of the most convoluted feuds of recent years. With the match essentially a steel encased spot tease, Shane upped the ante and delivered in staggering fashion.
Climbing atop the Cell, McMahon dropped an elbow onto the prone Undertaker - only for the Dead Man to slide out of the way, sending Shane crashing through the table.
Without a moment to let the spot sink in, Cole was seen clutching a bit of paper and screaming:
“For the love of Mankind…Shane just exploded through our table.”
A not so subtle nod to Mick Foley's seminal work inside the structure, this drew fans out of the match. Instead, it conjured up images of a writers' room filled with smarmy smiles and unashamed back-slapping about a well-constructed line that screamed “do you get it?” a little too insistently.