Listen to the PWTorch Livecast Mon-Fri Listen live or subscribe via iTunes



Dec 23, 2010 - 1:03:13 PM

Bookmark us!

In the reader comment area after my blog on Raw yesterday, there was some conversation about the excessive comedy segments this week and Michael Cole's role on Raw. Here are excerpts of those readers comments and my thoughts on the topics.

Reader Kyle Ritta wrote: The comedy in WWE is dreadful. I stopped watching because of the comedy/guest-host for awhile. Now there is no guest host but still terrible comedy. Luckily it doesn't render an entire show, but it's still cringe-worthy to put up with, especially mostly every Santino segment now.

Another reader commented: I am not sure which "comedy" segment was worse. The one featuring the Miz or the one a night later featuring the Big Slow.

MY THOUGHTS: That is a tough call. I think anything that we're questioning the wisdom of is worse if it involved the new unproven WWE Champion rather than the mid-card jolly comedy figure and occasional main eventer, The Big Show. The Big Show segment was typical WWE comedy trying to show they don't take themselves seriously and can write their characters into clever, "fun" segments. We've been seeing that since the Saturday Night's Main Event days where McMahon (and Dick Ebersol) felt the need, when trying to appeal to the Saturday Night Live and larger NBC crowd, not to present wrestling in a more straight-forward typical manner.

The Miz segment I really want to wash from my memory. It was too clever to matter. Nobody watching knew what was going on. It seemed like one of those segments that someone came up with while smoking pot late at night, and then didn't have the good sense to rewrite when clear-headed and ready for put on a TV show. Miz is good enough on the mic, he doesn't need that kind of thing, and he's too new as a main event champ to be partaking is oddball overwritten segments like that.

I could live with Santino being on every show in a comedy segment if that was the only "comedy break" of each show, and if it didn't involve people selling for the absurd Cobra finish and didn't involved the actual WWE Tag Team Titles. But when you sprinkle in tons of other bad comedy, it really changes the tone of the show. I don't prescribe to the notion that you can increase TV ratings by appealing to non-pro wrestling fans with comedy. I believe people who are fans of pro wrestling want their pro wrestling served to them with largely a straight face.

There's nothing that says "entertainment" means bad comedy. To me, entertainment comes from wrestlers cutting great promo speaking about title aspirations, seeking revenge, or complaining about stipulations or cheating. The entertainment comes from an athletically spectacular simulated fight between two people I care about. I don't need the Cobra, Big Show in a Santa suit, and a Ghosts of Christmas Past skit to make Raw "entertaining." In fact, it diminishes the entertainment factor. If those segments truly helped bring in people who otherwise don't like "pro wrestling" I could see the business sense in doing it, but I don't believe there's evidence of that.

The same reader commented: Cole needs to become a full-time valet for the Miz since this was he is best-suited for.

If there's a thought of turning Miz babyface down the line, be it in six months or four years, if they plant a seed now with Cole, it could make for a great rivalry in the mold of Hulk Hogan and Bobby Heenan. The storyline to write Cole out of the announce booth could be that Cole gives up his announcing career in order to manage Miz's career because he's Miz's number one fan. Cole can essentially become a wrestling manager, handling the business affairs for Cole and eventually Alex Riley, too, as he grows as a performer. Cole can battle the G.M. over injustices when it comes to how Miz is booked and whom he's scheduled to wrestle.

Then way down the line, Miz could at some point turn babyface - and there are many ways to do it - and drop Cole. Cole could feel betrayed, like a jilted lover, and then perhaps recruit Riley to join him. Cole, like Bobby Heenan was to Hogan, could become obsessed with ending Miz's title reign and his very existence in WWE. Hell hath no fury like that of a lover scorned.

There's a way to do that without making slapstick ha ha lite comedy that doesn't really draw. There's a way for Cole to play for laughs occasionally but in reality he takes his character and Miz's career very seriously. It would set up a Hogan-Heenan, McMahon-Austin type dynamic that leads to Cole managing various wrestlers over time trying to take down Miz. He could also create a faction of heels and go after other titles, just as Heenan did, but his focus for a while would always come back to trying to take down Miz.

Cole is too good to have saddled to the announcing chair, especially when his character is all over the place, sometimes rooting for babyfaces and justices and then indiscriminately rooting for the opposite. Cole is the type of traditional heel manager whom fans love to boo and will pay to see get beat up or just throw a tantrum when things don't go his way. I saw it work in person with Bobby "The Brain" Heenan in the AWA in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It's a lost art, but Cole is the most unlikely candidate to emerge out of nowhere as a great reintroduction of that type of act.

Reader Kyle Fitta wrote: While I agree with all the Cole hate, it's not his faults. It's Vince McMahon's fault because he tells Cole what to say and act like. When Cole use to do serious pbp, he wasn't too bad. Now - he's terrible as a pbp because of his jokes and bias hate that renders the show. In fact that is what's wrong with the entire announce teams these days. They are too busy making jokes, asking dumb questions, commenting on what people are wearing or look like, instead of getting the match over or wrestlers over. When Jim Ross came back, you could actually see what we, the fans, were so honored to have for all these years. Ross was able to get Daniel Bryan over more than any announcer this year has. Period.

MY THOUGHTS: Yeah, any complaints about Cole that anyone has needs to be given in the context that he is serving Vince McMahon and is directed by Vince McMahon. I think his announcing has suffered because he has no constitution regarding what drives compliments or criticism of wrestlers or their actions. It's just arbitrary. He has a ton of talent, but being a co-host of WWE TV shows being a cheerleader for Miz no matter what he does or says one second and then decrying the actions of a heel against a babyface in another second is just herky-jerky and doesn't help get the product over or sell tickets.

Please Recommend or Like This Article on Twitter or Facebook

CLICK HERE to return to Wade Keller Blog home page

CLICK HERE to jump to PWTorch.com's main page

KELLER BLOG: Paul Heyman alliance with C.M. Punk - where does it go from here?
KELLER'S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV BLOG: Results and analysis throughout the show including Lesnar vs. Triple H, Cena vs. Punk vs. Show
KELLER: C.M. Punk is not best utilized as a tweener, despite a recent reader poll; he should be all out heel

Comment on this Article Below



PWTorch VIP Members get an ad-free enhanced version of this blog including a reader comment area with Wade Keller's conversation with readers after each blog. Sign up for a VIP membership and get 60+ VIP Audio Shows, New PWTorch Weekly Newsletter Digital Edition, 100s of PWTorch Newsletter Back Issues, Ad-Free Access to Entire PWTorch Site, PWTorch VIP Forum, Many Special Archive Features, and More! SIGN UP HERE

TRY OUR NEW WEBSITE - PWPodcasts.com - Written Recaps & Reviews of Top Podcasts by Austin, Ross, Jericho, Taz, more
WWE NEWS: New match for Hell in a Cell; updated PPV line-up
WWE NEWS: Superstars SPOILERS - Results from Chicago Raw
WWNLIVE NEWS: NXT star Sami Zayn announced for EVOLVE Tour
SHOW RESULTS - 10/12 NJPW King of Pro Wrestling in Tokyo: Okada vs. Styles for IWGP World Title, more big matches
NEWS: Daughter of Bill DeMott dies in weekend car crash
WWE NETWORK: Monday, Oct. 12 Schedule - Raw pre-show, Sting DVD preview
WWE NEWS: Lana & Rusev reportedly engaged - follow the interesting 2015 timeline
WWE WEEKEND TOUR: Sunday wrap-up - Reigns & Orton teaming, plus champions in action (Reports Wanted)
WWE NEWS: WWE cameras film new Network series at independent show
SHOW RESULTS - 10/9 AAW in Berwyn, Ill.: Gargano challenges for AAW Hvt. Title, more title matches, big women's tag match, more
HAAS NEWS: Charlie Haas getting back in the ring - big reunion match at OVW, headliner for CWE year-end tour
CALDWELL'S TNA BFG PPV REPORT 10/4: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Bound for Glory PPV from Charlotte - all titles on the line
KELLER’S WWE MSG SPECIAL REPORT 10/3: Lesnar vs. Big Show, Cena vs. Seth in a cage, Jericho vs. Owens in an IC Title match, Dudleys vs. New Day for tag titles
McNEILL's Late Night Deadblog - WWE Night of Champions: Bucklebombs, Light-up Jackets, Poachers, IcoPro, Eddie, more!
KELLER’S WWE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PPV REPORT 9/20: Ongoing “virtual time” coverage of event including Sting vs. Seth, Cena vs. Seth, Ryback vs. Owens, mystery partner with Reigns & Ambrose, Divas Title, Tag Title, more
CALDWELL'S WWE NOC PPV REPORT 9/20: Live Night of Champions Coverage from Houston - Seth Rollins's double duty
RADICAN'S ROH "All-Star Extravaganza VII" PPV BLOG 9/18: Booking issues dampen excellent in-ring action
CALDWELL'S ROH ASE PPV REPORT 9/18: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of All-Star Extravaganza - Jay Lethal defends two titles, ANX, more
RADICAN'S "EVOLVE 47" iPPV REPORT 8/15 - Tremendous all-around show, Bailey vs. Chris Hero, Thatcher-Sabre for EVOLVE Title, more
MCNEILL'S Late Night Blog - WWE Summerslam 2015: No shave 'til Brooklyn, lots of blood, Cesaro's warm-up match for Z.Z., more!
McNEILL’s Late Night Blog - "NXT Takeover: Brooklyn" - a/k/a Don't Tell McMahon about this show until after Summerslam
CALDWELL'S SUMMERSLAM REPORT 8/23: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Lesnar vs. Taker, Title vs. Title, more matches
CALDWELL'S WWE SUMMERSLAM REPORT 8/23 (Pre-Show): Complete "virtual-time" coverage of hype interviews, no match
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 10/12: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Chicago Raw - Cena's U.S. Title Open Challenge, WWE Champ loses in main event, more
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 10/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Thursday show, including Roman Reigns & Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt & Braun Strowman
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 10/4 & 10/7: IWGP World champ Okada vs. Roderick Strong main event, plus Briscoes vs. Time Splitters, more from "Field of Honor," Overall Reax
MCMAHON'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/7: TNA Title Series kicks off, Bound for Glory fall-out, more; Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT TAKEOVER: RESPECT REPORT 10/7: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks Iron Man match for NXT Title, Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic, big stars; Overall Reax
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 10/5: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Lesnar returns, Cena's Open Challenge, more
WWC TV REPORTS - 10/3 & 10/4 Super Estrellas de La Lucha Libre: Matches from "Anniversario" weekend featuring Carlito, Mr. 450, Apollo, more stars from Puerto Rico
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 10/1: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Thursday show, including Kevin Owens vs. Ryback in an Intercontinental Title Match
MCMAHON'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 9/30: Final hype for Bound for Glory, Ciampa also wrestles on Impact, Dollhouse vs. BP, more; Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 9/30 - Week 182: Balor & Joe in Dusty tournament, Ciampa and Gargano in singles matches, final "Takeover" card, more; Overall Reax
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 9/27 & 9/30: NJPW vs. ROH Series continues - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Adam Cole, Sydal vs. KUSHIDA, more
SHOW RESULTS - 9/26 WWC Anniversario & 9/27 "Super Estrellas De Lucha Libre" TV Report: Carlito, Tommy Dreamer, more
RAW POLLS 10/12: Vote on Monday's show & Best Match
25 YEARS OF BRUCE MITCHELL - DAY 11 (2001): Titled “Freebird Way” - Mitchell reflects on the life and death of Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy and his Freebird partners
25 YEARS OF BRUCE MITCHELL - DAY 10 (2000): Titled “Death of Hardcore” as Bruce discusses the apparent end of the Hardcore Wrestling era and also suggests what ECW must do to regain relevance
25 YEARS OF BRUCE MITCHELL - DAY 9 (1999): Titled “Children” as Bruce discusses Vince McMahon's marketing approach toward children and how he deals with controversy like a child would (with a great opening line)
RADICAN'S CHIKARA "King of Trios 2015 Night 2" Review 9/5 - Quarterfinal round matches, Rey de Voladores Eliminators, fantastic main event
25 YEARS OF BRUCE MITCHELL - DAY 8 (1998): “Stolen Moments” - Bruce lays out case for Flair as Greatest of All-Time as he dealt with locker room politics in WCW Nitro era
25 YEARS OF BRUCE MITCHELL - DAY 7 (1996): Titled "Of bad news and acts of God" - Bruce looks at the jumps back and forth between WCW and the WWF and how WWF was showing signs of making a comeback
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: What do you think of TNA's Title tournament?
25 YEARS OF BRUCE MITCHELL - DAY 6 (1995): Titled “ECW - Everybody Sucks But Us” - Bruce raves about his first in-person experience at ECW Arena and what it is that made the whole event stand out
CENA POLL: Who should win the U.S. Title from John Cena?
RAW POLLS 10/5: Vote on Raw 0-10 & select Best Match
25 YEARS OF BRUCE MITCHELL - DAY 5 (1994): “The All-Fun League” - Bruce hatchets McMahon’s characterization of the WWF as all about fun and putting smiles on faces
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Wrestling Board Games Throughout the Years - Gagne, Von Erichs, Hogan & More
10/5 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Natalya vs. Paige, Owens vs. Cara, Stephanie McMahon, Sasha Banks, Xavier Woods
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: The History of Foam Hands in Pro Wrestling
9/28 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Kane's Split Personality, Divas Revolution, Heyman & Big Show, Reigns vs. Wyatt
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Sharing a Million Dollar Memory with Ted DiBiase
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES & MANIA: An expository look at Hulk Hogan's Fall from Grace - "Real American" or "Real Racist?"
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: 20 Figures for 20 Years - Part 2 of WCW Nitro's Biggest Stars in Action Figure Form (Sting, Hogan, more!)
DONOFRIO'S FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE: Detailed Report on Dean Ambrose & Paige at Wizard World Pittsburgh - Q&A session yields interesting comments on WWE topics
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: 20 Figures for 20 Years - Part 1 of WCW Nitro's Biggest Stars in Action Figure Form
9/7 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Paige vs. Banks, Rollins vs. Ryback, Orton vs. Sheamus, Cena & PTPs vs. Rollins & New Day
8/24 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Opening Segment, New Day, Dudleys return, Stewart, Sting
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Evaluating Top 10 WWE Stars's Trading Cards
NEWSLETTER FLASHBACK: Who really started the U.S. Women's Wrestling Revolution?, CALDWELL examines SHIMMER'S ambitious plans 10 years ago
RADICAN'S CHIKARA "King of Trios 2015 Night 2" Review 9/5 - Quarterfinal round matches, Rey de Voladores Eliminators, fantastic main event
WWE FLASHBACK: Kane character debuts 18 yrs. ago today in first-ever Hell in a Cell match - Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
HIAC FLASHBACK: Kane beats Undertaker in HIAC match 5 yrs. ago today, plus Randy Orton vs. Sheamus for WWE Title
RADICAN'S Beyond Wrestling "Greatest Rivals Round Robin" review 9/26 - incredible show of the year contender, Busick-Edwards top-flight MOTYC, more!
ROH FLASHBACK: The aftermath of Joe vs. Kobashi 10 years ago today
RAW FLASHBACK: RVD vs. Christian IC Title ladder match 12 years ago, plus HBK & Goldberg team up, Ross vs. Coach, more
RADICAN'S "The Pull List" (Vol. 5) "Young Bucks Too Sweet Journey" doc review, The Flash season 1 Blu-Ray, Top Ten MOTYC for 2015
WWF PPV FLASHBACK: Taker & Kane both win WWF Title at Breakdown 1998
FLASHBACK: Bryan vs. Ambrose 5 yrs. ago at DGUSA show, plus Luke Harper, more
MNW FLASHBACK: Raw vs. Nitro head-to-head 20 years ago - Taker vs. Bulldog & new WWF tag champs, Hogan & Savage & Luger star on Nitro
WWF MSG FLASHBACK: Huge six-man tag main event 15 yrs. ago today
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2015 Titleholders
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for Thursday's show
TV RATINGS: TNA Impact & ROH TV viewership - Week 19 on Dest. America - Impact surges post-BFG, ROH draws big audience
TV WRESTLING VIEWERSHIP - Week of Sept. 28: Full Break Down of last week's Pro Wrestling TV with DVR viewing
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Monday's show remains stuck in 2.3-range despite return of Brock Lesnar
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for Thursday's show
TV RATINGS: Viewership for TNA Impact & ROH TV - Week 18 on Dest. America
WWE NEWS: Total Divas viewership - season finale up nearly 50 percent
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Monday's show falls further back to mid-1990s levels
TV WRESTLING VIEWERSHIP - Week of Sept. 21: Full Break Down of last week's Pro Wrestling TV with DVR viewing
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Thursday's show improves
TV RATINGS: Viewership for TNA Impact & ROH TV - Week 17 on Dest. America - both shows rebound, ROH has its best showing in two months
PWTorch Free Podcast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant host the Friday (10/9) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Bob Backlund Live Interview w/Keller & Mitchell on the Thursday (10/8) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Lance Hoyt live interview w/Pat McNeill on the Wednesday (10/7) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net on the Tuesday (10/6) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Raw Post-Game Show w/Caldwell & McNeill on the Monday (10/5) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant of the East Coast Cast on the Friday (10/2) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: "X-Pac" Sean Waltman live interview w/Wade Keller on the Thursday (10/1) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Jim Valley and radio host Steve Migs host the Wednesday (9/30) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net on the Tuesday (9/29) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Raw post-game show with James Caldwell & Greg Parks on the Monday (9/28) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant of the East Coast Cast host the Friday (9/25) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wade Keller talks live w/John Arezzi on the Thursday (9/24) PWTorch Livecast - now available on-demand
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP - 10/12 Radican's Wrestling Community Audio (w/Metzger & Leahy) - CHIKARA King of Trios 2015 in-depth, Rey de Voladores begins, heavy angle in main event, more! (50 min.)
VIP - 10/11 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: What is TNA's relevance after Matt Hardy title forfeit and more dates cancelled, WWE results, Scott Hall and Eric Bischoff DVDs, Matt Riddle-WWE, Haas & Benjamin, HIAC PPV, more (24 min.)
VIP - 10/11 McNeill & Valley's "Wayback Playback" Audio Show (ep. #56): Into ECW Time Machine for November to Remember 1995 - Funk & Dreamer, Sandman, more! (57 min.)
VIP - 10/10 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Britt Whitmire (pt. 2): Reaction to Matt Hardy relinquishing TNA Title, why Young-Angle sucked, when to cheer for the heels, Backlund, Raw ratings and WWE's TV future (71 min.)
VIP - 10/10 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Britt Whitmire (pt. 1): The simplicity of what made NXT Takeover work so well, the upside of Bailey on the main roster, what's most misreported about Montreal Screwjob, TNA Bound for Glory (71 min.)
VIP - 10/10 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Could Owens get a mega-push to ready him for Lesnar at WM32? How could Cena be turned heel? Why is Stephanie selling off WWE stock? (25 min.)
VIP - 10/10 Moonlighting with Greg Parks: With PWTorch columnist Todd Martin, discussing and analyzing the latest episodes of WWE Smackdown, NXT Takeover: Respect, and TNA Impact Wrestling (60 min.)
VIP - 10/09 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: James Storm's NXT debut and potential upside in WWE, ROH and Impact viewership up, Jericho and Henry on WM32 roles, Batista news, WWE stock surge, more (24 min.)
VIP - 10/09 PWTorch Livecast: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant talk w/live callers on this week's hot topics, plus is there a quick fix for WWE?, Storm's future, more! (66 min.)
VIP - 10/09 Audio Flashback - WWE No Mercy PPV Roundtable with Keller, McNeill, Caldwell: Did Batista earn his PPV main event status against Eddie Guerrero, plus Randy & Bob Orton vs. Undertaker, JBL vs. Rey (34 min.)
VIP - 10/08 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: More thoughts on Bob Backlund autobiography, might Ziggler benefit from a heel turn, should winner paydays be stressed more in WWE’s narrative (25 min.)
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1426 (PDF & TEXT): TNA BFG results & roundtable reviews, Keller Raw & MSG Reports, Parks on diminished MITB concept, 25 Yrs. of Mitchell (12 pgs)
© 1999-2011 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved. -- PRIVACY POLICY