Hello boys and girls. Looks like its time for another installment of No Chance, the column where I, Joel Leonard, take a look at the happenings in todayâ€™s professional wrestling. Tonightâ€™s episode: The Old King/Cole match set for Wrestlemania.
Go back with me, if you will, to the date of November 29th, 2010. The world was a different place then. Undertaker and Triple H were still out, we had no expectations of The Rock ever returning to the WWE, and The Miz had just won the WWE Championship from Randy Orton after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract.
That night, Jerry Lawler challenged The Miz for the Championship. Now, I had always been a fan of Lawler strapping on the old wrestling gear and getting back in the ring from time to time, but as part of the main event? As a potential WWE Champion? I assumed that night that the reason the match was taking place was that Lawler had cashed in a bunch of vacation days, and there needed to be a story reason why he wouldnâ€™t be behind the announcer’s table for the next several weeks.
Much to my surprise, when the match actually started, not only was the 61-year-old wrestler able to hold his own against someone half his age, but it started to look like he could win. Surely there was no way the WWE would let Lawler actually win the belt, but there he was, climbing the latter, with no Miz to stop him. And then Cole got involved.
For a year at that point Cole had been slowly becoming a heel. Already getting heat as the voice of the anonymous GM, as well as his unconditional adoration of The Miz, Cole was not a favorite of anyone, but with this interference, Coleâ€™s full-blown heel persona was formed. In that instance the rivalry was no really about Lawler vs. The Miz. Sure they would have a few more matches and Lawler would have another title shot, but the real rivalry would be the one taking place between the two announcers. I remember thinking that night, there was no way that these two would be able to commentate a match together ever again.
Of course, fast forward to today, both men are still commentators each Monday. However, I applaud the WWE on the escalation of this dynamic as both of these men try to do there jobs while sitting next to each other. What started as orders from the General Manager, has resulted in Michael Cole sitting in his self-dubbed Cole Mine each week, something that I still enjoy.
But weâ€™ve been avoiding the main part of this article, which is to look at the eventual fight that will take place on April 3rd. The climax of this feud where we finally get to see these two in ring at Wrestlemania. Of all the buildups this year, this one is probably my favorite. The anticipation of getting to see Cole beat down in the ring is exciting, except for the looming dread that there is a more than good chance that this could be a terrible match. A past his prime wrestler fighting someone who is not at all known for his in ring talent? If this were one year ago the exact same description could have been about the Vince McMahon and Bret Hart match, and we all saw how well that turned out.
Swagger has clearly been added to the match so that Lawler will be able to have an opponent with ring experience. But now, with Stone Cold also involved in the match Iâ€™m not sure that Swagger will be able to interfere with the match as much. I expect that Stone Cold has no problem stunning Swagger to make sure he does not get involved in the match. I think at this point what I have to hope for is a short but effective match. Everyone wants to see a good solid beating of Cole but if it gets dragged out for too long then itâ€™s just going to get tedious and boring for everyone watching.
So what about April 4th? What happens at the end of all this? Will Lawler and Cole ever be able to work behind the same announcerâ€™s table again? I canâ€™t imagine that Cole will see the error of his ways and have any sort of hat-in-hand apology moment. Perhaps Josh Mathews will become a more permanent part of the Raw announcers. Cole could also become the main announcer for Smackdown, though I would hate to lose him on Raw as he is fast becoming my favorite out-of-ring heel right now. (Though admittedly with Vicky on Raw now that role could continue to be filled)
I do hope that Cole continues to associate himself with other heels the way he did for The Miz and is now with Jack Swagger. The man pulls in enough heat by himself at this point that he can easily help put over many of the up-and-coming heels in the business today.
This, as always has been No Chance. If you have thoughts about the Old King/Cole match, any other wrestling business or about life in general, go ahead and put them down below. Thanks for reading.
Tags: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, The Miz, wrestlemania, WWE