Michael Cole On Difficulty Of 3 Hour RAWs, John Cena's Heat, Lawler's Heart Attack, More
"So now we had stopped doing commentary out of respect to Jerry, so now I'm sitting out there with 18,000 people surrounding us and millions at home, no one knowing what's going on, and I didn't either, and now I'm sitting there going, 'ok, now how am I going to deliver this news to millions of people around the world' and 'what am I going to say' and how am I going to say it and how am I going to keep myself composed, and all that is running through my head and then almost like it was scripted, and I hate saying that because of the business we're in because it wasn't obviously, but when we went off the air on Raw we had got an update that Jerry's heart started beating on its own and I was able to deliver that news going off the air and that was such an emotion moment.
"I remember after we went off the air, I went to the back, Jerry had already gone to the hospital, I went back to the locker room and called my wife and I said, 'did you what's going on?' And she's like, 'oh my god, I did,' and at that point I broke down because I think it all just hit me there. I think it's the news background. I think its ones of those things, you're trained. I have seen a lot of atrocities in my life over the years in Africa and Bosnia and places like that and I think you're just trained, but this obviously different because it's a real good friend of yours that it happened to on live television and I realized that I had a service and that was to update the fans what was going on with Jerry. Then at that point, we thought he was going to pull through and obviously he did, thank god, and now he's still a pain my ass like he is every other week, but it was just an awful time.
"I remember on Wednesday, two days after it happened, I was actually in the gym at my home in Texas and I got a phone call from Jerry's girlfriend, Lauren, and she said, 'Michael, I've got somebody who wants to talk to you,' and it was King. I was like, 'Holy cow, King, how the hell are you calling me two days after you basically died on national television?' I guess he had been reading some of the press and stuff and he said, 'Michael, I'm so sorry.' I asked why? He goes, 'well, I killed your heel heat.' So I guess he had watched stuff that was said and everything else. So after that I became baby face. I think it was the right time, the heel run had run its course, I think it went on much longer than it should have. So what had happened was the company collectively said, 'if we're going to turn you this is the time to do it.' Since JR had been taken off Raw and I became a heel, the one thing I thought the company was missing was that straight guy who was able to deliver the show the way that it needed to be delivered, like the Jim Ross and the Gordon Solie's, Gorilla's, they didn't have that voice of reason in the booth. This was the perfect opportunity to allow them to do that and as a company we collectively said, let's run with it, and we did. It's been fairly successful. I still have a lot of detractors out there, a lot, but it's getting a little bit better.
"It was weird too because, I hate that it happened under these circumstances, because I really would have liked to have that face turn and done something like save somebody in a match or one of those cool things you always dream of. This is quite the way I wanted the face turn to happen, but I'm also glad it happened this way because I think it added some legitimacy to what I do. But it was cool to actually get tweets and messages of support from fans when for 15 years 90% of what you receive is 'you suck', 'I hate you', 'you're the worst ever', and you just don't respond to that stuff, you just become callous to it, it's just like, 'ok, they don't like me'. But I'm still here and I'm still on the air."