Michael Cole On Difficulty Of 3 Hour RAWs, John Cena's Heat, Lawler's Heart Attack, More
His favorite announcing combination/preferences: "From an ego standpoint, I take pride in the fact that I'm able to do all of it. We don't get a chance to toot our own horns a lot but from an ego standpoint, and you have to have an ego to be in this business or any business. You have to have confidence. I take pride that I can do it all. One of the things that I've said about my career is that, love me or hate me, the one thing that I've been able to do that I don't think anybody would take umbrage with is the fact that I have been able to work with anybody they've given me. When I was on Smackdown, I worked with Jerry Lawler, I worked with Tazz, I worked with Mick Foley, I worked with Jonathan Coachman, I worked with JBL, I worked with Paul Heyman, I've worked with JR, I've worked with Josh Matthews, I've worked with Todd Grisham, Matt Striker, I've worked with everybody and I've been able to pull it off. So I take pride in that.
"3 man booth over 2 man booth? It depends who I'm working with. I love the three man booth with Jerry and John. JBL and The King. Love it. Then I'm really able to be that straight on host and direct the traffic. John's your heel, King's your baby face and I'm able to be that guy that delivers the information which is the role that I cherish because I think I do that well.
"2 man booth, I love working with King and I love working with John. So any combination of those right now is preferable to me. I think the 3 man booth works a little bit better on Smackdown than it does on Raw because Smackdown is a show where there's not as much social media involvement, the matches are much longer. Raw you get three or four minute matches and social media so it's a little easier to navigate a two man booth on Raw with all the stuff you have to get in as opposed to Smackdown. I think that out of all the partners I've worked with I think that Jerry Lawler and JBL, either together or separately, have been my favorites."
3 Hour RAW's: "I was actually excited initially and then when I sat through it for about two months I was like, 'oh my god.' The worst thing is, and it's nothing to do with the guys in the ring, because they're busting their humps every single time, it's the energy level. It's really, really difficult. Your mind really starts to wander. You get past 10 o'clock eastern time and your mind really starts to wander. So you've really go to focus on the task at hand. PPV's are weird; to me a three hour PPV goes by like that because its just concentration, you've got two other guys working with you to help carry the load, I don't know. For some reason the three hour Raw seems real long, but then other days, like last night in Washington DC for the go-home for Wrestlemania, that show flew by. I looked at my watch and it was quarter to eleven. I was like, 'holy cow, where did the show go?' Then there's other days where it's like 10:15 and you're like, 'oh my god, how do I stay awake? Get me another Red bull.' Again, it's nothing to do with what's going on in the ring or anything it's just mentally trying to stay focused and alert for that amount of time on live television. Smackdown is different. You can go out there and screw around and you make a mistake you can fix it if you have to. On Raw, you've got to watch everything you say. Its complete concentration.
"A lot of times the audience goes through peaks and valleys too throughout the show for three hours. The live crowd is up and down. So you have to try to get them going and get them up there. That's your job as a commentator, make every match and every superstar and diva interesting. It's difficult to do but it can be done. The thing about 3 hours is coming up with creative and different ways to say things, say different stories. How many times can we say The Rock's going to be here tonight? Ten times you're promoting it a show; you've got to try to come up with a different way to say it each time. There are a lot of things that go on that just a guy watching at home doesn't realize. Tweaking ways you say things and trying to drive you guys in the right direction on certain characters and giving background on guys and there's a lot of work that goes into this. Following Twitter, social media, oh my god that stuff is nonstop."