Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Michael Cole’s voice is synonymous with pro wrestling for a whole lot of people. In fact, pretty much a whole generation of WWE fans (who have thankfully not really learned how to use the internet to argue about wrestling yet) would consider him to be their own personal Gordon Solie, or Jim Ross, or what have you. But in what will certainly come as welcome news to a particular subset of fans, we’re getting a reminder that Cole’s time behind the announcer’s desk is finite, and there may be an end on the horizon.
PWInsider Elite is reporting that while it has always been discussed that Cole would eventually move off television and into an exclusive backstage role, lately that talk has ramped up, especially with the influx of more announcers, like Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, adding Tom Phillips to the now four-man Smackdown booth, Byron Saxton and Austin Aries both working behind the booth on Raw, and Percy Watson now making NXT a three-man booth.
Cole’s current duties (in addition to his announcing role on Raw and its pay-per-views, and WWE YouTube videos and online interviews) consist of being the senior producer for commentators, and scouting and hiring talent. Michael Cole is the reason that Mauro Ranallo has a job, as Cole hand-picked him to be the lead announcer for Smackdown, and produces the Smackdown and Raw commentary desks for whatever they need beyond what Vince McMahon needs everyone to cover during the shows. Cole has served as a mentor and guru for pretty much everyone who has come into an announcing gig since Jim Ross left the company, so keep that in mind the next time to wax poetic about Corey Graves.
It may still be a few years down the road, both those announce desks are starting to get crowded, and Cole will only hold onto his lead announcer role for so long.