Michael Cole On Difficulty Of 3 Hour RAWs, John Cena's Heat, Lawler's Heart Attack, More
The pressure during the Monday Night Wars: "There was a ton of pressure. I was in over my head, and I'll be the first to admit that. I had been in warzones around the world and never felt the type of pressure that I felt in those few months leading up. Then I had to call Wrestlemania on top of it all, except for the main event, which we brought Jim back for, but it was an extraordinary amount of pressure which I wasn't ready for. But I always try to look at things from a positive standpoint; that really prepared me for what was coming over the next few years here in WWE and really becoming the voice of Smackdown and becoming the solid guy on that show and moving on to Raw and where I am today."
On dealing with the multitudes of different fans: "This day and age people don't understand the amount of pressure that's on us as commentators to serve so many masters. First off there's the hardcore fans, like you guys are, who have been watching for 20 or 30 years who want their old school wrestling. They want you to call a wrestling match; they want you to call every single hold, so you've got to please that. You've got to try to do your best. You also have to please your kids who are 50% of your audience and your women who are a large part of our audience too, so you're talking about different stories when it comes to those demographics. We're obviously in a PG era now, so you can't get away with a lot of things you could get away with 15 years ago. The other thing is we're inundated with social media and I get tweet constantly during the show; 'hey Cole, shut the heck up,' 'stop with the twitter, stop with this and that.' Our company wants to be in the fore front of social media. That's our company's goal and our objective. I have to do that, I work for WWE; I need to do what they want me to do. Does it get to be too much sometimes? Yeah, of course it does. I think we do a lot of things in excess, but that's what we want. So when I'm talking about what's trending worldwide or when I'm talking about what somebody said on their Twitter feed earlier today, I know guys like you who want your wrestling are probably saying, 'geez Cole, shut the hell up, enough already.' But then there's kids at home going, 'oh my god, I'm going to follow Vince McMahon on Twitter, this is an exciting day.' So you're trying to please so many masters and you're never going to please everybody. So all you can do is try to do the best you can, try to be entertaining, try to tell a good story, try to explain to your audience what's going on and on top of all this, especially this time of year, we have such a new audience especially when you've got a guy like Rock, who's the biggest movie star in the world right now and he's got the number one movie in GI Joe, you have a lot of new audience members watching this show every week now because of guys like The Rock or because of Undertaker's back or because Brock Lesnar the MMA crowd may come in, so now you've got to try to explain what's going on in our soap opera every week to fans who aren't watching on a weekly basis. We have to do it in ways that don't insult guys like you who watch every week and know the stories and background of these guys. It's a terribly difficult job, but I love it. The challenge is amazing and the criticism is great because I learn a lot of times from the criticism. I'll read my Twitter feed and a lot of the fans out there have great suggestions and great ideas that I'll try to bring into the show the following week."