Michael Cole Talks If John Cena Should Turn Heel, Backlash For His WrestleMania Match, Lawler

Michael Cole recently sat down with Sam Roberts. Here are some highlights from the interview.

His Wrestlemania match two years ago against Jerry Lawler: "Yes, I had a match. If you want to call it that. It's been voted one of the worst Wrestlemania matches in history [laughter] so… It was me versus Jerry "The King" Lawler, Wrestlemania 27 in Atlanta and Jerry Lawler, who's a legend in this business, had never ever had a Wrestlemania match. Ever. So, he's all excited because he finds out he's going to have his first Wrestlemania match and then he finds out it's going to be against me [laughter].

"So we do this whole angle leading up to the thing, which was a lot of fun. The problem is, no one knew that I had this orange singlet made for this match [laughter]. Let's not forget, I had the Team Cole sweatshirt. So I didn't reveal the singlet until I actually got into the ring. And my black kneepads, in front of 70000 people at Georgia Dome and I was scared to death because I'd never been in a match before. They sent me down a month early and said hey, go to Tampa to our training school, learn how to take bumps. So they're throwing me around the ring. I couldn't move for two or three weeks.

"I thought I was in great shape. I thought I was Arnold. I think I'm in decent shape. So a couple of days before Wrestlemania, Hunter looks at me and goes [laughter], hey uh, Michael. You been hitting the gym? [laughter] I said oh yeah, I've been going every day. He says really, you don't look it. I realize he's not complimenting me and I said I'm playing the character. I'm an announcer. I'm not supposed to be an athlete. I'm supposed to look fat in the ring. That's the gimmick, right? Meanwhile I'm so embarrassed because I've been working out for months to get ready for this match."

If he gets Twitter hate: "It's horrible. It's actually better now. It's about 90 percent hate mail; it was 100 percent before. And then, of course, Jerry went on and had a heart attack live on television and turned me into a babyface overnight."

If wrestlers were angry that his Wrestlemania match was 35 minutes long: "People hated me. I mean literally [hated]. There was a backlash in the locker room. This buffoon has got 35 minutes at Wrestlemania? We tried to justify it by saying hey, Stone Cold Steve Austin's the special guest referee. This is a big attraction. Jack Swagger's at ringside. We have the Cole Mine at ringside, the plastic box that I used to broadcast from because I was a bad guy. It was just not a good scene."

If being a bad guy is his favorite thing he's ever done: "Oh, my God yes. I curse the fact that Jerry Lawler had a heart attack because it made me turn into a good guy. [laughter]"

Jerry Lawler's on air heart attack: "We were in Montreal, Canada. We were calling a match. Jerry and I don't look at each other when we work. We have monitors at ringside. I look at my right monitor, Jerry looks at his left monitor. We were calling a match and all of a sudden I hear Jerry snoring. I thought he was just doing that to say that the match was boring. I used to do it when I was a bad guy, so I just figured maybe he was doing it. So I turned around to look at him and he was snoring. Then I said this isn't right and his head was on the table. Next thing I know he went into cardiac arrest. Thank God for the doctors and the EMT's and Jerry made it.

What he thinks of Brad Maddox: "I actually like Brad. I think he's got some potential down the road. He's like a lot of our guys today."

If wrestling is changing: "The business is changing, it really is. We've got a lot of young guys. We've got a great minor league facility, we like to call it, down in Florida called NXT. We've got a lot of young talent down there. You're going to see a shifting of the guard. We have to do it. I mean, you see what's going on at Wrestlemania. A lot of these guys aren't going to be around in a week or two."

If he thinks WWE should turn Cena heel: "I don't. I don't think so. I know that a lot of people are like oh, you don't know what the hell you're talking about, Cole. He drives our company. He's been here ten years. People love him. Kids love him. There's nobody close that sells the amount of merchandise that John sells. I mean, he's just so good for this brand. Not to mention the charity that John does. Between Make A Wish and Susan G. Komen For the Cure, the breast cancer foundation that we worked heavily with last year, that was all John's idea. He came up with the pink ropes and the whole nine yards. Just for those reasons alone, John needs to stay who he is and that's who he is at heart. John is that person at heart. I've known John for years, he's one of my closest friends in the business and that's who he is."

Source: Sam Roberts


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