Since departing WWE last year, Arn Anderson has resurfaced as an on-screen personality on AEW programming. The Enforcer serves as ‘the coach’ for the Nightmare Family, most commonly appearing in the corner of Cody Rhodes.
In AEW, Anderson was reunited with some of his old WCW comrades, including announcer Tony Schiavone. While Anderson’s friendship with the commentator goes back decades, he has major praise for another professional wrestling announcer. Speaking on The Arn Show, the former WWE road agent spoke highly of WWE’s resident play-by-play man, Michael Cole.
“Ironically, probably six-eight months before I was released with WWE, Michael Cole, who I respect, that’s a very hard job,” Anderson said. “He does a great job. and I told him one day – I don’t know if he remembers it – I just said, ‘You know what Michael, you’re the most professional announcer that we have in the company, and I mean it.’ He can sell anything.”
Anderson specifically praised Cole’s ability to juggle calling the action while listening to his headset. He says being able to balance those two things and still call a cohesive contest is beyond impressive.
“A lot of the time, it’s hard to put your thoughts into what you’re watching when someone is screaming in your headset,” Anderson said. “Matter of fact, I would say you got to switch gears and go with the guy that pays your salary. That’s not who Michael Cole is. Left to his own devices, he is very effective as a wrestling announcer calling the action.”
Debatable lines stretch beyond the announce desk, as controversial promo remarks inside the squared circle have been commonplace in WWE for decades. From disrespectful gestures to offensive expletives, superstars have had their fair share of problematic promos. Anderson specifically criticized scripts that poked fun at weight, saying fat jokes fall into his unwritten short list of banned remarks.
“Never agreed with it. I never will agree with it. There are some rules and we’ve discussed them many times,” Anderson said. “You don’t say old, you don’t say fat, you don’t say skinny, too small. None of those things because they’re all going to end up biting you in the a– when that person ends up kicking your a–.”
Anderson’s mentee, Cody Rhodes, was involved in an infamous angle with the Big Show that used some of those weight themes that The Enforcer doesn’t care for. While Anderson was not a fan of the feud’s content, he applauded Cody for being a professional and going through with it.
“He was willing to go out there with that cast of characters, and Show, God bless Show to be a legitimate monster, giant, Godzilla,” Anderson said. “Has been put in some precarious rotten situations over the years and this was just another one. It was haha with no haha, because the guy you were trying to get the haha on didn’t have any heat.
“For the life of them, they could not figure out how to use Cody after he, Randy, and Ted Jr. broke up. It was just downhill from there, and this was not a stellar night. I always knew he was capable of so much more.”
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Arn Show with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.