Wheelman for James Ellsworth
Join Date: Jan 2006
Re: Monday Night Raw has been this weak for how long?
Honestly, taking Jim Ross off the air hurt the show a lot. I'm not ripping on Michael Cole, even though he's not even in J.R.'s league, but Ross was the voice of the show.
When RAW first began, Vince McMahon was the voice of the show. Even though he was pretty over-the-top with his "what a maneuver" and "Oh, my goodness!" calls, he was still very well spoken and, being he was the one pulling all the strings in the company, he had his finger on the pulse of everything that was going on and worked his ass off to make you believe in everything that happened on-camera.
Then when Vince became "Mr. McMahon", Jim Ross took over as the lead announcer for RAW and he was able to not only equal Vince on commentary, but far surpass him. His encyclopedic knowledge of all things wrestling coupled with his unbridled passion for the business is why he's the best announcer of all time. I'm sure his position in the WWE's front office also allowed him, like Vince, to have his finger on the pulse of what the company was trying to get over at any given time. Even for years after when he was still just a broadcaster, he never let up for a beat and was the consummate professional, even during the dumber moments, he rose above the on-screen absurdity and made the content seem more legit. And then Kevin Dunn finally got Jim Ross taken off the air for good in favor of Michael Cole.
Michael Cole can't even hold Jim Ross' jock, so, how is he able to fill his shoes? His broadcasting hurts the show badly enough that it makes even the good moments suffer as a result. Here's a man who's lack of wrestling announcing skill has convinced enough people that Randy Orton's DDT from the second rope is actually named "Vintage Orton." Cole has an adequate voice, does decent voice-overs for video packages, and like McMahon before him, has an easily dis-likeable quality about him that made him a great heel, but he should not be at the helm of the flagship show of the WWE - he simply doesn't have the chops. Everyone knows that 90% of what Cole says is being parroted to him by Vince, himself, so why Vince doesn't do commentary himself again in the twilight of his on-screen career, no one knows. You can put Jerry Lawler in that same boat as well, as has been stated many times before. Lawler checked out of being emotionally invested in anything that happens on-screen years ago, he's just there to collect his huge paycheck and go back to Memphis for the other six days out of the week. Lawler keeps his job now because Vince McMahon respects him for being a successful booker in the Memphis territory all those years ago, has been a staple of RAW since 1995, and after last September, had a heart attack and almost died on his live TV show. As a result of McMahon's loyalty, RAW will continue to suffer greatly because he'll never get rid of Lawler.
You fix the fucked up announce team on RAW, you improve the show, instantly.
Maybe one day he'll reach that main event.