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Wrestling / Michael Cole

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The Voice of WWE.

"Vintage (insert name here)!"

Michael Sean Coulthard (born December 8, 1968), better known by his stage name Michael Cole, is a former CBS journalist who covered Waco, the Yugoslavian civil war, and the Oklahoma City bombing, in addition to a couple U.S. Presidential campaigns. He is currently a play-by-play announcer for WWE.

He is best-known for announcing WWE SmackDown for nine years, from its launch in 1999 until 2008; in 2008, he was switched over to WWE Raw, where he remained until 2019; he was switched back to SmackDown following WWE's Premiere Week in 2019.


  • Arch-Enemy:
    • As a heel, Daniel Bryan and the Internet (or at a bare minimum, all the smarks on it).
    • As a face, Zeb Colter, the manager of Jack Swagger. Cole is very vocal about how much he dislikes Colter's political views and he had a lengthy political debate with the man on Twitter. Not to mention that he's a real life liberal, as he said on a recent episode of a weekly podcast he does with JBL on The Layfield Report website.
    • Dominik Mysterio. Having been a long-time commentator of Rey Mysterio's wrestling career, Dominik is a major sore spot for him and gets the worst of Cole's vitriol whenever he's onscreen on a show Cole is commentating on.
    • Also Bayley, who, ever since the Thunderdome era, wastes no time in making fun of him and calling him an Idiot every chance she gets.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Cole asked Josh Mathews if he had been playing Michael Cole Bingo during an episode of the first season of NXT.
    • His Slammy acceptance speech, wherein he gives a Shout-Out to almost every catchphrase and criticism leveled at him.
    • "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, COUNT FASTER!" Explanation 
    • Two Slammys were named after Cole; 2009's "Oh My" award and 2010's "And I Quote." Naturally, he won both.
  • Author Avatar: Of Vince McMahon, or his evil "Mr. McMahon" character at least.
    • Wrestlers often yell at Cole whenever upset, much like they did to McMahon when he was on the announce booth.
    • Cole's heel character was somewhat of a fusion of Vince's dorky pre-Attitude persona (sans bowties) and his Evil Boss character. Whereas Vince will be remembered for wearing a flamenco shirt while singing disco, Cole's infamy peaked with a rap battle vs. Jim Ross(!).
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Was awarded the win at WrestleMania, but only by DQ and was still put in an ankle lock and tapped out.
  • Big "NO!": In WrestleMania 32, he screamed it out when Shane McMahon jumped off the 20-foot-tall cell structure in his (failed) attempt to take out The Undertaker and his career. This was followed up by a Big "OMG!" after Shane crashed onto the empty announcers' table, echoing the incident in which Taker threw Mick Foley off the cell in King of the Ring 1998.
  • Brown Note: Not fear, but just annoyance. During his heel run, WWE seemed to be deliberately invoking this to get Cole heat. At one point, he was doing commentary for all shows, and in general, his gimmick was that he never shuts up. WWE was clearly trying to make Cole's voice as grating and annoying as possible.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Cole has verbally assaulted nine time World Champion The Rock to his face on two separate occasions, both times resulting The Rock delivering the Rock Bottom and People's Elbow to Cole.
  • Butt-Monkey: Just look at the page quotes; that is a sliver of the hatred Cole has gotten over the years. In the later stages of his career, this started to ease off.
    • The Rock especially enjoyed embarrassing Cole in interview segments. Sometimes the Rock would call Cole a hermaphrodite and force him to stick his finger up his nose, other times the Rock would force Cole to wear one of the Rock's t-shirts...over his face.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Vintage [insert anything here]!"
      • "SHADES OF [x], MAGGLE!"
        "Vintage [y], JBL!"
    • "Oh my!"
    • "Lookitlookitlookit!" (likely not intentional, but still)
    • "You are watching the longest-running weekly episodic program in television history!"
    • "You've gotta be kidding me!"
    • "No! Not this way!"
    • "And a [clubbing blow/big boot/ steel chair/ etc.] the skull of [insert wrestler name here]!"
    • "The best pure striker in WWE, The Undertaker! His entrance is absolutely bone-chilling!"
    • He has several wrestler-specific ones.
      • "It’s Boss Time!"
      • "It's Fight Night!"
      • During his heel run, whenever Daniel Bryan showed up, expect Cole to say "He's a vegan!" and "...the minor leagues!" Every. Single. Time.note 
    • ("new email" jingle) "Can I have your attention, please? (rampant booing) I have received a message from the General Manager! AND I QUOTE..."
    • "Listen to this place!" (whenever the crowd gets really loud about a certain event or wrestler in the ring) note 
    • "You can't blame him/her!" When a Face is acting more like a Designated Hero.
    • "It's all about Hashtag (whatever the match is)!"
    • When something very dramatic and unexpected happens—a particularly brutal move, the unexpected return of a heel to ruin a face's day, etc.—Cole will often opt for a quiet, "Oh my God."
      • This phrase was no more powerful than during the 2011 edition of Money in the Bank, after CM Punk won the WWE Championship two hours before his contract expired. Cole was the first one to say anything, and with this phrase, it hammered in what just happened, and more importantly, for the WWE, what it meant.
  • Cheap Heat: As a heel, Cole would interrupt babyfaces (such as The Rock, and get off on the fan booing to draw heat. In Miami, after interrupting Rocky on his birthday, he proudly shows off a Boston Celtics jersey (who were beating Miami in the NBA Playoffs) to massive heat.
  • The Chew Toy: To the point where one of the easiest ways to get a reaction from the crowd is to take a cheap shot at Cole.
  • Companion Cube: The "GM Laptop." Which even got its own heel heat. On the Raw before the 2011 Royal Rumble, Cole willingly put himself in harm's way by standing between the laptop & Edge, after Edge decided he was going to destroy the GM Laptop "for old time's sake". Lampshaded by Jerry Lawler, who pointed out it was just a computer.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Sure, it's easy for the IWC to pick on Cole, but the man in his pre-WWF/WWE days spent nine months in the field as a journalist covering the Yugoslavian Civil War in 1994, as well as covering the 1993 Waco Siege for 51 days and the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. A far cry from what his WWE persona is perceived as. Cole would make reference to this, from time to time, during his distaste for the NXT of the game show time period.
    • Lawler's heart attack occurred during a match between Team Hell No and the Primetime Players. The match was still going on while the heart attack happened on live television. During the few moments that the cameras could catch something going on with Lawler with Cole tending to him (the cameras were actually focusing on Daniel Bryan; that camera angle was not used again until Lawler was stretchered off). Despite tending to Lawler, Cole still was not only able to call the match (albeit with only some one liners only meant to describe what was going on), but to keep his composure during the entire ordeal, to the point to where, if you were watching at home and didn't notice that anything was going on in the background when the aforementioned angle happened, then the crowd looking to the table would've been the first indication that anything was going on at that vicinity. Takes a bad ass to pull off two jobs at once, especially when one job is as heart wrenching as tending to a friend who could've died at that precise moment.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cole is rather snippy with his broadcast partners, especially when he was SmackDown! with passive-aggressive sarcasm being favored.
    • NXT Season 3, as a result of nobody taking the show seriously anymore after the disastrous second season, had him and Josh Matthews turn the snark up to eleven. It soon became one of the only reasons to watch the show, especially during Goldust and Aksana's wedding where they were given champagne, resulting in them being a little bit tipsy for the segment.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: When he says, "Enzuigiri to the back of the head." An enzuigiri is a jumping kick to the back of the head, meaning he is saying, "Jumping kick to the back of the head to the back of the head."
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Milked this for all its worth in his feud with Lawler, to the point of commentating inside a plexiglas box so Lawler couldn't touch him. Even when he commented on SmackDown, where no one was there to threaten him.
    • Showed when Jack Swagger finally had enough and abandoned him. Cole goes from Smug Snake to pleading with Lawler to call off their upcoming match for the rest of the night.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • In an episode of SmackDown!, Heidenreich abducts Cole in the middle of a match and carries him through the crowd. Afterward, we see Heidenreich has Cole in a locked room pressed up against the wall, talking directly into his ear about "having the same desires", "wanting the same things" and "giving him what he wants" now that he's alone with him. Thrusts him repeatedly against the wall as he says it all while Cole has a painful and frighten expression on his face. It can be seen here
    • On an Season 3 episode of NXT, shortly after Cole woke up from his sleep during the arm wrestling competition, Josh Mathews received a text message from Yolanda Coulthard (Cole's wife) stating that she knew what it was like to fall asleep during the action.
    • "I had, uh, 500 pounds of men on top of me."
  • Fanboy:
    • While a heel, The Miz, Alex Riley, and pretty much anyone who wasn't Daniel Bryan. This hit a crescendo on 11/29/10 when Cole interfered on Miz's behalf in the latter's TLC match with Jerry Lawler, Cole's own broadcast partner. Even CM Punk was disgusted. Also, of LayCool, Vickie Guerrero, and basically everybody that the Smarks are supposed to hate.
    • In more recent years he became an Elias fanboy, which is interesting because this was not a sign of either of them switching alignments.
    • Pat McAfee. Enough said.
  • Fan Hater: Basically, if they love it he'll hate it and troll the IWC about it every chance he gets. Specifically speaking, He holds Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder in contempt for being "Internet Darlings."
    • Favouritism Flip-Flop: Cole's former favoritism towards Cena has made him turn on Superstars he's shown favor for in the past. Cole took amusement in Cena's verbal abuse of Vickie Guerrero a heel who Cole admires and has an attraction to. Cole went on to belittle Vickie when she slap Cena when she had enough of his verbal onslaught. He would often do this depending on whether the person in question was feuding with The Miz.
  • Flanderization:
    • He actually used to be quite good during his early run with Tazz on SmackDown! (WWE follows a pattern of having one technical commentator and one color commentator. Cole was the technical, Tazz was color commentary). He had a lot of energy and passion, and if you watch him in a match from 2003 or 2004, the difference is staggering. However, with time, he has fallen backward and began endlessly repeating catchphrases, like the "Vintage!" mentioned above. Part of it isn't his fault (likely corporate is forcing him to endlessly shill the "longest running episodic" thing as a form of boasting), but it doesn't make listening to him call a match any less frustrating. The thing is, he started the "vintage" line when referring to the Undertaker's leg drop on the apron (and it made sense back then because Undertaker had just brought back his Deadman gimmick and thus was using moves he hadn't used in a long time), and it slowly spread from there.
    • His troll persona got more and more exaggerated as the months went on. He went from just having a problem with Daniel Bryan not respecting The Miz to screaming at his long-time broadcast partner Jerry "The King" Lawler that he's a loser who would fail when Lawler was tapped to be in the Raw Rumble and then won. Cole has also gone from being at least somewhat intelligent in his snark to resorting to "What you said was stupid!" as a retort.
  • Happily Married: Cole's reason for ignoring the fanservice when his broadcast partner brings it up.
  • Humiliation Conga: Jerry Lawler, Eve Torres, Jim Ross, and Bret "The Hitman" Hart joined forces to give one to Michael both during and after his "Kiss My Feet" match at Over the Limit. It continued the next night on Raw with Eve and Jerry rubbing salt in the wounds. Booker T even got in on it that Friday on SmackDown by leading the crowd in a "Kiss My Feet" chant directed at Cole.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the 2012 Royal Rumble, Jerry Lawler was called in at #12, going straight in from the commentary desk and causing Cole to argue with Booker T that Lawler should just stick to doing his job and stop trying to be a superstar. When Booker T himself later went in at #17, Cole continued arguing the same line with the returned Lawler. After Booker rejoined them at the table after being eliminated, they got to #20... Michael Cole. It's no surprise that, when Cole jumped over the rope in a pathetic attempt to escape from Kharma, Lawler and Booker just ran up behind him and dragged him off the apron to the floor.
    Michael Cole: You guys just cost me my spot at WrestleMania!
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • His reason for hating Daniel Bryan? "He's a nerd! He's a vegan! He's never had a date in his life!" The last one especially is interesting as he is a fanboy of self-professed chick magnet The Miz.
    • On the 11/18/11 episode of ''SmackDown'', he claimed that even though Zack Ryder has pinned United States Champion Dolph Ziggler multiple times in recent weeks, he couldn't earn a U.S. Title shot because, in his words, "None of those matches were for the title, so it doesn't matter." Um, what?
  • Insistent Terminology: Cole refers to himself as a "broadcast journalist" than a play-by-play announcer. He also has a tendency to say "skull" instead of head, context be damned-he used to be the same way with back and spine but has let up on it.
  • Irony: Went from being Daniel Bryan's biggest antagonist and critic to one of his most vocal supporters:
    Triple H: Name one man who can beat that Randy Orton.
    Cole: Daniel Bryan.
    • JBL also has kept calling him a Conspiracy Theorist whenever he suspects a heel is doing something bad. But on the March 14, 2014 episode of Smackdown, when JBL continues his rants of Jerry Lawler helping the "YES!" Movement, Cole is quick to fire the insult back at him.
  • Jaw Drop: The first time Daniel Bryan beat The Miz, not only did Cole become speechless during the count, but the second the match was over, the camera cut back to a close-up of Cole's face, his mouth hanging open like a dope. If he wasn't a Fountain of Memes at that point, the relentless photoshopping of that image (as well as the one at the top of this page) made him into one.
  • Jerkass: His heel run was made of this.
  • Jerkass to One: Following his post-Heel days, he remains neutral, but the one person he shows the most disdain towards is Dominik Mysterio ever since the latter turned against his father to join Judgement Day. Seeing him as spoiled, entitled, Ungrateful Bastard. Upon coming out in the '23 Royal Rumble wearing Rey's mask, note  Cole calls Dominik a piece of shit. Some even have called Dominik the Triple H to Cole's Jim Ross.
  • Karma Houdini: The stuff he could get away with during his feud with Lawler. Fortunately he got what was coming to him at ''Over The Limit 11''.
    • As of now, many Smarks are surprised at the fact that he (kayfabe) still has his job, despite the things he has said about Triple H from the commentary table. Others have been fired for less.
  • Lampshade Hanging: At SmackDown's ten year celebration, he repeatedly shouted "Vintage x" for anything. He said "vintage shrimp!" when he ate some shrimp and "vintage Punk!" when all CM Punk did was enter the room.
  • Large Ham: In spite of his reputation for being infamously flat and robotic, when Vince is out of his ear and the match at hand is of a high enough octane, Cole's commentary has been known to break the sound barrier. See his reaction to Daniel Bryan's WrestleMania 30 title win and his call when Sami Zayn became the first man to kick out of the 1D.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: King pushed Cole into an RKO in retribution for Cole's screwing him out of a chance of winning the WWE Championship. See also Humiliation Conga.
  • Like a Son to Me:
    • Cole took it to the next level the following week. Stating seeing The Miz win the WWE Championship was like seeing his son win the title.
    • Nowadays, any match that Pat McAfee's in. Especially his most recent one against Baron "Happy" Corbin.
  • Mood Whiplash: As a heel, Cole would sometimes momentarily break character while calling Daniel Bryan's matches, actually sounding impressed or excited when Bryan does something of note.
  • Never My Fault: The following Raw after he screwed over Lawler to help The Miz, he tried to turn it around Lawler, stating that it should be him who's apologizing instead.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A Real Life Writes the Plot example: Cole was running as a mega-heel during 2012, but on the 9/10/2012 episode of Raw, Jerry Lawler suffered a real, near-fatal heart attack while on the commentary table, with Cole choosing not to continue with commentary for the remaining hour of the show, only providing updates to television viewers on his colleague's condition throughout the episode. Cole received widespread praise for his handling of the situation, to the point that he ended up turning face shortly thereafter.
  • Pet the Dog: When he was a heel, he was still a fan of John Morrison and Santino and Kozlov.
  • Phrase Catcher: JBL always refers to him as "Maggle."
  • Product Placement: As much as Dave Metzer and the OWC doesn't want to admit it, there are a lot of wrestling fans who are not intelligent. This is why Cole had to explain ad nauseam that the Network was a better deal than PPV, and the step-by-step process of downloading the app.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: He was this in his heel days, liking every heel except for Daniel Bryan. But ever since becoming a face commentator, he's no longer this, and JBL has become this.
  • Redemption Demotion: Once he turned face in 2012, he stopped commentating on SmackDown, the position was taken over by JBL, and now only commentates on Raw and Main Event, which is more of a B or C show. He then began to call SmackDown again, though, starting with the few weeks prior to WrestleMania 29.
  • Reset Button: After Lawler's heart attack, all traces of Cole's heel character disappeared, though Lawler will still taunt him about it from time to time.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: At the end of the 9/13/10 episode of NXT, Cole derided the competition, and stormed out of the arena.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Once going face, he seems to be willing to play upon his faults and not take himself so seriously.
    • Many episodes of the internet series "JBL & Cole Show" have many wrestlers put over JBL and bury Cole (in kayfabe, of course). Cole plays this up a lot.
      • In one episode, JBL mentioned that Cole "has no friends". Cole then mentions that his wife and dogs are his friends. Umm...that's family!
    • When putting over the WWE App (for the umpteenth time), Cole mentioned that "even my fat fingers can do it". Apple might not have liked that so much seeing as how Cole was using his iPhone, and the smaller screen when compared to some other phones is a major criticism of it, especially to those with bigger hands.
    • During a failed attempt at trying to get Cole to go back to the heel persona a few weeks after Lawler returned, Cole was putting over Damien Sandow, and at one point said that Lawler had to "get with the Latin of Damien Sandow". We had no idea what the hell he said,. Apparently, neither did he, as his next line was him saying "I have no idea what that means," while laughing.
  • Shameful Strip: Courtesy of John Cena. Unfortunately.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: By another Hannibal, ironically...and it was during one of his most hated catchphrases.
    Michael Cole: (after the "new" "email" jingle goes off) Can I have your attention ple—
    • Considering that Jericho was a Heel and he received some of the loudest cheers since his return, this doubles as a CMOA.
    • During the Rock vs. CM Punk match at the 2013 Royal Rumble, when Punk thought he was going to win at the hands of The Shield, Cole railed on JBL for condoning the action (one of the more entertaining arguments between the two). It led to this:
    JBL: WAH! WAH! WAH! You don't cry in sports-entertain... note 
    Cole: SHUT UP!!!!
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: With The Miz on Main Event.
  • Smug Snake:
    • When The Miz was the WWE Champion, Cole pushed this up to eleven. When the GM tried to interrupt The Rock's promo, Cole was practically reveling in how much the audience was pissed off.
    • He likes to go on about his "undefeated streak", consisting at the moment of two very narrow and unfair victories. After his face turn, this is more of an off hand remark than bragging.
  • Take That!: After Vince's retirement in 2022, Cole had one last shot towards his former boss.
    Corey Graves: I liked you better when you weren't allowed to have an opinion!
    Cole: That's changed. A lot has changed...
  • Troll:
    • His heel character was that of a troll to both Daniel Bryan and the IWC as a whole.
    • In the Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus match for a spot on "Team Raw" at the 2010 Bragging Rights pay per view, Cole said no-one should want Bryan on the team because he was on "Team WWE" at SummerSlam against The Nexus, and Team WWE lost that match. Except that didn't happen, Team WWE won, with Bryan getting two eliminations & actually being the longest lasting member of his team, second only to John Cena.
    • On the 11/15 three-hour "Old School" Raw, Jim Ross came out to call the Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger match. Cole attempted to troll JR (and the match itself, pretending to fall asleep during it) the entire match; Ross finally had enough and slapped Cole with his cowboy hat.
    • From NXT season 4:
    Michael Cole: For all you internet geeks who voted for Kaval in NXT season 2, how did that work out for y'all?note 
    • And it was not just the IWC he trolled, on the finale of NXT Season 3 after they called the soon-to-be-debuting Season 4 Rookie Brodus Clay a "Human Suplex Machine," stating in a tauntingly smug voice "I know someone who's not gonna like that!" (hint: it's Taz)
  • Villainous BSoD: Whenever he was reminded of the "Kiss My Foot" match against Lawler his expression would completely drop.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With several of his commentating partners; Tazz, Josh Mathews, CM Punk, JBL, and now Corey Graves.

Waldorf: You know, the only thing worse than listening to Michael Cole is...
Both: Nothing! Heheheheheh...


Video Example(s):


Mick Foley Becomes Champion

As Mick Foley defeats the Rock to become WWF champion (and puts 600,000 butts in the seats), Michael Cole describes all the challenges he faced to get there.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / EarnYourHappyEnding

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