Michael Cole has been the voice of WWE for two decades now, but he was still getting comfortable with the product throughout the first ten years.
Beginning in 1997, Cole spent his first his few years in WWE as a backstage interviewer who was routinely made fun of by the likes of D-Generation X and The Rock. Cole was moved to the play-by-play spot on Raw when Jim Ross suffered a bout with Bell's Palsy. Since 1999, Cole has manned the booth on Raw or SmackDown. And it didn't always come easy for him.
Appearing on WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves, Cole discussed the difficulties of his first decade in WWE.
"When I started, Kevin Dunn told me, 'It's going to take your ten years to get comfortable with this product.' It took me ten years to become comfortable with the product. It was right around the 10-11 year mark when I moved from SmackDown to Raw and that is when I finally thought, I sort of have a grasp of what I'm doing," said Cole. "It's not an easy process, especially for someone to come from the outside world into it and do it the way we do things. I've never been completely accepted by a lot of sports entertainment fans. It's difficult compared to guys like you [Corey Graves] who were trained to be a wrestler. This is something you've trained for your entire life and you understand the psychology of what goes on in the ring and understand what's happening in the ring. I had to learn and teach myself that. It was a real difficult thing to do because it was just Jim Ross and myself. Jim, of course, is a legend. I'm just trying to find out what the hell I'm doing. But the bosses stuck with me."
Despite fan backlash from taking Jim Ross' spot, WWE tried to make Ross the heel in the situation, which backfired. Cole did turn heel in 2010 when Vince McMahon realized he was "a sarcastic prick." You can view Cole's full comments on turning heel by clicking here.
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