Sunday Night, like many of you, I was glued to my television set, watching history being made live on pay-per-view. As I enjoyed Money in the Bank with a few friends, it seemed like we were discussing the sub-par quality of WWE’s announce team more than we were the events transpiring in the ring, and that should never be the case. Unfortunately, the general awfulness of the commentary team is becoming a distraction to product.
Now, I’m not bashing any of the three guys that called the action on Sunday night’s extravaganza on an individual basis; they all have a place behind the booth in the right context (Ok, maybe not Booker T). But it’s ill-advised to have an announce team on which there isn’t a guy who knows the names of any wrestling moves. Phrases like “high impact strikes,” “submission maneuver,” and “aerial assault” are shouted in between banter about the “heart and determination” of competitors and petty, juvenile quips between the announcers. Phrases like those should not be used as umbrella terms to describe every move performed – actual move names are appreciated. Sadly, I’m of the belief that the guys WWE has chosen to sit behind the table are completely and utterly devoid of wrestling knowledge, in the text-book knowing-what-things-are-called sense.
During the WWE Championship match in Chicago, CM Punk locked John Cena in a Koji Clutch. Michael Cole sold the move like a champ from ringside, shouting “Anaconda Vice!” and putting the hold over as one that Punk has used to force many an opponent to tap out. Of course, the move was not actually an Anaconda Vice. And Punk has never won a match with a Koji Clutch. So that was a really dumb thing to day. Later in the match, when CM Punk locked Cena in the actual Anaconda Vice, Michael Cole exuberantly shouted, you guessed it, “submission maneuver!” Sheesh.
The following night on Raw, Alex Riley locked The Miz in a Texas Cloverleaf during their first round match in the tournament to crown a new WWE Champion. Michael Cole, the savvy technical wrestling encyclopedia that he is, demonstrated his knowledge by referring to the move as “almost a Sharpshooter.” Somewhere, Dean Malenko ripped out his five remaining hairs. These aren’t isolated incidents either. Part of watching a WWE event is hearing Michael Cole erroneously call moves. After all these years, I still have yet to hear him refer to a powerslam as such. They’re not all scoop slams, Michael.
My sentiments exactly, Booker. Michael Cole isn’t the only guilty party, of course. Booker T himself is just as painful, if not more so. Nobody cares what Daniel Bryan did to “earn” the nickname of “D. Bryan” you appointed him. Not every pinfall attempt is going to finish a match, you shouldn’t expect each of them to do so. People kick out. No need to shout “What the hell?!” whenever anybody gets a shoulder up. I have NO idea what “Shucky ducky, quack quack” means, but I’ve heard it said more than once since the 5-time (5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time) World Champion has donned a headset. What? He’s been champ six times? But…but that messes up the catchphrase.
How have two of the most successful wrestling promotions ever thought it a good idea to convert members of Harlem Heat into color commentators? The Steiners are the only tag team in the history of the industry that I can imagine producing results near as disastrous.
Alas, this is nothing more than a hate fueled rant. But I care not, for I hate the WWE announce team. And I love the mute button.