It's been well known for a while now that Michael Cole is an annoying heel. But, not the type of annoying that makes one think "He's doing his job brilliantly" like in the cases of say Jericho or Del Rio, as fans still think they are great, even though they are heels. Michael Cole, however, is not.
Now, this is not a knock on Michael Cole... He's ok maybe it is. I mean, he is doing a job, but WWE Creative have given that job to the wrong man.
First commentary team I remember watching was the amazing duo of the late great Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, who together, in my view, were the best commentary team in WWE History.
The thing that made Monsoon/Heenan great was that Gorilla Monsoon was an amazing play by play man. He could do it all on the mic - make you laugh, make you listen and make a dull match good and a good match great. With "The Weasel" next to him delivering funny one liners and being that damn good he would eventually get his own show, they were both indeed worthy of their respective Hall of Fame inductions, just for their commentary alone.
The working formula there was that Heenan was the heel, which in a way, gave him creative license to deliver those great one liners, as it did for Jesse Ventura before him.
Would Heenan have been as amusing and good if he was a babyface? Good question, to which I think the answer is no. Would Jesse Ventura been good if he had to feed the heel Monsoon the one liners? No.
Undoubtedly, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were the voice of the Attitude era, and made some of the average matches great by their uncanny ability to work well together and make the product look good. In his autobiography, Lawler mentions how easy it is to work with JR due to Lawler not having to rehearse, just saying what comes to mind after being fed a good line by JR. As a heel, he had free roam to make fun of any superstar he wanted to.
He doesn't have the freedom to do that now, due to Michael Cole being the heel, so he does it. There are times on RAW where the King looks fed up, which he says is due to Cole, but it could be because Cole has been fed the heel line which Lawler would have knocked out of the park.
There has beena few discussions on here lately stating the announcers should change. I think Cole and Lawler work well together and should stay on RAW (if JR is not coming back, as assumed), but, Lawler needs to be the heel character, not Cole.
Some of Lawler's best work was as a heel, and he should be again. Hopefully then we'll stop having Michael Cole's opinions forced down our throats all night.