Induction: John Cena vs. Michael Cole – Cena adds a “D” to B.A. S.T.A.R.

25 Submitted by on Thu, 05 May 2016, 20:02

WWE, 2012

Have you heard the big news? John Cena is returning way early from yet another serious injury! This time around, he’s set to return to Raw on Memorial Day, which is only fitting given the history that Cena and Memorial Day have together.

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Back in 2012, Cena missed the Memorial Day edition of Raw, which drew a frighteningly low rating of 2.7 (otherwise known as “above average” in 2016).

Of course, WWE has always known that there’s only one person who can be trusted to boost ratings…

cena cole 02

…and his name is John Cena! No, really, it is.

And of course, this was also true back in 2012, when WWE responded to its ratings woes by having the Mastur of the Five-Knuckle Shuffle shamelessly amuse himself in front of a world wide audience.

The June 4th, 2012 edition of Raw opened with Michael Cole grilling John Cena for not being sufficiently sensitive to the Big Show’s public firing on Raw three weeks earlier. Big Show claimed that this snub drove him to cost Cena his match and to save the job of John Laurinaitis (who fired Show in the first place). ace09
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(It looks like someone in Greenville, SC doesn’t like our Mr. Reynolds)

Cena defended his perceived indifference to Big Show’s firing with some pretty sound logic: Big Show was virtually guaranteed his job back anyway, provided Cena beat and ousted Big Johnny from the company. See, sometimes those plot holes on WWE TV come in handy!
Still, Cole, who noted that WWE Superstars cannot get physical with announcers, pressed on in an obnoxious manner that the WWE Universe hadn’t seen or heard from the lead commentator in months. cena cole 05
cena cole 06  Heel Cole had already gotten his comeuppance at the proverbial hands of Jerry Lawler, in their Kiss My Foot Match on May 22nd. May 22nd of the previous year. And he had been pretty quiet ever since, barring the occasional rap battle with Jim Ross.
This was especially out of character given that, even as an irritating, biased heel announcer, Cole had gone pretty easy on Cena. The Dr. of Thuganomics even hugged the decidedly heelish Cole after getting fired in late 2010.  cena cole 07
 cena cole 08 But between the finger-poking and the accusations of John being “overrated,” it seemed like Cole was begging to get his ass kicked, specifically that night, specifically in the main event.
Sure enough, John Laurinaitis offered John Cena a match against an opponent of his choosing. Being the man he was, Cena immediately challenged the scooter-bound Raw GM, but Big Johnny rejected the request on the grounds that he was now officially retired from in-ring competition (a retirement which would last two weeks). cena cole 09 
cena cole 10  Naturally, Cena’s second choice was his new mortal enemy, Michael Cole, who had been a thorn in his side for literally minutes. And besides, there might have been a rule against wrestling retired performers, but, besides the rule Michael Cole had cited minutes earlier forbidding Superstars from hitting announcers, there was nothing forbidding Cena from hitting an announcer!
Near the end of the show, however, John Laurinaitis sprung a surprise opponent on Cena in the form of future Wrestlecrap inductee Lord Tensai. If Cena lost, his match with Cole would be called off. If he won, his match with Cole would be contested with no disqualifications.  cena cole 11
cena cole 12.5
Michael Cole was brimming with so much confidence that Tensai would win and cancel his match with Cena that he actually slapped John in the face.
To the head Cole Miner, it was inconceivable that Tensai, who had beaten Cena the previous month, could lose to Cena tonight. Unfortunately, Cole was unfamiliar with the terms “Super Cena” and “50/50 booking,” as Cena beat the future Brodus Clay sidekick.  cena cole 12
 cena cole 13 Viewers were then treated to the sounds of Michael Cole pleading for his life in real time before he attempted an escape. I ask you, what kind of wrestler would back down from a fight just because his opponent is bigger and stronger than he is? Oh, right. He wasn’t any kind of wrestler at all.
Cena dragged Cole back to the ring while giving him noogies like some kind of… what’s the word I’m looking for? Not a star, but something Cena had been telling kids not to be…  cena cole 14
 cena cole 15 Cole got on the mic to apologize and offered a handshake to avoid the ensuing bloodbath, but Cena was too brave to accept his surrender.
In one last salvo, Cole stood up to the overconfident Cena and embarrass him like John Laurinaitis had embarrassed him at Over the Limit just two weeks prior.  cena cole 16

And for all intents and purposes, Cena-Cole was the same match as Cena-Laurinatis. In fact, I was tempted to simply copy-and-paste my write-up on that embarrassment, replace the words “John Laurinaitis” with “Michael Cole,” and call it a day. But then, readers might be wondering when exactly Michael Cole had won a Wrestling Observer award for match of the year.

The main difference between this match and the John Laurinaitis match was that instead of Cena pouring water on his opponent to simulate him wetting his pants, Cena simply stripped Cole to his underwear.

cena cole pants

But other than that, Cena stuck to the same antics that had won him the admiration of kids the world over, such as…

cena cole slap…chopping…

cena cole chop…slapping…

cena cole stomp

…stomping testicles…

cena cole extinguisher

…misusing a fire extinguisher…

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…and sticking a microphone in his opponent’s face as he tortured him.

In this case, Cena made Cole apologize to Jerry Lawler for their Wrestlemania match, despite the fact that Michael had already done exactly that, voluntarily, over a year earlier.

cena cole 18

He also forced Cole to apologize to JR, whose hand Cole had shaken at Wrestlemania 28 before welcoming him back to the announce table.

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Jerry Lawler happened to have JR’s Barbecue Sauce on hand, which he claimed he always brought to Raw.

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This statement will always be one of the great mysteries of WWE, given that (with the exception of the occasional bucket of KFC grilled chicken, delicious Subway sandwich, or complimentary Sonic meal) the announcers never eat on the job.

cena cole bbq

Cena then doused the half-naked Michael Cole with barbecue sauce, just as Jerry had done the year before. This barbecue sauce spot doesn’t even get points for irony – Michael Cole wasn’t the one always shilling the stuff – that was Jim Ross – yet he was the one getting covered in it. Likewise, Michael Cole wasn’t the one constantly cheering when WWE performers were stripped to their underwear – that was The King – yet he was the one getting pantsed.

Not only was Cena, who had been profiled by the Washington Post for his anti-bullying message two months earlier, breaking his own supposed moral code here, but he hadn’t even learned his lesson from the last time he toyed around with a victim instead of pinning him and putting him out of his misery. Just as the Big Show knocked out Cena before John could be bothered to try to win the match, Lord Tensai re-emerged and leveled Cena, opening up the possibility for another monumental upset.

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This time, Cole had no such luck, and Cena kicked out of the pin attempt…

cena cole pin

…to deliver the smokiest and most savory Attitude Adjustment in recent memory to the saucy announcer.

John finally got the pin, but still wasn’t finished tormenting Michael Cole, ignoring his pleas for mercy and emptying the rest of the fire extinguisher’s contents on him.

cena cole exitinguisher finale

The anti-bullying crusader John Cena let the hapless non-wrestler know that even when it was over, it was never really over.

The John Cena-Michael Cole main event demonstrated WWE hypocrisy at its worst, plain and simple. Not only did the company’s top spokesperson for an anti-bullying campaign sadistically manhandle and humiliate someone clearly weaker than him…

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…but Vince McMahon no doubt laughed himself silly when Michael Cole got sauced and embarrassed the company…

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…only to fire Jim Ross because Ric Flair did the exact same thing.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at:
25 Responses to "Induction: John Cena vs. Michael Cole – Cena adds a “D” to B.A. S.T.A.R."
  1. Alexandru says:

    Yeah WWE relying on the same old tired guy to boost ratings is why WWE is in the mess they’re in now with the ratings. A guy can be on top for so long before fans get sick of him. Let’s be honest if the Rock or Stone Cold had been on top for more than 5 years (while in their primes still) the ratings would have gone down as well if their was no legitimate threat/actual new star to take them out. WWE’s rating’s are in the tank because of all the start/stop pushes and everyone going under Cena.But yeah this segment sucked

    • Guest says:

      Your argument would be sound except for the fact that their ratings are in the tank in spite of using fresh talent in all except the IC division.

      And with the top dogs (Cena & Orton) having been off TV for months. Basically for all the whining from fans about how they need to give new guys a shot they have and no one seems to care all that much to watch.

      • adam says:

        “Fuck you, THESE are the wres… Superst… performers you’re going to like, so get used to it because everyone else will be hobbled Misery-style” is hardly ‘giving new guys a shot’.

        • Philip says:

          Of course it doesn’t help that even with a three-hour weekly show WWE still can’t seem to do anything to get people behind anybody to any great degree. Most of the mid-card is just… there, with mid-card title matches just thrown together on the fly with no real storylines behind them.

          And what makes it worse is that whenever ratings take a dip, they inevitably go dig up an Attitude Era veteran to boost ratings for a week instead of thinking long-term…

    • Si says:

      “fresh talent in all except the IC division”? Two of the people in the likely upcoming fatal 4-way for that title have debuted on the main roster since Kalisto did.

      There’s plenty of reasons why the rating has crashed, from social (cord cutting) to specific (Dean’s hot streak from last summer leading absolutely nowhere) to blatantly obvious (face hero champion Roman now being booed by the least smarky crowds like he’s 1996 HBK), not just “because Cena” or “because new guys” (which is wrong anyway, as the Bullet Club story is already getting the most interest in YouTube hits and hourly breakdowns)

  2. Mister Forth says:

    As pointless as they make commentators by having them be puppets, it’s better than making them characters.

  3. Gerard says:

    Hey look it’s Prince Albert aka the “guy who was Albert before he went to Japan spent a dozen in Japan came back from Japan but we are going to pretend we have no idea who he was before he left for Japan”

    • Frank Gannucci says:

      Not technically true. When he redubeted, they mentioned in passing that he was a former superstar (even though their magazine might have said otherwise)

  4. John C says:

    That Cena is a no good dbastar. I’ve seen four decades of guys being stripped to their underwear in the ring and never understood why it still has to happen. Is Vince into guys underroos that much that it needs to be seen over and over again. The last line about JR being sauced and fired was epic.

  5. Christopher Olsen says:

    I think this is in Vince’s mind as what a “good guy” does. Between Cena beating up Cole and 99% of the friends Hulk ever had turning on him, etc. I’m guessing Vince has a few issues.

  6. cornsnaq says:

    “… but Vince McMahon no doubt laughed himself silly when Michael Cole got sauced and embarrassed the company… only to fire Jim Ross because Ric Flair did the exact same thing.”

    Yup, that about sums up my thought about this as well

  7. Jason S says:

    It’s Michael Cole. Any chance the company has to embarrass the guy is worth it, even if it made someone on his level of awfulness look good like Hornswoggle.

    Every week that Cole adds to his continuous 19-year employment with this company should be worthy of Wrestlecrap induction!

    • Guest says:

      Only among people who treat Cole like his name is David Crockett easily the worst commentator I’ve seen watching old NWA/WCW hell even Gordon Solie has his moments that make you want to mute whatever you’re listening to his commentary on.

      • Thomas Moffatt says:

        The announcer who needs inducted is Tiny Dawson – absolutely awful and clueless. Couldn’t call a double underhook suplex correctly (called it a back drop), announced that Michael PS Hayes was a Hall of Famer about three years ago and proclaimed that Fit Finlay and Mark Rollerball Rocco were Scottish.

        I always suspected that he was hired to be worse than Cole.

        • CP says:

          Well, at least he wasn’t Randy Rosenbloom.

          • Thomas Moffatt says:

            I think he was worse than Randy Rosenbloom. He struck me as someone thrown into an event at the last minute without preparation who didn’t have a clue. WWE tried to pass Tony Dawson off as a credible announcer not some sap thrown in at the deep end.

  8. Big Daddy Strong says:

    recycled segments. idiotic plotholes. mission statement hypocrisy. it’s no wonder WWE has lost viewership. you can argue they don’t try to make new stars but the fans play a big role in that. look at Ryback. I gotta think one of the main reasons he didn’t go farther is due to all the “GOLDBERG!” chants.

    Same thing with Tensai. I thought he had a good gimmick having actually gone to Japan and coming back having adopted their style. He had the size and a unique look but again all the “Albert” chants did him in.

    even Bray Wyatt was getting Husky Harris chants well after he had established himself. My problem with them has never been trying to make new stars, it’s how soon they pull the plug on some who show promise and how they give other guys infinity and show very little progress. WWE just has no real competition so they have no motivation to shake things up.

    in the late 90s when they were fighting WCW for ratings, they had no choice but to push the envelope and try new things. they let guys try out their ideas because they didn’t have a whole lot to lose. and it paid off. they weren’t always winners but they did come up with some of their best stuff at that time. If you don’t believe me just look at the never ending DVD releases that showcase the Attitude Era.

    now they are basically the only game in town. the McMahons are going to do what they want. if that means the company suffers then so be it. they might lose ratings or money but they aren’t worried about getting knocked off the top of the food chain. when people get complacent you get lackluster effort. ironically, the roster now is probably the most talented athletic wise that it’s ever been.

    • Guest says:

      “in the late 90s when they were fighting WCW for ratings, they had no choice but to push the envelope and try new things. they let guys try out their ideas because they didn’t have a whole lot to lose. and it paid off. they weren’t always winners but they did come up with some of their best stuff at that time. If you don’t believe me just look at the never ending DVD releases that showcase the Attitude Era”.

      Yeah and look at all the Attitude Era marks who pretend that everything WWE did during that era was flawless or good eventhough it often fell victim to the same problems they damn modern WWE for (bad matches, storylines, wrestlers, ppvs,misuse of talent, terrible fans,weak commentary etc).

      • Xenomorph says:

        Attitude Era is so overrated in IWC. Ruthless Agression Era was much better, storylines may not have been epic but matches sure were.

  9. Geoff says:

    CURSE YOU CENA for being a bully to the weak, annoying and idiotic announcers the world over. CURSE YOU! Oh wait… this is WWE…. never mind, I’m sending mixed messages again!

    Vince on the other hand, never grew out of the poopy 3 year old stage. You notice how every few years some form of fecal matter has to be dropped or someone get pantsed is approved in storylines. If anybody else was running the company, there be no fecal matter to speak of getting dropped on people who deserve it and nobody’s shorts would be around their ankles because in some form or another or because they deserve it, they said “no” or some other word like it to the boss. Shame.

  10. Brad Essex says:

    I hate cena. Thou he did stood up for himself to bully mitchell cole! Cole the one that verbally abused him then slapped him. Hell if i ever become a wwe worker i’d go to the be a star rally and tell kids don’t be a bully but if the person attack you first. You should stand up for yourself and hit him back enough to know not to mess with you. Also i approve micheal cole abuse!

  11. Si says:

    Thank goodness the rule about wrestlers not being allowed to touch announcers was dropped long before Kevin Owens was signed.

  12. Tommy B Rude says:

    You should induct the Sheamus/Wade Barret feud someday. You know, the one that consisted of Wade feeling proud of himself for being in one of WWE’s most successful films, then Sheamus (the babyface) attacking and humiliating him because how dare he feel good about his accomplishments.
    It didn’t do Wade any favors and pretty much killed Sheamus’ face run.

    • CP says:

      Nobody really gave a damn about Sheamus as a face to begin with, how did this kill it? If anything the induction of his 18 second match with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania established that.

  13. Gotchism For Life says:

    The WWE were hypocritical?

    That has literally never happened before. :S

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