March 21, 2011
REAL NAME: Sean Michael Coulthard
Starting off in a career in journalism, Coulthard began at CBS Radio, and he eventually found his way to covering the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1992; the following year, he covered the Yugoslavian Civil War for nine months.
He arrived in the then World Wrestling Federation in mid-1997 under the ring name of Michael Cole. Some of his first assignments were becoming host of Livewire and after SummerSlam 1997, he replaced Todd Pettengill as backstage interviewer. Within a few months of being in the company, Cole found himself as part of the three-man broadcast team for the first hour of the World Wrestling Federation's flagship show Monday Night Raw alongside Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly. However, Cole was replaced by Jerry "The King" Lawler. Ross suffered from Bell's palsy in 1999 and Cole became the regular play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Raw as well as announcing that year's Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
In 1999, WWE started up Smackdown and Cole was chosen to be the show's play-by-play announcer. He also did play-by-play commentary on the Smackdown pay-per-view matches. In April, 2006 Cole became the Managing Editor of WWE.com. His duties were to ensure that more exclusive video and photo footage was available.
In 2008, as part of the WWE draft of that year, Cole was drafted to Raw with Ross heading over to Smackdown. In June, 2010 Cole became the official spokesman for the new anonymous General Manager of Raw, issuing orders that he received from the GM through his e-mails.
It was during this time that Cole became a commentator on WWE NXT and with that he showed some heel tendencies to his character. Cole started to constantly praise The Miz, showing an infatuation with him. He also started to talk down on faces, in particular Daniel Bryan, whom Cole constantly belittled during commentary broadcasts.
It was in October of 2010 that Cole would return to Smackdown as part of a three-man commentary team alongside Todd Grisham and Matt Striker.
In November 2010, Cole's broadcast partner Lawler was granted a WWE Championship match in a Table, Ladders and Chairs contest against The Miz. Lawler came within an eyelash of capturing the title before outside interference from Alex Riley and eventually Cole cost him the championship.
Lawler won the right to face The Miz for the championship again at Elimination Chamber after being victorious in a seven-man Royal Rumble match on Raw. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to claim the gold. The night after Lawler challenged Cole to a WrestleMania match on the February 21st edition of Raw at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California. Cole responded by chucking a glass of water in the Hall of Famer's face and running away.
While Cole never answered the challenge that night he did accept it on Raw the next week. His decision would mark the first time that Lawler and indeed Cole would compete at a WrestleMania event. Cole also announced that Jack Swagger would be his trainer for the contest and that there would be a special guest referee.
Cole hoped to announce John Bradshaw Layfield as the guest referee on the March 7th edition of Raw, however these plans were thwarted when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin instead signed the contract thus making him the special guest referee for the contest.