WWE Smackdown commentator Michael Cole has revealed how Vince McMahon has been “like a father figure” to him in an interview with Matt Paddock of the Daily Star.
Cole, who has become the voice of WWE in his lengthy tenure with the company – spanning 23 years – would reveal how Vince leads from the front, and by example.
“Vince is an incredible human being. He’s a wonderful family guy and is hands-on in everything in his company and every part of his product. He believes that if he’s going to ask us to work these crazy hours and travel all over the world and do what we do, he needs to be in the front line leading us there. I think he’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to keep going as long as I have, because I look at Vince as an example, in many ways he’s been like a father figure to me.”
The 51-year-old went on to say how he’s grown up in the company, saying McMahon is to thank for his journey.
“I’ve grown up with this company I grew up here. I came in as a naive kid; I’d seen a lot of the world in the news industry, but I then came into a place I knew nothing about, and I grew up here. It’s funny, you go back and watch all the WWE Network stuff from the late 1990s and I’m like ‘Oh my god, I’m a little boy there!’ Now I’m fully grown man who has a grandchild. So, it’s pretty amazing to see what I’ve been through in this company and I couldn’t have done that without Vince.”
“He’s the guy who leads the way, he’s offered an incredible life to me and my family. I don’t care who you are, you’re not getting into this company for as long as I’ve been here unless Vince trusts you. You also have to prove to Vince that you can handle the pressure and take on many jobs.
“No-one in this company who is successful for this long does one job. We’ve all done all kinds of different things. Even from the time I started with the company, not only was I a backstage interviewer and an announcer, but I was also involved in producing our talent for interviews that they’d do to play in local markets to promote our shows.
Cole, who is the voice of WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown – and the lead commentator on the company’s monthly pay-per-views – would reminisce by remembering when he ran WWE.com, and details how far he’s come, and how he’s gained the trust of Vince McMahon along the way.
“I ran WWE.com for a few years and I’m in charge of announcers now. So everyone in this company who is successful does more than one job. But to be able to do that consistently, you have to be able to be able to build up a trust with Vince where he knows ‘Michael can take care of this, I don’t have to deal with it.’ That’s sort of where our relationship has been.”
Of course, Michael Cole is a man who has worn many hats – one of which was headgear as he competed at WrestleMania!