Since 2008, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Michael Cole have called the action from the broadcast booth a few feet away from the ring. At WrestleMania XXVII, however, they'll be on the other side of the table as the individuals embroiled in battle themselves with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin mediating as special referee.
Commentary cohorts turned adversaries, Lawler and Cole will tussle in a WrestleMania-bedecked ring for the first time in both men's very contrasting careers. And while The Texas Rattlesnake will be tasked to sustain order in this unusual bout, The King will need to maintain a vigilant eye on his enemy's handpicked trainer: Former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger.
In between them all, in the all-important stripes of match official, stands the WWE Hall of Famer known for, ironically, raising hell. As Austin demonstrated when he Stone Cold Stunnered his way into it (at JBL's expense), the multiple-time WWE Champion abides only by his own unique set of rules.
Stomaching months of insufferable disrespect from his immediate left, Lawler challenged his broadcast partner to this heavily personal clash. The WWE Hall of Famer hit his boiling point after Cole's (repeated) involvement in the legend's long-awaited WWE Championship opportunities, earned after two decades in WWE. The leader of the so-called “Cole Miners” not only stripped Lawler of a title-bearing trip to the main event of WrestleMania, but the brazen broadcast journalist then continued to stir the emotions of the Hall of Famer with a comment about Lawler's recently passed mother.
It's been Michael Cole's intolerable fanhood of WWE Champion The Miz that's seemed to run parallel with the previously peaceable WWE personality's fall from impartiality. Under the headset, the self-proclaimed "Voice of WWE" devolved from demure ringside storyteller to sourpussed supporter of WWE's most despicable Superstars. Thus, the selection of Swagger as Cole's coach and corner man is a natural fit.
As if not clear enough by the bejeweled symbol sitting atop his head, Lawler's career has been studded by crowning achievements of all kinds around the country and across the globe. Counting more than 140 championships in his dynasty of accolades, the Memphis-born Hall of Famer surprisingly dances for the very first time on The Grandest Stage of Them All this year against an adversary that the WWE Universe could have never predicted.
The King, of course, needs no training for his long-awaited performance at The Show of Shows, but as he discovered while coiled within “The All-American American’s” ankle lock, Lawler's dream of triumph at WrestleMania is sufficiently jeopardized. Amid all of his championships and victories, none will be sweeter than a pummeling of his longtime announcing associate at The Show of Shows. Conversely, a defeat at the hands of Cole, the quintessential – to quote Freddie Blassie – “pencil-necked geek” would be the greatest disgrace of all.
History will be made at WrestleMania XXVII in this contest – no matter how potentially obscure, depending on the victor. Which voice of Monday Night Raw will emerge the winner at The Greatest Spectacle of Them All – and how will Lawler compete with an obstacle like Swagger?
Can The King manage to keep his hands off the peevish "Voice of WWE" per the orders Raw's General Manager? Just how much hell can "Stone Cold" raise while officiating this unlikely clash? Watch The Show of Shows live on pay-per-view, Sunday, April 3.