Michael Cole Absent From WWE Raw, Reportedly Requested Time Off

Tonight’s WWE Raw is noticeably absent of one of the company’s most tenured voices – Michael Cole. Filling in for Cole tonight is Kevin Patrick, with Wade Barrett providing color commentary as usual. Cole is not typically one to miss a night at work, having been absent from just a small number of shows since taking on the role years ago. However, WWE was not caught by surprise with Cole’s absence tonight, as Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp has reported that the longtime commentator requested time off to fulfill a previous obligation.

After spending some time solely on WWE SmackDown, Cole returned to the Raw commentary booth back in August. Cole still appears regularly alongside Patrick and Corey Graves on SmackDown as well, pulling double duty for the company each week.

Just last year, Cole celebrated 25 years with WWE. After starting out as a host and backstage interviewer, Cole made the move to commentary near the end of 1997, joining the Raw booth for part of the show. Over time, Cole would prove himself as one of the company’s steadiest voices, though he garnered his fair share of criticism from fans over the years. The general discussion around Cole’s commentary seems to have moved in his favor following the departure of Vince McMahon from his position backstage, with Cole’s delivery becoming more natural while still retaining his usual accuracy and professionalism.

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