A leaked audio recording from this past Monday Night Raw reveals Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL insulting the WWE fans that were chanting CM Punk's name.
Just in case that video gets taken down (others have already been claimed by The WWE) here's what the commentators said in writing:
Crowd: CM PUNK! CM PUNK! CM PUNK!
Cole: Oh, well, here you go, that'll drown out soon.
Cole: How about go away. Go away.
Lawler: Go away! Go away! It doesn't last long does it.
JBL: No it donnit. There's not a lotta determination to that chant.
Cole: Ughhhh...seventeen thousand four ninety-one is the number tonight guys. Sold out.
This happened prior to broadcast, where the crowd was reportedly more consistent in their chants for the Straight Edge Superstar. Once the show went live, the LA audience had trouble sticking together. Rumor has it that these negative remarks were mistakenly broadcast over the arena PA system, which might account for the chants' quick demise; confusion over where Cole's voice was coming from.
It's interesting to consider why Cole would start talking about the number of people in attendance at the end. Might this be an attempt to recover or indicative of something more purposeful about this leaked audio?
If this is real, then it's like getting a thirty-second glimpse behind the WWE curtain. For all the WWE claims to care about its fans, that 'none of it would be possible without them', there has always been a sense of general disdain (fictional and real) towards the audience.
When considering the egos of all of these people - wrestlers, writers, commentators, "legends" - it becomes almost impossible to believe any of them are sincere. While I'm sure a lot of current & former wrestlers genuinely love the fans and mean what they say during their tearful goodbyes or returns, many more in the business seem to regard the fans as obnoxious children that need to be taught a lesson.
Cole comes off as particularly slimy in this snippet, the very nature of his voice calling back his heel-commentary days. Certainly they don't say anything too terrible, and it reeks of a work, but the seedy nature of the business seems to always lurk below the pyrotechnics and posturing.
The Machine will keep you updated on the CM Punk situation as it develops. And come back next week for an all new RAW REVIEW.