Michael Cole is still surprised by Pat McAfee’s return at the WWE Royal Rumble.
The longtime play-by-play man joined Pat McAfee’s Show earlier today to discuss the big moment, and revealed that he legitimately had no idea his SmackDown color man would return. Highlights from the interview are below.
Says he was honestly surprised and had no idea that McAfee would be back:
Honest to God truth. I usually know everything going on in our world today because of the position that I’m in. This is the first time in probably a decade that I legitimately was surprised at something that happened on the show. I legit didn’t know if we would ever see you again in the WWE. We talked back in September and you’d be back after football season, a lot in your life has changed since then, a lot in our company has changed since then. I legit didn’t know if you were ever going to be back.
Says he didn’t realize it was McAfee because his theme song was different:
If you notice, I haven’t said much to anyone publicly about when you were coming because no one knew. When I sat down that day, Corey (Graves) and I prepared as a two-man booth like we always do, and when the music hit, when I think of Pat McAfee, I think of the White Stripes. When the first couple of bars of the new song hit, I didn’t immediately recognize it.
How he realized he got ribbed by Triple H, but was very excited McAfee was back:
Then Hunter [Triple H] was in my ear, ‘Are you going to sell it?’ I mouthed to him in the spy cam, ‘Sell what?’ Then I looked up and saw your video board and I’m like, ‘You’re ribbing me.’ The music hit and you came out, I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t know if you were coming out to be an announcer or to be the number one entry in the Rumble because we were starting with the Rumble match. Then I saw you in your blazer and I was like, ‘He’s coming out to be an announcer.’ I was so excited. I text Paul [Triple H] and Kevin (Dunn), ‘You fuckers. I can’t believe that you guys ribbed me.’ They just laughed.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)