Friday 4 April 2014

The JBL and Cole Show Episode 71 review

If you've watched The JBL and Cole Show before you're probably wondering how anyone would go about recapping it. There's a fair chance you're wondering why too. I have no answer for the first question. We'll all find out together as I write this.

I do have an answer for why this is being written though. As this being WrestleMania weekend my intention was to write a string of posts covering all the major offerings from Dragon Gate USA, EVOLVE and ROH. But then I thought it was a nice chance to write about some different things going on. Things that exist on the fringes of wrestling. And when you talk about the fringes of wrestling you talk about The JBL and Cole Show.

It's The JBL and Cole Show, brother!
I'll provide an explanation at this point because while TJACS is one of WWE's better weekly offerings it's not actually on TV and so it's entirely possible some people reading this may not know what it is. As the name implies the show started out as a vehicle for Michael Cole and JBL. It initially featured sports natter and special guests but quickly evolved into a showcase for the vast number of WWE wrestlers under contract who don't get onto TV every week. In its current guise it's a collection of running gags, recurring characters and wrestling in-jokery presented in the style of the more comedic backstage skits WWE is known for.

It's also not featured Michael Cole in anything other than a minor cameo in months. So, y'know, it's got that going for it too.

The appeal of the show is its humour and creative use of wrestlers. Many of the characters that appear are naturally funny and the plots and stories that feature (more on which below) are designed to be absurd and frivolous affairs. Many WWE stars have benefited from appearances on the show, everyone from Torito to Corporate (and indeed non-corporate) Kane to Renee Young to Cesaro.

The two men I think many would agree have benefited from the show the most are Bad News Barrett and Cody Rhodes. Barrett actually picked up his Bad News moniker on The JBL and Cole Show and gets far more to do with it there (it’s completely wasted on the main roster). Meanwhile Rhodes has displayed a distinctly Frat Pack-esque sense of humour, a penchant for non-sequiturs and a willingness to send himself up.

The show's recent storyline, which had been running since late last year (who says WWE doesn't do long term booking?), concerns a controversial Cody Rhodes bowling victory. This has involved his golden boot prize being held in abeyance, Rhodes launching an investigation into alleged chicanery at WWE headquarters, the discovery of JBL’s secret nephew Clem Layfield, and a case being brought against Cody in wrestlers’ court (which is a real thing, for the record).

Episode 71 was little more than a recap show, reminding people of why what’s happening is happening and keeping a current voting poll, which will decide the fate of Cody’s JBL and Cole Show career (or possibly Bradshaw leave the show). The most significant aspect of the programme was the debut of Hulk Hogan. And that was more because he’s Hulk Hogan than because he did anything noteworthy. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s never watched the show. No, I’ll go one better than that. It would surprise me if he has.


At time of writing this episode of The JBL and Cole Show can be watched here.

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