319. Michael Cole (w/ Jack Swagger) vs. Jerry Lawler

Timeline:
WrestleMania XXVII
April 3, 2011
Georgia Dome
Atlanta, GA

Infamous is an understatement when talking about this match. They attempted to litter the match with other stars, getting Booker T and Jim Ross to join Josh Matthews to announce the match as well as bringing in Stone Cold Steve Austin to be the special guest referee (reminiscent of his turn as referee in the Brock Lesnar/Goldberg match seven years prior when the crowd wanted nothing to do with that match either).

Michael Cole enters not to entrance music but by interrupting Jim Ross’ entrance in his preposterous orange singlet and headgear with a long, boring monologue. Jack Swagger then enters as Cole’s trainer, only to also be interrupted, this time by Austin. Austin nearly literally runs him over with an ATV before playing to the crowd. Cole escapes inside his “Cole Mine” (a stupid plexiglass box with no ceiling), until Lawler enters.

Lawler takes the fight to him as Cole begs off from inside his cage, grabbing his arm through one of the air holes (BUT THERE’S NO CEILING) and smooshing Cole’s face against the glass. The match that stretches out from there and sees Swagger beat up Lawler when Austin is distracted. Following is a long, protracted, terrible portion of Cole beating down Lawler’s leg and ankle to sell the ankle lock Swagger has taught him. He finally does put on one of the saddest ankle locks in wrestling history, but Lawler escapes. He starts to go after Cole, but Swagger attempts to throw in the towel. Obviously, this leads to Jack Swagger eating a stunner from referee Austin.

Cole’s sad sack pleading routine is not satisfying in any way whatsoever, and neither is the beating that follows. Jerry stretches it out as long as he possibly can. Lawler applies the ankle lock himself and Cole taps for a long time before Austin finally calls for the bell.

Jack Swagger carries Cole off in his arms in what is admittedly a pretty comedic image. The celebration starts in the ring as Stone Cold, Booker, and King celebrate. The then familiar tones sound and Josh Matthews reads an email from the anonymous Raw general manager stating that because of Austin’s misconduct as referee, the decision is reversed and Cole wins by DQ.

Outside of a slightly comic moment here or there, this is not at all dissimilar to the bottom match on our list between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon. A supposedly cathartic beating that has been building for an extended period of time that ends up dragging on for much too long and actually being a drain on the show by eating time from more deserving segments and wearing out its welcome.

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