So I am watching NXT (yes it's still around, and yes it is still 'season 5') and they have Michael Cole returning for a guest-announcer, and while normally Cole stays in character even when he may be legitimately bashing someone (ala his Bashing of the Hart Dynasty). There was an exchange between Josh Matthews and Cole about Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks, which brought up the Mid-Card Mafia, and after about 10 seconds there was a noticeable change in Cole's commentary, he wasn't in character, he was shooting.
Cole and NXT rants, are pretty well known (as they are usually hilarious), because he does in character shoots all the time, but this one was a bit different, he wasn't just making snide remarks, he was interjecting backstage politics.
When Cole rants it's usually hyped up and fast (and usually yelling), and even though he makes a lot of "Out of Character" remarks, he still says them while "In Character", but this time, it was different, he went on for awhile and Matthews seemed completely lost for words.
At about the 26:30 mark (1/18/12)
Matthews: I would love to get your opinion about these guys [Hawkins/Reks] who everyone seems to have an opinion about.
Cole: I love 'em
Matthews: Ok, why?
Cole: I absolutely love Reks and Hawkins, they are doing everything they can to get noticed.
Matthews: Some people are saying they go too far, and are going about getting noticed the wrong way.
Cole: You know what, it doesn't matter HOW you get noticed, as long as you get noticed, I mean look at me for example. People Hate Me. People talk about my commentary all the time. There is a 100% negative reaction when I walk into an arena, but you know what? People are talking about me. People talk about me more than most of the superstars on the roster. So whether it is negative or positive, it's how you get yourself noticed. That is what Hawkins and Reks are trying to do. Listen, they have this silly thing they did on the internet, with a little show they put together, I get that. But hey, I was a victim of one of their attacks, but I thought that was cool. I thought these guys stepped out of the box, they we're trying to do something different, and I know a lot of people don't agree with that opinion, but I do. and hopefully they can put it together and parlay into success here in a higher area in the WWE.
There was then an awkward pause by Matthews, and an obvious brush off as he went back to trying to call the match (albit slowly), and Cole was silent for a bit which I can assume was where he got yelled at.
A bit later there was a continuation where Cole mentioned that his feud with Daniel Bryan on NXT jump started him, which more typical to his style of real beliefs while staying in character, and then after the match was over he finished the rant, but was more of his usual style.
However, it was the first time I've ever heard Cole rant and it not feel like it was part of the show. Am I just crazy, was it just part of the show and I got suckered, or was Michael Cole really going to bat for these two backstage?