Michael Cole will likely want to forget this WrestleMania moment as his mistake nearly spoiled the best moment of the night on Saturday.
The longtime WWE play-by-play man, who has delivered memorable soundtracks to some of WrestleMania’s biggest moments, completely botched the call of Bianca Belair’s main event victory over Sasha Banks to claim the SmackDown women’s championship on Night 1 of WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
As Belair hit her Kiss of Death finisher and rolled Banks up for the 1-2-3, Cole for some reason thought The Boss had kicked out as the crowd went crazy.
“Kiss of Death, wraps up Banks,” Cole exclaims. “And a kickout! A kickout by Sasha!”
Thankfully, SmackDown broadcast partner Corey Graves quickly swooped in for the save.
“No! She won!” he yelled as WWE ring announcer Greg Hamilton announced Belair as the new champion.
Cole went silent for about 10 seconds before delivering his championship call.
“Bianca Belair shocked the world!” he said. “Bianca Belair with the win!”
Cole’s initial call was a little behind the action, so it’s possible he thought Banks kicked out because Belair rolled over at the count of three and let out a scream that sounded more like frustration than celebration. Either way, it will be interesting to see what WWE and Peacock do with the audio, potentially putting Cole’s correct call in its place. The initial replay included the commentary as it was heard live.
Cole’s mistake was part of a weird night for WWE around some amazing in-ring action. Early in the broadcast, Hamilton announced the Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan) had been eliminated from the women’s tag team turmoil match when they had actually won the fall before correcting himself. Mandy Rose also had her Titus O’Neil moment, slipping on the wet ramp onto her butt walking to the ring for that match. WrestleMania had been delayed around 25 minutes because of rain and lighting in Tampa, Fla.
It’s just a reminder that anything can happen on live TV.