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'Stone Cold' Steve Austin As WWE WrestleMania 27 Guest Referee Will Highlight Match Between Jerry Lawler And Michael Cole

Professional wrestling fans will be looking forward to two things on Sunday night when perhaps the oddest of the WrestleMania 27 matches gets underway. First, they'll hope that Jerry 'The King' Lawler shuts up fellow announcer Michael Cole in a majorly painful way. And second, they'll be hoping that the guest referee in the match, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, gets involved and stuns anyone and everyone who gets near him.

Match background: Late last year, with Michael Cole taking a bigger role on "WWE Raw" than just announcing the matches, he started heavily promoting younger stars, such as The Miz, at the expense of some of the old-time wrestlers. Of course at the time, Cole was sitting right next to a pro wrestling legend, former AWA champion Jerry "The King" Lawler,. Needless to say, The King took exception to this.

It came to a head in November, when Lawyer got a surprise WWE title shot against The Miz in a ladder match, and appeared to be on the verge of winning ... before a disgusted Michael Cole got involved.


Since that disappointment, Lawler and Cole have traded barbs and blows and essentially stopped working together at the ringside announcer's table. And Lawler challenged him to a match at WrestleMania after Cole spent another way-too-long segment insulting Lawler's mother. Since then he's brought out Lawler's son, Brian Christopher, to insult the King, while also bringing on a trainer and corner man, Jack Swagger. Austin, at least at face value, was an uninvited guest, but he'll be wearing the stripes. So there will be plenty of manufactured emotion heading into this unlikely tilt.

Predictions:  I've got a few predictions for this match, so we're breaking them out into a list.

1) This won't be the worst match of the night. On any other night it probably would be, but it just so happens that Snooki and a lady named Lay-Cool are suiting up for a match in a handicap match with two third-tier grapplers and Trish Stratus, who was a big deal when the Internet was young. Stone Cold's involvement alone saves this match from being the most-booed stinker of the night.

2) Jerry Lawler will win this match. There's no way they brought The King back to the ring to have him get embarrassed by Michael Cole on wrestling's biggest stage. Plus, even if Lawler is 61 years old, it would be a stain on his legacy for Cole to pin him at WrestleMania. Unless there is a ridiculous amount of hijinks -- interference from Jack Swagger, foreign objects, a misplaced stunner from the guest referee -- the King will limp out of the ring with his crown.

3) The Anonymous Raw General Manager will be revealed. Just a hunch. Michael Cole, who essentially has acted as a mouthpiece for the mystery lord of WWE's flagship television program, will never have a higher-profile moment with WWE (or at least he shouldn't). This gimmick has been going on for nearly a year, and it was introduced essentially to get Cole over with the fans. So my best guess is that this is where the G.M. is revealed, in some fashion. Is this also where Vince McMahon makes his triumphant return to WWE?

4) We will hear glass break. And that's always a good thing.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.