Raw Dec 7,1998

Hey Scott.

Wondered if you could shed light on something that is bugging me.

I'm watching the Dec 7, 1998 edition of Raw on the Network and Michael Cole is alongside Jerry Lawler on commentary. During the first match, Cole sends condolences to Jim Ross and his family after the passing of JR's mother.

Yet on certain camera angles, it is clearly JR (complete with cowboy hat) sat at the commentary desk alongside "The King".

This episode is supposedly 1 night after Capital Carnage in London, so i'm guessing this Raw was recorded before the UK trip, but why redo commentary when JR can clearly be seen at ringside? After all, it wasn't a secret that Raw wasn't live every week.

Oh, it certainly was still a "secret", in that Vince (to this day in fact!) desperately believes that you have to promote the illusion of live TV or else people won't tune in.  But yeah, the show was recorded on the Tuesday previous, I believe, and so they overdubbed Cole after the fact.  You can see similar stuff on the 95 shows all the time, where they'll overdub commentary on the three taped shows but a lot of times the camera will cut to Vince and Lawler at ringside and you can literally see them just sitting there watching the monitor and not saying anything.  It's one of the dangers of taping TV with the announce desk at ringside instead of off near the back.