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NXT and Climbing Rocks
Author: Michael Cole
February 16th 2014 -      It has been a while since I have written a blog for But as you can imagine we have been swamped by one of the busiest times in WWE history.  Elimination Chamber, the final pay per view stop on the road to Wrestlemania, will kick off our most important week ever.  The next day, Monday February 24th at 9am, is the official launch of the trailblazing, groundbreaking, must have WWE NETWORK.  Original programming, kick off shows, backstage pass post game shows, every single pay per view....the WWE NETWORK has it all!
     The flagship show of the fledgling WWE NETWORK will be NXT---THE NEXT GENERATION.  Every superstar and diva who wants to make it to RAW or SmackDown will walk through NXT and you can watch it happen every thursday night!  I am so excited about the first NXT show, which will be broadcast LIVE on the WWE NETWORK thursday night February 27th at 8pmest.  It will be preceded by the NXT ARRIVAL KICKOFF SHOW at 7:30est hosted by our next announcing star Renee Young and an all star panel you have got to see!  Matches on the show include Bo Dallas versus Adrian Neville for the NXT championship in a ladder match, Paige versus Emma for the NXT women's championship and the match I think will steal the show Cesaro versus Sammy Zayn!
     If you have yet to see an episode of NXT, you have no idea what you are missing.  Broadcast from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida in the NXT arena, our fans have really made this show their own.  It's an incredible atmosphere with electricity and energy that rivals any Raw or Smackdown arena in the world.  Plus WWE has developed a great relationship with the faculty, staff and students at Full Sail.
     I started working at NXT on a regular basis about 2 years ago.  It has been the most satisfying part of my career, watching young superstars and divas learn, train and grow and being able to say I have played a small part in all of it.  Look at the stars who graduated to "the show" from NXT.....Big E. The Shield, The Wyatts, Cesaro, Emma and announcers like Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton.
     My favorite part of NXT is spending numerous hours each week in the Performance Center's announce booth, helping our up
and coming broadcasters hone their craft.  I can't wait to hear Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and William Regal call all the action at NXT Arrival because I know they are ready and will help steal the show!  My goal is to get them to the point where they will be calling all the action on Friday Night Smackdown someday soon!
    In other news.....JBL and I just kicked in our intense training as we look to climb a minimum of three mountains this year.  Our big alpine season begins in late July-early August with a climb in the Cascade Mountain Range.   We then look to conquer Grand Teton in Wyoming in late August and then in early September our crown jewel this year, Mt. Rainier outside of Seattle, one of the toughest mountains in the contiguous U-S and our big training climb for a possible summit of Denali in Alaska sometime in the next 2 years.
     John and and I are looking to lose at least 30 pounds, with goals of 40-50 pounds possible.  At our age it's a slow, arduous process, but John is down over 20 and I have lost 13 so far.  After my initiation into mountain climbing last year I have changed my workout regimen a bit this go around.  85% of my training now focuses on endurance (make those legs and lungs stronger) and I am climbing football stadium steps with 35 pounds in my backpack for 90 minutes  at a time. I am also running 6-8 miles a day, training to do a half marathon in April.  Give yourself a goal every couple of months in order to keep the workouts fresh and exciting.  I have backed off a lot on traditional weight training, focusing instead on "outdoor training" and "practical muscles" I will use on the climbs.   I have cut back on all carbs, except pinto beans and green vegetables, and focus on a diet heavy in protein and good fats.
     Another training technique I have been using, and it has turned into a pretty awesome hobby, is rock climbing.  We will need some of these skills for our climbs this summer and it's also a great way to build upper and lower body strength and endurance.  My first foray into this came at indoor rock gyms, but I have since graduated to the real thing. Check out this photo gallery of me rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park in California last week.

     It was incredible!  I was joined by my other climbing partner (and producer of the John Layfield and Michael Cole Radio Show) Frenchy, his wife Fiona, our friend Keith and our guide Mike.  Rock climbing is incredibly difficult, but extremely satisfying.  All you need is the equipment and the will to win.
     So all in all 2014 is turning out to be a banner year for John Layfield and I.  3 big mountains, the world championship of Marlin fishing 4th of July week in Bermuda ( and we have a special guest coming this year), and some incredible news forthcoming about our podcast/radio show.
     In closing I would sincerely like to thank all of YOU for your support. You guys have made THE JOHN LAYFIELD AND MICHAEL COLE RADIO SHOW the #1 program on our home at  The JBL AND COLE you tube show is garnering 100,000 plus views every week and LAYFIELDREPORT.COM is doing great!
    Again THANK YOU and we will talk soon.  Don't forget to download the Layfield report app and subscribe to the newsletter.  100% of our financial support goes to help at risk kids, like those in John's rugby program in Bermuda.
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