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The General Manager

03/02/2012

There are several different words to describe the authority figure in wrestling. General manger, interim general manager, commissioner to name a few. Their on screen job is fairly simple. To the paying public and fans at home, the general manager is seen as the person who calls the shots. If somebody wants a match, they go to him, If a number one contender needs finding, the GM will do it. If someone steps out of line, the GM can knock them down a few pegs. The WWE currently has a GM on Smackdown and an interim GM on Raw. The roles are totally reversed on both shows. On Smackdown, we have Teddy Long. An all round baby face GM. Sticks up for the good guys. On Raw, we have John Lauranaitis, the heel GM, who has no problems abusing his Position for his own gain. The problem is that the WWE has found an effective way to use the authority figure on Raw, but on Smackdown the GM is just kind of there, but not really relevant.

I don’t know really know what the problem is with Teddy Long. It just seems that he doesn’t do nothing except for announce one of his trademark tag matches or appear in awful cheesy back stage segments that try to fit in as many sexual innuendos as possible. Apart from that, he is like a spare part on Smackdown who is just on television to remind us that he is the GM of the show. If he weren’t to appear on Smackdown next week, it would not hurt the show. I probably wouldn’t even notice he was missing. You can accuse wrestlers of becoming stale and I think they may be a case for GM’s also. For years now, we have witnessed the same kind of stuff from Teddy each week, to the point when he comes on screen, it’s like “Oh Teddy is on the screen. He’s probably going to say HOLLA, then book a tag match.” It just baffles me how the GM of Raw is being used in a way which affects other people on the show a whole lot more than the GM of Smackdown.

On Raw, the GM is used in a way which affects several different people on the show. As a heel his antics cause a whole lot more harm than good. Most of John Lauranaitis’ actions lead to trouble for a face on Raw. We see now each week, the situation with Lauranaitis and CM Punk. Now okay JL may not be the best talker but it’s his actions as a general manager which has to led to people hating him. He took HHH’s job. His Assistant is David Otunga. He’s admitted that he’s going to screw Punk at the Rumble tonight. We all loved it when Punk finally hit the GTS to Lauranaitis this week. We’ve been wanting it to happen for weeks. I mentioned in my first column about wrestling being about emotional investment. We wanted Punk to attack Lauranaitis because we all empathize with Punk. We all know a real life Lauranaitis somewhere. He may not be our boss, he could be a neighbor or a teacher or a customer where you work. When Punk hit that GTS, he did something that we’ve all wanted to do sometime in life.

Sow how can you fix the situation on Smackdown? Do you replace Teddy Long with someone else to bring some freshness to the role? It possible it could work but who could you bring on board? Would turning him heel help or would it be stupid to have heel GM’s on both shows? Does Smackdown even need a GM? Based on just wrestling Smackdown is the better brand. It’s sad to see anybody losing their job and I don’t want to see it happening but right now, Teddy doesn’t provide anything for the show. The sad thing is that Teddy gets no reaction at all. The fans aren’t interested in him. When the fans lose interest in you, it’s probably time to go.

What do you guys think? How have the WWE got the GM situation right on Raw, but wrong on Smackdown? What are your thoughts on Teddy Long? Do babyface GM’s still have a place in wrestling or is it all about the bad guy now?

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