In case you somehow haven’t heard about it, “Monday Night Raw” and “Smackdown” will be turned into completely unique shows in less than two weeks with separate rosters, storylines and possibly titles. While it’s not entirely clear what’s going to become of those specific things, one area that has been discussed without actually going into specific details has been who will be running the shows. Today we’re going to look at what might happen, what will probably happen, and why WWE will likely do something stupid as is their custom.
Ignoring the idea that you want a fresh start when you begin a new era for a show, the McMahons running things again is just lazy. They’ve been doing things this way for so long now that it’s almost impossible to get excited about it all over again. They can be good at their jobs at times but how many times can we see them do the same things over and over again?
Stephanie has been in charge of shows multiple times and very rarely have they been all that interesting. She was the first General Manager of Smackdown and making her the first Chief Operating Officer (that’s the title they’re actually going with for both shows) of either show again would feel not only repetitive but pretty sad when she was doing the same exact thing fourteen years ago.
Shane on the other hand hasn’t had a long run in charge of running either show but given that he’s had power in various forms dating all the way back to 1999, it’s another case of nothing original and the same stuff that we’ve seen time after time. How is that supposed to make me think that something interesting is happening and therefore give me a new energy about the show?
That brings us to some of the options for the new spot. Again let’s get some of the obvious ideas out of the way from the start: I really can’t imagine they’ll bring back any of the old names that they’ve paraded through “Monday Night Raw” over the last month. Can you really imagine them bringing Teddy Long, Vickie Guerrero or Johnny Ace out of mothballs for the sake of the same boring stuff those people have always done? Again, not a good idea but in this case I don’t actually think they would try it.
Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the names that might actually be given authority to run either of the shows:
John Bradshaw Layfield. He ran “NXT” for a few months, albeit not very well, and he’s certainly a familiar face around WWE. Above all else though, it might actually gets him away from the announcers’ table and therefore away from driving everyone crazy with his constant babbling about European sports that most American fans have no interest in while also making the fans think that he’s even less interesting than he seems. I wouldn’t bet on it because for some reason we need a three person commentary booth but it would be a good case of addition by subtraction.
Michael Cole. I know the immediate reaction would be that Cole can be taken off commentary and put into the boss role but he really doesn’t need to leave. Cole has proven that he can talk as well as a lot of people on the roster and basically was doing everything a boss would during the Anonymous Raw General Manager era. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to have him stay on commentary and be in charge as well and might actually let him transition away if that’s something that’s going to happen in the near future (he’s been around for almost twenty years after all).
Daniel Bryan. Simply put, this would be a bad idea. At the end of the day, if your boss is a former wrestler, it’s expected that they’ll get in the ring at some point and that’s something Bryan just should not be doing again. Fans are going to be disappointed if he’s not allowed to do it and it would turn into the DANIEL BRYAN chants at the Royal Rumble all over again. That defeats the purpose of having someone like Bryan in the spot as the focus would be on him instead of whatever he was supposed to be doing.
William Regal. The more I think about this one the more I like it. Regal has been in charge of “NXT” for a long time now and has been one of the most perfect bosses in wrestling history. He’s just old enough that he’s becoming revered but at the same time he’s still young enough to look intimidating when he needs to. I know he’s already run “Monday Night Raw’ but it’s been quite a long time and he was more than effective when he was there in the first place. It’s a long shot, but this might actually be my favorite choice.
Now what will WWE likely do? Put the McMahons in there because they’re “interesting”, which seems to be code for having stupid drama and Stephanie bouncing back and forth from a female version of her father to the fun, dancing woman that you would all love to have a drink with while she tells you about how she’s a self-made, empowered woman who has a latest most important charity ever of the month.
This would of course lead to even more drama, likely with Triple H coming back to side with his wife and set up a match against Shane at some point because the idea of actually keeping the shows separate is a glorified pipe dream that has almost no chance of actually happening past a few weeks. The WWE has been about the McMahons for a long time and I really can’t see that changing anytime soon.
Finally, let’s take a quick look at what I would do. My first instinct would be to say go with no boss, but since that’s just not possible. Since WWE thinks wrestling fans are a bunch of mouth breathing idiots who aren’t capable of understanding what happened five minutes ago let alone over the course of multiple shows, we’re going to have a boss character and that’s all there is to it.
If they just have to have a boss though, I hope they follow the Jack Tunney/William Regal model. You really don’t need to have the boss around all the time walking you through everything. Whenever Regal will pop up on “NXT”, he can usually make a match or two in the span of about a minute and a half while also settling whatever issue was going around at the time.
In other words, just let the boss get in, get out, and not explain every single thing that’s going on. It’s such a nice idea and something that works so well on the other show but for some reason I can’t imagine it happening on the major shows because WWE seems to think its fans are too dumb. Have someone come up, make a match (or maybe just say they’ve made a match instead of wasting the TV time on it) and then disappear so the show can be about everything other than the talking heads for a change.
When we get to this new era of WWE, you can almost guarantee that things aren’t going to change all that much. That’s just the way things work in WWE and odds are we’re going to see Shane and Stephanie McMahon running the shows like we’ve seen them do for a long time, which isn’t going to be interesting but for some reason that’s what WWE thinks we want to see over and over. It won’t make or break the show but it would have been nice to have something fresh for a change. You know, the concept of the Brand Split.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews, check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up my new book on NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume II at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: