Although it’s still yet to be officially announced, we all know it’s going to happen: John Laurinaitis’ team will face Teddy Long’s team at WrestleMania 28, and the winner be named the general manager of both Raw and SmackDown.
The heels are siding with Laurinaitis, and the baby faces are throwing their support behind Long. So, I guess I’m going to be a heel in the situation, because I’m all in favor of Mr. Excitement.
Six months ago, I never would have imagined typing that. But something very simple has changed my mind—I’m sick to death of Teddy Long.
While I have nothing personal against the guy, Long has been the GM of SmackDown on and off since 2004. Yeah, I said 2004.
If Long was the President of the United States, he would have been forced out of office by now. Too bad the WWE doesn’t have a rule that states how long an authority figure can stick around, because Long has more than overstayed his welcome.
He’s been around for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and if he doesn’t go sometime soon, then I’m afraid he’s going to remain the SmackDown GM forever, wear his plaid suits and scream “Holla, Holla, Holla” until he’s 85 years old.
That can’t happen.
Although Long was fine in his GM role at first, he’s gotten more stale by the week, and he adds virtually nothing to the WWE product.
If he isn’t taking away precious TV time by having awkward sexual innuendo segments with Aksana, he is doing what he has become famous for: Making tag-team matches.
Seriously, if I ever get into an argument with three of my friends, I always find myself looking over my shoulder and wondering, “When the hell is Teddy Long going to come out and make this a tag-team match?”
OK, not really. But you get the point—Aksana’s little Teddy Bear needs to go the way of Rupert, retire and enjoy some quality time on the beach with his pals.
In order for that to happen, though, Long’s team of baby faces has to lose to Laurinaitis’ team of heels at WrestleMania 28.
This is the only scenario that gives me the best of both worlds: We say so long to Long on TV, and Laurinaitis gains control of both Raw and SmackDown.
Much like Long is these days, Laurinaitis started off as boring and mundane. However, he has performed really well over the last several months, thanks largely to his alignment with David Otunga and his decision to turn himself into “Mr. Excitement.”
What Laurinaitis did was turn his weaknesses (his monotone voice, lack of energy, poor mic skills, etc.) into a major strength by addressing said weaknesses and using them to form his character. It’s resulted—if this makes any sense—in Laurinaitis’ boringness actually helping him become an entertaining authority figure.
Laurinaitis is (whether intentionally or unintentionally) almost always hilarious, a far cry from his raspy voice and sleep-inducing promos that he cut just last summer.
While he will never be on the same level as a Vince McMahon or Eric Bischoff, Laurinaitis provides us with something that we’ve desperately needed for a while now—change.
As seen by some fans’ reactions to John Cena, there’s nothing worse than a character sticking around for too long and the fans growing sick him because of it. That’s exactly what’s happened with Long.
He’s been the authority figure on SmackDown for most of the last eight years, and it’s time for someone else to be in that role.
And that someone is none other than Big Johnny.