WrestleMania 28: What We Learned from Team Johnny's Win
At WrestleMania 28, Team Johnny defeated Team Teddy to gain John Laurinaitis control over both RAW and SmackDown.
The finish came about after Eve Torres, whom Zack Ryder had foolishly brought with him to the match, jumped into the ring and distracted her boyfriend long enough for The Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin.
To rub salt into the wound, Eve, under the pretense of comforting the fallen Ryder, then hit him with a brutal shot below the belt. The villainous diva proceeded to strut out triumphantly with an evil smirk on her face, leaving Team Teddy to look on appalled and Team Johnny to celebrate wildly.
So, what have we learned from the result? Well, here are several things...
The Bad Booking of Zack Ryder Continues
Man, we really feel for Zack Ryder.
A few months he was a hugely popular US Champion, main-eventing RAW and rubbing shoulders with top stars like John Cena and CM Punk. Cut to now and he's been turned into a pathetic lovesick joke by WWE's misguided booking team. And this comes after a spell as Kane's punching bag.
This trend of making Ryder look like a fool continued here. Not only did he stupidly take the duplicitous Eve to ringside with him (seriously, did no one on Team Teddy point out what a dumb idea this was?), but he allowed the Diva Search winner to distract him and get him pinned, costing his team the victory. Then she laughed at him and delivered a brutal kick to Zack's, er, lower area.
Zack looked devastated after the bout. And no wonder; he looks like more of a comedy jobber than ever.
WWE Is Behind John Laurinaitis as an on-Screen Character
When he debuted on television last year during the infamous "Summer of Punk," nobody quite knew what to make of John Laurinaitis.
After spending so long working behind the scenes, he seemed a little unsure of himself and rather uncomfortable on-screen. His promos weren't up too much either, with him tripping over his words and mumbling a lot, as well as making the occasional timing mistake. In there with first-class talkers like Vince McMahon, John Cena and CM Punk, he looked woefully out of his depth.
Laurinaitis eventually blossomed into his heel role though, and became one of the most entertaining parts of RAW. Indeed, his bumbling, slimy corporate heel character has become so firmly entrenched into WWE's flagship show its difficult to imagine what it would be like without him. David Otunga, as his snobby, coffee-drinking know-it-all sidekick, has also been outstanding in his role.
The win over Teddy Long at WrestleMania—which per the stip means Laurinaitis is now general manager of SmackDown as well as RAW—proves that WWE have a great deal of faith in their real life executive vice president of talent relations and are keen for him to continue and grow as a heel character.
Eve's Heel Push Will Continue
Eve Torres comes out of 'Mania with a renewed push and a promising new character direction.
As the woman who cost Team Teddy the match and sent beloved SmackDown GM Teddy Long packing, Torres looks set to become one of the WWE's biggest female heels. The fans strongly disliked her before this, so we can only imagine how much they're going to jeer the Diva Search winner now.
The Miz's Career Is Back on Track
After spending the last few months struggling in the doldrums of WWE's mid-card, former WWE Champion The Miz looks set to get a renewed push coming out of this event.
Indeed, despite there being a great deal of doubt recently over whether he would even have a match on the card, it was ultimately The Miz who pinned Ryder for the one-two-three, gaining Team Johnny the victory. It was an impressive performance by the star. It was also the first time he has won a match in who knows how long.
No doubt, Laurinaitis will also be incredibly grateful to the former Real World star for garnering him the win, maybe even giving Miz a title shot at some point, against either CM Punk or new World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus.
One thing is sure: The old, match-winning Miz looks to be back
Teddy Long's Time as an Authority Figure Looks to Be over
Considering he's been SmackDown GM since 2004 (sans the odd sabbatical here and there), it shouldn't come as a shock that WWE brass look to have decided its time to move on and replace Long as general manager.
Of course, we can't rule out a return for Long at some point down the road, but for now at least, it looks like the days of impromptu tag matches and people going one-on-one with Randy Orton (or Undertaker, if he's around) are long gone.