The WWE has tried desperately to create a heel authority figure to “replace” Mr. McMahon over the last couple of years, but it has figured out that’s much easier said than done.
Still, that hasn’t prevented the creative team from pushing John Laurinaitis as the company’s new heel boss, which has produced mixed results to far.
At times, Laurinaitis has been great. At other times? Eh, not so great.
But I do think he was at his best on last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw.
Laurinaitis had brought Brock Lesnar to the WWE to take out Cena and become the “new face of the WWE,” but Lesnar couldn’t get the job done at Extreme Rules. So, the GM of both Raw and SmackDown took matters into his own hands on Raw.
An already-injured Cena came down to the ring to find out who his opponent for Over the Limit would be, and in a surprising twist, Laurinaitis revealed that he himself would be facing Cena at the pay-per-view and attacked Cena from behind with a microphone.
Lord Tensai and Sakamato joined in on the assault, as the three heels laid a brutal beatdown on Cena at the conclusion of Raw, targeting his arm and leaving him in obvious pain as the show went off the air.
This was a great way of establishing Laurinaitis as the ultimate heel authority figure.
While I am not particularly crazy about Laurinaitis stepping into the ring (much less doing so on pay-per-view) or seeing a non-wrestler get a ton of TV time, this angle helped him generate some legitimate heat for a change.
I think that most of Laurinaitis’ heat has stemmed from his mundanity or his lack of mic skills (even though they’ve improved drastically), but by attacking the biggest babyface in the WWE, he was able to get the crowd to hate him for the right reasons.
Laurinaitis will never be Mr. McMahon, and he will never create an Austin vs. McMahon-caliber story, but if targeting Cena is going to help Cena regain some fans that he’s lost over the years, then this storyline could work.
Sorry, guys, but I don’t see a Cena heel turn happening within the next few months, so you might as well portray him like the top babyface that he is. And now that Laurinaitis has established himself as a great heel boss and the WWE’s “Worst Person of the Week,” that can be done a lot easier.