WWE People Power: John Laurinaitis: Great Gimmick, Wrong Person
In WWE, you can have either of the two – either you’re an exemplary talker, actor and wrestler or you have a gimmick that portrays a disputable image that you are.
The ones who usually succeed and are consequently termed as stalwarts and legends are those who maintained an equilibrium between these two traits – an Undertaker rode on his supernatural gimmick and great wrestling skills to overshadow his passable mic skills. A Santino Marella on the other hand used his talent to neutralize a bad gimmick.
It isn’t mandatory that you have positives in both areas, but it definitely helps your struggle to be known and relevant and helps prevent you from becoming Alex Riley’ed. (i.e. used as silhouettes for Mystery Opponent matches)
John Laurinaitis is an authority figure in the WWE – which means it is at most essential for him to not be a black hole of charisma and personality and to walk, talk and act on the shows like a well-sculptured identity.
The genesis of the Interim General Manager was interesting and innovative – we were given a troll of a character who openly rebuked heels like Awesome Truth and was neutral in all his decisions but we somehow knew he had ulterior motives and we despised him as much as Hornswoggle for it.
But every good gimmick has a certain tensile strength, weakened by the character portraying the gimmick itself. We’re talking about a guy who in eight months of weekly appearances, including colossal events like Wrestlemania, still isn’t comfortable when put in the spotlight or given the mic.
You can spot nervousness every time he speaks, and you easily hear the blubbering and even more easily hear the glaring mistakes in his promos. His weak acting resulted in an evolution of Troll GM to someone who blatantly runs in on babyfaces and kicks them and does everything in his power to show that he is heel but still comes out and proclaims feebly that he is neutral. Not many tensile strengths can withstand a coercion of dismal performing such as this one.
What should they do with Big Johnny?
If you thought Barret’s injury was a story deserving high levels of despondency, this is sadder. It’s not often that our WWE Creative actually gets creative (who would have thought), and it deserves an inordinate quantity of shame and pity to see a potentially wonderful gimmick destroyed by bad casting. People Power could have been an actual era – one which could have spanned for years and resulted in good futures for many young heels and babyfaces alike.
The John Laurinaitis of today is a tattered shell of what People Power should have encompassed. Any moment when the man who was thrust forward as an impartial and unbiased authority actually proclaims his neutrality is scorned upon. It’s hard for us, and nor should WWE expect us to forget the Cena ‘feud’ anytime soon.
The only future I see for People Power is usurpation of that very power. Maybe let Vince handle it, or bring in someone else (William Regal?), but for now Johnny Ace needs to go.
But for the sake of laptops around the world, do not bring back the Anonymous GM.
Shalaj Lawania is now virtually old enough on the Internet for you to recognize him, but still miraculously n00by enough for you to keep being mean to him (at least there's some progress, however minimal). He is also a contributor for WrestleEnigma.com, so do check it out if you love him and his works and are very sweet. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.
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