WWE Raw and SmackDown: Should They Just Drop the General Manager Gimmick?

Drake OzSenior Writer IIJuly 11, 2012

Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

No matter who or what the WWE general manager is, the position is one that always finds itself under heavy scrutiny. 

With Vince McMahon laying down the foundation for what a great on-screen authority figure should be, the WWE has tried to replicate his success through the use of other authority figures, usually referred to as a “GM.” 

As we all know, though, the general manager position has become a controversial one. 

While the GM role has played a big part in some great storylines, it’s also been rendered completely ineffective at times. 

And we’re now getting to the point where we have to ask: Do the positives of the GM position outweigh the negatives? Better yet, should the WWE drop the GM gimmick altogether? 

It’s a topic that’s certainly worth considering, especially when you realize how big a role on-screen authority figures (whether they’re called “general managers” or not) have played on WWE TV. 

Heck, just this year, the GM position has been a huge part in WWE storylines. 

We witnessed the Battle of the GMs at WrestleMania 28, when Teddy Long’s team faced the team of John Laurinaitis, and Laurinaitis was later fired when John Cena beat The Big Show in the main event of No Way Out. 

As we can all see, the GM role is one of utmost importance. That’s pretty clear. 

But the fact that the general manager exists—whether he’s in control of one or both brands—isn’t the issue here. The issue is how the GM position is used. 

Here’s the problem I have with it: If there is going to be a general manager, he should be the be-all, end-all authority figure of whichever show he’s in control of.

He should be the one who makes the matches, who signs the main events of pay-per-views and so on and so forth. 

Unfortunately, that just hasn’t been the case. 

The WWE’s lack of logical booking has resulted in sheer confusion when it comes to the company’s on-screen power hierarchy. 

Who is in control of what, and who has the final say-so on WWE decisions? We don’t know, and we don’t know because the GM position makes virtually no sense. 

Just look back at the last year or so, and you’ll see why. 

WWE COO Triple H essentially replaced Vince McMahon as the head of the WWE, but McMahon would later return, remove Triple H of his duties and then name Laurinaitis as the interim GM. 

Then, Laurinaitis feuded with Long over control of both Raw and SmackDown and became the GM of both shows, only to be fired by McMahon. 

How does any of that make any real sense? The answer: It doesn’t. 

There are logic holes all over the place here, with people firing people who fired them and the WWE just letting it happen as if we’re not going to notice it. 

But, of course, we do, and it has a ripple effect on the entire WWE. 

At least for me, that ripple effect has resulted in me seeing no purpose whatsoever behind the general manager position. I just don’t see why a GM should exist if he or she isn’t the one calling all the shots. 

McMahon and Triple H shouldn’t be able to simply assert their authority whenever they feel like it. Meanwhile, whoever the GM is should be able to run Raw and/or SmackDown without someone breathing down their neck the entire time. 

In that scenario, having a general manager would make sense and allow him to stick around for the long term. 

But in its current state, the GM position (or whatever is filling its void) has no longevity. 

We’ve gotten the anonymous GM, the guest hosts, Laurinaitis, Triple H and now the guest GMs running Raw just over the last few years, which have all but killed the effectiveness of the GM role. 

Having a general manager could work if the WWE knew who it wanted in that role and had a long-term plan for him. 

Yet, it doesn't, and that’s exactly why we’ve seen so many on-screen authority figures in recent years. 

No one in the WWE has any idea exactly what they want out of the GM position, how to use it properly and how to book it for more than a couple of months or so. 

As a result, whoever is the general manager at a particular time is now a sitting duck, with someone else just waiting to shoot and take his place. 

That makes me think—Why even have a GM if every single one is a moment away from being replaced?


Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter and ask him any wrestling-related questions on Formspring.