So, in a moderately shocking turn of events, Zack Ryder will be acting General Manager of SmackDown—er, I mean ZackDown—this Tuesday—er, I mean Friday.
The question is, will Zack do anything noteworthy as GM, or will he simply be allowed his two minutes of camera time in front of the crowd?
Will he abuse his power to help himself or his friends? Will he use it to get revenge on those who have wronged him? Or will he simply fist pump the night away?
Ostensibly, the guy has a lot of power, and a short period of time to wield it.
But what can he do?
A very simple but overlooked part of being a GM is the ability to call for people and have them come to the office for a "meeting."
At the very least, this seems like a way for Ryder to get various Divas into a conversation.
Speaking of Divas, Ryder could always get the women featured with a big match.
Heck, he could make it a Money in the Bank match, either on SmackDown or at the PPV. Of course, having a ladder match with today's women in today's WWE is probably the least likely thing on this list.
But even then, there are ways around it. You could make it a good ol' standard Divas' over-any-rope-at-all Battle Royal. It could be a briefcase-on-a-pole match, or a stepladder match.
Or, you could hop in the way-back machine and put a contract in a big vat of pudding. You know, whatever.
Actually, for a twist, you could have multiple cases in any of these matches. One could be the title itself, one could be the cash-in contract, one could be No. 1 Contender status, and one could force you to wear some humiliating outfit or something.
At this point, it doesn't even matter. It would be the most TV time any of them, including the champion, have seen in a long time.
Way back in January, Ryder illegitimately lost his U.S. Championship title to Jack Swagger, despite not being medically cleared to participate. Realistically, the match should have been voided, and the belt returned to Ryder (though he probably would have had to later vacate it due to his injuries).
Swagger would later lose it to Santino Marella.
(Come to think of it, neither Ryder nor Swagger have been well-used after getting the title. Hopefully Marella can avoid the same fate.)
At any rate, Ryder never received a rematch for his lost title. So it wouldn't even be an abuse of his powers as GM to demand what's rightfully his.
Santino should have to defend his U.S. title against Zack. He's heading into Money In The Bank anyway, so even losing it wouldn't be too bad.
Ryder's personal struggles of late (now that Kane and Eve are leaving him alone) are that he can't get a match on RAW and is always stuck on Superstars. Well, he's not the only one.
It might not be a ratings-grabber, but he could always book the forgotten and underused superstars who share time with him on the "other" WWE programs.
Heck, he could bring back Trent Baretta, who has been off TV for ages and is often featured on his YouTube show in the "Where's Trent?" segment.
In a hilarious twist, this could perhaps result in some of the big names appearing on the lesser shows. Yeah, probably not.
If Ryder truly had the power of a GM, I can't imagine why he wouldn't bring his Internet Championship onto TV. The WWE wouldn't even have to recognize it in any official capacity—by Sunday, Cole could be gleefully explaining how it doesn't mean anything and is effectively worthless.
Not that it would even matter.
Million Dollar Championship, anyone?
But for one glorious moment, he could lord around with his custom-made belt in front of everyone.
Heck, he could even put it up.
Ryder and Dolph Ziggler have called their shot at a match at WrestleMania for the belt. The odds of that are much worse, so why not have that match now?
Or you could get Santino or Josh Mathews involved, as they both have a stake in WWE's internet world.
(This would have been the only logical way to get Road Dogg back in the ring, but he just got his walking papers. Actually, what is that going to do to Are You Serious?)
A fatal four-way for the Internet Championship would be fun. Heck, he wouldn't even have to make the match for SmackDown. He could set a date and have the thing be done for the internet. I'd suggest pre-show at MITB, but Ziggler and Marella are both in the SmackDown ladder match, so best to leave it alone until after.
This would probably be the least likely thing he would do, but it's technically under the scope of the General Manager's powers and authority.
Who could he hire?
Zack's buddy and fledgling indie wrestler The Big O appeared on Z! True Long Island story to ask for this very thing, and it's not the first time he's asked WWE to come calling. If Zack truly did have the power, why wouldn't he pull the trigger on this deal?
JoMo's return would be a big deal for Zack's dad and all the other MoFos. Of course, in the Z!TLIS universe, Morrison's dead, which would be weird, but he's certainly not dead as far as the majority of the WWE Universe is concerned.
Mr. Belding! Zack could give him a little hat tip by making him a special guest ref, announcer, timekeeper or whatever.
This would be more of a promotion than anything. I'm not really clear what Teddy's job was prior to JLau's firing, and I'm even less sure now. He's not a GM, other than for last week, but what is he? Anyway, Zack could make him the Assistant to the GM, just to bring things full circle.
This move would be even more drastic than the first, and it's probably the least likely thing he could do. But a GM can fire someone, even without going through the chain of command.
JLau fired Big Show this summer, and Teddy Long (briefly, after a long buildup) fired Drew McIntyre this year, as well as a much more sudden firing two years ago.
I'm not sure anyone would make a good target. Big Show's got his ironclad contract and all, and nobody else out there is really making too much trouble.
But technically, the option's there.
This could be the most controversial move Ryder might make.
Currently there are eight competitors in the World Heavyweight Championship match and four former champions in the WWE Championship match.
Ryder could certainly give someone a chance to qualify into one of these matches, as there have been up to 10 competitors in one match before, and never have there been so few as four.
He could even go so far as to give himself a qualifying opportunity against, say, Hornswoggle.
But he could also theoretically remove someone. It's happened before (though only due to Wellness Policy violations, but one would imagine injury could cause it as well), and that's enough precedent to open the door.
If it were me making the decision, I'd set up a backwards Beat the Clock challenge:
Split the eight competitors into four matches. Of the four losers, whoever was defeated fastest loses his spot.
Ryder is a man who has been wronged.
Wronged by John Laurinaitis, by Jack Swagger, by Kane, by Eve, by Big Show.
This could be his one chance to get a little payback.
With Laurinaitis fired, that one's out, sadly. Pitting him in a match against Swagger would be somewhat poetic. Besides, Swagger's suffered enough anyway. I suppose Ryder could rehire JLau in a one-day contract.
As for Kane and Big Show, well, he could put them in handicap matches, or perhaps better yet, a one-on-one lumberjack match, with the lumberjacks hand-picked as all the guys who were needlessly attacked by the giants.
And Eve...well, I'm sure he could think of something.
There's a ton of things you can do with a sudden and temporary influx of power. Many silly, some career suicide, some possibly brilliant.
But most likely, nothing of the sort will happen.
Ryder will get a little extra TV time, maybe put a heel in a match they don't like, embarrass Eve and forget that Kane tortured him earlier this year.
And that will probably be it, unfortunately.
What would you do with the keys to the kingdom?