WWE: 7 Superstars Who Will Flourish Under Booker T as GM
After AJ was named the Raw general manager last month, a couple of weeks went by and no SmackDown GM was named.
I hoped that it would stay that way because the couple of GM-less SmackDown shows were much better when they didn't feature an authority figure appearing in skits and segments every five minutes.
But my hopes and dreams were crushed a couple of weeks back when Vince McMahon named Booker T as SmackDown's new general manager.
Now, I know that Booker T (as he has already done) will find himself involved in storylines on the blue brand and will, more often than not, fail to remain impartial.
He will favor who he wants to favor and those superstars will benefit from greatly from it.
Here are seven superstars who will flourish under Booker T as GM.
7. Antonio Cesaro
Since Booker T is a babyface, I expect him to largely favor his fellow faces.
But there are exceptions to that rule, and Antonio Cesaro is one of them.
While I do question why creative would book Cesaro over Santino Marella twice in a row only to have him lose to Christian on last week's show (how does that make any sense?), it's clear that there are big things in store for Cesaro.
Booker T mentioned to Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks that he only wants top talent on his show, and even in defeat, Cesaro looked like a star.
He's been getting a lot more TV time recently, he's getting involved with two other babyfaces (Santino and Christian), and he's finally showing some character development (even if it just by speaking in five different languages).
Anyone who watched Cesaro in Ring of Honor knows that he's a great in-ring performer, and it looks like Booker T will recognize that by giving him matches on a consistent basis.
If Cesaro continues to appear on SmackDown week after week, that's a good sign, and he may even end up becoming the next United States Champion.
It doesn't matter if Kane's a babyface, heel or tweener—he's always used as the guy who faces a superstar that pisses off the GM.
CM Punk angers John Laurinaitis? Time for him to face Kane.
Big Show gets under the skin of Teddy Long? Put him in a match with Kane.
The Miz doesn't want to wrestle that night? Put him in a match with Kane.
You get the point. Kane is the go-to monster who, especially when he's a babyface, is booked to be a dominant superstar that no one wants to face.
I imagine that that will only continue with Booker T.
Anytime that Booker has a problem, Kane will be the solution.
As Booker T's reign as SmackDown GM continues, Kane will likely be protected and booked very strongly—maybe not World title contender material, but good enough to make it seem like a big deal when he gets beat.
When Booker T was SmackDown's commentator, he naturally tended to put over the show's faces more than its heels.
One face that he always talked really good about? Ryback.
Booker T did an excellent job of putting over Ryback's strength, power and intensity during his squash matches, making it pretty clear that he was a big fan of the massive superstar.
Now that he's the GM, chances are that Booker T will make sure that Ryback continues to be booked strongly.
Yes, I know that Booker doesn't have any legitimate control of the show. But in his short stint as GM so far, he's already appeared in a number of backstage segments and "made" a number of matches.
In all likelihood, he is going to continue to be impressed by Ryback and book him in favorable angles that allow him to shine.
After all, isn't that what a face GM does for his face superstars?
4. Sin Cara
Since his return earlier this year, Sin Cara hasn't really done much of note.
He had those short squashes right after he came back, and since then, he's proven to be the same Sin Cara who has some very impressive high-flying abilities, but still leaves a lot to be desired in the ring.
Luckily for Sin Cara, though, it looks like he's going to get a big opportunity now that Booker T is SmackDown's GM.
On last week's episode, Sin Cara returned to the show (after a short, unexplained hiatus) and picked up a victory over Cody Rhodes via inside cradle.
The win was booked more like a fluke victory than anything else, but it was probably Sin Cara's biggest victory since his return, one that seems to have kicked off an actual rivalry with Rhodes.
Now, don't get me wrong—this doesn't mean that Sin Cara's headed for a World title or anything like that.
But Booker T made it seem like a big deal when he announced that Rhodes would face Sin Cara. Then, Sin Cara got the win and apparently kicked off a feud between the two.
That's gotta mean something, right?
3. Rey Mysterio
In many ways, Rey Mysterio has become synonymous with SmackDown over the years.
After all, he is one of the biggest and most important stars in the history of the show, and he's spent most of his WWE career there.
Especially since he only recently returned from injury, it was basically a given that Mysterio would be booked like one of the blue brand's top stars.
But now that Booker T is the show's GM, it pretty much guarantees it.
Like with Kane and Sin Cara, you just know that Booker T is going to rely on Mysterio as one of those superstars who he calls upon to face a heel that's getting on his nerves.
I can already picture it now: Dolph Ziggler walks into Booker T's office, does something to anger him, and then Booker sets up Ziggler vs. Mysterio for later that night.
After all, Mysterio did just beat the Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, on last week's show.
If Booker T puts Mysterio in a match with a titleholder (and he goes on to win that match, nonetheless), that's a pretty good sign of things to come for the high-flyer.
To Booker T's credit, he did make Sheamus apologize for stealing Alberto Del Rio's car on last week's SmackDown.
But this is a simple case of a show's babyface GM treating its top babyface star exactly like you would expect him to.
Sheamus is, along with Randy Orton, the face of SmackDown, the show's World Heavyweight Champion and one of its most popular stars. Booker T, meanwhile, is the show's happy-go-lucky babyface GM.
What do you think Booker's gonna do? Treat Sheamus like crap?
Of course not.
Booker T is going to put Sheamus in favorable situations quite simply because all babyfaces are apparently friends in the WWE, and therefore, the two will be all buddy-buddy as long as they're both good guys.
Especially after Del Rio's heinous and cowardly assault on Sheamus on last week's SmackDown, you have to think that Booker T supports the honorable and noble Sheamus now more than ever.
1. Randy Orton
You know how I said that Booker T will use Sheamus, Kane and Rey Mysterio to help "solve his problems?"
Yeah, that's still true. But the No. 1 guy I expect him to use in that role is Randy Orton.
In fact, he's already done it once before, having put Alberto Del Rio in a match with Orton on the Aug. 3 edition of SmackDown when ADR got on his bad side.
This is a theme that I expect to be consistent on SmackDown, with Orton as the most common problem-solver used by Booker T.
That's just the way that SmackDown seems to work, with the bad guys pissing off the authority figures and forcing themselves into a corner.
When Teddy Long was the show's GM, he would, of course, make tag team matches to solve any problems he may have had with the show's top heels.
But now that Booker T is in charge of SmackDown, expect his new thing to be: "You're going to face....Randy....Orton."
Aw shucky ducky, quack quack.