WWE.com has announced that Vince McMahon will be appearing on Monday Night Raw to give a special "State of WWE Address." The article goes on to suggest that AJ Lee's position as general manager may be in trouble as a result.
This turn of events makes perfect sense in a storyline capacity, as AJ has been slowly losing control over the locker room for several weeks.
Yet the inevitable procedure of Vince giving AJ the dreaded vote of confidence, followed by uproar from her detractors, will only draw out a storyline that can only conclude in a new general manager taking control of Raw.
This is not a slight on AJ as a performer, as she has successfully juggled a complex gimmick with multiple personal relationships. Still, there is an inevitability that any general manager whose position is questioned by the WWE executive is on the way out.
It might seem like an exaggeration to conclude that a general manager's position becomes untenable once Vince, or any leading authority figure with real—rather than kayfabe—power, intervenes with a storyline, but history suggests this is the case.
The John Laurinaitis character was barely in the job when he had his first clash with WWE's board of directors. His tenure saw two feuds with top faces followed by the brief uniting of the Raw and SmackDown general manager roles, but his position was never assured at any point.
Rumour and counter-rumour ran riot across official platforms and fan sites, as people expected WWE to remove Laurinaitis from his role at any time.
The interim tag which hung over Laurinaitis' head for much of his time in the role was always going to add to the speculation, but the fact that Mr. McMahon and Triple H were always on his back gave extra impetuous to rumours of his imminent demise.
Eric Bischoff is arguably the most successful general manager of all time, but his clash with McMahon brought about the end of his authority and position on television.
Considering the fact that Bischoff managed to maintain his air of control alongside "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Mick Foley, his downfall really shows how damaging it is for anyone playing an authority role on WWE television to interact with Vince McMahon or anyone with real power within the company.
One possible reason for this is that the WWE's move toward realism means that the audience fully understands that the general manager role is really a middle-management position. The general manager must do their bidding, and if those decisions are bad, it is the middle manager that pays the price.
Teddy Long is the one general manager that has survived being ousted, but this has always come at the hands of other performers, not senior managers.
It could be concluded from all of this that the WWE Universe does not accept the general manager post as a truly authoritative position. In fact, this might explain why several high-profile feuds that were supposed to pitch a character against his boss have fallen so flat in recent times.
What all this means for AJ is that her run as general manager has come to the beginning of the end. McMahon coming in over her head will strip any remaining power from her character, and the next few weeks will see her being used to promote other talent as her kayfabe world unravels around her.
The one bright spot for AJ is that her time as general manager may not be the end of her WWE career, like it has been for so many others.
Done properly, her maniacal gimmick can see her reappear in the women's division as a force to be reckoned with. She could also be placed in a managerial role (akin to the role Vickie Guerrero is now in).
Whatever the future holds for AJ, her time as general manager is coming to an end.
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