The ongoing battle between power players on Raw appears to be spilling over to SmackDown.
WrestlingInc.com reports that Booker T, SmackDown’s storyline general manager, is set to return from elbow surgery soon. When that happens, the growing tension between him and Teddy Long, his so-called senior adviser, is expected to build even more. It could get to the point where the relationship between the two top executives in SmackDown will come to a boil.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because the exact same thing is being played out on Raw. Except with Raw, there is the potential for more drama, more skullduggeries and more manipulation because the combatants are members of WWE’s founding family.
I have an idea why WWE may be doing this. They want a strong buildup to the Survivor Series pay-per-view in November where there could be two Survivor Series matches. On the Raw side, we would have Team Vince McMahon against Team Triple H. On the SmackDown side, we would have Team Booker T against Team Teddy Long.
While I think that could go a long way toward bringing an identity back to the Survivor Series concept, I don’t see how a SmackDown power play could equal a Raw power play.
The Raw showdown involves family, and there is no better soap opera on television than pitting one family member against another. The SmackDown showdown would boil down to two WWE employees engaged in a turf battle.
Long already went through that with the ridiculous Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny storyline heading into WrestleMania 28 in 2012. He does not need to go through that again.
And Booker, while a popular character, does not have the chops to be a believable “authority figure.” He does not have that edge to be a heat-seeking character.
On the other side of the fence, Vince McMahon is a pro at ticking off his family enough to make them despise his evil, take-no-prisoners persona. He has battled his children inside the ring and his wife outside the ring. He seems destined for yet another showdown with his family, this time a relative by marriage.
That’s why the Raw showdown is so much stronger and why a copycat SmackDown showdown would be a failure. It’s not believable enough. Neither Booker nor Long could ever equal “Mr. McMahon” as a dastardly heel.
But then again, who could?
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.