Every Friday, I analyze past storylines that were altered by real-life instances, including injuries, suspensions and more. In this series of articles, I predict what would have happened in the angle had it gone as originally planned.
On the August 6 edition of Raw in 2007, William Regal won an over-the-top-rope battle royal to be named the new General Manager of Raw. This came as a major shock to most members of the WWE Universe, as Regal had been positioned as an enhancement talent for many years up to this point.
He was suspended for 30 days early on in his run as Raw GM due to violating WWE's Wellness Policy, but aside from that, everything was run smoothly for Regal. He wasn't prominently featured on WWE programming for the remainder of the year, but that would soon change as 2008 came around.
Regal was involved in various mini-feuds with the likes of Triple H and Hornswoggle over the course of 2008, but it wasn't until the April 14 edition of Raw that Regal was finally the focal point of the flagship show. On that episode, Regal battled then-WWE champion Randy Orton in his home country of England, but came up short of scoring the win.
Backstage officials must have been impressed with what they saw, though, as Regal was named one of the eight competitors in the traditional King of the Ring tournament the following week. After disposing of Hornswoggle, Finlay and CM Punk all by submission, Regal was named the 2008 King of the Ring.
The evil Englishman held an official "coronation" the next week on Raw, stating that he wouldn't relinquish his role as the Raw GM to become an active wrestler on a regular basis. He also claimed to be "the most powerful entity in all of the WWE," which was hard to argue with.
During his coronation, Regal was interrupted by a returning Mr. Kennedy, who stated that he would have won the tournament had he been invited to participate in it. This led to a brutal brawl between the two, and Jim Ross made a statement on commentary saying that Regal was "utterly humiliated".
In subsequent weeks, Regal refused to give the WWE Universe what they wanted until they showed him the respect he believed he rightfully deserved. He placed Kennedy, as well as anyone else who spoke up, in several matches where the odds were stacked against him.
Of course, Regal was abusing his power, but even Mr. McMahon said at one point that he had his blessing. Regal continued to terrorize Raw and garnered a massive amount of heat in the process.
His rivalry with Kennedy eventually came to a head on the May 19 edition of Raw, where Mr. McMahon arranged a "Loser Leaves WWE" match between the two. Despite making the bout no disqualification, Regal was still unsuccessful in defeating Kennedy and was "fired" from the WWE as a result.
In realty, Regal was suspended for 60 days after violating the WWE Wellness Policy for a second time. Instead of allowing him to maintain his position of power in his absence, WWE opted to drop the storyline and didn't continue it upon Regal's return to the ring that July.
Many fans have speculated that Regal's reign of terror would have eventually led him to a run with the WWE Championship, considering he was one of the most hated heels in all of the company at the time. If you can recall, Booker T captured his first World Heavyweight Championship in WWE after winning the King of the Ring tournament in 2006.
At the time Regal was suspended, Triple H was the reigning WWE champion, so it is possible that those two would have headlined a pay-per-view or two that summer if that was indeed the direction WWE was heading in.
Since Regal was the one who prematurely ended Santino Marella's reign as Intercontinental champion in November 2008, does that mean that the Honk-a-Meter would have lived on longer than it did? Also, would Regal and Layla ever formed a partnership had the England native not been feuding with Jamie Noble in the fall of that year?
Regal was never used correctly from that point forward, as he has been on the losing end of various feuds with the likes of CM Punk, Christian and Santino Marella. He is currently a commentator on NXT, where he excels and shows true promise behind the booth.
I am not at all saying that Regal should be contending for a world title at this point in his career, but WWE definitely dropped the ball with him five years back. Sure, it was mostly his own fault for getting himself suspended in the first place, but I also partially blame the creative team for not doing more with him when he made his comeback to the company.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on William Regal's suspension and his ruthless reign as Raw GM in 2008. Also, mention any potential topics you would like to see analyzed in upcoming editions of WWE Flashback Friday.
Read every archived edition of WWE Flashback Friday here.
Graham Mirmina, a.k.a. Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website at Next Era Wrestling and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.