Mick Foley, Daniel Bryan Named GMs for WWE Raw, SmackDown

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2016

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan celebrates becoming the new Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania 31 at Levi's Stadium. on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Santa Clara, CA. WrestleMania broke the Levi’s Stadium attendance record at 76,976 fans from all 50 states and 40 countries. (Don Feria/AP Images for WWE)
Don Feria/Associated Press

Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan are back in WWE.

During Monday night's edition of Raw, commissioners Stephanie and Shane McMahon announced their selections for the general managers of Raw and SmackDown, respectively.

WWE shared Stephanie's reveal that Foley will run the day-to-day operations on Raw:   


.@StephMcMahon's names her new @WWE #RAW General Manager ... it's @RealMickFoley!! https://t.co/Qlykfdn8An

The company also provided a replay of Bryan's return on WWE programming as the SmackDown GM:


YES! YES! YES! @ShaneMcMahon's new GM of #SmackDownLIVE is @WWEDanielBryan! #RAW https://t.co/TobdEqn8IQ

In the battle for supremacy between Raw and SmackDown, Shane arguably walked away with a strong opening salvo against his sister. Ever since he bid farewell to the company as an in-ring competitor, fans have been clamoring to see Bryan on WWE programming on a regular basis again.

WWE accidentally spoiled the surprise, though. A reader tipped Wrestling Inc's Marc Middleton to a notification on the WWE app last week that proclaimed "The 'Yes!' Movement takes over SmackDown Live!"

The Sun Sentinel's Scott Fishman doesn't think that will take away from the impact of Bryan's involvement:

Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN

I don't think people have been this excited for #SmackDown in years....and years. #WWE

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With the brand extension imminent, it's important for WWE to begin portraying Raw and SmackDown as separate entities with distinct identities. Particularly with Bryan, the company did a great job of addressing that need.

The former three-time world champion explained how he's the perfect guy to be the SmackDown GM, per the WWE Universe:

WWE Universe @WWEUniverse

"#SmackDownLive is the UNDERDOG in this fight just like I WAS THE UNDERDOG!" - @WWEDanielBryan #RAW https://t.co/JOBcTxQIbW

WWE seemingly did miss an opportunity, though, when it announced a new cruiserweight division will be a Raw exclusive.

Few former Superstars would've been better equipped than Bryan to oversee the development of cruiserweight wrestlers on WWE programming. In addition to his work in the ring, he has served as the color commentator for the WWE Network's Cruiserweight Classic.

But having a cruiserweight division in general on Raw is obviously a step in the right direction and helps build that contrast between what fans will expect to see on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Although the brand extension hasn't even gone into effect yet, WWE has done well to not only build interest ahead of Tuesday's draft but also set the stage for how Raw and SmackDown will operate in the coming weeks and months.

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