It was 21st June 2010 – Vince McMahon has just removed Bret Hart from the Raw General Manager position. There was a void left on Raw for someone to be in charge. The solution – Messages would be delivered via flashing lights and an instant messenger sound, read out loud from a laptop on a podium by Michael Cole. The position lasted for the next year, the identity of the General Manager remained a mystery. To this day there has never been an answer to who it is. The angle was compelling till toward the end when WWE decided to remove the General Manager and put COO Triple H in it’s place. Would this now be a perfect time, in the Daniel Bryan/Corporation angle to bring back the General Manager.
It’s no secret that right now the Corporation storyline is struggling to keep the momentum it had from the start. What started out as a great opportunity for WWE to blur reality and fiction has turned into a story that fans have struggled to follow. A number of factors come into this. The clearest being the booking of the Corporation and their power and Daniel Bryan. When Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship at Summerslam it was a truly feel good moment for the fans. Bryan reached the peak and had the championship he deserved, until Triple H pedigreed Bryan and allowed Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. This was a great move by WWE as it gave the fans something to tune in for, to watch the thrill of the chase for Bryan.
In the weeks that lead up to the Night of Champions pay per view, the booking took a questionable turn. Bryan was repeatedly attacked and beaten down by The Shield under instruction of the new Corporation. It was acceptable the first week, but this continued leading up to the pay per view. So it was somewhat of a surprise when Bryan defeated Randy Orton at Night of Champions to win his second WWE Championship. The problem for me was when referee Scott Armstrong got back into the ring after being taken out at one point. At this point I could tell some sort of screw job was going down, and it did when he fast counted Bryan’s pin on Orton. Unfortunately at that point, I had already worked out the next night they would strip Bryan of the Championship. Low and behold, that’s exactly what happened the next night. The angle was becoming far too predictable at this point.
The booking following Night of Champions up to Battleground saw a more mixed bag of results for Bryan and Orton. The McMahon characters however were the ones starting to suffer. The constant flip flopping of the way the storylines are being written isn’t helping, and it has left a lot of viewers struggling to follow things from one week to the next. It feels to me almost like this angle has been booked with no real vision of where things are going to go. So going into Battleground, the non-finish to the main event left fans spitting feathers and even more confused. Clearly it was done to continue the feud into Hell in a Cell in 2 weeks, but do you really want that kind of match on a B-Level pay per view right before Survivor Series? Personally I think WWE made a mistake in not providing a finish. It is almost inevitable to me now that Bryan isn’t going to win the WWE Championship yet, because I don’t believe he can given the booking of his character and him being robbed of it now three times.
Here’s how I would have perhaps made things different, and this is where the Anonymous General Manager comes into the fold. I would have built it prior to Summerslam, with Triple H being Bryan’s ally, with Vince being the one out to do what’s ‘best for business’. To do this, he brings back the anonymous General Manager. The General Manager shows right away how obsessed he is with holding down Bryan and preventing him from achieving his dream. I would have booked the Summerslam main even the way it turned out, with Triple H as guest referee, Bryan winning the championship. I would then have Orton come out during Bryan’s celebration as he did. The flashing lights and instant messenger sound go off to indicate the General Manager has an announcement. It insists that Bryan’s victory is not what’s best for business, and that Bryan should enjoy his moment while it lasts, as it will be just like his Wrestlemania 28 match with Sheamus – Over in the blink of an eye. Just then, Triple H who has stood behind Bryan, spins the champ round and hits the Pedigree, screwing Bryan over, and the Anonymous General Manager sending another message instructing Randy Orton to cash in and belittling the fans for not seeing this coming. The message ends by revealing Triple H as the General Manager, and that this really is what they call ‘best for business’.
Obviously that now is not an option and is just my version of making a smaller tweak. There is an opportunity going forward to re-introduce the anonymous General Manager back into the fold. I would book things from Raw this week that the board of directors believe that the new Corporation is abusing it’s power and influence, and feel that there needs to be a shift in power. I would remove Brad Maddox from his position and tease the introduction of a new, fairer General Manager, one who wants to see what truly is ‘best for business’ – A new WWE champion in a fair contest. I would put teasers out over the next few shows as to who it is, and I would allow the match at Hell in a Cell to happen as planed, with Orton defeating Bryan. I would of course book a re-match the next night on Raw for Survivor Series, with the two men facing off in a ladder match. The anonymous General Manager would make life difficult for Orton and the new Corporation over the coming weeks, with Bryan coming out on top more often than not. At Survivor Series, Daniel Bryan wins the ladder match and claims the WWE Championship, holding this till Wrestlemania when he would drop the championship to CM Punk in the greatest Wrestlemania match of all time.
The next night on Raw I would have Orton come out, demanding the rematch he so rightly deserves right now. The new Corporation come out and belittle Orton for failing once again and letting not only himself down but the business down. Just as it looks like they are about to come to blows the General Manager sends an announcement – In what is ‘best for business’, their identity will be revealed to the world right now. Out walks a returning Shane McMahon, to a reaction of fury from Vince, Triple H and Stephanie. We all know Shane has recently stepped down from his CEO role at You Demand, and while he remains part of the company on their board, what better time and way for Shane to make an albeit brief return to WWE. This opens up a whole new angle where I would pit Shane as trying to save Triple H from becoming just like his father. This could then build a feud leading to a clash between Vince and Triple H in a struggle for power over WWE, ultimately ending with Triple H gaining control of WWE on TV.
While they are brief booking idea’s, which I admit are missing detail, this is where I would direct things. Do you agree the Raw General Manager could help turn this angle around in a positive way? Or do you feel it would just be another waste in the angle? As always I look forward to reading your thoughts on this subject.