Like shuffling a deck of cards
by, 04-09-2009 at 10:39 PM (866 Views)
On Monday, the WWE will hold its annual "draft", which is little more than a public reassignment of some of their talent from one brand to another. However, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon needs to realize that he also has to make changes among the figureheads in charge of those brands, and the shuffling that has taken place this week isn't enough.
Take the case of Vicki Guerrero. Initially, she was assigned as an assistant to Teddy Long on Smackdown in 2007, but then Long suffered a "heart attack" on the 2007-8 season opener in the climax of a staged "wedding" that never reached its conclusion. The very next week, McMahon selected Guerrero to serve as interim GM. When Long was cleared to return two months later, McMahon had already decided to take the interim label off the widow Guerrero, and Long was reduced to being the assistant, now that Guerrero was linked with Smackdown's top heel, Edge. Long left Smackdown last spring, and was appointed GM of ECW to replace Armando Estrada just a few weeks later. By then, there was still no explanation for why Long was denied his job on Smackdown.
That alone speaks volumes of the creative staff's inability to tell a complete story from start to finish. A glaring plot hole left unfilled will create apathy among viewers. Meanwhile, Vicki Guerrero was becoming the most hated woman in WWE, a teflon GM as it were, since she was never punished for any violations committed in the name of helping storyline husband Edge. Instead, on Monday, after 7 weeks as an interim GM on Raw, she chose to move to the flagship on a full-time basis. Bear in mind that Edge had dropped the WWE World title at Wrestlemania to John Cena, so the timing was rather convienent. Vicki's goal is obvious. Do everything possible to weaken Cena or at worst screw him out of the title.
The problem? Ever since Guerrero took over Raw on February 23, the flagship brand's ratings have nosedived. So far, McMahon isn't willing to admit that he's made a mistake. His ego won't allow it. However, if the ratings continue to slide under the Guerrero administration, considering that Vicki now has to work without a net on Mondays (Raw is live most of the time), McMahon may have little choice but to cut his losses and remove Vicki from office.
Long, meanwhile, has moved back to Smackdown, with Tiffany (Taryn Terrell) acting as interim ECW GM until a full-time replacement can be found. One likely candidate may be the last ECW "Original" on the active roster, Tommy Dreamer, who has openly stated that he would leave WWE after the June 7 PPV, now tentatively titled "Extreme Rules", if he doesn't win the ECW title from current champion Jack Swagger. Becoming GM might be incentive enough for Dreamer to re-up for at least one more year, even if he does decide to retire from competition after all.
That takes us back to Raw. I doubt very seriously that Vicki Guerrero will be allowed to remain GM too long, with the ratings the way they are. McMahon figures that if he can move A-listers like Triple H back to Raw in the draft, that'll solve his ratings problems. No, it won't. The "WWE Universe" has already spoken, and they want Vicki out as GM, preferably yesterday. So who would fill the void if Vicki is dismissed?
One leading candidate would be newly minted Hall of Famer Rick Steamboat. Why else would they showcase Steamboat on Raw the day after Wrestlemania? It's not just to capitalize on the buzz generated at Wrestlemania. Steamboat has been working as a road agent/producer the last couple of years, and based on the fan reaction on Monday, it may be time for McMahon to stop with the corrupt executives, and let the GM's just be impartial, as they're supposed to be. Steamboat, who always wore the white hat during his in-ring career, would be a perfect fit on Raw.
So why is Vince McMahon so reluctant to make these kind of changes? Because he believes there's no need for change. He just doesn't realize how wrong he's been for so long.