Mick Foley is a great guy. He’s a three-time WWE Champion, the original Hardcore champion, a WrestleMania main eventer and a WWE Hall of Famer. He’s also a New York Times Best-Selling Author and an active philanthropist, working with Make-A-Wish and ChildFund International to make thousands of children’s lives better across the world. Also, his daughter is smoking hot, but that’s got nothing to do with anything, honest... Despite all this good stuff, Mick’s latest venture – the General Manager of Monday Night Raw – hasn’t been going all that well. Whether it’s been confusing match-making, random outbursts of emotion or playing second, no, wait, third, no, wait, fifteenth banana to Stephanie McMahon, Foley’s run as GM has been confusing at best and downright hard to sit through at worst.
So, with all the good grace and heartfelt thoughts in the world, I think it’s time we bid farewell to old Saint Mick before he makes anything worse, but who’s the right person to take the reins of the red show when Mick goes? As we’ve seen in the past, a good authority figure can make or break a show, so it’s essential that WWE gets this one right. Otherwise, we may all have to sit through another Authority angle. Jesus, never again. So, with a whole host of famous faces, past and present, to call on to save the day, let’s run through the best candidates for position, as well as the worst. You think you’ve had a bad job interview? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
15 COULD: Renee Young
Can you see it? Because I can.
Renee Young has been a subtle success story within WWE. Starting with the company in 2012 as an occasional interviewer, Young quickly impressed with her personality, her hard-line interviewing technique and her all-round likeable air. She transitioned seamlessly into a broadcasting role, taking the anchor of the pre-shows for Pay-Per-Views and even trying her hand at commentary on NXT, making her the first female voice to be heard on a major WWE programme for over a decade. She now hosts the popular “Talking Smack”, a follow-up to Smackdown which has produced some of the best promo moments of the last five years, including The Miz’s now-infamous worked-shoot promo directed at Daniel Bryan in late 2016. Also, she’s dating Dean Ambrose. Damn. Those are gonna be some good-looking kids.
Young would make a great GM for a number of reasons. She’s likeable, good on the mic, an established name within WWE who has no skeletons in her closet (yet) and, most importantly perhaps, she can dish out what she takes from Stephanie McMahon. Having a female GM and a female commissioner removes the murky area of male-female confrontation and allows the GM to physically get their payback on the commissioner who has been terrorising them for months. If Mick Foley were a woman, Stephanie would probably be in a coma by now. Yes, I know Renee Young is on Smackdown right now, but there’s no reason she can’t jump ship after WrestleMania. Saying that, I don’t think I want to keep her and Dean apart; they’re just so goddamn cute. Is it possible to have a crush on a couple? If so, then that’s how I feel about Deanee.
14 SHOULDN'T: Paul Heyman
He might be superb, but Pauly is not the right man for this job.
Paul Heyman might be one of wrestling’s most influential figures ever. Beginning as a manager outside of the WWE (most notably as Paul E. Dangerously in WCW), Heyman really broke out when he began owning and operating Eastern Championship Wrestling, then a territory of the National Wrestling Alliance. Through Paul’s creative vision, Eastern soon became Extreme and the promotion known as ECW was born, revolutionising the way hardcore wrestling was presented in the United States and creating a host of stars from Sabu to Rob Van Dam to The Dudley Boyz. Heyman joined the WWE in 2001 as a colour commentator and has gone onto have one of the most varied careers of any WWE employee ever; he’s been a manager, a commentator, a creative leader, a writer, a booker and has even wrestled a few times. Well, I say wrestled. He stood in the ring whilst other wrestlers did stuff. He’s still main evented more WWE Pay-Per-Views than me, though, so I guess I can’t say anything.
One of Heyman’s past roles was as General Manager of Smackdown and this experience might make him seem like a viable choice for Foley’s replacement. However, there’s one problem with this; Heyman’s just too good at what he already does. Sure, he’s not there very often, but he’s earned his part-time status through years of hard work. Also, when he does show up, it means Brock Lesnar isn’t usually far behind, adding an air of prestige to any show Paul appears on that we wouldn’t get if he was GM. I personally don’t think a GM should be personally connected to one particular superstar as the show could end up gravitating towards that particular person or not making sense if it doesn’t. Also, Paul is just too good as Brock Lesnar’s advocate, so to remove him that position would be, in my opinion, a waste of time. Also, I’m not going to be the one to tell Brock he has to start doing his own promos again. He’d liquidise me.
13 COULD: Goldberg
Because Goldberg in a suit intrigues me, ok?
Goldberg has done a pretty great job of stepping into the shoes of Hulk Hogan in recent months. The Attitude Era star has been the success story of the last six months. Returning in October of 2016, Goldberg received one of the best receptions in recent years and the pops only got bigger in the lead up to his return match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series 2016. Oh boy, that match. In the single most shocking match, perhaps ever, Goldberg destroyed Brock, pinning him in 1:26. Yes, you read that right, one minute and twenty-six seconds! The shortest scheduled WWE Pay-Per-View main event ever and it had Brock Lesnar losing. Insane. Then, at the Royal Rumble, Goldberg eliminated Brock Lesnar after just 22 seconds! Absolute mayhem! With his Universal title shot at Fastlane on the horizon and a potential championship match at WrestleMania, Goldberg’s got a pretty busy schedule at the moment. But what’s going to happen when this comes to an end?
Well, in this humble writer’s opinion, I think WWE would do well to keep Goldberg around when he does eventually stop wrestling. As Raw General Manager, Goldberg could use his intimidating presence to keep the superstars in check. He could confront heels and shut them down, as well as refusing to take crap from Stephanie. And, if the moment calls for it, I’m sure a few Spears could be handed out every once in a while too. Goldberg is one of the biggest draws WWE have at the moment and his in-ring retirement shouldn’t put an end to this. Also, I kinda wanna see Goldberg in a suit. It intrigues me.
12 SHOULDN'T: Ric Flair
WOOOOOOO!!! I’ve got nothing else to say, just woo.
What is there to say about Ric Flair that hasn’t already been said? A sixteen-time world champion, more than anyone else in history, whoops, almost everyone else (that’s going to take some getting used to), as well as six United States titles, an Intercontinental title, numerous tag titles, high-profile matches at WrestleMania and Starrcade, the man in the NWA and WCW for over a decade and the only two-time WWE Hall of Famer. Just don’t bring up his time in TNA. Those were some bad times.
So, why don’t I think Ric Flair would make a good GM? Well, there a couple of reasons; I don’t think the schedule would be good for him at his age, he’s unpredictable at the best of times and incoherent at the worst, prolonged exposure to Ric would probably dull his legend in the eyes of the fans and, as I mentioned earlier, his connection to Charlotte would be a little tricky to work around. Also, we might end up with another terrible promo between those two. Oh lord, not again, never again.
11 COULD: Booker T
I can dig this, sucka.
Booker T always stood out to me in the WWE Hall of Fame. When I first got into wrestling, he was the babbling, nonsensical commentator who I knew used to wrestle. So what? That doesn’t sound very Hall of Fame-worthy to me. Then I read up on ol’ Booker and immediately changed my tune. The man holds the record for the most WCW World Tag Team Championships with 11 (10 of which came with his brother, Stevie Ray, as the team, Harlem Heat) as well as being a six-time WCW Television Champion (also a record) and he was the final man to hold the United States and World Heavyweight Championships in WCW, holding both at the same time. And that’s before we get into his championship wins in WWE, which included pretty much every men’s singles title except the WWE Championship. And, if any more proof was needed of this man’s legend, he got Kane, yes, the demon himself, to do a spin-a-roonie. He’s literally done it all.
When I envisage Booker T as Raw’s General Manager, I see it going one way and one way only – we bring back King Booker. Yes, the gimmick of a slightly deranged monarch with a terrible accent that Booker used following his 2006 King of the Ring victory would be perfect for the role of GM. It already exudes power and control, the fans would love to see this legendary gimmick return and the possibilities of a deluded Booker and Queen Sharmell driving Stephanie insane are as endless as they are amusing. Maybe the best way to ensure Stephanie doesn’t push her next GM around is to have him so out of his mind that he doesn’t know where he is, let alone who’s talking to him. Call me crazy, but I can really see this working. Also, a Steph-a-roonie. You know she’d do it.
10 SHOULDN'T: William Regal
Again, this is a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t put it on Raw”.
William Regal is one of my favourite wrestlers and that’s not just because I’m British. Ok, maybe it is a little bit, but you try finding someone else to idolise in the WWE. It was either him or Pirate Paul Burchill and that speaks for itself. An accomplished grappler, brawler and submission artist, Regal performed successfully in WCW before moving to WWE in 2000. He has enjoyed a number of roles in WWE since then, both in the ring and out. His most memorable moments have come as the commissioner of Raw, where he would be outwitted by superstars like Chris Jericho and Edge and Christian, as well as his storyline with Eugene that saw him turn face for the first time in his WWE career. A talented actor and storyteller, Regal is also one of the funniest wrestlers ever; him dancing round Vince McMahon’s office with Teddy Long and Cryme Tyme makes me laugh every single time. Again, not just because I’m British, sorry.
You might think that calling Regal up, as it were, from NXT to Raw would be an excellent decision as he is already well-liked and over with the WWE fans. However, he is doing such a good job down there, it would be foolish to rob NXT of one of its most endearing features. Also, Regal does a lot of backstage work with recruitment and organisation, so to have him commit to a full-time Raw schedule simply wouldn’t be possible. As much as I would love to have William Regal mixing it up with the likes of Enzo and Cass, Kevin Owens and Jack Gallagher, I can’t see it happening. Still, writing this segment made me google that Cryme Tyme dance again, so at least I got something out of it.
9 COULD: Jerry Lawler
Just give him something to do, please?
Jerry “The King” Lawler is a lot of things to a lot of people. To fans of wrestling in the 80s, he was the wisecracking wrestler from Memphis. In the 90s, he became the despised enemy of Bret Hart in the WWE and later the quick-witted heel commentator alongside Vince McMahon and Jim Ross, a role he relished well into the 2000s, where he quickly morphed into the confused old man we all know and love today. At least he’s not being sexist anymore. Well, as sexist.
In much the same way as Booker T, Jerry could play a deranged King character perfectly. His charisma and sharp tongue could also allow for some hilarious interactions and fans have been watching Lawler for decades now, so he’d have an instant connection with any crowd you’d put him in front of. While Jerry’s act might get a bit stale for some people, in small doses (as the General Manager should be), this could be a great way to provide some funny moments, as well as providing a cushy job to a man who has loyally served WWE for over two decades. Also, keeps him off the streets.
8 SHOULDN'T: Eva Marie
Could you imagine? No, seriously, seriously, just imagine. Can’t, can you?
I’d say that Eva Marie is one of wrestling’s most divisive figures, but that would mean some people actually like her. After signing with WWE in 2013, Eva became the manager of The Bella Twins, as well appearing on Total Divas, AKA the best thing ever. I am, of course, joking. She began to wrestle, well, “wrestle”, shortly afterwards, picking up steam in NXT as the de facto top heel of the women’s division. De facto because everyone hates her. She hasn’t appeared on WWE TV since being suspended for violating the Wellness Policy, as she is filming a movie. Jesus. What a car crash.
When/if Eva does return to the WWE, the top brass might be keen to put her in a prominent position. Eva could be all buddy-buddy with Stephanie, force wrestlers to wear her choice of clothes and make-up etc. and having All Red Everything on the red show kinda writes itself. There’s no denying this would be an effective way to get some serious heat, but this wouldn’t be good heat. This would be “Oh Jesus why am I wasting my life watching this?” heat. And no one wants that heat. She’ll forever hold a place in wrestling history, but it shouldn’t be as a Raw General Manager. As if I needed any more reasons to watch Smackdown.
7 COULD: Edge and Christian
I know their TV show wasn’t all that, but if anyone deserves a second chance, it’s these two.
Edge and Christian are two bona fide legends in their own right. Edge has won the most championships of anyone in WWE, including 11 World titles, and has main-evented WrestleMania, won the Royal Rumble, King of the Ring and Money in the Bank (he was the first winner) and is a Hall of Famer too. Christian is also an accomplished singles wrestler, winning two World championships, as well as a handful of Intercontinental and tag belts. Put the two together, however, and you are in for a treat. Edge and Christian were one of the funniest, smartest and over tag acts of the Attitude Era, putting on amazing matches with the likes of The Hardys and Dudleys and innovating the TLC match, now a staple of WWE TV. Just don’t bring up the whole “Conquistadores” angle. That was kinda dumb.
Having Edge and Christian as co-GMs of Monday Night Raw would be a delight. If they could re-create their antics from the Attitude Era, their backstage segments could be some of the funniest we’ve seen in a long, long time. They could harass heels, come to the aid of babyfaces and lord knows what they’d do when Steph was around. Let’s just hope someone reminds them it’s PG now. Two legendary faces who go together like PB&J, Edge and Christian could make Mondays the fun night again and help liven up what has become the Eva Marie of wrestling show. Sorry I’m still angry over having to write about her just now. I just don’t like her, ok guys.
6 SHOULDN'T: Hulk Hogan
This could happen, you know. That’s insane.
Hulk Hogan was a pretty decent wrestler - I’m kidding, he was massive. For a decade, Hogan was the WWE; its top babyface, its biggest draw, the reason that kids up and down the country forked over their cash to watch the WWE. Hogan was a megastar in the world of wrestling and is still probably the most famous wrestler in the world, thanks to his iconic look, catchphrases and appearances in film and TV. Then he went bad. Really, really bad. Yes, as we all know, Hogan became blacklisted from the WWE following some comments he made regarding black people on a leaked sex tape. Hogan’s comments were completely unacceptable and his punishment was completely justified. But, as we all know, WWE can’t resist an opportunity to make some dollar.
Hogan is a huge cash cow amongst the older fans and WWE have realised that. With rumours swirling at the moment of Hogan’s return, WWE will want to exploit every opportunity to put Hogan in a position where he makes some serious money for them. They would love to have Hogan on TV every week as the Raw GM and I think plenty of fans would want to see this too, however, a lot of fans (perhaps the younger generations to whom Hulk doesn’t mean so much) would be incredible uncomfortable seeing a man who made horribly racist comments on their TV every week. Yes, I know plenty of other wrestlers have done horrible stuff, but Hogan’s personal life has cost him a lot of credibility in recent years and to go from not mentioning him at all to seeing him every week so abruptly would leave plenty of fans confused and annoyed. Whatever your opinion on Hogan, I think it’s safe to say that having Hogan back on our screens right now would be a bad idea. Oh, and one more thing... BROTHERRRR!!!! I had to, sorry.
5 COULD: Jimmy Jacobs
Don’t be fooled by the cartoon schoolboy name, Jimmy’s one mean dude.
Chris Scobile began wrestling as Jimmy Jacobs in Ring of Honour in 2003. He became one of the promotion’s regulars, winning five tag team championships and forming the legendary ROH faction, S.C.U.M, alongside Steve Corino and Kevin Steen (the future Kevin Owens). His time in ROH came to an end in 2015 when he signed for WWE as a writer for NXT, where he’s been doing a pretty stellar job. However, I’m pretty sure ol’ Jimmy is dying to get back in the ring. And I think I know just the way to do it.
As you could probably tell by the name of the faction, S.C.U.M were some pretty nasty fellas. So, why not transfer that to a new role in WWE? Jimmy could be the sadistic, cruel General Manager of Raw, putting the faces into gruelling matches for his own pleasure, adding a new dimension to the show. Also, it would help make Raw more distinctive from Smackdown, who have the ultra-face Daniel Bryan running things. Well, until he gets fired for saying something he shouldn’t on Talking Smackdown. Which shouldn’t be too long. He really wants to get fired.
4 SHOULDN'T: Matt Hardy
This might seem "WONDERFUL!" on paper, but actually, when you dig a little deeper, the seven deities reveal a dark flaw to this plan.
Matt Hardy will, without a shadow of a doubt, go down in history as one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time. His work in the WWE is extensive; alongside Brother Nero, whoops, I mean Jeff, he won numerous tag team championships, as well as becoming a pioneer of the TLC movement that reinvigorated the tag team scene and set the bar almost impossibly high for future tag teams. Then he signed for TNA, also becoming a decorated champion. However, none of these past achievements could hold a candle to his broken brilliance. The “Broken Matt” gimmick has been nothing short of revolutionary; redefining the careers of both Matt and Jeff, whoops, I mean Brother Nero and even bringing into question the very nature of wrestling itself. Also, Señor Benjamin and Vanguard One might be my favourite characters in wrestling history.
It’s no secret now that WWE desperately want both Hardys back on WWE TV and what better way to introduce them than to have them run Raw. Matt could take the helm whilst Brother Nero serves as his deputy, creating wacky matches, causing untold chaos and bringing their own brand of humour and story-telling to WWE. Except, that wouldn’t be what happened. You see, WWE are like a stubborn old man; they won’t change for nobody and they’ll do everything in their power to make sure everyone does things their way. The Hardys would have nowhere near the levels of creative freedom they have in TNA and, shortly after joining WWE, I get the horrible feeling that they’d just become another cog in the machine, rather than the standout act they have become on the indies. Whilst it would be incredible to see House Hardy on WWE, it’s probably best that they stay in their own bubble, unchanged and incredible. Wow, I made it through that whole segment without a “DELETE!” joke. That’s a first.
3 COULD: Eric Bischoff
Could you imagine the pop if Uncle Eric came back after all this time? I’d die.
Eric Bischoff is a bona fide legend. After working his way up to the position of Executive Vice President in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), it was Bischoff who convinced owner, Ted Turner, to invest more money into the product to compete with the WWE and it was him that negotiated the move of Hulk Hogan from the WWE to WCW. This was back when people actually liked Hogan. Throughout the Attitude Era, Bischoff was a constant presence on WWE screens, aligning himself with the New World Order and really becoming the proto-Mr. McMahon as WCW’s dictator-like boss. Sure, he might have made some pretty terrible mistakes towards the end (*cough* *making Kevin Nash head booker* *cough*), but we can’t blame him for killing off WCW. That’s what Vince Russo is for.
Eric has been Raw GM before (from 2002-2005) and during his time he did some good stuff, most notably the Raw Roulette wheel, a spinning wheel that determined match types by (supposedly) random. Eric is a well-known and instantly recognisable figure within the world of wrestling and he hasn’t been seen on a WWE screen for just under a decade now. For Uncle Eric to make his comeback and slide right back into the role he was born to play would be sheer perfection and the fans would go crazy for him; either as a slimy heel or the smiling babyface his years of experience have made him. Please, I want this so much.
2 SHOULDN'T: Triple H
No! Not this again!
Right, there is no point me going through Triple H’s career here. He’s a 13-time World Champion, he’s a two-time Royal Rumble winner, he’s The King of Kings, The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, blah, blah, blah, we get it already. The real talking point here is the possibility that Triple H could very well return to a more full-time position on WWE TV and the worst part of it all is there’s actually a pretty decent story to it.
Stephanie McMahon is tired of Mick Foley. She’s tired of his softness, she’s tired of his emotion, he’s tired of his beard. She wants someone with decisiveness, she wants someone with ruthlessness, she wants someone with hair loss! She wants her husband, Triple H. Mick and Trips have a history as long as Triple H’s suit-cleaning bill (seriously, he wrestles in them a lot. Imagine the sweat), so the animosity is there already, plus it would keep Triple H on TV to further his feud with Seth Rollins if the Architect can’t make it back in time for WrestleMania. But, for the love of god, please, don’t give us The Authority angle again! Have Triple H as a presence on Raw, yes, but every week? And working with Stephanie? Did you not see Raw from mid-2013-early 2016? The Authority is dead and that’s the way it stays. Period. End of. Cut, print and stop the presses. Capeesh?
1 COULD: Kurt Angle
Here we go, the one you’ve all been waiting for.
So, you might have heard this, maybe, but, umm, yeah, Kurt Angle is going in the Hall of Fame this year. Oh, you didn’t hear me? Let me try that again. KURT FREAKIN’ ANGLE IS GOING IN THE FREAKIN’ HALL OF FAME THIS FREAKIN’ YEAR!!!!!!!! After 11 long years of being away, Kurt will be making a WWE return this year to accept his Hall of Fame entry and there isn’t a man, woman or child who isn’t damn excited about it and if they aren’t, they need to call a doctor, because they have something seriously wrong with them. Angle is a legendary performer; he’s won every major title going, fought countless classic matches all over the world with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and many, many more. His return is a huge moment for WWE and, if I know Vince McMahon, he already has dollar signs in his eyes thinking about how he can make Kurt’s return as profitable as possible.
I’d quite like to see a scenario where Kurt has to fight for his role as GM. Not necessarily in a match (although, if you’re offering...) but maybe someone (possibly Triple H) can be on the verge of being appointed, when Kurt’s iconic music hits. Kurt calls The Game out for not being the fans’ choice, which prompts Trips to issue a challenge; if you can prove you’ve still got it and make me tap out, the role is yours. After taunting Angle, slapping him, teasing him and such, Angle could catch him by surprise and roll though a move to wrap Triple H in the Ankle Lock. After trying to hold out with all his might, the crowd going ballistic at the return of this iconic hold, Triple H could finally give in and tap, allowing Angle to win the GM position and the hearts of his fans. Kurt Angle coming back to WWE is a huge deal and I think I’m not along in saying a small appearance at the Hall of Fame and WrestleMania is not enough. And you know the best part? Kurt is currently rumoured to be Mick’s replacement. I guess we just have to wait and see, now. Wait and see if there actually is a God.