The Anonymous Raw General Manager. Say it out loud. The…ANONYMOUS…RAW…General Manager. Quite possibly one of the hokiest things we’ve seen on televised wrestling since Mantaur. Look that one up in your free time, but for now let’s take a look at what the Anonymous GM is for the product. Good or bad, it’s all in the perception of the fans.
Mr. Anonymous was first introduced as a vehicle to garner heat for Michael Cole as a heel. We remember the “Cole Mine.” We remember the horrendous match with JR. Yet, to say he was effective as a heel commentator is like saying Mike Tenay and Tazz are on the same level as Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. Not even close. If it hadn’t been for Jerry Lawler’s heart attack on air, that heat probably would have continued today. We may not have ever seen JBL in the booth again. For me, personally, the three man team is where it’s at. You have your heel in JBL. Your hero in the King. Then, Cole as the moderator between the two. We will definitely argue that one at a later date. For now, whether your mindset was that Cole was irritating and obnoxious, or you genuinely had disdain for the character, the Anonymous GM served its purpose…..until the ridiculous “payoff” with Hornswaggle being revealed as the one behind the keyboard (UGH!).
What purpose does it serve today? Is it going to be another vehicle for another gimmick change? Is it a platform to introduce the next authority figure? Several theories are already being published all across the WWE Universe.
One popular theory is that an old GM will resurface as the “voice” behind the podium. Mr. Laurinaitis? Vicki Guerrero? Teddy Long? Eric Bischoff? I give the lead on that race to John Laurinaitis, primarily due to the fact that he is the only member of that particular team that is still under contract with the E. Vicki seems to be enjoying her after-wrestling-life quite well, and Teddy Long just doesn’t seem to fit the mold for that particular character, not to mention the timing of the Anonymous GM’s last run would’ve been a stark contrast to what Teddy was doing on Smackdown during that time. And Bischoff? Does NO ONE watch TNA? So round 1 goes to Johnny Ace!
Another idea: a new character being brought in as the Raw GM. I’ve heard Sting’s name dropped. I have only one thing to say for that idea: NO! Moving on…… What are the chances of a gimmick from NXT being brought up? Unless we’re talking William Regal, nothing else would even remotely work. Regal would be an interesting choice, should they go in that direction, because he has developed quite a popular following in recent years. With the epidemic of shoddy in-ring work over the last decade, the fans, the IWC, and workers alike have all garnered a new found respect for the Blackpool Bully. Should William Regal emerge as the GM, he might find himself hard pressed to portray a heel character again. We’ve heard the call over the past few years that Regal deserves his WrestleMania moment. I, for one, agree with that sentiment. Imagine the matches he could have with Cesaro, Swagger, D.B., or Rollins. Imagine what kind of match he could have with Brock Lesnar! It’s never going to happen, but to put two true wrestlers in the ring together for the richest prize in the WWE would cement a legitimacy to the Machine being a WRESTLING promotion. However, considering he has been in the GM position before, see the previous paragraph.
How about a true sleeper? A legend? Think on this for a moment: who, over the past 20 or 30 years, has been, not only a great heel, but could STILL garner heat on a high enough level that it would overshadow the dysfunctional Cena fans? The WWE has gone to great lengths over the past few years to be a product that has blended some current events into their stories, such as the Occupy RAW movement last year, and even the RAW walkout. Taking that into consideration, maybe a public figure like Jesse “The Mind” Ventura. Having the wrestling background, the entertainment background, the ability to continue to stay somewhat relevant in the public eye makes him an interesting option. Jesse Ventura is no stranger to controversy. He has effectively been black-balled from most media outlets in the country because of his political standings and his conspiracy theories. A character like that could easily alienate himself from the WWE Universe in a GM capacity and still retain viewers, if not gain viewers.
Maybe what Raw really needs is an Advocate. Maybe what Raw really needs is the brain behind the 1 in 21-1. Maybe what Raw really needs is to live Dangerously (I had to reach for that one). Maybe what Raw really needs is Paul Heyman! Think about the dynamic of having the flagship of WWE television being in the WWE World Heavyweight Champion’s pocket. You create greater heat for Brock Lesnar. You have a mouthpiece like Paul Heyman running the show. If we were to list all of the reasons why this would be an excellent idea, we would be here all week. Focus on this one point for a moment: Vince McMahon said that for the Authority to be back in power, John Cena would have to put them back. What better way to force Cena’s hand than to have the Walrus pushing his buttons until he breaks and begs Trips to come back? Just more food for thought.
Whether you see the Anonymous Raw GM as an irritant or as a provocative mystery, you’re still talking about him/her. You still have your eyes on Raw, wwe.com, and the Network waiting for some clue, some hint, some little nugget (rimshot) of who the voice behind the emails might truly be. So in essence, it does work, albeit, it shouldn't last quite as long as last time.
But………..please, ayone up there listening, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SPANDEX, NO HORNSWAGGLE!!!