In WWE, there is only one prerequisite to being a General Manager: the ability to speak. Yes, the GM role is reserved for those who posses the natural ability to work a microphone. Of course, there have been exceptions. (Reference Adamle)
The current General Manager of SmackDown Live, Daniel Bryan was a phenomenal wrestler during his active in-ring career. However, Bryan was never strong on the mic and his promos were usually less-than-groundbreaking.
Regardless of his speaking abilities, Daniel Bryan managed to get over in a big way with the WWE Universe. In fact the fans actually willed Bryan into the main even picture of WrestleMania XXX.
Daniel Bryan found a way to connect on a raw and organic level with the fans and the WWE Machine can never take that away. Bryan truly stood against Authority and served as the People's Unwashed Champion.
However, using Daniel Bryan as General Manager of SmackDown Live is questionable. While the "Yes" chant remains infectious, how long can it last? Here we will explore a few different roads WWE could have taken.
These are 15 people who would have bene a better General Manager than Daniel Bryan:
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15 Michael Cole
Have you ever felt your blood boil while listening to Michael Cole on commentary? Now image Cole as General Manager of SmackDown Live? Cole is among the best agitators in WWE, without even trying.
With the New Era in full swing, taking Michael Cole away from the announce team may not have been a bad thing. Hell, Tom Phillips could have replaced Cole at the desk on Monday Night Raw.
Michael Cole was once the Voice of SmackDown so why not General Manager of the same brand? Cole could draw heat and stir the pot a hell of a lot more than Daniel Bryan. And let's face facts: Cole would prove more entertaining than Bryan.
14 Joey Styles
If anybody knows anything about being part of a different brand, it's Joey Styles. The ECW Original called the action in the Land of Extreme (usually alone) throughout its tenure and has seen first-hand the alternative side of the business.
And isn't that what SmackDown Live was supposed to be about? An alternative to Monday Night Raw? Instead, we have Monday Night Raw Light; less calories but none of the buzz. Joey Styles could certainly provide a hard spike to the brand.
While Daniel Bryan's popularity outweighs the popularity of Joey Styles by a ton, let's be honest: nobody is watching SmackDown Live specifically for Bryan. People may buy a ticket to do the "Yes" chant live but they're not tuning in for Bryan.
13 Jerry Lawler
We understand how SmackDown Live is meant to represent the "new school" mentality but sometimes we all need a little "old school" kick to set us right. Think of your Grandfather's words of wisdom.
Jerry "The King" Lawler is a wrestling legend and one who has served the WWE well over the years. Recently, Lawler lost his spot at the announce table, making Lawler a prime candidate for a Gneral Manager role.
If we want to place a realistic spin on this: Jerry Lawler knows more about the wrestling business than Daniel Bryan and could guide the young roster with his knowledge and expertise. What exactly are Daniel Bryan's qualifications?
Is Sting the greatest man on the microphone? No. However, "The Icon" possess a lot more mystique than Daniel Bryan and can hold his own in terms of promo work. Sting is now retired so why not get him back in on the action?
No face paint, no crow gimmick, just Sting and his natural charisma shinning through on SmackDown Live. Walk around with the baseball bat as a sign of power? Absolutely. Sting would provide new way of looking at the General Manager.
Besides Daniel Bryan is not intimidating anybody over on the Blue Brand. The General Manager should walk with a sense of purpose. Sure, Mick Foley limps along but at least you know that the Hardcore Legend means business.
It appears as though John "Bradshaw" Layfield was destined for SmackDown Live and that's fine. JBL once served as the brand's longest reigning champion so there is no denying his connection to Team Blue.
While JBL does a solid job at colour commentary, his mic skills rank near the top in WWE right now. JBL works best as a heel and would provide some great promos to SmackDown Live while interacting with Superstars.
JBL once served as Commissioner of NXT; meaning some fans have already witnessed JBL in a position of power. Bigger, better on the mic, and more appealing than Daniel Bryan in the long haul.
10 Shane McMahon
Here is an obvious choice: Shane McMahon. Why exactly did Vince McMahon appoint his children as the Commissioners of their respective brands? We now have a crowded foursome in the position of power.
This would have worked best if the McMahon siblings disappeared entirely from programming and only made sporadic appearances for "performance evaluations" and things of that nature.
The people love Shane McMahon and "The Boy Wonder" can work a mic better than Daniel Bryan. If SmackDown Live is Shane's brand anyway, then why not allow him to control the entire program?
They call him "Captain Charisma" for a reason. The former two-time World Heavyweight Champion, Christian was never considered a main event player but managed to make quite a name while living in the shadow of a mega-star partner.
If WWE wanted a smaller, unsung, underdog character to represent SmackDown Live as the brand's General Manager, then Christian fits the bill. Not only is Christian fun to watch but he is funny; a trait Daniel Bryan lacks.
Christian doesn't have a "Yes" chant to win over the crowd but imagine the people chanting "CLB" at the SmackDown Live General Manager each week. (Look up the term for all intensive humorous purpose.)
8 Ric Flair
"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair has not been seen on WWE television since his daughter Charlotte kicked her old man out of her life on Monday Night Raw. Yes, Flair cried once again on national TV.
Following the Draft, Charlotte remained with the Red Brand; providing Ric Flair with an opportunity to go work for SmackDown Live. And who else could run a show better than the one and only Man?
Ric Flair comes across a little bit senile, half drunk, and always ready for a fight; what could be more entertaining? Compared to environmental, no flash Daniel Bryan, Flair would be a exciting and eccentric General Manager.
7 Shawn Michaels
Every now and then - within the confines of the WWE Universe - the most vain entrance song of all time will hit: "I think I'm cute, I know I'm sexy ..." That's right. "The Heartbreak Kid" himself Shawn Michaels will appear.
Shawn Michaels is no stranger to the power position in WWE. Michaels once served as company Commissioner back in the Attitude Era. As one of the absolute best performers of all time, Michaels would never disappoint.
Something Daniel Bryan could never pull off would be the conflict of conscious Shawn Michaels does so well. Watching Michaels battle the Good and Evil inside him while trying to run SmackDown live would make for great entertainment.
Why not think outside the box? SmackDown Live is more of an experiment anyway, so let's focus on the mots unique female performer WWE has ever seen. Lita as General Manager? Absolutely.
With more focus (rightfully so) being placed upon the Women's Division in WWE, the time is perfect to use another female as General Manager. We've seen AJ Lee and Vickie Guerrero assume the role, now let's see Lita.
Strongest mic skills? No, but suitable enough. Lita as General Manager of SmackDown live would make a bold statement in this New Era. Plus, the controversial former Women's Champion is more interesting than Daniel Bryan.
5 Jim Ross
Vince McMahon would probably never allow Jim Ross to assume an on-air character role in WWE. McMahon is shallow and has always had something against Ross. Hence, the constant humiliation.
However, with the influence of Shane McMahon, perhaps Jim Ross as General Manager of SmackDown Live could have came to light. Ross is one of the most well-respected men in the industry and could fill the role well.
Jim Ross brings more experience to the table than Daniel Bryan as well as that fiery Southern voice that would still cause fans to jump from their chairs. Would Ross work as General Manager? Undoubtedly.
4 4."Stone Cold" Steve Austin
While it is highly unlikely that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will ever again assume a full-time on-screen role in WWE, there is nothing wrong with a little bit of dreaming. Thus, consider this our "dreamer entry."
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin has been very vocal about this New Era and is quick to offer advice and constructive criticism to the up-and-coming talent. On a recent podcast, Austin basically called out Dean Ambrose.
There is no really reason to justify how "Stone Cold" Steve Austin would make a better General Manager of SmackDown Live than Daniel Bryan. The evidence sits in plain site. "What?!" topples "Yes!" every time.
3 Paul Heyman
SmackDown was at its absolute best when Paul Heyman was in charge of the Blue Brand. The Mad Scientist actually made the SmackDown a show worth watching and nobody has duplicated this success.
Yes, Paul Heyman serves as Advocate to Brock Lesnar but that doesn't mean Heyman can't run SmackDown Live as General Manager. The solution is simple: place Lesnar on SmackDown where he will receive special treatment.
In the current WWE, Paul Heyman is the best talker; the master of the microphone; better than all Superstars. Heyman engages an audience like no other, in a way Daniel Bryan will never fully comprehend.
2 Eric Bischoff
The original General Manager of Monday Night Raw, Eric Bischoff shocked the wrestling world back in 2002 when - a little over a year removed from the Monday Night War - he showed up on WWE program.
Eric Bischoff was a gem as General Manager of Monday Night Raw and there's no reason to believe that Bischoff would fail on SmackDown Live. And Bischoff knows a few things about moving into a New Era.
Compared to Eric Bischoff, Daniel Bryan is a saint among men. Bischoff was and remains a controversial figure and provide SmackDown Live with a much needed edge. Perhaps an edge akin to Monday Nitro.
If any one Superstar best exemplifies the spirit of SmackDown, it would be the "Rated-R Superstar" Edge. The eleven-time World Champion was once the man on the Blue Brand; the ruler of SmackDown.
Edge was great on the mic as both heel and face; although much more intense when working as a heel. Think about Edge and his sharp-tongue as General Manager of SmackDown Live. Great combination.
Edge and Daniel Bryan were both forced into premature retirement due to injury and both obviously miss the ring. However, fans are missing Edge even more on regular programming; even if they don't realize it yet.
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