It seems that in the modern era of professional wrestling, every weekly show needs someone IN CHARGE. On Raw, you have general managers for both Raw and Smackdown, even though at this point that brand split is dead, WWE still feels the need to have two general managers. Ok, whatever. It’s a revolving door of heels and babyfaces who hate the fans/want to do what’s best for the show and are generally just mean or just kind of there, depending on who’s in charge. Over on Impact Wrestling, Hulk Hogan is the guy in charge, no question about it. He’s out there every week, somehow makes the show about him all the time when cutting promos and probably has the most air time out of anybody to get their stuff over. Truth of the matter is, I think the era of the general manager has run it’s course. It’s a revolving door of heels and egomaniacs who are used as crutches in order to get other people not over. While some of these general managers are really talented, I feel that they can be used in other roles…such as managers, or color commentators and the like.
I get why WWE and TNA like to use them, though. Vince McMahon was the guy who popularized the heel guy in charge. He bullied Austin constantly and you always wanted him to see him get his ass kicked. It led to monstrous ratings in WWE and it made Steve Austin from a hot main event act to one of the hottest superstars the WWE has ever seen before and since the fact. So having a heel general manager type does have it’s positive qualities. But the thing is, Vince McMahon was incredible in his role. Since he comes and goes, most of the heel GM’s have ranged from good (Bischoff) to really just the dirt worst (Laurinaitis). You need a “guy in charge” role in wrestling, don’t get me wrong, but when the most interesting angle in weeks is the introduction of a new GM, or a GM gets “evaluated”, isn’t that kind of wrong? Shouldn’t the focus be on the wrestlers and not who’s in charge?
I mentioned TNA earlier, but let’s go back to WWE where the GMs are actually heels. How many GM’s have we seen this year? And last year? Vickie Guerrero, Booker T, AJ Lee, Brad Maddox, John Laurinaitis, Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Bret Hart have all had GM roles in the last few years. It’s a revolving door of people who are either blandness babyface general managers who don’t really serve a purpose or it’s the HEEL GENERAL MANAGER, who is mean and doesn’t like people for whatever reason. Then there’s AJ Lee’s character who seemed to be a babyface one week and a heel the next, but that’s another story. Point of it is, it’s been a revolving door of people that the shows focus on way too much, and frankly the time can be spent on other superstars who don’t otherwise have the time to get their acts over.
And in TNA, you have Hulk Hogan. His body is so destroyed he can’t even make it to the ring anymore without having issues. Good thing there’s a general manager position open! When it comes to general managers in TNA it’s the same issue, but it’s not a revolving door as it is in WWE. The problem in TNA is the general manager is the focus of everything, even more so than in the WWE. Bully Ray is feuding with Chris Sabin, but also feuding with Brooke Hogan, which Hulk Hogan is mad at and makes sure to let us know about it on a weekly basis. Hulk Hogan is mad at Sting and doesn’t want anything to do with him anymore, so now he’s reformed the Main Event Mafia. Chris Sabin wins the X title, and the first person to come out, music blaring, is Hulk Hogan. Noticing a trend here? It should come to no surprise considering the people in charge, but in 2013 it’s kind of stunning that despite not having the ability to wrestle, Hulk Hogan is still the focal point of Impact Wrestling.
Maybe it’s because I watch too much old wrestling, but it was way less complicated back in the day. In the WWF, all you had was Jack Tunney, president of the WWF who for years was considered the guy in charge, but almost never was on TV cutting promos and being the vocal point of the promotion. When a ruling was needed, Jack Tunney usually just made a videotaped announcement or send a press release concerning his decision, then life moved on. Point is, he was a background character and was only brought up when needed. He wasn’t a main heel or main babyface, they left that up to the wrestlers. The days of the meddling GM need to end, and it’s time to move on to an authority figure who I don’t have to see on my wrestling show 4 or 5 times on a weekly basis.