Last night on RAW, Vince McMahon named Stephanie McMahon “Commissioner” of Raw and Shane McMahon “Commissioner” of SmackDown. Vince also ordered his newly minted commissioners to select a General Manager for their brand by next week. Shane McMahon posted to Twitter today saying he’s already selected his GM:
I'm very excited to announce that terms were agreed to today with the new SmackDown GM. The person will be revealed live this Monday on Raw.
— Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) July 12, 2016
But for the sake of speculation, I’m going to toss out three possible candidates for GM from each brand and then we can see how wrong I was next Monday.
6 Candidates for Raw and SmackDown GM
Moving Cole into the Raw GM role and off commentary would make hundreds of IWC fanboys pop like no tomorrow. My argument here is that they’ve used Michael Cole as a de facto authority figure by having him oversee contract signings. He’s even filled in for William Regal at NXT in a similar capacity. If the draft is going down to the announcer level, this could also free up a coveted lead announce spot to allow someone else to be elevated. Mauro Ranallo seems like a tailor-made fit for this new iteration of SmackDown, but maybe this could be Byron Saxton’s big chance to sink or swim on Raw.
Likelihood: Pretty unlikely. I’d be legit surprised if they went this route, but anything is possible on WWE programming.
Eazy E is another potential candidate for the Raw GM spot. Bischoff doesn’t directly tie into “The Authority”, but I could see Stephanie McMahon tapping him for his success during the Monday Night Wars. Add into this that Bischoff is a former GM and didn’t show up to crash the party like the other previous SmackDown GMs did. Bischoff has largely downplayed his potential involvement with the WWE on Twitter recently, but that alone doesn’t factor him out of the GM role as far as I’m concerned. It has been a while since Bischoff has been on WWE TV, but with the way they’ve hyped the Monday Night Wars on the Network, enough people should know who he is if Stephanie taps him for the job.
Likelihood: 50-50. The fact that Bischoff is going to such lengths on Twitter to deny the rumors makes me think there may be more to this than meets the eye.
Triple H was mentioned by Stephanie in last night’s promo when Shane said “Game on”. So, either that name drop was a red herring, or Stephanie taps her hubby to be the GM. We haven’t seen Hunter on TV since WrestleMania, so if they’ve been keeping him off TV this long it’s for a reason. Unless he’s going to come back to work a match of SummerSlam, which seems unlikely, he seems the obvious choice to run Raw under his wife’s commissionership. Why would Stephanie go out on a limb and hire someone who she can’t entirely trust? The most qualified “Authority” member besides HHH is Corporate Kane, and he’s already been factored out of this conversation. If I’m going really out on a limb, I could see Triple H being involved in Rollins beating Ambrose on Monday to secure the title for their brand.
Likelihood: This seems like a lock. I will be surprised if anyone else ends up as Raw GM.
Mick FoleyFoley seems like a dark horse candidate for SmackDown GM. He’s been vocal about the problems with WWE programming on Twitter in the past. Mick is also a huge proponent of women’s wrestling getting more attention on WWE TV. I’m not sure if Foley would have the availability for an on-air role like this, but he’s one of the more visible “Legends” that could return to a nice pop and get people excited to watch SmackDown. Many of Foley’s frustrations with the current product run parallel to the changes that Shane alleges will be made on a “Shane McMahon led” SmackDown
Likelihood: Like I said, a dark horse. I’m not sure if Foley would be interested in a weekly TV role on WWE programming at this point in his life.
Tapping William Regal as SmackDown GM would make a lot of sense. Regal, story line, has been credited with bringing in all of the new talent to NXT. If Shane is wanting to build for the future, why not bring up the guy who corralled all of the NXT talent and has experience working with them. Of course, this would lead to WWE having to install yet another new GM at NXT, but that hardly seems like something that couldn’t be handled in a single promo on a future NXT episode. Regal has really shined as NXT GM during his run, so I could see the company giving him a promotion as reward.
Likelihood: Quite possible. It really depends on how much NXT is going to be shaken up by the draft. But, a guy linked to the “future”, like Regal is, makes a lot of sense as Shane’s choice.
WWE allegedly already leaked this result after Raw last night – if you believe Reddit. Bryan seems like an obvious choice for Shane to pick though. He’s a beloved talent that was taken from the WWE Universe way too soon. This gets him back on TV and also only commits him to a few dates a month. He can still start his family with Brie Bella and only need to be at Tuesday TV and potentially the random PPV here and there. He could even have Shane McMahon appear in his stead if there was a scheduling conflict. Bryan is on the commentary team for the Cruiserweight Classic, so he’s even currently working with WWE.
Likelihood: Even before the WWE “leak”, this seemed like the obvious person for Shane to tap as SmackDown GM.
So, did I name your pick for Raw and SmackDown GM in this article? Think it will be someone different? Sound off in the comments!