Even though we are winding our way towards Wrestlemania, I decided to salvage a bit of my sanity and skip Raw this week. For the most part. I think I might have seen a total of ten minutes of the show, but one of those minutes was the recap of “earlier that night” when Roman Reigns was in the ring with Stephanie McMahon. I paid as much attention to it as it deserved (roughly none), but I did hear Reigns do his Captain Phillips impersonation, “I am the authority now.” As much as I would like to deny it, it gave me an idea for this week’s column. If the WWE moves away from Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as “The Authority,” who would they move into that position? The WWE does enjoy their General Managers, Presidents, Directors of Operation, Authority Figures, etc.
As it is right now, the fate of The Authority is in the hands of The Undertaker as he faces off against Shane McMahon in Hell in a Cell at Wrestlemania. If The Undertaker wins, Shane goes away and everything stays status quo. But if Shane wins, he gains control of Raw and Vince, Stephanie and Triple H are out of power. So that leads into the first contender for the new authority figure – Shane McMahon himself.
Option 1 – Shane McMahon: Ignoring the fact that this would just be another McMahon in control of the product in storyline form (which we have seen dozens of times before), Shane is the most obvious choice as a new person in charge. It could be interesting, in that we haven’t seen Shane in a while and he is a face at this time. It’s been a while since a fan favorite has been in charge of that show. So it could last a little while, but good chances it will be the same old 50/50 booking, same old handicap matches, etc. Unless, Shane pulls a swerve and winds up to be even WORSE than his father or The Authority. He could wind up being hugely hated, bragging about ending Undertaker’s career, bringing back the Mean Street Posse, etc. A few months of Shane acting as the biggest brat in wrestling might have people clamoring for a return of Vince and The Authority, either as faces, or as just a more “reasonable” option to Shane.
Option 2 – Sting: Why not? He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Wrestlemania weekend. He can’t wrestle any more, but is still a big name. The problem with Sting being the new Authority is that it would suck. If the Sting character stayed true to history, it could go one of two ways. First, he could be early neon-Sting where everyone and their mother would turn on him and he would be oblivious to it until too late. Or, second, he could be Crow-era-Sting, but we would just get three hours of him staring at everyone and no actual wrestling.
Option 3 – Kane: Kane is nearing the end of his in-ring career. He has shown an ability to get over with humor as well as fear. He is intelligent and knows the business well. Plus, he has experience as a former Director of Operations. You could even play up him being slightly conflicted at first due to his appointment coming at the hands of his brother being retired by Shane, but that could easily twist into his ultimate revenge on Taker. He could also play the mole for Triple H and Stephanie, which could add some intrigue to the story. Since we have seen it recently and it isn’t overly interesting, it makes Kane the most likely choice for the lazy writer’s room, I believe.
Option 4 – Daniel Bryan: Here is another big name whose in-ring career is over. The fans love him and the dynamic of him screwing over some of those who screwed him over in the past would be fun for a while. Here is the problem with it though – It seems as if Daniel Bryan has a credibility problem. What I mean is that the fans seem to trust him. Which will be fine at first, but when the writing room eventually gives up, or runs out of ideas, the WWE way is to return to the status quo. All that means that Bryan will have to be booking matches with John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, etc. back on the top of the hill. And the fans will either start turning on Bryan or worse, just stop caring about what he has to say.
Option 5 – John Cena/Randy Orton/Seth Rollins/anyone else currently injured: This would only be a temporary solution and could not establish any sort of long-term change in the product. Once the injured party comes back, a dual role of wrestler/General Manager would not really work, unless the crowd, the entire crowd, was behind the person, either positively or negatively. And while Cena is still their standard-bearer, not even Super-Cena could rally the entire audience behind him one-man attempt to win everything.
Option 6 – Paul Heyman: Granted, we’ve already seen this back in the ECW days, but most of the current fanbase has only a vague recollection of that group in Philly, or have a slightly smoothed-over version from newer DVDs. While it would be great to see Heyman get free reign with a microphone on a weekly basis, as well as potentially push some newer stars, we’ve been down that road before. Plus, it would probably mean dissolution of the Heyman/Lesnar combination, and I don’t know if Lesnar would be as effective without his mouthpiece.
Option 7 – William Regal: I know we have already seen Regal as the General Manager before, but he’s a sentimental choice for me. Plus, given his excellent work as the “matchmaker,” or whatever his title is, in NXT, this could be storyline-driven as a promotion for him. Everyone talks about NXT wrestlers getting called up, why couldn’t an authority figure also be called up?
Option 8 – The Undertaker: Despite the fact that it is totally out of character, it could work. Taker goes into his Wrestlemania match with Shane knowing that his best days are behind him. In fact, he has already decided it would be his last Wrestlemania match. As the match goes on, his respect for Shane grows as Shane takes everything he throws at him. Finally, Vince does or says something that pisses off Taker too much, and he lays down for Shane to get the three count. Then Taker pops up and puts Vince through the ring with a tombstone piledriver to end the show. The next night, on Raw, Shane comes out and announces that he made a deal with the Dead Man. Since Shane has other business interests, he can’t stick around all the time, but Taker loves the business and has given his whole world to the WWE. So to repay him for his loyalty and dedication, he makes him the new Authority. And The Undertaker begins a reign of darkness on Raw.
Option 9 – The Rock: This would never work because Rock would never be able to commit to a full-time schedule. But any time the WWE can get Rock in their ring, even if it is just with a microphone in his hand, is a home run for the company. I doubt much could come out of something like this though. It would be to just pop a rating for a couple weeks. Then back to the same old same old.
Option 10 – The Big Show: It would be boring, but maybe it could convince him to stay out of the ring.
Option 11 – R-Truth/Goldust: They seem destined to put these two together, so why not go all in on it. Perhaps in order to replace Triple H and Stephanie as the Authority, Shane feels he has to have two people take on that role. Of course, we will get the gratuitous comedy sketches about which one is Stephanie and which one is Triple H, but beyond that, if they kept up with the crazy and clueless natures of these two characters, it could at least add an element of unpredictability to Raw.
Option 12 – Heath Slater: I’m not sure even the best writers could pull this off, but it would put someone in a position to push the #SocialOutcasts as a faction worth paying attention to. But, even then, nah…
Option 13 – Vince Russo/Eric Bischoff/Tony Schiavone: Because no one says “fuck you” to their fans better than the WWE.
Option 14 – Roman Reigns: Hell, if they are going to jam Reigns down our throats regardless, they might as well go all the way. Not only make him champion but make him the General Manager of Raw. You will like him, damnit!
So there are fourteen options for a new authority figure in the WWE after Wrestlemania. What do you think? Let me know in the comments some of your options or favorites for the job. Let me know if any of my suggestions sound like they would make WWE Raw interesting again. Reach out and comment. It’s fun and all the cool kids are doing it.
Until next time…
Tags: Daniel Bryan, Eric Bischoff, Goldust, Heath Slater, John Cena, Kane, paul heyman, R-Truth, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, seth rollins, Shane McMahon, Sting, the big show, The Rock, The Undertaker, Tony Schiavone, Vince Russo, William Regal