Storylines have always played an important role in the wrestling business. It is the story that drives the matches. The hook, the angle, whatever you want to call it, is what makes you want to see these two people go at it in the ring. WWE was one great at developing storylines and stringing them out over long period of time. They let things develop, they allowed heat to build. They’d get you to the point where you absolutely had to see this match happen. These days, however, WWE doesn’t seem to be able (or willing) to keep track of the details. Things are slipping through the cracks, in some cases, and in others they are blatantly ignored. Whether it’s Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn or another major player behind the scenes, they seem to have lost their patience and their ability to allow things to play out. Everything is being forced, and as a result, logic is behind left behind. There are some plot holes large enough to drive a beer truck through.
One item which is a great example of WWE’s recent tendency to simply dismiss storylines in mid-swing is the anonymous Raw General Manager. For months we went through the agonizing annoyance of watching matches and angles get directed through the use of a laptop with the most annoying sound effects. We had to listen to Michael Cole blather on and on as he read the emails which almost always caused some nonsense to occur. Chris Jericho, when exiting WWE, made it his mission to discover who the anonymous GM was. Edge once argued with the laptop and then smashed it out of anger.
The anonymous GM ordered the result of the Jerry Lawler vs Michael Cole match reversed, he even made the WWE title match at Wrestlemania continue after both men were counted out. This was a mystery that, love it or hate it, people were invested in. People wanted to know who the anonymous person was behind the keyboard. Speculation ran wild and now it appears as though it doesn’t matter. Maybe it never mattered, maybe they never knew where they were going. No matter what their original intention it seems glaringly obvious that they just lost faith, interest or care for this storyline.
Recently we’ve had the misfortune of living through the poorly executed Triple H / Johnny Laurenitis / Vince McMahon / Walkout angle. I will try to break this one down but I can’t promise I won’t lose my mind somewhere in the middle of it. Vince McMahon was relieved of his duties because he was making poor decisions including but not limited to the CM Punk walkout and the plan to fire John Cena when he lost at Money in the Bank. Triple H came in to tell him he was relieved of his duties and that Triple H, as COO of the company, would be taking over day to day operations. He brings back Jim Ross, which makes the fans happy, and makes some other changes like making Raw a Supershow. John Laurenitis as Senior Vice President of Talent Relations was then working with Triple H, although it seemed apparent to everyone watching, that John was completely working against Triple H.
Triple H bumbled stupidly through many situations and was blindly unaware of the Laurenitis conspiracy against him. He fought CM Punk because of the whole Kevin Nash debacle which seemed less and less important with each passing day. He fined R-Truth and the Miz only to fire them later in the show. They weren’t fired for attacking him or for beating up referees but because they posted a video where they claimed to be proud of what they were doing. Apparently those fines were never paid. R-Truth and the Miz came back to beat down Cena, Punk and Del Rio. The entire lockeroom came out to stop them but couldn’t and eventually they were arrested. Somehow this resulted in the lockeroom saying that WWE was no longer a safe working environment. I wasn’t aware that it ever had been.
So, Triple H was then relieved of his duties by none other than Vince McMahon. So Vince was fired, but then he was selected to tell Triple H he was fired. No, no no, he wasn’t fired as COO. He was fired from being the Raw General Manager. Was anyone aware that Triple H was the Raw General Manager? I wasn’t. The board of directors, apparently even more blind than Triple H, then appointed John Laurenitis as interim GM. Everyone knows John has been up to no good.. except them apparently. Now, when he takes this position, all of the faces and heels that come walking in are surprisingly more willing to work for him than to work for Triple H. Apparently they too are blind and stupid.
Laurenitis then fires Jim Ross because he walked out on the company. I suppose this somewhat makes sense since he is a heel and his actions are supposed to be unjustified but it’s a little weird that no one, including Jerry Lawler, stood up and reminded John that everyone walked out. However, if Triple H is still COO then why couldn’t he just overrule John’s decision and have Jim Ross not be fired? Also, when the hell was Triple H the General Manager of Raw? He was always the COO so he was apparently removed from a false position. Didn’t we also get a beat down at the end of Raw where R-Truth and the Miz kept attacking Punk until Triple H came out to save him? Just curious how John Laurenitis being in charge has somehow made the WWE lockeroom feel safer.
There are other details you could look at. Why did Nash text himself? Why did Stephanie McMahon show up for two segments only to disappear again? Is Vince McMahon back with some kind of power now or did the board of directors just think it’d be funny for him to fire Triple H? If you can figure any of this out I would love to hear what you have to say. Frankly, WWE isn’t making much sense to me these days and unless they can get back on track and go back to a logical, direct, intelligent style of booking and storyline development I simply don’t see them pulling themselves out of this rut. Maybe when the Rock comes back it will get better. At least we know that he actually cares enough to make sure his storyline goes somewhere.