What to expect with Laurinaitis as GM

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October 13, 2011

Following Mr. McMahon’s announcement that WWE’s Board of Directors has named John Laurinaitis as the Interim Raw General Manager, WWE.com weighs the pros and cons of the gravel-voiced executive grabbing the reins of Raw SuperShow.

No McMahon shenanigans

PRO: According to Mr. McMahon, WWE’s Board of Directors declared that no member of the McMahon family would be responsible for running Raw. (WATCH) With Mr. Laurinaitis taking control, the Board is guaranteed unbiased leadership from a levelheaded executive with more than a decade of experience.

CON: Since when has not being part of the McMahon clan been a prerequisite for strong leadership? Sure, the tenures of both Mr. McMahon and Stephanie McMahon were marked by an uptick of car thefts, sledgehammer attacks and at least one major kidnapping, but they were nothing if not entertaining. After all, what’s Raw without a little controversy? If anything, the Board should put a ban on people with the surname Adamle becoming GM.

More social media savvy

PRO: As one of his first acts as Interim Raw General Manager, Mr. Laurinaitis launched accounts on both Twitter (http://twitter.com/WWERawGM) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WWEJohnLaurinaitis) in order to interact with the WWE Universe through social media. It was a refreshing sign that the executive isn’t just up with the times, but is willing to embrace them. Still, it’s too bad Facebook doesn’t have a “dislike” button.

CON: If there’s one thing Mr. McMahon respected about Triple H’s brief reign of running Raw SuperShow, it was his old-school ethic of less Tweeting and more beating. Expect a lot more @ replies to our fans during Laurinaitis' reign, but hopefully not too much. The exec’s cell phone use has almost gotten him in hot water before and he doesn’t need the kind of trouble that Blackberrys can bring — Brett Favre and Anthony Weiner can tell him all about that.

Better talent relations

PRO: As WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, Raw’s new Interim GM is the man who gave many of today’s Superstars and Divas the greatest phone calls of their lives when he offered them their spots in WWE.  He’s also the man who signs their paychecks, so don’t expect many walkouts during Laurinaitis' reign.

CON: Sure, John Laurinaitis helped make the dreams of many Superstars and Divas come true, but that doesn’t mean they like him. John Morrison made that apparent when he said “You absolutely suck” to his new boss’s face last Monday night. Laurinaitis might sign checks, but he also fines Superstars when they’re late to the arena and fires their friends. The executive will have loyalty, but it won’t always be for the right reasons.

A competitive spirit

PRO: Don’t let the loafers fool you. Before he went corporate, John Laurinaitis was a serious butt kicker in the brutal rings of Japan. (WATCH) These tough years on the mat instilled the new Interim Raw General Manager with a firsthand respect for what WWE Superstars and Divas do on a nightly basis, and a keen knowledge of what makes a good match. It’s no wonder he immediately scheduled bouts with CM Punk, Randy Orton and Mark Henry in his first night of power.

CON: If the GM terms of Mick Foley, Bret Hart and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin are any indication, former Superstars don’t always take to the GM position. They’re too fiery, too desperate to get back in the ring. This may not be true of Mr. Laurinaitis — he's probably more comfortable in a pair of Haggar slacks than a pair of tights nowadays — but he may envy the young competitors who can still brawl the way he used to. Could jealousy lead this Interim GM to hold back some serious talent?

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