What was John Laurinaitis' absence from SmackDown really all about?

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May 04, 2012

On Friday night, the WWE Universe learned that permanent Raw and SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis took a "personal day" and opted not to be on hand for the May 4 episode of SmackDown. Instead, WWE's EVP left control of the show to his newly appointed Executive Adminstrator, Eve.

Laurinaitis' absence Friday is a strange turn of events, especially considering what occurred four days earlier on Raw SuperShow. After his Extreme Rules loss to John Cena, Brock Lesnar made it clear Monday night that he is still a loose cannon, and it's entirely possible the GM may not have any control over the Superstar's actions, as evidence by Lesnar's all-out assault on WWE COO Triple H.

But it was Laurinaitis' brazen actions later in the show that sent shockwaves through the WWE Universe, who watched in shock as the EVP orchestrated a vicious assault on Cena, enlisting Lord Tensai to help do his dirty work. After Tensai brutalized The Cenation Leader, taking advantage of the arm injury Cena suffered at Extreme Rules, Laurinaitis took to the mic to make a surprising announcement: He would take on Cena in a match at WWE Over the Limit. (MATCH PREVIEW)

On the heels of such momumental actions, Laurinaitis' decision to take a "personal day" Friday has left the WWE Universe scratching its collective head, and many questions have arisen.

Where, exactly is Laurinaitis? And why did he feel it necessary to be a no-show on the show he fought so hard to take control of from Thedore Long? Does he fear for his safety in the fallout of the Lesnar-Triple H confrontation? Triple H is obviously not happy with the GM's handling of the Lesnar situation, saying on Monday that Laurinaitis was "bullied" into meeting Brock's demands. It's entirely possible the EVP is doing whatever he can to avoid The Game, who, even injured, is not someone Johnny wants angry with him. It's also within reason to speculate that Laurinaitis is keeping his distance from Cena. Lord Tensai can't be around to protect his boss at all times, after all.

On the other hand, maybe Laurinaitis is simply burned out from an exhausting and historic week in WWE history. Extreme Rules kicked off a whirlwind seven days, and everyone's entitled to a day off every now and then, right?

Or is this all part of some plan by the General Manager to lure others into a false sense of security?

While no one can know what is going on in the mind of "Mr. Excitement," it is certain that plenty big-name Superstars are angry with the GM, and that alone is reason enough to stay away.

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