WWE.com evaluates John Laurinaitis' job performance
WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Raw John Laurinaitis might have one less title preceding his name Monday – that’s when Chief Operating Officer Triple H rolls into town for Raw SuperShow to deliver a formal evaluation of the man who took his job. Laurinaitis has been on the clock since Oct. 10, 2011, when he supplanted Triple H as GM following a controversial “no confidence” vote in The King of Kings by WWE’s Board of Directors. Since then, the self-proclaimed “Mr. Excitement” has incurred the wrath of both John Cena and WWE Champion CM Punk for allowing Zack Ryder to compete through grievous injuries (though that may not have been entirely Laurinaitis' fault) and voicing his intentions to cheat Punk out of the WWE Championship at the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble.
Add to this the fact that the WWE Universe is well aware of Triple H’s own beef with Laurinaitis, and there’s a good chance The Game will go the CM Punk route and tear "Big Johnny" a new one on national television, opening the door for Punk to kick Laurinaitis’ head in at the Royal Rumble event.
Then again, this is a job evaluation, not a railroading. In his capacity as COO, Triple H has to examine all angles, good and bad. Mr. Laurinaitis has had some measurable success in his term as Interim Raw GM. Maybe The King of Kings will show mercy on his subject, who has already begun a pre-emptive campaign for a second chance. What our COO will decide is anyone’s guess, but in the meantime, consider that we’re fans too at WWE.com. We’re part of the WWE Universe as much as anyone, not to mention WWE employees. Our jobs are affected by Mr. Laurinaitis’ performance, and in that spirit, we’d like to present our own personal evaluation of Mr. Laurinaitis’ performance, and what we think Triple H might have to say on certain matters.
Laurinaitis has called himself “Mr. Excitement” on several occasions and, to be fair, the man has been fairly consistent in keeping the WWE Universe invested in Raw. His stipulation for the Miz/R-Truth match this past week on Raw SuperShow (where the loser would enter the 2012 Royal Rumble Match at No. 1), putting Chris Jericho in the Six-Man Tag Match two weeks ago, and making Zack Ryder go through his friend John Cena for a U.S. Title opportunity in December made for compelling television and interesting challenges for his roster. Granted, the “puppet-master” feel of it all will probably irk Triple H more than anything else, but the chaos has been organized and entertaining. Final Grade: B+
Not only did Laurinaitis send Zack Ryder out there, despite injuries and a doctors’ report, to get dropped like a bad habit by Jack Swagger and Kane (twice), but his oversight led to The Long Island Iced-Z suffering a herniated disc at the hands of The Devil’s Favorite Demon. Our guess is that The Game will consider this issue to be as cut-and-dry as we do, especially since Laurinaitis left him to Kevin Nash’s mercy on more than one occasion as well. Plus, who doesn’t love Zack Ryder? Final Grade: C-
Tag Team Innovation
Sorry Mr. L., but this area is SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long’s house. And frankly, we’re sure Triple H would agree. Final Grade: F
Kevin Nash Attacks
We’ll give it to the Interim Raw GM: this is the one area where he has achieved complete success. After weeks of terrorizing the WWE Universe (and poor Santino Marella), Big Sexy got clobbered with a sledgehammer by Triple H at WWE TLC and hasn’t been seen since. We’d imagine Triple H would appreciate this, since he seemed to be Nash’s target all along. Final Grade: A+
Did you see Laurinaitis before being knocked out by CM Punk’s GTS? The man maintains calm at all times. Triple H could start waving a sledgehammer in his face (in fact, it could come to that Monday) and we doubt Mr. Excitement would so much as blink. We commend him for this. A true leader keeps his cool in the face of chaos. This, if nothing else, has been a constant in Laurinaitis’ term. Minus that instance with Mick Foley and the microphone, of course. Final Grade: A-
Authority figures’ track record in this regard is a bit spotty, but give Triple H credit: when he refereed a match as Raw GM, especially an important one like Cena-Punk at SummerSlam, he tried to call it down the middle. Laurinaitis, on the other hand, openly told Mick Foley he was going to screw CM Punk out of the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler at the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble. Laurinaitis ultimately called the bout right down the middle, but it seems like he did that more for fear of his job than a desire to be fair and square. Seems like a bit of a red flag to us. Final Grade: B-
Well, that’s our opinion. We won’t draw conclusions; anything can and probably will happen in WWE. And this Monday, we’ll find out whether the Laurinaitis Era will continue, or if we’ll bid a fond farewell to “Big Johnny” Laurinaitis, EVP of Talent Relations, “Mr. Excitement,” and Former Interim General Manager of Monday Night Raw.