Who will feel the impact if General Manager John Laurinaitis gets terminated?
As unbelievable as it may seem, not everyone will rejoice if John Laurinaitis loses to John Cena at WWE Over the Limit. In fact, it's not a stretch to think a few Superstars – and one power-hungry Diva – could join the Raw and SmackDown General Manager on the employment line.
In his tumultuous tenure as Raw and SmackDown GM, Laurinaitis has no doubt amassed a list of detractors, but there is a fair share of people who have supported his reign, either to stay in his good graces or to be an integral part of his administration. On the flip side, there are individuals who may reap big dividends of Laurinaitis' potential termination.
WWE.com presents a list of eight people who should definitely keep their eyes peeled on Laurinaitis' match against Cena at WWE Over the Limit, because the GM's fate also might determine their future in WWE.
To say it's been a woeful ride for Teddy Long since his team's WrestleMania defeat would be an understatement. Under Laurinaitis' rule, the former SmackDown General Manager has been subjected to denigration and utter humiliation, including but not limited to: standing watch outside Laurinaitis' office wearing a Queen's Guard bearskin cap, dressing in a women's apron for cleaning duties and being forced to oil up WWE Superstar Antonio Cesaro in front of Aksana.
Teddy has dealt with some unenviable tasks before, but it's been hard to watch him serve as Laurinaitis' personal lackey over the last several weeks. If Laurinaitis is terminated, Teddy could take back the reins as SmackDown GM and feasibly make a power play to assume the GM role on Raw, too. You can bet Superstars like WWE Champion CM Punk and John Cena would vouch for Long, if for no other reason than to turn the tables on "Mr. Excitement."
Don't let her stunning looks fool you. Eve has been a conniving businesswoman that Laurinaitis has fully embraced as his Executive Administrator. Just ask The Bella Twins or Big Show what they think of Eve, who was directly involved in their recent firings from WWE. Despite her ruthless attitude, though, Eve has proven she gets the job done exactly the way the Raw and SmackDown GM wants.
Without Laurinaitis as the boss, can Eve maintain her position of power? Or will the next General Manager clean house, moving the Executive Administrator back to competing in the Divas division, or worse, dismissing her from WWE completely? Both are potential scenarios for Laurinaitis' leading lady.
Titus O'Neil and Darren Young
As soon as Laurinaitis signed Titus O'Neil and Darren Young to SmackDown, he couldn't wait to brag about his new talent acquisition to Teddy Long, who previously passed on signing the duo. The rising young Superstars have done nothing to disappoint the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations as they continue to rack up victories and rise up the ranks of the tag team division.
Without Laurinaitis pulling the strings, however, "The Big Deal" and "Mr. No Days Off" might soon be known as "The Big Free Agent" and "Mr. Every Single Day Off," especially if Long manages to return to his post as SmackDown GM. You know Teddy can't stand oversized egos, playa.
Big Show got down on his knees, apologized right from the heart and shed tears for the whole WWE Universe to see. None of it was enough to spare The World's Largest Athlete his job in WWE. Now, the 7-foot tall, 441-pounder is looking for work instead of doing what he loves most in this world: performing as a WWE Superstar.
Judging from the outpouring of backlash from the WWE Universe, Laurinaitis' decision to fire Big Show was an extremely unpopular one. But if The World's Largest Athlete is ever to get his job back in WWE, he'll need the General Manager to get the boot. Another GM could potentially realize Big Show's massive value and rehire him. And if not, there is always WWE.com's list of employment ideas for a 7-footer ( FULL STORY).
Brock Lesnar's outrageous contract demands would've fell on deaf ears for most General Managers, but Laurinaitis is clearly not like most GMs. Whether he was enraptured by Brock's star power or just wanted a brute to push Cena out of the picture, Laurinaitis stood firmly in Lesnar's corner, even when it became clear that Brock was a monster who could not be controlled.
Since Lesnar's abrupt departure, we've seen Paul Heyman resurface to serve – and serve lawsuits – as Brock's representative. If Heyman isn't able to wrangle the alleged money owed to Lesnar through legal means, could Brock try to exploit his relationship with the GM and ink a new WWE contract worth millions of dollars? Not having Laurinaitis in charge will mean one less bargaining chip on Brock's table.
David Otunga has been more than just Laurinaitis' legal counsel; he's a source of guidance, his willing muscle and a sounding board for "People Power" ideas. Otunga also served as captain of Team Johnny for Laurinaitis' defining victory at WrestleMania over Team Teddy.
It was only months ago that the Harvard Law School graduate admitted he takes pro bono cases to keep his skills up, not because he needs the payday ( FULL STORY). That all may change after WWE Over the Limit. The legal eagle could go from the A-List to the layoff list, forcing him to start charging his clients to afford all that premium coffee.
It's no longer business between Laurinaitis and John Cena – it's deeply personal. The Raw and SmackDown GM has been hell-bent on breaking The Cenation Leader's spirit and possibly pushing him out of WWE for good. From attacking Cena to putting himself in a match against him at WWE Over the Limit, Laurinaitis has shockingly emerged as Cena's worst enemy in WWE.
The weight of the WWE Universe is on Cena's shoulders heading into a one-on-one clash against Laurinaitis. If Cena wins, he'll be heralded as the man who purged a ruthless General Manager and restored order to WWE. He'll also have a lot easier time sleeping Sunday nights, knowing Laurinaitis won't be there to terrorize him every week on Raw.