Team Johnny: Tale of the tape


Team Johnny: Tale of the tape

We’ve got to give it to him: Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis has assembled a pretty impressive squad to battle Team Teddy at WrestleMania XXVIII for control of both Raw and SmackDown. ( MATCH PREVIEW) The pedigree of Laurinaitis’ crew, at least in championship reigns, is formidable, but with a lot of clout comes a lot of egos, and Laurinaitis will have to work doubly hard to keep everyone in check to keep his team working as a collective unit.

In that vein, we at present a comprehensive guide to the members of Team Johnny, their specific strengths, and how we’d use them if we were in John Laurinaitis’ dress shoes.

David Otunga, or: "The Brains of the Operation"

Team Johnny: Tale of the tape

We’re not sure if you know this, but David Otunga, Laurinaitis’ legal counsel and unofficial right-hand man for the past several months, went to Harvard Law School and has never lost a case. In other words, he’s pretty smart, and this is exactly the kind of Superstar Laurinaitis would want to orchestrate his  plan of attack in taking out Team Teddy. Otunga is the only member of Team Johnny who has yet to win a World Title, but the former WWE Tag Team Champion is no slouch in the squared circle, and his recent takedown of Ezekiel Jackson shows he can certainly handle himself ( PHOTOS).

If we were Johnny: Otunga starts off the match with a calculated plan of attack, then retreats to the apron to call the plays and return in specific situations.

The Miz, or: "The Honey Badger"

Team Johnny: Tale of the tape

We outlined last week why the relentless Miz should have his WrestleMania match, and after saving Laurinaitis from United States Champion Santino Marella’s Cobra last Monday on Raw SuperShow, it seems “Big Johnny” finally came to agree with us. Now he’ll have to find a way to reel The Awesome One in a bit. The former WWE Champion has been on a wild tear for months now, clawing to get a spot on Laurinaitis’ squad. His tenacity paid off in the end, but the approach caused him to lose all of his matches in the process. It’s easy to argue Miz could have secured his spot earlier if he’d just taken a deep breath and calmed down. With so much at stake, Mr. Excitement and company can’t afford to have a bull in a china shop on their hands, but it’s hard to argue the value of a Superstar who’ll literally throw himself at the opposition to make a point.

If we were Johnny: Send Miz in if Team Teddy catches a second wind to take away their momentum; The Awesome One will mount a flurry of offense and balance the scales so Team Johnny can revert to their original game plan.

Jack Swagger, or: "The Technician"

Team Johnny: Tale of the tape

Team Teddy has no shortage of technical mavericks, but Big Johnny’s got the only All-American Superstar in the match on his side. Swagger has had his ups and downs, but his skills always keep him in the game and compliment some of the more brutish techniques of Superstars like The Miz and Mark Henry, and the Ankle Lock is always a good bet for a quick tap-out. Swagger’s the type of Superstar who doesn’t serve one specific function, but he’s good in a variety of spots.

If we were Johnny: Swagger is used as a relief Superstar to spell team members who need a breather. Either that, or they send him in early to try and notch a submission before Team Teddy can get going.

Dolph Ziggler, or: "The Face Man"

Team Johnny: Tale of the tape

If you’re going to try and win and you want to look good doing it, too, Dolph Ziggler is you man. Ziggler is one of the most talented competitors in WWE, but more to the point (and we’re absolutely positive he’ll agree in this assessment), he tends to make everything he does look flawless in the process. Laurinaitis doesn’t want his squad to look like a bunch of disgruntled goons. He needs a little style, a little panache. He’s got the right man for the job in WWE’s resident Show-Off.

If we were Johnny: If Team Johnny gets a firm control on the match, they’ll send Ziggler in for a little shameless showboating.

Mark Henry, or: "The Closer"

Team Johnny: Tale of the tape

Quite simply, Mark Henry is the Superstar you send in to finish the job. If the strategy goes awry; if Team Teddy gets too much momentum behind them, or if Team Johnny sees an opening for them to close the contest, all they have to do is tag in this behemoth former World Heavyweight Champion to dispatch whoever’s left standing with The World’s Strongest Slam. Henry’s certainly not discriminating in the Superstars he inducts into his “Hall of Pain.” Just point him in the right direction and watch the carnage happen.

If we were Johnny: Keep Henry fresh the whole match, then send him in late to clean house. We don’t think he’ll score the pin, necessarily. Not with this next Superstar on the team …

Drew McIntyre, or: "The Statement"

Team Johnny: Tale of the tape

Christian is a tough Superstar to replace, but if there was anybody to pick in his stead, it’d be Drew McIntyre, because this guy haaaates Teddy Long. Plain and simple. The history between the embattled Superstar and SmackDown GM is long and ugly. We’ll save you the details, but feet-kissing and deportation were all involved, and McIntyre is certainly hungry for revenge. John Laurinaitis is all about making a statement. The biggest one of all would be having Drew score the decisive pin and send Teddy holla-holla-ing all the way home.

If we were Johnny: The ornery Scot notches the three-count while his nemesis watches, and hits the Teddy Long dance for emphasis.

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