Successors to The Game's throne?

Should Triple H lose to CM Punk this Sunday at Night of Champions, he’ll be forced to resign as WWE’s Chief Operating Officer. Some, however, may believe that’s a good thing, and view Sunday’s No Disqualification Match as a crucial opportunity to assume the coveted position of leadership. Who has the most to gain from seeing The Game fall to Punk? offers up a list of potential successors:

embedcolon25031889JOHN LAURINAITIS
WWE’s Executive VP of Talent Relations has repeatedly involved himself in Triple H’s affairs ... and sometimes done so without the COO’s knowledge, as documented in recent weeks with the signing of Kevin Nash. Subsequently, upon Nash’s release from WWE last Monday, Laurinaitis released in a statement that “ultimately, [he doesn’t] make the rules around here.” That could very well change if Laurinaitis’ boss were to lose this Sunday. 

embedcolon25004913SHAWN MICHAELS
Despite being Triple H’s best friend, the WWE Hall of Famer has also shared a hostile history with The Game, including a much-storied rivalry that lasted four years before they reconciled as D-Generation X in 2007. HBK has stated on many occasions that he has retired from active competition in WWE. Who’s to say, however, that he no longer wants to remain an integral part of WWE? Becoming COO would certainly give The Showstopper a lucrative new lease on life with the company.

embedcolon25024137THEODORE LONG
One could argue that being a successful General Manager in WWE is more difficult than becoming a 13-time World Champion. Yet since 2004, Teddy Long has not only survived in the role – cultivating top Superstars, deflecting power struggles with personnel and withstanding the wrath of a WWE Chairman all the while – he has made the Friday night brand Syfy’s most successful show. Long’s motivation for dethroning The King of Kings could be the fact that he no longer wants to simply “survive.” Perhaps he realizes that, if he seizes power, he can position himself to actually thrive in WWE’s top spot.

embedcolon25030583STEPHANIE McMAHON
Despite Triple H’s insistence otherwise, CM Punk and others are convinced that the COO’s wife is already pulling the strings and making the decisions around WWE. Stephanie has no love for Punk, certainly, but the temptation to take over in an official capacity could prove pivotal come Sunday night. After all, first and foremost, she’s a McMahon – a surname with a history of commanding power and authority by any means necessary.

embedcolon25032685ZACK RYDER
Wait, what? Say what you want, but The Long Island Iced Z knows how to make the most of a situation. He has established himself outside the ring as an Internet Champion with his own web series, and swayed enough Broskis in the WWE Universe to earn a spot as an assistant to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. In short, he knows how to manipulate just about anything to his advantage. Does anyone take him seriously as a threat? Probably not. But, that might all be part of Ryder’s plan to help CM Punk – a staunch Iced Z supporter – and assume control of the organization that once refused to pay him any attention.

Ever since Triple H became Chief Operating Officer, the only mystery bigger than the Raw GM’s identity has been his or her absence. There have been no flickering arena lights, no ominous e-mail sounds, and thankfully no reason for Michael Cole to arrogantly proclaim, “And I quote.” However, now that The Game has put his corporate title on the line at Night of Champions, the anonymous Raw GM may view this as a perfect occasion to log on and regain control of Monday nights. Will the laptop return to its podium prominence on Raw SuperShow? For that matter, could any of the aforementioned COO candidates be the Anonymous Raw General Manager?


Do you think any of the above candidates stands the most to gain from Triple H losing at Night of Champions? Or perhaps there's someone we haven't thought of who's ready to take up the mantle of WWE COO? Weigh in on the debate on WWE's Facebook page, or chime in on Twitter.

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