There was quite a bit of confusion, that ended up being nothing more than semantics as it pertained to who would run Monday Night RAW and who would be in charge of SmackDown. The semantics aspect related to the specific titles of those in charge. Vince McMahon returned to RAW this past Monday to try and clear all that up and then to delegate responsibilities to whoever would end up running each brand.
It had previously been reported that the general manager title that had been used frequently in the past would be done away with in favor of the COO moniker. However, Vince reversed course a bit and determined that there would be a commissioner of RAW and one for SmackDown. As most fans are aware by now, Stephanie McMahon was named the new commissioner for the flagship show, while Shane will be the commissioner for the new SmackDown live brand.
Another interesting layer was added when Vince explained to his children that they would each have the opportunity to delegate themselves by naming a general manager for each of their respective shows. So the GM title was resuscitated after all, and those individuals will be revealed next week on RAW in what is already shaping up to be quite a major show. Next week will be the first glimpse into WWE's kayfabed attempt at a ratings war between RAW and SmackDown.
RAW went off the air with a significant cliffhanger. Who will Shane and Stephanie choose to run the day-to-day operations of RAW and SmackDown? And actually, a second, long-term cliffhanger was planted when Triple H's name was brought up to close out the segment. The thought is that the reference to The Game and ensuing slap may set the stage for an eventual match between Hunter and Shane. But that is down the line, as the GM unveilings will take short-term priority.
And as it happens, the WWE may have accidentally leaked information as to who will be named the new general manager of SmackDown when the show goes live on Tuesday nights beginning next week. As reported by Wrestling Inc., the company prematurely sent out an alert on its app stating that "The 'Yes!' Movement takes over Smackdown Live!" as seen in the image below. Obviously, this means that Shane will name none other than Daniel Bryan as his new GM.
It's unclear whether the message was leaked intentionally to stir up conversation, but it should be noted that the alert was quickly removed after a short period of time. That should indicate it was done by accident, but nonetheless, the WWE may have spoiled their own surprise. Fortunately for them, there is still another half of the surprise to be unveiled as no information has become available as to who Stephanie will choose to be the GM of RAW.
Even before Daniel Bryan retired, he stated publicly how he wished he could have been exclusive to SmackDown to help bring back prestige to one of the secondary championships and the show itself. This was long before the announcement of the brand split, but now it appears he might get his wish, albeit in a totally different capacity.
Since returning to the WWE in January, Shane McMahon has proclaimed himself as the instrument of change and the advocate of the New Era. It should come as no surprise that Shane would name one of the most popular superstars ever as the GM of SmackDown, the show more likely to demonstrate the change fans are clamoring for. Whether that means Stephanie will go with a heel-like persona to run her show remains to be seen, but the chances are more likely now.
Most recently, Bryan has been the color commentator for the WWE's Cruiserweight Classic while also helping Nikki Bella with a new finishing maneuver in the event she is ever cleared to return to the ring. But becoming the new GM of SmackDown would certainly trump all of that and make Tuesday nights that much more interesting.
[Image via WWE]