It was revealed earlier today that Shane and Stephanie McMahon would reveal the general managers for their respective shows at the top of tonight’s Raw show, and WWE certainly delivered on their promise.
So, let’s get right down to it: Stephanie McMahon was out first to reveal the general manager of Raw, which, in a shocker, turned out to be WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. Prior to the announcement, most were expecting the Raw GM to be Stephanie’s husband Triple H. But, they decided to go with a babyface authority figure, and even though it’s an odd fit, it’ll definitely be something different, as the show has been run by a heel stable for the last several years.
Shane McMahon was out second to reveal the general manager of SmackDown, and, to the surprise of no one, he introduced the recently-retired Daniel Bryan as the brand’s GM. Of course, various sources over this past week had reported that Bryan would end up being the SmackDown general manager, and the live crowd in Providence, Rhode Island knew it was going to be Bryan well before the announcement, as they were doing Bryan’s “YES!” chant while Shane was in the middle of his announcement.
As you would expect, Daniel Bryan got a huge response from the crowd, and in his speech, he said that when he retired back in February, he was unsure if he would ever be able to come back and be a part of WWE, but being the general manager of SmackDown was an opportunity that he just couldn’t pass up.
Judging from Raw’s opening segment, it’s quite clear that WWE is positioning SmackDown as the underdog show, while Raw is being presented as the television juggernaut that will be impossible to take down. The opposing GMs also compared the upcoming Raw vs. SmackDown battle to the Monday night wars, which is quite a bold comparison given the vast difference in the product’s popularity between then and now.
Of course, as of right now, it’s unclear just how long Foley and Bryan will be around for. Obviously, given the fact that Stephanie McMahon is a heel, there’s a chance that there will be on-screen friction between Stephanie and Foley, which could lead to Foley being replaced down the line.
As for Bryan, it’s hard to imagine him being removed from his position as GM unless he doesn’t want to do it anymore. So, he’ll probably be the general manager of the brand as long as the brand split still exists.
The WWE draft takes place during tomorrow night’s live edition of SmackDown, and just in case you haven’t seen the official draft rules, they’re listed below.
- Raw has the first overall pick.
- Because SmackDown is only a two-hour show, for every two picks they get, Raw will get three.
- Tag-teams will only count as one pick unless a brand’s general manager or commissioner decides that they only want one member of a team.
- Six draft picks will be made off the NXT roster.
There’s a ton of speculation surrounding who the NXT picks will be. The only thing we know for sure is that, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, the only guarantee is that Nia Jax will be one of the NXT stars taken, which is quite shocking considering the fact that she’s not exactly on the same level as some of the other women on the NXT roster.
As for the main roster stars, everyone is eligible to be drafted, with the exception of Triple H and The Undertaker. It’s expected that John Cena, AJ Styles, and Randy Orton will be the first three SmackDown picks, while Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose will be the first three Raw picks, with Rollins likely to be the first overall pick.
[Image via WWE]