After last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw brought all sorts of big surprises and emotional moments, SmackDown Live started off with one of its own. The Commissioner Shane McMahon arrived to the ring to let fans know that since Daniel Bryan is now competing again, he had resigned as the general manager. That meant the brand would need a brand new GM and Shane revealed it to be a superstar who had just made big news recently.
On Tuesday night, Paige was announced as the brand new SmackDown Live general manager, per ProWrestling‘s report. The big reveal came just one night after Paige had let fans know she was retiring as an in-ring competitor. With Shane McMahon in the ring, Paige decided that her first official order of business was to give Daniel Bryan a match on television after his successful return to the ring. She polled the fans a few times for some chants to see who they would want to see Bryan face in his return to TV. The crowd gave a “Rusev Day” chant for a while, but on the next chant, they got it right, chanting for “AJ Styles.” Paige booked the match for Bryan vs. Styles in a non-title match later on.
Just last night on the Raw after WrestleMania 34, Paige joined Absolution in the ring to celebrate Mandy Rose’s victory over Sasha Banks. After Rose and Sonya Deville exited the ring, Paige got on the mic to reveal her big news. With a heavy heart, Paige let everyone know she was going to no longer be able to compete in the ring as a performer. She said she would need to find something new that she loved doing. It appears that she had already found that based on tonight’s big reveal.
There had been previous WWE rumors that Hulk Hogan could end up being the new SmackDown Live general manager. However, Hogan has yet to make any official return to the WWE yet. Rumors had also suggested he might show up at WrestleMania 34 this past weekend, but the only Hogan sightings have been for the premiere of the Andre the Giant documentary for HBO Sports.
Just like former WWE superstar AJ Lee, Paige seems like a good chance as the general manager based on her popularity with the fans. It’s also great to see she won’t be forced out of WWE completely. Fans will continue to hope that she will share a similar path to Daniel Bryan, the man she is replacing who was able to make his return to the ring when it seemed improbable.