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5 RAW General Managers and why WWE had to let them go

Jack Tunney was the very first on - screen authority figure in WWE
Jack Tunney was the very first on-screen authority figure in WWE
Akhilesh Gannavarapu

One of the unwritten, time honoured traditions in wrestling companies has been the establishment of on-screen authority figures. From Jack Tunney to Eric Bischoff to Mr McMahon, having on-screen authority figures has become a norm and a method to add a complex layer to the otherwise mundane and often repetitive storylines.

The authority figures also bring a different dimension to the product. Whether they are carefully woven into the intricate storylines, bringing a modicum of sensibility, or are thrown in without much deliberation, the fact that they present the wrestlers with a conundrum to either tread the line carefully or become anarchists, makes for compelling television.

WWE went full-throttle with the idea when Vince McMahon inadvertently found himself in the eye of the storm. But the unprecedented success of this experimentation meant that wrestling companies often found using an authority figure not only as an attractive proposition but also as a necessity.

Today, we take a look at five former RAW General Managers, and why WWE had to relieve them of their on-screen duties.


#5 Vickie Guerrero

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If the loud, screeching “Excuse me” wasn’t enough to put you off, Vickie’s devious, conniving antics made her one of the most despised on-screen authority figures in recent memory. One of the reasons why her character was such a success was because of what her late husband meant to the WWE Universe. However, WWE once again unearthed a phenomenal talent in Vickie Guerrero, who didn’t take much time in adapting to her new role.

Vickie’s role as the pantomime villain on SmackDown earned her praise from the WWE management, and she was presented with the opportunity to become the General Manager of RAW in April 2009 — a position once held by Stephanie McMahon.

However, Vickie did not stick around too long and was relieved of her duties after she had a (kayfabe) nervous breakdown. In reality, Vickie requested some time off from the company to spend some quality time with her family.

The Cougar later returned to WWE during SmackDown's tenth-anniversary episode and went on to become Raw's managing supervisor in October of 2012.

She was finally written off television on the June 23, 2014, after she lost a pudding match to Stephanie McMahon with her job on the line. This time, Vickie left in order to pursue a career in medical administration.

#4 Mick Foley

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Before Kurt Angle waltzed into WWE and became the General Manager of RAW, it was Mick Foley who steered the ship. In fact, Foley has been an authority figure in WWE on multiple occasions.

Sometimes he was the Commissioner while on other occasions he donned the role of a General Manager. Foley’s brevity and his impassioned delivery have made him a fan favourite and one of the most adored authority figures in the company’s history.

Foley served as the General Manager of RAW from July 2016 to March 2017 and had to take a hiatus to undergo hip surgery. To write his character off, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H attacked the Long Island native on RAW and ultimately fired him.

#3 John Laurinaitis

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Johnny Ace’s transition from working behind the scenes to playing a character on camera stemmed from the infamous “pipe-bomb” promo that CM Punk delivered back in 2011.

Laurinaitis' raspy voice was a far cry from the rich baritone voice his predecessors possessed, and the fact that his character was a mere extension of his personality made it easy for him to deliver the goods on a weekly basis.

During his 9 month stint as the RAW General Manager, Laurinaitis probed and prodded at the fans’ patience, often tooting his own horn. He coined the term “People Power” in the company, giving the fans the illusion of choice.

Laurinaitis was relieved of his on-screen duties in June 2012 after Vince McMahon gave him a job evaluation. Laurinaitis reportedly expressed his desire to work fewer dates and claimed that he was getting burnt out from all the travel and performing as an on-screen authority figure. Laurinaitis was then demoted from his corporate role as the EVP of Talent Relations and was given the role of a producer in the company.

#2 Eric Bischoff

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The man that almost knocked Vince McMahon off his perch during the Monday Night Wars shocked the world when he turned up at a WWE event in 2002. Eric Bischoff, during his tenure as WCW’s head honcho, turned the company’s fortunes around and brought his own vision to the organisation.

So when Vince McMahon needed to shake things up in WWE, he turned to his former arch-nemesis, whom he once challenged to a brawl in a parking lot! Vince knew that in order to create competition, he had to bring in the master instigator.

Bischoff held his position as the General Manager of RAW from July ’02 to December ’05, and after a mock trial was fired by Vince McMahon. In reality, Bischoff decided to take time off from the business to work on his book “Controversy Creates Cash”, which debuted at #16 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

#1 Mike Adamle

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From day 1, Adamle seemed out of his depth in WWE. As someone that has been a sports broadcaster for nearly two decades, the WWE management wouldn’t have imagined the sheer incompetence of Adamle, at least as a WWE presenter/backstage interviewer.

Following his highly publicised gaffes on - screen, including such gems as calling Jeff Hardy “Jeff Harvey” and calling Umaga “The Samoan Bulldog”, instead of a bulldozer, Mike Adamle carved a special place for himself in the business, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

WWE made the head-scratching decision of making Adamle the General Manager of RAW from July ’08 to November ’08, before he was unceremoniously relieved of his duties.

According to reports, Adamle was told about the decision just hours before RAW — something that did not sit well with the former All-American fullback. Adamle and WWE parted ways soon after, and years later, Adamle revealed in an interview that their relationship had, by then, run its course.


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Edited by anirudh.b

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