The most intriguing behind the scenes wrestling news of the week has been the surprising decision of Jane Geddes to leave her management position with the LPGA to take a job with WWE as their new Vice President of Talent Relations. For those unfamiliar with the name, Geddes played on the LPGA tour from 1983-2003 and had a highly successful career, winning fourteen tournaments in total including two majors. As her golfing career wrapped up, she studied for and obtained degrees in criminology and law. Her next step was to return to the LPGA in a managerial role in early 2007, first being their Senior Director of Tournament Business Affairs, but quickly being promoted to Vice-President of Competition and soon after to Senior Vice President of Tournament Operations and Players Services. In comments to Theresa Manahan of Sports Business Daily, clearly Geddes had business ambitions to be more than just a golfing executive for the rest of her life, but one wonders whether she really knows what she's getting into by taking such a talent relations job with WWE:
It just felt like the right time in my life to really make a distinct change like that. (The new opportunity) is not only a good fit but also going to be a challenge. I've been around golf for so long that an opportunity to really go outside that -- obviously at the WWE, which is a big change from the LPGA -- I found that very interesting and really exciting.
Though both female golfers and WWE wrestlers are highly driven athletes, the wrestling lifestyle couldn't be further removed from the dignified world of golf and one wonders what such an outsider would make of the past drug fuelled antics of people like Randy Orton, Kurt Angle and The Hardys, amongst others.
This is also a step into the unknown for WWE, as such a senior talent relations job has in the past always been held by someone with vast experience of the wrestling business. Really WWE had no choice but to look outside the wrestling business, as they hadn't had the foresight to prepare a former wrestler for such a demanding executive position and the old guard of wrestling executives with talent relations experience like Terry Taylor and Bruce Prichard were forced out of WWE for a reason. Thankfully, Geddes will be working underneath Triple H and John Laurinaitis, so she won't be thrown into the deep end straight away, but one wonders whether she's being groomed to replace Laurinaitis as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, as there has been rumblings for some time that Hunter is not Ace's biggest fan.
The company is enamoured by outside celebrities, so she'll be given every opportunity to succeed, especially as she's an openly gay woman, which will earn WWE some much needed brownie points from their anti-homophobic bullying partners GLAAD. However, WWE's track record when they roll out the red carpet and offer a role traditionally held by experienced insiders to a big name outsider is absolutely horrible. They signed former NFL star, sports anchor and Gladiators host Mike Adamle in January 2008 with the idea that they could quickly turn him into a replacement for Jim Ross, but that backfired spectacularly as he was such a gaffe prone disaster as ECW announcer and later as the Raw General Manager that he decided to leave the company before the year was over. Stephanie McMahon loves having moderately successful actor Freddie Prinze Jr. on the WWE creative team, but there's been no evidence to suggest that he brings anything more to the table than the much cheaper, dime a dozen, revolving door of low level Hollywood script writers that WWE usually chews up and spits out. Hopefully Geddes bucks the trend, but the odds aren't in her favour.