It was quite a shock to hear John Laurinaitis announce himself as John Cena's opponent at Over the Limit this past Monday at Raw. For one, the Raw and Smackdown General Manager hung up his wrestling boots over a decade ago in lieu of working behind the scenes and -- only recently -- as a non-wrestling on-screen character. For two, Lord Tensai -- who is in the middle of an uber push since his debut -- aided in Laurinaitis' attack which would make one assume he would be the one tangling with Cena on May 20.
But it appears as if WWE is moving forward with the former Johnny Ace taking on the former Prototype.
According to PWInsider (click at your own risk), the Raw and Smackdown General Manager has started training in preparation for the match and the company has no current plans to replace Laurinaitis with Tensai or any other active member of the roster.
This is not to say the former Prince Albert won't get involved in at least some capacity but the match-up appears to headed as it was announced this past Monday.
As previously mentioned, Laurinaitis retired in 2000 after finding most of his success across the Pacific but has, by appearances, kept in relatively good shape. A couple of weeks training inside a ring won't put him back near the level he was at in his prime so don't be surprised if some kind of stipulation is added to help disguise the nearly 50-year-old's physical shortcomings.
This match is the latest in a long line of wrestler versus authority figure storylines, the most popular and successful of which was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin battling Vince McMahon during the Attitude Era. WWE teased such an angle with Laurinaitis and CM Punk last year but nothing really came of it other than a funny video highlighting the General Manager's days as a Dynamic Dude. At least we got to hear The Touch on Raw.
Will this feud gain nearly as much traction as Austin and McMahon's rivalry? Or are you just glad Cena is being occupied away from the WWE Championship?