Really, I’m not too excited about the prospect of a General Manager for 205 Live. When I look at the issues which have plagued the show since its debut following the success of WWE Network’s Cruiserweight Classic (CWC), “needs an authority figure and the possibility of a power struggle storyline” ain’t really one of them. And in kayfabe, it’s already established that Raw’s GM runs the division, since cruisers appear on that show most weeks.
Who’s it gonna be?
The latest episode featured speculation from announcers Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph, along with promos from several current members of the roster either lobbying for the job or offering advice to whoever gets it. But there’s only one realistic candidate among them (more on him in a sec).
Here’s a rundown of some names that have been bandied about:
The former Impact Wrestling X-Division champ’s been rumored to be headed to 205 Live for a while now, and the British performer makes a lot of sense for a character-heavy role like GM. If WWE still believes a personality (more than wrestling) needs to be at the center of the show, featuring that personality in a role besides champion is probably a good idea.
Alternate idea - bring in EC3 as General Manager with Spud as his assistant. The pair had great chemistry on Impact, and if he is indeed returning to WWE, it would give the former Derek Bateman a place to shine as something other than SmackDown’s version of The Miz.
The “Campaign For A Better 205 Live” routine seems tailor-made for an authority figure, but I like The Drew-sader as a goofy heel instead of the kind of vindicative one he’d probably turn in to if he actually started punishing wrestlers for violating proposals like “No High Flying”. Actually, I was really looking forward to him someday completing his face turn to feud with Enzo, but that may have been scrapped even before the events of the last few days.
Gulak can likely make almost anything he’s given work. I’d prefer to see him stay an aggravated part of the roster, even if the new gig might make sense for him.
It’s been a while since The ‘E went to the female-wrestler-turned-power-broker well, but maybe the former Divas champ’s injury is their excuse to have Paige follow in the footsteps of ECW’s Tiffany (aka Taryn Terrell) and Raw’s AJ Lee? She wouldn’t even necessarily have to stop managing Absolution, as there’s no real conflict of interest. The company will want to keep her on-screen wherever possible as they get ready to promote Fighting With My Family, and it might be a good chance to let the 25 year old experiment with the kind of on-camera job she could be doing for the rest of her career.
Have seen several folks mention Dean Malenko as a possibility. The former WCW Cruiserweight champ works behind-the-scenes as a road agent, so WWE knows how to get in touch with him. The Shooter obviously has the credentials, and would be a nice olive branch to fans who want to see 205 Live get back to the competition-based angles many liked about The CWC. He’s never been the most charismatic talker, though...
My boss Geno wants to see Kevin Nash get the nod - probably because Big Sexy hates vanilla midgets as much as he does. (Kidding! Kind of.) Someone who provides a different kind of star power and who could be set in conflict with performers some folks see as lawn darts is a move WWE might make. Diesel can’t travel right now, but Raw 25 was full of possibilities for this kind of hire, whether they want a perceived cruiser-hater (JBL) or not (Sean Waltman).
Then there’s Rey Mysterio. There are no signs he’s on his way back to The ‘E, but the talk won’t completely go away, either. Bringing back the biggest Latino Superstar they’ve ever had - in any capacity - has got to be an attractive option, and he’d be a nice combination of the kayfabe logic behind a Malenko and the splash hiring someone like Nash could bring. Rey probably costs more than Vince McMahon wants to pay for a B-show GM, but - like Paige - this wouldn’t have to be his only job.
Whoever gets the gig, hopefully they’ll be more current NXT GM William Regal and less The Authority. And will help 205 Live succeed for the talented performers who’ve been busting their asses to make it work through a variety of personnel and promotional setbacks which have been out of their control.
Let us know what you think of our list of possibilities, and weigh in with your own below. We’ll find out who Vince has tapped for the role next week, and wait to see how that plays out in the weeks that follow that.