Welcome everyone to this special fantasy booking piece, where I’ll try to change WWE’s anonymous RAW General Manager storyline from 2010-11, and make the most of it. If nothing else, at the very least make it more than just a hilarious Vince McMahon joke, and try to elevate some potential new stars out of it.
Big shout out to Justin Leeper for the idea, that he pitched directly in a meeting with WWE’s creative team back in 2011. Justin is known for his work with WWE’s videogames SmackDown vs. RAW 2009, 2010 & 2011, as the writer and director of the “Road to WrestleMania” mode in the aforementioned games. Check out Justin’s original booking sample, and make sure to follow his Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel for fun stories and to keep up with his current endeavors.
Please enjoy! Make sure you leave your feedback down below.
The anonymous RAW general manager storyline took place at a very interesting time. Undercarder Zack Ryder, who was barely getting any time on WWE’s main programs, was using the internet to showcase his charisma with wrestling fans, quickly becoming one of WWE’s most popular superstars online despite the lack of TV time. Thus, with the anonymous RAW GM being represented by a laptop, it’s only fitting that… you know!
We’re starting immediately after WrestleMania 27. Yes, I know the anonymous RAW GM was being used beforehand (with Edge famously fighting the poor laptop in late 2010), but I don’t want to rush Zack from Superstars straight into a ‘Mania program. We’re pretending he only hacked the system once WrestleMania was in the books.
WOO WOO WOO… HOW CONVENIENT!
As you all remember, and most likely would like to forget, Michael Cole was feuding with Jerry Lawler around this time, with the two wrestling on multiple pay-per-views. The heel announcer was trained for those bouts by former World Heavyweight Champion, Jack Swagger. On an episode of RAW shortly before Over the Limit, where Cole is scheduled to face Lawler in a “Kiss My Foot” Match, Cole takes all the credit for his success and adds that “nobody remembers you [Swagger] were World Heavyweight Champion“, much like he did in real life.
This takes Swagger over the limit (no pun intended), who demands a match right then and there. We immediately get a response from the annoying laptop, who agrees and sends out Zack Ryder for Jack to seemingly destroy. One would assume, right? However, Swagger is visually distracted during various points in the match, clearly more interested in impressing Cole than winning. Still, Swagger naturally remains in control and is about to finish Ryder with the Gutwrench Powerbomb, but he delays the move to show-off to Cole some more, ultimately allowing Ryder to block it and hit a quick Rough Ryder for the major upset. Jerry Lawler laughs at the humiliating loss on commentary, noting that we just witnessed Zack Ryder’s first-ever win on Monday Night RAW, and Cole dumps Swagger for good.
During the next number of weeks, Ryder starts getting booked on RAW more often, but never against stars of the caliber of Swagger. Instead, he scores easy wins in short matches against local jobbers, as well as the likes of Derrick Bateman, JTG, Johnny Curtis, etc. You get the point. After about 4-5 weeks of this, his next match against a bigger name happens against The Miz, literally after the famous angle where Alex Riley snapped and beat the living s*** out of the former WWE Champion (remember that?). With Miz destroyed and his clothes ripped, the GM puts him in a match right then and there with Zack Ryder, who takes advantage and continues his winning streak.
TAG TEAM SPECIALIST, YOU KNOW IT!
After two months of enhancement matches and appropriately-timed bouts with upper-midcarders, we’ve hopefully got the point across, and it’s time to take the story up a few notches before it gets too repetitive. As the spring turns into the summer of 2011, every time a babyface main eventer is getting outnumbered by a group of bad guys and needs backup for a tag team match, the GM gives him… Zack Ryder! This is where Ryder starts getting involved with bigger names, teaming with the likes of Rey Mysterio, Big Show, CM Punk, Randy Orton or John Cena. Ryder never scores any pinfall during this time, but starts getting some big wins over WWE’s biggest heels by association, with his partners getting the hot tag and picking up the wins.
By August, the still undefeated Ryder starts putting himself over in brief segments with the “Divas” and the other babyface undercarders, like Santino, calling himself a tag team specialist. He starts slowly hinting a heel turn by getting more annoying with each passing week. It might seem random to have Ryder work all of these tag matches, but if you think back to late 2011, Awesome Truth were having numerous tag team matches on pay-per-view. And our buddy Zack is desperate to get to the next level – start being a part of WWE’s pay-per-views.
During the build-up to Vengeance, when CM Punk needs a partner to face The Miz & R-Truth in a tag match at said event, the GM names the “tag team specialist” Zack Ryder as his partner. However, Triple H wants to personally get his hands on them after all the mayhem they caused in the last few months. As the COO, naturally having more power than the General Manager, he takes Ryder’s place in the PPV match. As consolation, HHH gives Ryder a US Title shot against Dolph Ziggler, with Hugh Jackman in his corner. Ryder wins by count-out because of shenanigans involving Vickie and Jackman at ringside, and he stands tall with Jackman at the end of the segment, but you can tell Ryder is not satisfied.
Then, with Survivor Series on the horizon and now John Cena in need of a partner to face the evil Awesome Truth at the show, the General Manager again names Zack Ryder as the partner. This time around, Vince McMahon changes the match and replaces Ryder with The Rock, so they can fill it with cute slogans. And sell the WrestleMania 28 match some more, of course. Despite being the anonymous General Manager and having the power in his hands, he’s still not able to get himself into pay-per-view matches. Zack Ryder is starting to get really pissed at this point in the story. Which takes us to…
On the RAW after Survivor Series, John Cena is in the parking lot arriving to the arena when he’s suddenly brutally attacked with a pipe. The attacker takes off his hood and reveals himself to be Zack Ryder. Zack immediately reaches for his mobile phone, types something real quick and, as soon as he’s finished, we hear the annoying GM sound. Michael Cole reads: “And I quote. John Cena will be in a match tonight against Zack Ryder… and Dolph Ziggler… and Jack Swagger… and The Miz… and Alberto Del Rio… and Mark Henry.” I think it’s safe to say there is no surprise as to who the GM is!
During this handicap match in that night’s main event of RAW, John Cena gets absolutely destroyed by the heels, especially the dominant World Champion Mark Henry. In the end, Ryder asks for the tag and gets the win. Read this carefully – Zack Ryder just pinned John Cena! Over the next two weeks, John Cena gets put in similar situations and gets beat up every single time, until Vince McMahon himself has to step in and put an end to this. Just look at the millions of dollars that will be wasted in case Cena has to miss WrestleMania 28 due to injury because of what’s been happening.
At the end of that week’s edition of RAW, Vince books a match for TLC – John Cena vs. Zack Ryder. In case Ryder wins, he gets to be the actual General Manager of RAW. But in case he loses, the anonymous RAW General Manager is gone for good, and a new GM will be named the next night. Just like that, Zack Ryder has found himself in a big time PPV match against none other than John Cena.
To be continued…
What do you think of the story so far? Make sure to leave a comment in the comment section down below. I hope you’re enjoying. See you next time!
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