My Weekly RAW Notebook

The Katz Files
My Weekly RAW Notebook!

The Kingfish Arnie Katz delivers his and analysis of the 6/21 episode of RAW.

RAW continues to steer a helter-skelter course. It fires off angles and gimmicks at a great rate, but without a lot of thought about how they will develop down the road.

The promotion isn’t doing much long-range planning, according to internal WWE sources, which sometimes results in gimmicks that look great at first, but then become ineffective, o even downright embarrassing, a little farther down the road.

The Mystery GM
Mr. McMahon, at the top of the 5/21 episode of RAW announced the dismissal of Bret Hart as general manager and the hiring of a replacement. The gimmick casts the new GM as a mystery man who communicates only through email messages sent to Michael Cole at the announce table.

Jay Shannon has written a very intriguing installment of “HeadLocker which you can read on the site, in which he tries to unearth the mysterious GM’s identity. It’s a great read, but there is one problem: I doubt that even WWE executives could say for certain who is the unknown general manager. The new GM’s debut had a generic, unfocused quality that tips the fact that WWE may not have designated the role at this point.

So, it’s less a question of whom the GM is than whom it will be when WWE finally gets some plan for this storyline. Precisely because the emails from the GM showed no trace of personality, it could be just about anyone, from Triple H to Michael Cole.

Actually, making Cole the secret GM would be a fresh take on the whole “mystery man” shtick. I like the idea of the announcer, tired of taking orders, pulling the show’s strings from his concealed position.

Why, NXT, Why?
The “NXT Invasion” angle is puzzling on several counts. The most important is that it cuts against the grain of NXT and seems like little more than a way to sabotage the series’ goal of finding new, young stars.

Wade Barrett can certainly gain from the invasion as can one or two others, but what about the babyfaces like Gabriel and Sheffield? What was the point of meticulously building up the individual characters if they were just going to turn them all into a generic heel group?

The NXT first-season performers weren’t all destined to be stars. Yet at least half of them have the potential to be mid-carders or possibly even more. Saddling any babyface rookie with a heel character like this simply destroys any heat for that character to get over with the fans.

Wade Barrett is still above the other six and he will probably sail right into title contention. Putting over just one out of the original eight seems like a pretty poor return on the effort behind NXT.

That’s all for today, but I’ll be back Monday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back then and, please, tell your friends about the column, too.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]