With Election Day upon us, we will finally be able to get away from the endless stream of negative campaign ads and promises that are sure to be broken. For the next four years we will no longer have to dissect everything said or done by the President, which will hopefully allow whoever wins to focus on fixing America. At the same time, it seems to be the consensus opinion that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney stands out as a sure-fire option that inspires confidence across party lines.
The uncertainty about who will lead the country after Tuesday parallels the uncertainty over who is the WWE’s current authority figure on Monday Night Raw. In recent months, Raw has been led by a computer, Triple H, Vince McMahon, John Laurenitis, A.J. Lee and now Vickie Guerrero. This instability makes me yearn for the days when not every authority figure had to have such a prominent part in a story.
I am talking about the days when WWE (then the WWF) was run by the greatest president in history, Jack Tunney. Mr. Tunney served as on-air president of the promotion in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. He was the embodiment of the mantra “firm but fair,” and he was never the focal point of the story-line, but always a presence when needed to advance things.
The authority figures of present-day wrestling are nothing like Tunney. Instead of being a background character, the general manager, commissioner, or whatever he or she is called at the time, is generally the dominating force on the program, often involved in more than one major story-line. The days of the neutral authority figure are long gone, as it is a given that the person in charge will be serving as either a clear fan-favorite or a hated heel.
It’s easy to see why the authority figures have generally been such strong characters, considering that Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon helped usher in the golden age of wrestling by playing the heel authority figure to perfection. If there is one thing about professional wrestling over the years, it’s that when something works, keep copying it.
However, at this point, the heel or face authority figure being in the forefront comes off more than stale. We are even at the point now where the WWE is recycling not only the type of character that the authority figure is, but also the identity of the person, as once again Vickie Guerrero has been inserted as the leader of Raw. In 2012, it just seems so cliché to have the annoying boss that all of the good guys hate.
That is why, as we head into 2013, the WWE should take a cue from America and elect a president, preferably someone who silently does his or her job and is not involved in all of the main stories on the show. WWE should appoint someone like the late and great Jack Tunney.
Del Pearson loves wrestling and commenting on it. His favorite character is Bobby Heenan.