Desperate times, desperate measures. With tensions running increasingly high between SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long and Interim General Manager of Monday Night Raw John Laurinaitis, the WWE Board of Directors was forced to take a drastic step. The nine-member panel released a letter stating that sole control of both Raw and SmackDown would be decided in a 12-Man Tag Team Match – Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny – at WrestleMania.
Relations between the GMs began to deteriorate at Elimination Chamber when Laurinaitis announced his intention to govern both shows. Not surprisingly, Long took umbrage to the overt power grab and told Laurinaitis so in no uncertain terms, both in person and on Twitter, where @GMSmackDown and @WWERawGM have been strident in their criticism of each other.
In an attempt to determine who might perform better as dual GM, one week before the Board released the letter, it allowed Long to run Raw while Laurinaitis took control of SmackDown. The one-upmanship was fierce with Long and Laurinaitis even competing against one another in a match that saw Teddy roll up Laurinaitis, a ring veteran, for the win. The Board decided that both men had performed their duties above expectation and that, to determine control of both shows, Long and Laurinaitis must each choose a six-man squad to compete against one another.
On Raw SuperShow this past Monday, the rosters began to form, with Long naming U.S. Champion Santino Marella as his captain, while Laurinaitis selected David Otunga as his own captain. Before the night was out, Mark Henry had joined "Mr. Excitement's" troops as well. And with just three weeks until The Show of Shows in Miami, the struggle to add key Superstars to the rosters is sure to be intense. And the competition among Superstars to be selected to those teams promises to be just as ferocious.