There is a meeting scheduled between management and talent for Raw this coming Monday where it’s expected that the talent will be told something similar to “in these tough times, we need each and every one of you to step up and do all you can to help the product succeed.” A similar meeting took place at Smackdown on Tuesday, with Vince McMahon and Jim Ross speaking to the talent, but I have heard that the Raw meeting will be “more intense” than the Smackdown meeting was. The feeling among the talent that I have spoken to is that the problems that the company currently has are almost exclusively due to the booking, not the work, so there isn’t really much that they can do. Most of the workers already give it there all in their bouts and it’s not like Vince listens to their booking ideas, so the opinion of many is that Vince McMahon is trying to use them as the scapegoat for problems that he has caused. In fact, one prominent babyface at Smackdown was heard saying something to the effect of, “Yeah, let’s all get over so Undertaker can come back and beat us two at a time even though he doesn’t draw anymore.”
From what I have told, it was Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn’s call to have Tazz start announcing as a heel, just as it was Vince’s call on Monday to have Coach do the racism bit on Raw. He thinks that will help bring an edge to the programs. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more.