It was June 2014, and Vickie Guerrero was approaching the end of her long and unexpectedly successful tenure as an on-screen character and authority figure.
Now, I distinctly recall watching in person the previous summer as the McMahons fired Vickie from the Raw GM position. It was one of those oh-so-riveting performance reviews that WWE loves to center their major storylines around.
But somehow or another, Vickie was back in some kind of position of authority, subservient to The Authority (whose authority, as the name suggested, superseded all others’). Sadly, on one June 2014 episode of Raw, the once proud Guerrero woman found herself running errands for The Authority, such as fetching them coffee.
Waiting for her backstage that night was Roman Reigns, who had gotten on The Authority’s bad side and was thus excluded from that night’s qualifier battle royal for Money in the Bank.
In hopes of getting on her good side, Roman buttered Vickie up (now THERE’s a visual!), even calling the oft-ridiculed cougar, “beautiful”….
…thus inspiring that smarmy photo series that refuses to leave my news feed to this day.
And Vickie bought it, proving that a desperate woman will fall for any guy with a few slick lines and some big muscles, a chiseled jaw, piercing blue eyes, a long flowing mane…
Anyway, while I was distracted…
…and while Vickie left to find sweetener for the bosses’ coffees at Roman’s insistence…
…the Big Dog tampered with Triple H and Stephanie’s drinks.
What exactly did he slip into the coffee? Strychnine? Arsenic? And did Roman always carry a packet of poison with him, and he just finally found an opportunity to use it?
Vickie made her own contribution to the “Poison My Bosses” fund by sneezing on both the cups and shrugging it off.
Vickie gave Steph her coffee backstage, but an errant Triple H arm gesture sent The Game’s drink into Vickie’s face.
“What am I supposed to drink?” asked Triple H rhetorically, seemingly unaware that he could still drink the 80% that didn’t spill. Cerebral Assassin, my ass.
Unbeknownst to Triple H, though, he had just spared himself a good-natured poisoning from Reigns. His wife wasn’t so lucky.
In her case, Roman’s plan worked to perfection: Stephanie hit that sweet spot on the comedic poisoning spectrum, getting violently ill without dying.
Of course, Steph wasn’t on camera, so she had Vickie act as her humiliation surrogate, catching a stomach-full of digestive acids and foodstuffs.
Still, not as bad as Stephanie cutting a promo on you.
Steph and Trips left the building, leaving control of the show to Vickie, who, in her vomit-drenched discomfiture, let out a scream worthy of an Edvard Munch painting.
Roman convinced Vickie to go for broke and put him in the battle royal…
…which he won to send him to Money in the Bank.
It just proved that a superstar needs to take risks to get ahead. In this case, the risk was prison time, his bosses’ health, and Vickie’s job.
The next week, Stephanie was not happy. Soon, the greatest female heel in WWE history…
…came face to face with Stephanie McMahon, who ripped Vickie for being only a pity-hire in the wake of her husband Eddie Guerrero’s death. She had a point — imagine handing someone so incompetent such major corporate responsibilities for years and years just because of her last name!
Steph wanted to see Vickie prove just how sorry she was (The last time a McMahon made a female employee do this, it cost Linda two elections).
McMahon-Levesque continued to berate Vickie for being pathetic, making her look like a complete nothing…
…before offering to let Guerrero keep her job as Smackdown General Manager (so that was her job!)…
…provided she could defeat the Big Boss Lady in a match.
At last, Vickie found her backbone, invoking the Guerrero name and accepting the challenge.
Stephanie completely no-sold Vickie’s big babyface turn.
When the match came, Stephanie directed Vickie’s attention to a pool full of WWE”s favorite substance: unspecified smelly brown goop. You know, I can’t help but think how many classic calls like Michael Cole’s immortal, “The dog poop! The dog poop! A Rock Bottom into dog poop!” we are missing thanks to WWE’s corporate makeover.
With McMahon running the show, you knew it wouldn’t be a fair fight, featuring several lower-card Divas fighting on behalf of Stephanie. The three amigas teamed up to dump the Smackdown GM into the mystery vat…
…only for each one to be sent on a proverbial dark journey by Vickie Guerrero into the combination kiddie pool/toilet (otherwise known as a kiddie pool).
It must have been especially satisfying for Vickie to chuck Alicia Fox into the chocolate-banana pudding (I mean, smelly mess) after the vixen nearly wrecked her marriage to Edge back in 2008.
Unfortunately, it was Vickie’s turn once again to catch the idiot ball and stumble into the end zone with it…
…as she indulged in some “Yes!” chants…
…allowing McMahon to sneak-attack her with a running knee to the back.
Who taught her that one, we may never know.
Vickie was thus knocked into the dreaded tub of filth, which was appropriate, since the last person to co-opt the “Yes!” chants also came out on the losing end of a s*** match.
Stephanie fired Vickie with gusto…
…then celebrated with a rendition of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” that, unlike the title of that famous tune, was thankfully cut short.
Realizing what Vickie now had in mind, Stephanie desperately urged Vickie to spare her in exchange for WWE’s generous, non-existent retirement package.
Guerrero, standing up on behalf of every WWE viewer who had ever had to see Stephanie dance…
…chucked the Chief Brand Officer into the muck…
…where she wallowed in slow motion like some swamp creature.
As Vickie walked off into the sunset, she paid tribute to her late husband while half-covered in simulated feces, making this one of the more tasteful uses of Eddie’s legacy in WWE.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever see anyone get the upper hand on Stephanie like this ever again, however. After the year 2014, Stephanie transitioned to the once-a-year comeuppance plan…
…where her 365 days of running roughshod over the entire roster finally pays off in the form of her taking a totally inadvertent bump at the hands of one of her enemies.
But for one special moment that June, Vince McMahon’s obsession with bodily functions and fluids took precedence over the sycophancy of Stephanie’s writing staff.