When All Elite Wrestling made their announcement back in January, they made it clear that they were not starting a war. Instead, they were just positioning themselves as an alternative. Somewhere in there, Cody might’ve missed that message. He clearly was out for blood in his interviews, as well as smashing Hunter’s throne. Even though the rest of the EVPs might not have shared the sentiment, we all knew that’s where the company was heading. WWE was bound to fire back, and they did so initially with a minor shot; announcing a live Evolve event on the WWE Network. It was huge at that point. WWE took another step morning and it got bigger, as the WWE announced that Paul Heyman would be the new Executive Director for Raw and Eric Bischoff would be the Executive Director of Smackdown. This is huge, so huge that it couldn’t just be one contributor to cover it, we wanted to get everyone involved. Here’s what the guys at the Jobberknocker think about this:
I believe for this to work we need the brand split. PLEASE END THE WILDCARD! There needs to be a reason for us to tune in to both shows. Have the 24/7 Title be the only exception because not everyone is going to get on tv. Let there be ONE set of men’s and women’s tag titles. Have the women’s tag go to RAW and the Men’s on Smackdown. I believe that Heyman can elevate the Women’s tags to a prominent role on the show. Bischoff can have Men’s tag teams which really should be consolidated to one place, and we know that with Bischoff’s background he could really add some realism and feeling of sports that the Tag division needs. I hope that they get rid of rematches and reruns, stay away from so many packages/ recaps and let us enjoy new action and stories every week. Heyman can make RAW into the entertainment spectacle that it needs to be and really they should give him wrestlers who are not the greatest athletes because he can mold them and hide a lot of their negatives. Bischoff should get the seasoned performers and super athletic types, because he can do well building authentic mid card divisions which really could have amazing feuds and tremendous matches.
The final say is still Vince. It starts and ends with him. If Vince lets these guys be what they can be then it will be a success. If Vince poo poos their ideas than it will be more of the same. Only time will tell if RAW turns into ECW and SDLive turns into WCW. I doubt that it will happen. I think having Heyman and Bischoff steering the ship will bring back a sense of excitement that has been lacking for the past year. Overall, as a hardcore wrestling fan I am hopeful continuity will be back in the WWE.
This move has to end the wildcard rule right? I’m not so sure they pull the trigger on that right away, but it has to be coming. Since WrestleMania, RAW has improved because it has more roster flexibility with the wildcard, but SmackDown has suffered greatly because it essentially becomes a RAW rerun show filled with recaps and the same superstars we just saw the previous night. You have to assume, that Eric Bischoff who will have one less hour than Paul Heyman will want his show to stand out. I saw this video on twitter this morning where Bischoff gave an answer to a question about the brand split:
This gives me HOPE that SmackDown is in for some big changes. Bischoff is a risk taker and that is what the WWE needs right now. You cannot be afraid to fail with how plush the wrestling world is with promotions and talent right now. WWE has the best stockpile from top to bottom and it is time for them to showcase that. Instead of shoving the same superstars down our throat week after week mix it up with more midcard or tag team feuds. Use tournament style storylines to find top contenders for championships. This is a good way to get fresh matches that have meaning.
Both of these guys have a laundry list of experience in the wrestling world and successfully running their own promotions, so I do expect both to imprint their unique stamp on their respective shows. Vince is still the overlord and will have a say, but I think this is smart to have two individuals who are not afraid to stand up to Vince when it comes to creative decisions.
I’m currently a card-carrying member of the 32x club.So I’ll take any attempt to improve the product at this point. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
On the surface, the hiring of Eric Bischoff and re-assignment of Paul Heyman to Creative positions seems to reek of a desperate Vince McMahon. And it may be. But, Bischoff has a track record of successfully battling (and raiding) rival promotions. Heyman, for all of his questionable financial moves, brings immediate credibility to writing compelling wrestling storylines and accentuating the strengths of the immense talent pool. More importantly, Paul Levesque has experience working alongside both men. And all signs point to him eventually steering the entire WWE ship. I’m in complete favor of this move.
This truthfully intrigues me. I consider Paul Heyman a creative genius in the industry. When he was in charge of Smackdown in the early 2000’s, it flourished. Some of the stuff was a little odd, but that is going to happen. Even at Vince McMahon’s highest creative moments he had a few flaws. Eric Bischoff is the one that truly makes me think. Eric most certainly had a lot more negative on his resume than positive. While creative isn’t necessarily his forte, he is a very smart businessman. Having him at the lead when WWE starts on FOX is probably the biggest win of this. Bischoff will be able to act as a major conduit between the network and creative, something that McMahon has struggled with in the past. Being a listener of his podcast 83 Weeks also shows that Bischoff has grown, which also will help that brand grow.
I’m taking this with a grain of salt. Let’s look at what has happened since the “we are the authority” announcement. Nothing has really changed. It always comes down to what Vince wants, not what we or Heyman and Bischoff want. I certainly didn’t ask for Lacey Evans and Baron Corbin to have all these championship matches.
Here’s why you shouldn’t care about WWE’s newest “creative” decision. Do you ever feel like WWE is just throwing big names out there to get headlines, and you never see a real result in the product? I used to think this shit meant something too, but it doesn’t mean anything. It’s all for the show. Why do you think Sports illustrated “broke” the story? It’s all a stunt. They are also picking older guys with name recognition again to create a buzz. And believe me, I respect the hell out of both of these guys because they do know what makes great content, but I’m sure this is just a cash grab for both of them. Don’t take the bait. Vince will never actually give these talented guys full control or at least enough control to make real change. Heyman had one previous stint in this kind of role and Vince was so threatened by his success he essentially fired him. I think Bischoff is brilliant, but from listening to his podcast and knowing how WWE operates, it’s not going to end well. WWE isn’t going to change how they run the company overnight. Don’t take the bait people. Don’t.