WWE fans were astonished when the company named Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman as the executive directors of Raw and SmackDown respectively. The move was out of the fact that the company went out of its way to create these brand new positions and more about the greater context. As SmackDown moves to Fox in October, Vince McMahon, the WWE Chairman, will soon be tied up with his reformed XFL and the company as a whole has an entirely new challenge on its hands.
WWE Company has raised talents like Dean Ambrose and seeing the rise of a worthwhile competitor via All Elite Wrestling. There aren’t enough reasons to tune in to weekly programs if the storylines weren’t great and five hours of programming via Raw and SmackDown was a big ask as it was regardless of quality. That was because WWE has grossly oversaturated itself with constant specials, social media and additional items like NXT and 205 Live.
On July 14, the Extreme Rules pay-per-view featured a couples’ storyline where Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch main-evented in a win against Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans. As a result, only for The Architect to cough up his universal title again to Brock Lesnar. On the same note, intercontinental champion Finn Balor lost his title in a sub-10 minute opener on the preshow.
Of late, Raw and SmackDown have at least been wildly entertaining. The programing has featured some really fun stuff like Roman Reigns’ mystery attacker, which has been used to showcase talent like Buddy Murphy. According to Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin, McMahon wasn’t in August 19 edition of Raw leaving most of the controls to Heyman.
With Heyman and Bischoff as old-school guys at the controls, some ridiculous experimental stuff is bound to happen. Part-timers like Goldberg are still getting some run. Rollins-Lesnar was predictable with the title change merely a placeholder to sell SummerSlam. Speaking of the August 11 PPV, the bad double count-out finish to Kofi Kingston-Randy Orton after nearly 20 minutes of action also comes to mind.
If experimentation fails, it might reinforce to those in charge that the tired ways of before were working better and things revert a bit. That would probably mean impractical knee-jerk reactions like the ill-fated wild-card rule and more ruining of the brand split. The good news on top of the effort itself is that the product already seems better. If Heyman and Bischoff can dial in on what’s working and trim the fat a little, fans won’t have to worry about the potential repercussions if the experiment doesn’t work.