WWE has named Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as executive directors for their flagship shows, Raw and Smackdown Live.
Bischoff has been given Smackdown Live to run. Heyman will be in charge of Raw. These two positions are newly created and Heyman and Bischoff will be the first to take on these new roles.
Their roles have been equated as being the same as Triple H’s for NXT. Heyman and Bischoff will have full creative control over their shows, but will still answer to Vince. However, this is far from the first time these two have taken on a role like this.
Not Heyman’s First Time Being In Charge
Heyman has been hustling in the wrestling business since the ‘80s. He worked for Jim Crockett Promotions, WCW, AWA and other regional territories. However, Heyman’s claim to fame was as an owner of his own indie promotion. He became the owner of the legendary promotion ECW in the mid-’90s.
The promotion gained a lot of traction with diehard wrestling fans and produced big stars like RVD, The Dudley Boyz and Raven. However, a lot of big name wrestlers made a pit stop in ECW before moving on to WWE or WCW. These names include Mick Foley, Chris Jericho and Steve Austin.
Heyman also secured a TV deal for ECW on TNN. In 2001 ECW went under, but left its mark on wrestling forever. The popularity of hardcore wrestling in directly related to the popularity with ECW and their hardcore matches.
Heyman eventually began working for WWE as a commentator and writer. He later became an on-screen personality as Brock Lesner’s manager. When Lesner made his WWE return in 2012 Heyman resumed his role as Lesner’s manager shortly after. Heyman is still in this role, but he claims to be Lesner’s advocate.
Eric Bischoff Is Back And Better Than Ever
However, as important as Heyman was on wrestling Bischoff has had an even more illustrious career. Bischoff ran WCW in the ‘90s. He was basically Vince without owning the company. The Monday Night Wars were because of Bischoff and his new approach to pro wrestling.
Bischoff went from an announcer to running the company for Ted Turner. He is specially tailor-made for his new position. In WCW Bischoff was a go-between for the network, Ted Turner and WCW as a promotion. He secured a TV deal for WCW’s flagship shows, Nitro and Thunder.
After WWE bought out WCW Bischoff became most well known for being the GM of Raw from 2002-2005.
Dealing With Network Is Such A Drag
WWE gave these two their positions because they ran successful [for a time] promotions which directly opposed WWE. However, most importantly they have knowledge with dealing with networks and network execs. WWE has taken a lot of heat from the USA Network and FOX for low ratings and introduced the Wild Card rule to appease them. WWE needs help with dealing with them so Heyman and Bischoff will take care of it.
Hire Quick Before Cody Strikes Again
A big reason WWE hired Heyman and Bischoff which no one is talking about is AEW. Cody is playing right into people’s ‘90s nostalgia. AEW will have a show on TNT, they are trying to revive WCW PPVs, Jim Ross is an announcer for them. I have no doubt that if Cody would have thought of it he would have hired Heyman and Bischoff to work for him in a heartbeat. Bischoff would have been an easier get because Heyman is still under contract with WWE, but contracts expire.
This is huge news, but it is too early to tell if this will have any real effect on Raw and Smackdown Live. Vince is still in charge and if he wants to push a certain guy or a certain storyline it is his choice. However, Triple H is in charge of NXT and Vince has left him alone to create a stellar little brand. Hopefully Vince will give some leeway to his two new Executive Directors, but it will for sure be less than NXT gets.
How do you feel about the Executive Directors? Are you excited or scared for what this means for Raw and Smackdown Live?