Here is the complete WWE announcement that was put online this afternoon by the company:
WWE has named Paul Heyman as Executive Director of Monday Night RAW and Eric Bischoff as Executive Director of SmackDown Live, newly created positions reporting directly to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
In their executive roles, Heyman and Bischoff will oversee the creative development of WWE’s flagship programming and ensure integration across all platforms and lines of business. The creation of these roles further establishes WWE’s ability to continuously reinvent its global brand while providing two distinct creative processes for its flagship shows.
With more than 30 years of experience in the sports-entertainment industry, Heyman served as President of ECW from 1993 to 2001, securing pay-per-view distribution for the company as well as a national cable television deal with TNN. After his time with ECW, Heyman joined WWE’s Creative team and is widely credited with helping launch the careers of many current and former WWE Superstars.
Bischoff is a former WCW President and New York Times bestselling author. During his WCW career, Bischoff oversaw the signing of some of the biggest names in sports-entertainment and helped create and develop the nWo storyline. He was also instrumental in securing a television deal for WCW Monday Nitro on TNT and WCW Thunder on TBS. After WCW, Bischoff co-founded Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment, a production company that launched TV reality shows and mobile games.
Some of you may remember a pretty old time now, at the end of The Attitude Era. Vince McMahon just bought WCW and ECW, annihilating any competition for his shows. And suddenly, one day of 2002, on RAW, Vince opened his arms wide-open to welcome the new General Manager of the show, Eric Bischoff.
A few months later, in 2003, Paul Heyman who was already a commentator for the show appeared on SmackDown Live and announced he would assume the role of General Manager after Stephanie McMahon resigned.
You may have noticed this time Heyman is going to run the Red Brand when Bischoff is going to take care of the Blue one. The two positions are full-time executive roles, with no plans at the current time for this to be introduced as part of a TV storyline. Bischoff will also work directly with executives from FOX, which will air SmackDown Live beginning this October, as noted by Sports Illustrated. It will be interesting to see how Triple H and others factor into this latest creative shake-up.
In “The Godfather”, Michael Corleone said, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” If this sentence was particularly true in 2002/2003, this time Vince McMahon is preparing his company to a brand-new war, as Heyman and Bischoff have been some of the greatest minds in the business.
“Heyman overseeing the creative development of Raw is scintillating news for wrestling fans,” noticed SI. As the former ECW president and current WWE on-screen performer as the advocate for Brock Lesnar, Heyman is known for his work off-camera with the character development of many on the WWE roster, including Ronda Rousey.
Bischoff is a valuable addition for WWE. As the former WCW president, he started a wrestling war in 1995 against Vince McMahon’s WWE on Monday nights. With Bischoff in charge, WCW’s Nitro even defeated McMahon’s Monday Night Raw in the television ratings for 83 consecutive weeks. Since that time, Bischoff has never been away from the business, offering his expertise to podcasts and talks, writing bestselling books, and producing movies and documentaries.
WWE seems to be preparing for another war, against a new enemy called All Elite Wrestling. The success of All In last September and the birth of AEW turned out to be a new threat for the WWE Empire. Since the beginning of the year, the company has shaken up its Creative team. Arn Anderson and Dean Malenko, long-time road agents and producers, left the company. Bruce Prichard was hired as Senior Vice President last February.
Former TNA/Impact Wrestling wrestlers and producers Chris Parks (Abyss), Sonjay Dutt and Jeff Jarrett joined Jeremy Borash, who made his debut with NXT as a producer in 2018, as WWE producers. Dana Warrior, the widow of WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior, also joined the Creative team last March. Road Dogg resigned as head writer of SmackDown Live after WrestleMania 35 and is said to have joined NXT Creative Team.
The wind of change has been blowing on WWE for a while now, also in the roster who expressed their unhappiness for recent decisions, like The Wild Card Rule. Some top Superstars are said to be exploring new options. Even if Heyman is an appreciated person backstage, he will have to prove himself as a Creative. Same for Eric Bischoff with the Blue brand. Both will try to avoid the company being stormed by the wind works, make sure WWE remains a leader in sports entertainment, and so not to be wiped out of the business by a tornado.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE.com