It will be interesting to see how Paul Heyman handles his new role as Executive Director of the WWE RAW brand as his influence with Vince McMahon has grown a lot since he returned to the company a few years back, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Heyman and McMahon had their share of notable ups & downs over the years, and a blow-up more than a decade ago, but things have been fairly smooth since Heyman returned.
We’ve noted how Heyman has been been a part of the WWE creative process for a while now, working the RAW brand and pay-per-view events. The Observer noted that Heyman expanded his role in recent months, to become one of the key people in creative, also attending SmackDown events.
It’s no secret that Heyman has also handled the creative aspect of his key projects, such as Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar. Heyman has also worked with some of the stars who were involved in programs with them, such as Charlotte Flair, WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg and RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Heyman has also worked closely with Aleister Black as of late. There’s no word on if that will continue now that Heyman is the Executive Director of RAW, with Eric Bischoff coming on as the new Executive Director of SmackDown.
There’s been no word yet on how much WWE is paying Heyman and Bischoff for the new full-time roles, but The Observer speculated that WWE is paying them a lot as Heyman has remain heavily focused on non-WWE projects and his family time, despite expanding his role with WWE creative in recent months.
Regarding Heyman’s standing with others in WWE, he’s said to be very popular with the crew, and up-to-date on everyone and everything. The Observer also noted that having Heyman in the Executive Director role will strengthen the idea of Lesnar staying with the company and Rousey returning from her hiatus.
We noted earlier today how Heyman was being advertised to appear at Monday’s RAW in Dallas, while Bischoff was advertised to appear at Tuesday’s SmackDown in San Antonio. These official alerts, which teased some sort of potential reveal segment for the brands, were sent by WWE to the arenas, then out to fans on the arena mailing lists. The arena in New Orleans issued the same Heyman teaser for a RAW episode in late August. Bryan Alvarez claimed on Wrestling Observer Live today that the Bischoff advertisement was sent out “prematurely” before being approved, and that they were not supposed to be sent out. It’s highly likely that the graphic and the copy for the event would have to be pre-approved before making it to the department that would send it to the arenas. Furthermore, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported on Twitter that Bischoff was not scheduled for Tuesday’s SmackDown as of this morning. Meltzer also referred to it as a “botch in the ad release” and said WWE may want Bischoff there now, just because of how prominent he was featured in the ad, which was front and center. Alvarez also claimed that there are no plans for Heyman or RAW to be featured on TV next week, but that remains to be seen. Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet also claimed on Twitter that the advertisements were not supposed to be sent out yet as the creative for next week’s SmackDown hasn’t been finalized behind-the-scenes, adding that a Bischoff appearance wasn’t guaranteed yet. Heyman will be at RAW as he is most weeks, but it remains to be seen if he will appear for something other than creative related to Lesnar. Satin added that “communicational errors like this” are an example of why Heyman and Bischoff were hired for the new roles, to stop things from falling through the cracks.
Regarding the creative for next week’s RAW and SmackDown, Alvarez also noted that next week’s SmackDown was not finalized. The WWE creative team was reportedly meeting until 4:23am this morning to work on next week’s RAW episode. It was also noted that Vince didn’t see the script for last week’s SmackDown episode until the very last minute as most of the focus was put on Stomping Grounds and RAW, with SmackDown not being a priority, at least for that week.
WWE has published their official RAW preview for Monday’s RAW and it has no mention of Heyman appearing. Stay tuned as we hope to have confirmation soon on if Bischoff and Heyman will be appearing on TV next week.