New WWE SmackDown Executive Director Eric Bischoff was not backstage for last night’s blue brand episode from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, according to John Pollock of Post Wrestling.
There had been speculation on Bischoff being brought in to the tapings after an e-mail alert was issued by the arena last week saying Bischoff would be there. The alert was issued to the arenas by WWE. A similar alert was issued for new RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman and last night’s RAW, and Heyman did appear, but he is usually there and his appearance was not related to the new Executive Director gig. It had been reported that the Bischoff e-mail alert was not supposed to be sent out, and that he was never scheduled to appear, but it looks like there was some sort of miscommunication between the various departments.
In other news on last night’s SmackDown, Pollock noted that the middle finger from WWE Champion Kofi Kingston to Samoa Joe was censored on the Sportsnet 360 airing in Canada, and the Sky airing in New Zealand. The gesture was edited in the video WWE uploaded to YouTube and their website, which you can see above. You can still see part of the middle finger, but it was somewhat hidden with the way the camera man was positioned behind Joe. The middle finger from the WWE Champion is seen as another recent attempt to make the WWE product seem edgier.
On a related note, Corey Graves’ “Holy s–t!” reaction to the Braun Strowman – Bobby Lashley stage explosion on Monday’s RAW was edited on the Hulu Plus replay of the show. The line was left in the video that was uploaded to WWE’s YouTube channel but the expletive was bleeped. As we’ve noted, the line was scripted for Graves to say, likely another attempt at making the product feel edgier.