A lot of the talent on the WWE RAW brand are reportedly concerned with Paul Heyman being removed as the head of creative for Monday Night RAW, according to Dave Meltzer in the latest issue of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
According to The Observer, Heyman had pushed Vince McMahon on the idea that it would take 18 months or longer to create credible new stars, as the company had been failing to push new talent to the top. Heyman took over as the creative head of RAW on June 27, 2019, however his employee contract was terminated less than 12 months later this past Thursday. Heyman still has a WWE performer’s contract.
During the Q1 2020 investors call in late April, McMahon blamed the drop in RAW ratings on the new talent on the brand, saying that they need time to get over. At the time McMahon said that he was convinced that RAW’s ratings would rebound once fans took to the new stars.
“RAW has suffered, but not necessarily because of the environment, it’s suffered because we bring in a lot of new talent and to RAW, and it takes a while to get these new talents over,” McMahon said. “We no longer have Brock Lesnar obviously, but we have a new champion and a lot of new performers coming in. So it takes a while. So that’s the reason, and how you use those performers in this story or that story or what have you. So, with new talent it’s just going to take a little while. I’m convinced though, that the RAW’s ratings are going to bounce back considerably.”
Meltzer noted that McMahon’s mentality had changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Before the pandemic, McMahon was concerned with building to the future, which included the XFL being a long-term project, as well as expanding NXT into other foreign markets. McMahon now is apparently worried about what is happening today.
It was noted that Heyman’s projects included newer stars like Drew McIntyre, Andrade, Angel Garza, Zelina Vega, Aleister Black, Apollo Crews, Austin Theory, The Street Profits, The Viking Raiders and Murphy, as well as established talent such as Charlotte Flair, Rey Mysterio, Asuka and Nia Jax. Meltzer stated that a lot of the talent are concerned because they’ve never had a big push, with some floundering before Heyman took charge.
Meltzer also reported that the belief is that McIntyre and The Street Profits are the stars that are most likely to be safe as McMahon likes them. However, they might not continue to be protected as well.