Home Sports Paul Heyman out as Raw boss, WWE names new head of creative

Paul Heyman out as Raw boss, WWE names new head of creative

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With one sentence, WWE’s creative team was turned on its head.

Vince McMahon’s company released a statement on Thursday that read: “In an effort to streamline our creative writing process for television, we have consolidated both teams from Raw and SmackDown into one group, led by Bruce Prichard. Paul Heyman will concentrate on his role as an in-ring performer.”

With that, Heyman’s stint as executive director of “Monday Night Raw” ended after just less than a year on the job and Prichard – a longtime McMahon confidant — now sits atop the creative food chain in WWE after being named executive director of “SmackDown on Fox” in October.

The move comes two months after WWE delivered cuts and furloughs to its writing staff and backstage producers – along with releasing on-air talent — because of the financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Both Raw and SmackDown’s ratings have dropped since WWE started running shows without fans in March because of COVID-19 restrictions. The consolidation of the creative team means the two shows that are billed as separate brands – though there have been more crossover of late – will not be run by the same creative group.

Heyman, whose work had been praised by many of the wrestlers, hasn’t been a consistent on-air talent alongside Brock Lesnar since WrestleMania 36 in April. The former UFC champion hasn’t been on WWE television TV since then, but a return would seem likely with SummerSlam scheduled for Aug. 23 in Boston. Heyman, who had the role of an advocate on screen, could also be getting new clients.

Heyman was hired as executive director in early June 2019 along with Eric Bischoff in the same role for SmackDown. Bischoff was let go in September and Prichard, who returned to WWE last February, was promoted. Those new roles were created with McMahon set to relaunch the XFL, which has since filed for bankruptcy after being forced to cancel the season because of coronavirus.

Now Prichard, who also hosts the popular “Something to Wrestle” podcast, is in charge of it all.

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