For those of you who are still in the dark, a major move in Creative was done today. Paul Heyman was in Wichita Falls, TX, tonight to report to his new position on the RAW writing team. At this point in time there’s a bit of confusion going on as to what exactly his role will be. Dave Scherer, of PWInsider.com, reports that Heyman has been telling people he’s simply an “idea man” and/or a “presenter of suggestions.” Heyman has been also saying that although he’s still a part of the SmackDown! writing team, he’ll see everyone next week at RAW. This could only mean that his role either hasn’t been defined as of yet, or the company is still keeping things quiet. More information as this story develops.
At this point in time, the head writer of RAW remains to be Brian Gerwitz, while Dave Lagana will be running things on SmackDown. Bruce Prichard has been on a leave of absence for quite some time, as far as the SmackDown! brand is concerned.
I personally feel that the addition of Heyman to the RAW writing team is a move in the right direction by the company, however, his usage on SmackDown! would be much better. The fact of the matter is that the SmackDown brand is currently struggling, as far as storylines are concerned. The past several months have seen the company go from horrible to slightly improved on Thursday nights, and the only reason for the improvements has been the solid wrestling on the show (due to the hard work everyone does on there). The additions of Kurt Angle and Theodore R. Long have helped put the spark back into the brand, but there’s nothing exciting going on.
The RAW brand, on the other hand, always seems to have a focus when it comes to storylines, but that focus is either in the wrong direction (Kane/Lita, Eugene, etc), or things are rushed so the momentum and “hype” of it being the “lead” show lives. The bottom line is, that RAW has cemented superstars with a direction present. Whether that direction is long-term, or well-focused is a completely different story, as explained above, but the bottom line is that the direction is present. On SmackDown, things are worse, as they don’t even know what to do, and have been putting up shows out of the blue.
The role of Heyman needs to be well defined for further analysis to be made. At this point in time, this is a great move from a business stand point, seeing as Heyman has failed to carry the responsibility of being professional as a head writer in the past, so having him suggest storylines, and use his creative genius to start storylines will help, seeing as he won’t be the one carrying them through. The fact that he’ll be relieved from the pressure of being “the final say” guy will help him professionally, but that also creates the question of how far will his word go, and will he be really useful to the company? Only time will tell.
At this point in time, it’s safe to conclude that adding Heyman to the RAW creative team is a good move, but having him be a writer on SmackDown, like he’s been telling people, and giving him more say there is the better move. Heyman is, after all, good with creating stars, and that’s what the Thursday brand needs desperately. We will have more analysis in the Inside the Ring Newsletter as this story develops.