RAW Talents Reportedly Worried Following Heyman Departure
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has chipped in with all the information he can gather following this week’s sudden creative shakeup on WWE’s red brand. To recap, Paul Heyman, who’s been in charge of creative for the past year, has been replaced by Bruce Pritchard, himself a replacement for Eric Bischoff on SmackDown. There were already sources talking previously about how the show was “a mess”, but Dave’s sources make it seem like it’s certainly a change made because of ratings and it may have happened even if things were running as normal.
According to his sources, Vince McMahon briefly had long-term goals in mind last year. Expanding NXT globally, the XFL’s debut season, and letting Heyman build new stars on RAW all fed into a sense that WWE was looking forward, but the global pandemic changed his mind. The first two goals are out entirely, and now Paul Heyman’s vision for RAW is being replaced with something else to try to improve the sagging ratings.
This has worried many talents that were previously getting big pushes on WWE’s flagship show. From Apollo Crews’ new United States title reign to Austin Theory’s quick rise up the ranks and everything in between, its unclear who will remain and who will fall back down to where they’ve been before. It was reportedly a joke backstage that Heyman was building RAW from SmackDown’s catering crew, and there’s a fear among certain talents that they’ll end up back there before too long under this new regime.