July 25, 2019
When news broke of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff rejoining WWE, the internet wrestling community (IWC) was ablaze. Things have been stale for far too long and millions have stopped watching. With huge TV deals starting up later this year, something had to give and the news of HeyBisch came out of nowhere. Many wrestling sites reported that Heyman would take over as Executive Director of RAW, with Bischoff in the same role over on SmackDown Live. WWE.com never really confirmed or denied that the duo will take over creative, but things have started to clear up in the weeks since. The arrivals of HeyBisch have brought back memories of mayhem and destruction in ECW… as well as a slightly different kind of mayhem and destruction in WCW.
Post Attitude Era fans may not remember how crazy things were back in the late 1990s but the moments created by the rivalry between Vince, Paul and Eric were pretty epic. They made moments that help you remember why you love this industry and this business so much. Now I ask you to think back to some of your favorite moments in WWE over the last several years. How many of these magical moments come to mind? A couple? Five? A dozen?
Two of my favorite moments were when veteran stars finally got their big moment and got it at the biggest show of the year. Both Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston ended the show holding gold and many of you* had tears in your eyes. I can’t help but wonder why those are really the only two examples that come to mind. The Attitude Era was full of them and even the 2000s had many stand-out moments and feuds.
But it seems that we got pretty much the same story and many of the same characters trying to stop the protagonist from getting what he has earned and deserves. The odds were stacked just the same and yet we still cheered and screamed in excitement for both because it was great television. But we’ve seen it all before going back to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince McMahon remembers how lucrative that time was for him and he loves to go back to what’s worked before. Rinse and repeat.
Paul has been backstage for several weeks now and many storylines already have the distinct Heyman smell to them. Already debuting the young, upstart Street Profits on the main roster? Braun Stroman and Bobby Lashley breaking all of the things? That was Paul E. Dangerously announcing his arrival. But where was Bischoff?
Since the HeyBisch announcement was made, conflicting reports have come out stating that Bischoff will only have a backstage role overseeing the brands (and also communicating with TV execs not familiar with pro wrestling). Trusted news site Rajah reports a slightly different side of the story:
“At this point and at least initially, Eric Bischoff is not expected to be involved with the creative aspect of SmackDown, reports the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. His job will be to interface with all the other departments in the company as well as with FOX. Ultimately, he is to be the main person on SmackDown, which currently has no one in leadership other than Ryan Ward being the main writer.”
Earlier this week we finally heard from the man himself when Eric announced on his 83 Weeks podcast that he officially started his role within WWE this week. “My start [with WWE] was never supposed to be before July 22. That was the understanding across the board.” So that at least explains why we didn’t see him on WWE television until this week’s Raw Reunion episode. Bischoff continues:
“This is such a big job. There is no way that me, or anyone else, is going to walk in and take control of anything, immediately. It’s going to be a long process. It’s going to take time. It’ll be an evolution over time.”
It’s hard to ask us to continue being patient, when we want new storylines and superstars to mix with the great stars we already have. Unforgettable storylines and new characters seemed to be a thing of the past when WWE fell into a years long cycle of bait and switch. Promise new and exciting content all year round… but only really deliver for WrestleMania season. And if we are lucky, again come SummerSlam. Heyman and Bischoff are the change we didn’t know we needed. All eyes were on Triple H taking over someday, but he has found gold with NXT and will likely continue with the upstart promotion for now.
HeyBisch as a creative tandem can help us break out of the creative doldrums we’ve suffered through for so long. We want the company to succeed because we all love wrestling and we all want to be entertained. Heyman is known for elevating stars by accentuating their strengths and hiding their weaknesses. Eric… well… despite his many misses in WCW, can be counted on for shaking things up and always keeping us guessing.
Two of Eric’s best ideas in WCW were the undefeated streak that led to Goldberg becoming a future Hall of Famer and, of course, the New World Order. Imagine if Eric were given this opportunity years ago? Would he have started up The Club with Styles, Balor, Gallows and Anderson? And would Samoa Joe have begun his career going undefeated and destroying the entire roster, taking all the belts? Nope. Instead we are barely getting The Club now, and the unbeatable trait went to Brock Lesnar. They even messed up a similar Braun Stroman push.
Even before upstart promotion All Elite Wrestling came knocking at Vince’s doorstep, millions tuned off their televisions. Vince has finally been forced to loosen the reigns on creative. I’m confident Paul Heyman can turn things around. He can make Raw a show we are all excited to watch every week (instead of feeling like a chore). Let Eric Bischoff loose on the creative process too. Hopefully this will lead to a new era in professional wrestling…
I can’t wait to watch it all unfold. Continue to watch it with me and us at eWrestlingNews.com and do all the social media stuff below. Thanks for reading!
*Allergy season had just begun! I had something in my eye, I swear!