WWE Hires Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as Executive Directors of WWE Raw and SmackDown Live

WWE is handing the creative reins of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live to Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff, respectively, according to a new report from Sports Illustrated.

SI's Justin Barrasso wrote that the two will serve as the executive directors for their respective brands, meaning they'll serve as a top member of the creative team for their respective show. Both will report directly to Vince McMahon.

"WWE confirmed the news with Sports Illustrated, with an official announcement expected later today," Barrasso wrote. "The two positions are full-time executive roles, with no plans at the current time for this to be introduced as part of a TV storyline."

WWE released a press release shortly after.

"In their executive roles, Heyman and Bischoff will oversee the creative development of WWE's flagship programming and ensure integration across all platforms and lines of business," the press release read. "The creation of these roles further establishes WWE's ability to continuously reinvent its global brand while providing two distinct creative processes for its flagship shows."

The two moves could prove to be massive changes to the creative direction of both shows. Bischoff was the creative mind behind many of the successful angles in WCW during the Monday Night Wars, while Heyman not only turned the small Eastern Championship Wrestling into the legitimate third promotion in the Monday Nigh Wars as ECW, but also helped SmackDown beat Raw in popularity and ratings during the early 2000s with ideas like the "SmackDown Six."

According to PWInsider's Mike Johnson, WWE had been trying to bring Heyman back onto the creative team (a role he had not held in the company since 2006 while running WWE's third brand at the time, ECW) since February. Meanwhile, the deal with Bischoff only came together in the past few weeks.

In an interview with ComicBook.com back in late May, Heyman discussed the possibility of returning to the creative team.

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"I have interest in anything that serves the product and whether that's performing with Brock Lesnar, or producing Brock Lesnar, or working with Ronda Rousey, or any of the new talents that are about to explode in 2019 and 2020," Heyman said. "I serve at the pleasure of the WWE audience and so that every one knows I'm not just paying lip services with that statement. Please note, I didn't give the politically correct, public relations statement of 'I serve at the pleasure of the WWE Universe.' I meant what I said, I serve at the behest and the pleasure of the WWE audience.

"Anything that I can do to deliver to them a better product, a more forward thinking presentation, a more innovative approach to what WWE and or sports entertainment should be in 2020, 2021, 2022 etc., moving forward, that's what I'm interested in being involved in," he added.