Report: FOX Didn't Know About WWE Hiring Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman

WWE made major headlines on Thursday morning when they announced that Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff had been hired to be the new executive directors for Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, respectively. A lot of questions surround the announcement in regards to how much authority either man has, but it has been confirmed that the two will report directly to Vince McMahon. Some have compared the positions, which were created for the hirings, to how Triple H operates the NXT brand.

"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.

However, it turns out WWE might have made the move without telling executives over at FOX. WWE recently signed a multi-year billion-dollar deal with the company to air SmackDown Live on the FOX network starting on October 4.

"I do know that the FOX people had no idea this was coming," Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer said on an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio on Thursday afternoon.

Meltzer went on to add that the FOX executives would have preferred Heyman be assigned to the Blue Brand rather than Bischoff. According to Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso, Bischoff will work directly with the FOX executives once the show makes the move over to the network.

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In a recently resurfaced interview with Inside the Ropes, Bischoff gave his thoughts on WWE's brand split. While the company has all but ended the split between Raw and SmackDown since early June with the "Wild Card Rule," Bischoff said he'd prefer the rule be strictly enforced.

"I think after going through my own experience and having been apart of the WWE's experience, the advice that I have would be to be as disciplined as you can possibly be at keeping the brands distinct," Bischoff said. "If you don't make them feel completely different, it won't work. And part of that is creating stakes, part of that is it's got to feel real, it's got to believable or nobody is going to buy into it."