The WWE announced back on June 27 that after months of helping various Superstars with their creative directions backstage, Paul Heyman had been promoted to the new role of executive director for Monday Night Raw. And while reports vary on how much influence he had over the show starting this week, he was reportedly "side-by-side" with Vince McMahon throughout this week's episode of Raw.
A report from Dave Meltzer via an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio this week indicated this week that WWE has acknowledged that they've been losing the teenage demographic in recent years, and that the company is looking to add some "edge" back into their product going forward. According to Meltzer, Heyman is a big supporter of reigning United States Champion Ricochet, believing that he could be a major draw for that demographic.
After building up a name for himself on the independent scene in promotions like New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Lucha Underground and Dragon Gate with his outstanding athleticism, Ricochet signed with the WWE back in January 2018. In 2019 alone he started out the year as NXT North American Champion, won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic alongside Aleister Black, made his main roster debut, made his WrestleMania debut and beat Samoa Joe at Stomping Grounds in June to win the US title. For the past two weeks Ricochet has competed in the main event of Raw in matches against AJ Styles, the latter of which he won to retain his title.
WWE explained the roles for Heyman and Eric Bischoff (holding the same position for SmackDown) in a press release shortly after the news broke.
"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."
Heyman expressed his interest in assisting with creative back in May during an interview with ComicBook.com.
"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.
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