SmackDown Live will move from the USA Network to FOX starting on October 4, giving WWE a weekly show on Network television in front of a potentially massive audience. Many fans have wondered since the move was announced if WWE will shake up its creative process in order to bring in and keep a larger audience, given that the show is currently struggling to produce more than two million viewers on Tuesday nights.
WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray came up with a solution on an episode of Busted Open Radio this week — put the creative booking back in the hands of Paul Heyman.
"From a creative point you know what I would do? Right out of the gate I'd hand Paul Heyman the pencil and say 'go get them.'"@bullyray5150 explains why @HeymanHustle running #SDLive creative when they move to FOX would make wrestling on Friday nights "must watch"#WWE pic.twitter.com/3tHHUlpURG— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) May 7, 2019
"From a creative point you know what I would do?" Ray said. "Right out of the gate I'd hand Paul Heyman the pencil and say 'go get them.' Because he's probably the only proven one when it comes to making SmackDown special. If there is one person out there that has a track record of making SmackDown successful and a definitively better show than Raw it was Paul Heyman in probably what 2003? 2004? So we know he can get the job done.
"We know he's there," he continued. "I would put the pencil in his hand and say 'hey what can you do with this?'. I think his creativity with that show and the way he knows how to use characters and gel them with story lines would work."
Heyman served as the Blue Brand's lead writer from July 2002-February 2003. Thanks to the stragtegy of building up the "SmackDown Six" — Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Edge, Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit — he was able to take WWE's secondary show and have it beat Monday Night Raw in viewers, live show attendance and merchandise.
While Heyman has involvement in WWE's creative team in stories he's directly involved in, he has not taken a full-time creative team position since returning to the company as Brock Lesnar's advocate in 2012.
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