As noted earlier this week, there was a big behind-the-scnees shake up on the WWE writing teams with Ryan Ward out as the SmackDown lead writer and long-time Raw writer Ed Koskey being moved to SmackDown to work with Eric Bischoff. Former 205 Live writer Jonathan Baeckstrom will fill in the role that Koskey had on Raw. Ward is said to be taking a short-term leave of absence.
TheWrap has a story on the “perceived lack of direction at SmackDown” being the reason for the recent behind-the-scenes changes. It was also noted how there is tremendous pressure on the SmackDown writing team because of the billion dollar deal with FOX.
The story also noted that Eric Bischoff recently hired Stevie Long, a former “Sons of Anarchy” writer. Long was reportedly found asleep in the writers room by Michael Hayes on his first day on the road. Long is still with the company.
TheWrap says Bischoff declined to comment and they were not able to get a comment from Long’s manager.
Dave Meltzer commented on the story on the Wrestling Observer Forum: “That story about the writer being asleep is accurate by the way….”
TheWrap went on to report about the scrutiny aimed at creative for the confusing storyline with Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Erick Rowan and his doppleganger.
A WWE insider reportedly told TheWrap that the storyline has been “botched so bad” that “explaining to anyone what it was supposed to be wouldn’t make any sense at all.”
The doppleganger has not been mentioned again since he first showed up on SmackDown on the 8/20 episode.
A rep for WWE did not want to comment on TheWrap’s story: “We don’t comment on employee matters.”
It will be interesting to see what kind of viewership SmacDown pulls in on FOX. They should do a big number in the first couple of weeks because they plan on bringing in some major names for the first show and the second show will be a draft episode. The numbers to monitor will be after October when they settle into a regular pattern.