The firing of Paul Heyman from WWE creative is likely to cause many changes in the coming weeks as Bruce Prichard’s vision for SmackDown has been to push more of the established stars and to cater to what Vince McMahon wants.
If Prichard continues with the same formula then we may see some of Heyman’s projects moved down the card.
As noted earlier, some of the names considered to be Heyman projects include Andrade, Rey Mysterio, Austin Theory, The Street Profits, Viking Raiders, Murphy, Black, Angel Garza, Vega, Apollo Crews, Asuka, Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax.
A few names, such as Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair, appear to be safe but there are questions on others like Apollo Crews and Murphy. Austin Theory is well-liked by other wrestlers and Randy Orton has said a lot of good things about him but keep in mind that Theory was only supposed to be a temporary call-up to the main roster as a replacement for Andrade and McMahon has typically soured on most NXT wrestlers that moved up to the main roster.
Dave Meltzer noted in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that there is concern from much of the talent on the Raw side for obvious reasons. Most of them never had a national push before Heyman took over as the head of creative.
Again, there were changes made to tomorrow’s Backlash card and McMahon has penciled in Andrade vs. Apollo Crews for the Kickoff show so that may be the first sign of them moving down the card. The bigger changes won’t be seen for at least another week since this coming Monday’s episode of Raw has already been taped.
Meltzer also noted in the Observer that there were underlying signs in recent weeks that a creative change was coming and some in the company wondered why it took so long because, as one WWE front office worker said, “Vince did not like Paul.”
If you are wondering why McMahon would put Heyman in charge of creative while not liking him, he’s done this before. There were stories from over a decade ago of Stephanie McMahon working with Heyman but not liking him so none of this is a surprise. Heyman famously left the company in 2006 after a big blow up with Vince.