It was announced Thursday evening that Paul Heyman had been removed from his backstage role as executive producer for Monday Night Raw. Meaning both men that started as executive producers when Smackdown moved to FOX have been removed and Bruce Prichard has replaced both men. Late last year Eric Bischoff was removed in favor of Prichard and now Heyman has received the same fate. The reasoning for the recent change is to streamline the creative process.
Bruce Prichard will now be in charge of both Raw and Smackdown, that is 5 hours of weekly television to be in charge of. Having one person oversee two shows with two different rosters could be a bit of a challenge. Not to mention this year the WWE has released over thirty talents and furloughed many backstage employees. WWE appears to be taking a more lean approach, likely to help increase profit margins in an unsure economic time.
Monday Night Raw has seen a drop in viewership that has now settled below two million viewers and while they continue to do well in the key demographic they have lost viewers there as well. The show has fallen from a first place finish in the rankings 78% of the time to 72% of the time during Covid-19. This could be due to people looking to the news during a time or uncertainty or it could be due to the show not having the star power that prompt people to tune in as it did.
It was clear that under Paul Heyman the show was going to take NXT talents and have them as the featured part of the show. While Smackdown would take established names over on their show to help bring in casuals to broadcast television. Since WrestleMania the show has even had Edge and Randy Orton but even with them they can't seem to pull themselves back over two million viewers.
So you have to wonder with both Raw and Smackdown now having the same executive producer, Raw having a decline in ratings to an uncomfortable current normal, and a lack of star power what change can be made? The answer is simple, you remove the brand split. This would allow Prichard to continue working with the same talent twice a week and telling stories. It would allow Raw to have some of the more established stars crossover to their show weekly. Also this could help create more intrigue weekly and an increase in viewership back over two million which likely brings them back to number one in the rankings.
It makes even more sense to do this now that NXT is on cable and run as a completely different style brand. With one roster for two shows this could make some other Superstars available to shift to NXT who is having their own ratings ups and downs. NXT has pulled close to AEW in 2020 and eclipsing them a few times however never being able to hold a lead. NXT also doesn't do well in the key demographic compared to other TV shows or their Wednesday Wrestling counterpart.
While I myself enjoy the brand split as it gives me two separate shows to watch, it may make sense for WWE to remove it. Allowing all their stars to flow freely between the two shows and potentially sending one or two to Wednesdays and help them with their ratings. While it's not guaranteed this will happen I certainly think it's a possibility that they should be exploring and likely have.
Would you like to see the brand split end? Do you think it could help Raw increase it's ratings and have a more enjoyable on screen product? Let me know on Twitter @view_raw or down in the comment section below.
Synergy Pro Wrestling is back! On Saturday, July 11th, Synergy and Wrestling News World join forces to present "For The First Responders", a live pro-wrestling supercard to benefit America's first responders.
WNW & Synergy will donate proceeds from this event to worthy first responders' non-profits.
Synergy is delivering a massive card for the occasion! Alex Zayne & Blake Christian continue their incredible rivalry at Synergy with a 30 Minute Iron Man main event! There's also 2 qualifiers for the 2020 Garden State Invitational. JD Drake takes on Tony Deppen, and Jordan Oliver goes one-on-one with LSG.
For The First Responders will stream live on FITE.tv on 7/11 at 7 pm EST.