Big news coming from the WWE today, as it was earlier reported via Twitter that Eric Pankowski, the WWE’s Senior Vice President of Creative and Development, has left his position with the company.
The news was then confirmed by sources such as WrestlingINC.com, who reported the following:
"Former WWE executive Court Bauer sent me a message moments ago that Eric Pankowski is out as Senior Vice President of Creative and Development at WWE.
Pankowski was hired in February of last year. He was reporting to Stephanie McMahon, and was responsible for the creative development of television content, managing WWE's creative writing teams and selling programming."
Such an announcement would come as big news for the company in any case; however considering that this is arguably the busiest time of the year for the WWE with WrestleMania on the horizon, the departure is even more surprising.
The timing of the change as well as the importance of the role suggests that this was a particularly pressing matter for the company to address.
But what impact will this development have heading into the future?
For starters, the announcement suggests that we could be in store for some form of change regarding the content of WWE programming.
Now I’m not suggesting this could lead to an abandonment of the PG-rating, but Vince McMahon has allegedly been unhappy with the “creative direction” of Raw for some time now—as reported by SEScoops.com.
Whatever it is that McMahon wants to see changed; this drastic action could well be the boss’ first major step in facilitating such progress.
It is also worth noting Pankowski’s background.
Before WWE, he worked for Warner Bros. in the entertainment business, and it appears that his job on the Creative Team his first venture into the world of professional wrestling.
The WWE’s approach in selecting writers for the Creative Team has been criticised in the past by the likes of Jim Cornette, so could this be the beginning of the end regarding the WWE’s methods of hiring from outside of the pro wrestling industry?
That remains to be seen, but it is nonetheless a strong indication that the WWE could be set for quite a change in their ways.
Furthermore, the company stated in a recent conference call for the fourth quarter of 2012 that they “intend to spend more on creative,” so it may not be completely out of the question to expect additional adjustments to come in the near future.
Ultimately, such high-profile changes would appear to be a positive step from the WWE as they presumably look to improve upon their current product.
With issues lingering such as the demise of the tag team division as well as the inexcusable mishandling of mid-card champions such as Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett, here’s hoping that the Creative changes will prompt a rectification of such problems.
But what do you think of this recent development?
Comment below with your thoughts on the matter, as well as how you think this could affect the WWE moving forward and whether it is indeed a positive step from the company.