It was reported earlier this week, by WrestlingInc, that Senior Vice President of Creative and Development Eric Pankowski had just parted ways with the company.
This was a mild surprise because Pankowski was only appointed to his position in February of last year.
Furthermore, big things seemed to be predicted for the writer judging by how glowingly Stephanie McMahon spoke to the company's corporate site about him at the time of his hiring. The shocking release of long-time writer Brian Gerwitz late last year seemed to serve to strengthen his position in WWE.
One report (PWInsider via WrestlingInc) offers insight into Pankowski's release, saying the writer, due to his Hollywood background, found it difficult to adjust to the WWE world:
We noted before that WWE parted ways with WWE Creative head Eric Pankowski earlier this week. Word going around is that Pankowski was removed from his position because he wasn't receptive to ideas beyond his own and that eventually cost him allies within the company.
Pankowski was described as not knowing how to deal with personalities while in a position that required him to deal with a lot of different personalities. There were a few incidents where Pankowski and some of the wrestlers got into arguments over what would work and what wouldn't on WWE TV. It was described as a "Hollywood mindset not adapting to the pro wrestling mindset, and instead trying to force the opposite."
So, what does Pankowski's release mean for WWE TV?
Well, it may have on-screen repercussions, even if they are not overtly noticeable. Pankowski may not have had the long-term influence of someone like Gerwitz, but he looks to have made an impression.
As the WWE corporate article notes, Pankowski worked with gossip site TMZ earlier in his career, and his fingerprints appeared to be all over the John Cena/A.J. Lee storyline last year, which saw evil GM Vickie Guerrero turn up grainy video footage and paparazzi-style snapshots to "prove" the two were engaged in an outside-of-work romantic relationship.