WWE's Corey Graves: Heyman, Bischoff Hires 'Reinvigorated the Locker Room'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2019

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 22:  Corey Graves attends the 2015 Journeys AP Music Awards, Fueled by Monster Energy Drink at Quicken Loans Arena on July 22, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images)
Duane Prokop/Getty Images

WWE commentator Corey Graves said the hires of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as executive directors of Raw (Heyman) and SmackDown (Bischoff) have led to a "reinvigorated" roster.

Graves made his comments on the The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast: 

"I think everyone is pretty excited. Obviously there are some pretty well publicized changes within the company and honestly I don't know much more than anyone that reads the internet knows. I kind of get the news around the same time that everybody else does (there's a shocker for you) everyone thinks I am in on it. People get mad about storylines and send me mean tweets and I'm like, well I didn't write it and only saw it when you did but there is definitely a little bit of an internal buzz and obviously they are external sources that is everyone is talking about.

"It's in a weird way kind of reinvigorated the locker room and hopefully that is the starting of something cool that is going to permeate inside the entire company. I know that the boys and girls that bust their ass every night all around the world that they are fired up now and it is exciting to see and it's obviously a small change and it is going to take time and take a lot of effort but hopefully yes, in a short answer it is the change of something and I don't have any cool scoops to give you or any ideas of what those changes will be but I know that we've got the biggest collection of talent that we've ever had and some of the most incredible workers you'll ever see and it is just a matter of turning a few things around and getting everybody back on the same page. I know it is kind of or sounds like I am giving you the PC answer that is is not for lack of wanting on any part."

WWE announced Heyman and Bischoff would take over the weekly programming last month, though it's not fully clear how much leadership they've had thus far. Reports have indicated that Heyman wants to begin booking while having an ending in mind and scripting promos to feel more natural and consequential.

Bischoff has more experience dealing with network executives, and thus his role will involve a lot of discussions with Fox, which will begin broadcasting SmackDown in October. It's unclear what level of involvement he'll have in the week-to-week booking. 

"One thing about Paul, and it’s still true to this day, is that he’s not afraid to take risks," Seth Rollins said of Heyman, per Phillip Martinez of Newsweek. "He’s good at taking a lot of things about the talent that people may see as weakness and turn them into strengths. The way he sees talent is different than other people in the creative side. So you combine that with the ability, and willingness, to take risks that other people aren’t it adds for an exciting and unpredictable three hours of Raw. And so I’m looking to see the crazy left and right turns that he’ll take us moving forward."

Both Raw and SmackDown have been sinking in terms of the ratings and creative intrigue for months, perhaps even years in the case of Raw. The changes Heyman and Bischoff make to the product will be seen over months, not weeks, so it's probably best to stay patient—especially through the mostly booked SummerSlam program.

Once the post-SummerSlam reset hits, things will probably start to look a lot more like what Heyman and Bischoff envision. 

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