A few months ago, we broke the news that WWE Raw and Smackdown would have new creative heads. Raw would be the former owner of ECW and a creative mastermind in the world of pro wrestling, Paul Heyman. Smackdown would be led by the man who helped WCW beat the WWE for 83 straight weeks during the Monday Night War, Eric Bischoff. And with Smackdown moving to the Fox Network, this seemed like one of the biggest moves the company made in a long time behind the scenes.
Well, it did not last long. Eric Bischoff is out as the Executive Director of Smackdown. Bischoff first two episodes of the Fox era are a mixed bag to say the least. The premiere on the network garnered almost 4 million fans. And that is with a dispute where Direct TV and Sling TV blacked out the network. However, week two would not be as successful. The Blue Brand would lose one million viewers for the first night of the WWE draft. Rumors have been swirling since August of Bischoff not being heavily involved behind the creative meetings.
WWE sent out a press release naming his successor and it is a name wrestling fans are already accustomed to, especially if you are a fan of wrestling podcasts. Bruce Prichard will be taking over the role of Executive Director of Smackdown moving forward.
WWE sent the following press release:
WWE® NAMES BRUCE PRICHARD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SMACKDOWN®
Stamford, Conn., October 15, 2019 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that it has named Bruce Prichard the Executive Director of Friday Night SmackDown, reporting directly to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
Prichard will oversee the creative development of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX and ensure integration across all platforms and lines of business, replacing Eric Bischoff.
Prichard brings nearly 40 years of experience in sports entertainment with an extensive background in character development and creative storytelling. Over the course of his career, Prichard has served in a variety of roles including announcer, producer, agent and on-screen personality. Earlier this year, Prichard returned to WWE as a member of the company’s creative team.
Friday Night SmackDown airs at 8 pm ET/PT on FOX.
2019 may be the best time to be a wrestling fan.