A new report has details on the shakeup of Raw and Smackdown’s creative team shakeups, which came due to issues including the perception that the Roman Reigns/Erick Rowan storyline was “botched.” As reported yesterday, WWE has moved Raw lead writer Ed Koskey to Smackdown while Ryan Ward, who was the lead writer on Smackdown, has been removed and is on what is being called a “personal leave.” Now, The Wrap reports that the situation came amidst various issues backstage on the Smackdown side.
Ward had been working alongside Steve Guerrieri in the lead writer role earlier this year, with the site reporting that Guerrieri was fired several months ago. These were after “Road Dogg” Brian James stepped down from the role back in April. According to the report, Smackdown is believed to be lacking in direction. The Roman Reigns/Erick Rowan storyline, which saw several twists and turns including a Rowan doppelgnger who quickly disappeared without mention after the one segment he was revealed in, is considered “botched so bad [that] explaining to anyone what it was supposed to be wouldnt make any sense at all.
The report also claims that questions have arisen over Eric Bischoff, who was announced as the Creative Director for Smackdown at the same time that Paul Heyman was announced in the same position for Raw, hiring former Sons of Anarchy writer Stevie Long, who was found by Michael Hayes asleep in the writer’s room on his first day. Long is still with WWE.
As noted earlier, Jonathan Baeckstrom is taking over for Koskey in the lead writer role for Raw, and that should Ward return from his leave, he will likely end up on the “home team” which is the writing group that doesn’t travel with the shows. That would be considered a major demotion.
WWE issued a statement in response to the story which read, We dont comment on employee matters. Bischoff declined to comment, while a rep for Fox Sports did not immediately respond to requests for comment.