Vince McMahon was looking toward the future, but then COVID-19 made him worry about the stability of the entire operation.
Paul Heyman is no longer WWE RAW’s Executive Director. He was fired on June 11th, 2020. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that those close to the situation say that all of this stemmed from a change in Vince McMahon’s mentality when the novel coronavirus swept America and greatly influenced WWE business.
Suddenly, long-term plays like the XFL and bringing Paul Heyman in for RAW just didn’t seem like they had the priority that they did before. This also included pumping the brakes on expansions into Japan and Europe.
It’s said by those close to the situation that once COVID-19 started that McMahon’s mentality changed about everything. Previously, the mentality was all about the future. The XFL was a long-term play. Raw under Heyman was a long-term play.
Vince McMahon was also frustrated that the talent he was trying to push during a pandemic weren’t getting over. It is very hard to gauge a Superstar’s popularity when there are no live fans.
WWE needed to think about the here and now when COVID-19 caused a change in direction. It appears that even with no live crowds for the rest of the year the company will still turn a profit. There are obvious issues in RAW’s ratings as well, so it was evident that some things just weren’t working.
WWE’s RAW brand is likely to change dramatically. Paul Heyman worked closely with the brand for long enough to leave lasting fingerprints. It will be interesting to see what method WWE uses to remove those impressions.