Vince McMahon was not backstage for this week’s Extreme Rules go-home edition of WWE SmackDown in Manchester, NH, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. However, Vince was constantly on the phone with officials at the arena, and he reviewed the script on the phone about one hour before SmackDown hit the air.
Triple H ran the Gorilla Position at this week’s SmackDown while Senior Vice President Bruce Prichard presented the show to the other producers. It was said that Prichard began that presentation with a “rah rah speech” that reportedly came across as very transparent.
Regarding the SmackDown creative team, Ryan Ward is still the lead writer and will remain in that position unless new Executive Director Eric Bischoff tries to make a change to that role. That would most likely depend on whether or not Vince allows the change, even if Bischoff wanted to make it, according to the Observer.
Prichard will be the man who acclimates Bischoff to the new role, and it’s believed that Prichard is the one who pushed the hardest for Bischoff to be hired for the Executive Director role.
We’ve noted before how Bischoff isn’t expected to really get started in the new role until Tuesday’s post-Extreme Rules edition of SmackDown from Worcester, MA. Bischoff just moved his family across the country to their new home in Stamford, CT to be near WWE HQ. Both Bischoff and new RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman will be starting with mostly-clean slates after the pay-per-view. There has been talk within WWE of people asking why Bischoff hasn’t been backstage for the last two SmackDown episodes, to watch how things are done before he starts full-time. There’s been a feeling among some that every week that Bischoff isn’t there puts him another week behind, and the battles needed for change and improvement are going to take a significant amount of time. As noted, Bischoff admitted in a new interview that he has a lot to learn before he’s fully settled into the new role.
On a related note, The Observer reports that word from within WWE and the creative team is that they have been told almost nothing about Bischoff working the new role, and that his name almost never comes up officially.