WWE’s creative team has undergone a big shakeup.
Longtime Raw lead writer Ed Koskey has been moved to SmackDown to be the blue brand’s new lead writer. Ryan Ward will be taking time away for a short period of time due to unspecified reasons. Ward had been working as the lead writer for SmackDown.
Regarding Ward’s personal leave, Casey of Squared Circle Sirens noted on Twitter that he recently got married. That could have something to do with his leave.
The shakeup was first reported by F4WOnline.com.
Koskey, the longest-running lead writer on Raw, will now be working under Eric Bischoff.
SmackDown’s former lead writer Steve Guerreri was let go from the company back in July. The company has also had many last minute script re-writes on SmackDown over the past few weeks.
The new lead writer of Raw under Paul Heyman will be Jonathan Baeckstrom, who has been with the company for six years in various writing positions. He’s also the former lead writer of 205 Live.
In addition to this, it’s being reported that the writing team has officially been split and people were assigned to specific brands ahead of the company debuting on FOX.
The new WWE 205 Live lead writer is Chad Barbash, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Barbash has been unofficially working as the main 205 Live writer ever since RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman brought Jonathan Baeckstrom to the red brand a month or so ago, but now the role is official.
The idea come October is that the writers, the announce teams and the wrestlers will all be exclusive to their own brands. The WWE Draft, which is scheduled to begin on the October 11 SmackDown from Las Vegas and then end on the October 14 RAW from Denver, will be the biggest of a series of changes that are being done to “freshen up” everything. Meltzer noted that the rosters that were created in the 2019 Superstar Shake-up, the current rosters, will likely be the talent line-ups coming out of the Draft, but there will be some notable roster moves and some of those moves could see WWE NXT Superstars get sent to RAW or SmackDown.
It was also noted that there has always been somewhat separate crews for RAW and SmackDown, but the writers have been interchangeable because the talents are. It’s hard to have exclusive writing teams when the wrestlers are appearing on both shows. There will always be exceptions, but the idea is that there will be more brand exclusivity beginning in the fall. In regards to the “freshening up” of the rosters, it was noted that Bischoff and Heyman will likely be able to get certain guys that they want assigned to their rosters. Meltzer added that there has been a running backstage joke on Bischoff not even knowing who the talents are yet.