Steve Austin praises Paul Heyman.
On June 27, Paul Heyman was named executive director of Raw, giving him unprecedented control over the brand, putting him second in charge behind Vince McMahon. McMahon stated that he could no longer "be in the weeds" with weekly television, thus appointing Heyman as executive director of Raw and Eric Bischoff as executive director of SmackDown.
Since Heyman has gained control of Raw, fans have noticed a difference in the product as most weeks Raw generally receives positive reviews. Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Steve Austin gave his thoughts on Heyman's vision.
“That is the right guy for the job,” said Austin. “Paul E. has a vision of what this business should be. He’s working under the watchful eye of Vince McMahon, but Vince is looking at so many big pictures while Paul is going to focus on this. Paul E. is really close to the pulse of the product. He understands where and why the business should be, and how it should feel. You should feel something when you watch that show. Paul E. is hungry to bring back this industry to its heyday. There is already more of a sense of urgency and importance of the world title.”
Austin continued, “Emotion sells tickets and draws ratings. If you don’t care, then why watch? If you care, you’re invested in those characters. So slow it down a little bit. You can move as fast as you want in the ring, but to me, the business is built on characters, emotions, and depth. When you have great action on top of it, that’s even better. Right now, those guys and gals are operating at such a high speed and high level of athleticism. It can’t get any higher than it is right now, so they need to keep finding ways to make people care about them. That will elevate the business and make it resonate with the audience.”
Austin has long since retired from being an in-ring competitor, but still appears on WWE television as a special guest. He recently stated that he is available to help WWE as often as possible, as long as it makes sense.
Austin's new series Straight Up Steve Austin just finished airing its first season on USA Network. You can view ratings for the show by clicking here.