There has been plenty of criticism aimed at Vince McMahon and the WWE creative team in recent months, due to a series of dull and questionable storylines and lackluster feuds between superstars.
A noticeable decline in television ratings this year - coupled with the rise of AEW - has forced Vince and WWE officials to start making major changes. He's fired numerous writers 2019, while hiring Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff to take over as the new Executive Directors of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, respectively.
One solution to improving the WWE product would be to allow superstars to submit their own ideas. Sure enough, three marquee wrestlers on the SmackDown Live brand have been granted permission to do this.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Ringside News), Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon "pitch most of their stuff to the writers." Not only that, but these three superstars "are the only ones the writers seem to listen to."
It's no surprise that Shane O'Mac has this power, since he's the son of the WWE chairman. As for Owens, it was recently reported that he's allowed to cut his own unscripted promos in the midst of a massive babyface run. That alone is a sign of how much Vince and the writers trust the Prized Fighter.
As for Bryan, he's been one of the WWE's top main event stars this decade, and his heel turn near the end of 2018 was perfectly executed. Writers have good reason to have faith in Bryan, since he's excelled in every aspect since coming back to the ring. Giving Bryan plenty of say in his character direction has done wonders, and they have no reason to move away from that.
What This Means
McMahon, Owens and Bryan have earned the right to have some say in the direction of their wrestling personas and characters. But there are still many other stars who deserve some say as well, namely Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura and Braun Strowman. Hopefully, WWE will see Owens and Bryan as prime examples of how far a superstar can go when they have some character freedom.