The WWE product is already finding new changes to Raw and Smackdown after the recent news of legends Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff getting executive roles to run the shows. Heyman’s influence was shown on Raw with the unpredictable segments of new talents getting featured, stories having more intensity and fans tending to enjoy the show. Smackdown is slowly seeing Bischoff return to the WWE world, but the construct of the show is already different with new character changes.
A few wrestlers are already getting more of an opportunity than they were before these massive changes were revealed. Between that and the history of what we know about Heyman and Bischoff, there exists a slate of wrestlers ready to benefit from the new WWE. We will break down which wrestlers should look forward to better times and why. These are five wrestlers Paul Heyman will push and five that Eric Bischoff will.
10 Heyman: The Street Profits
The Street Profits surprised the WWE Universe by debuting on Monday Night Raw during the first episode under the Paul Heyman regime. Despite appearing on Raw in multiple backstage segments, Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford are still the NXT Tag Team Champions.
WWE calling them up out of the blue during their tag title reign in NXT is enough circumstantial evidence to show that Heyman believes strongly in the team. The Street Profits even implied they were going to liven up the show in their promos, which is a good sign for the future.
9 Bischoff: Andrade
One positive about Eric Bischoff’s time in WCW was that he strongly believed in having a roster full of international talent. The luchador stars from Mexico got their first big break in WCW thanks to the vision of Bischoff.
Andrade is among the top overall wrestlers on the WWE roster when it comes to international appeal. Between WWE’s vision for him and Bischoff’s track record, he could be in line for a huge push. Andrade scored a decisive win over Apollo on the first Smackdown under Bischoff.
8 Heyman: Cesaro
Cesaro destroying No Way Jose on the first Raw under Paul Heyman’s guidance was a great sign for his future on the brand. WWE tried pairing Heyman with Cesaro a few years ago due to their mutual respect, but it just did not work since Heyman’s promos were always about Brock Lesnar.
This will be a better situation for Cesaro to benefit from working with Heyman. The vision Heyman has shown in the past has featured him getting the most out of underutilized talent. Cesaro fits the bill as someone ready to thrive under Heyman.
7 Bischoff: Dolph Ziggler
The return of Dolph Ziggler has seen him slotted into an upper-level heel role on Smackdown. Ziggler was put into a relevant program with Kevin Owens on the first episode of Smackdown under Eric Bischoff’s guidance.
Bischoff has gone out of his way to praise Ziggler in his podcast. The comments have featured him claiming Ziggler’s athleticism and believability due to his amateur wrestling background should aid in making him a huge star.
6 Heyman: Samoa Joe
Going back to his time in Ring of Honor working for Heyman’s protégé Gabe Sapolsky, Samoa Joe has always been a favorite of Paul Heyman. Heyman almost brokered a deal to take control of Impact Wrestling and wanted to push Joe to the moon, but that never came.
Joe is clearly a star that will be used well by Heyman’s booking rather than the average WWE minds. The recent program with Kofi Kingston is already elevating Joe to a higher level and that should only improve with Heyman running Raw.
5 Bischoff: Shelton Benjamin
A surprising change to the Smackdown show was Shelton Benjamin getting a backstage segment for the first time in months on the first episode under Eric Bischoff. Benjamin was asked to pick a winner of the WWE Championship match between Samoa Joe and Kofi Kingston and responded by cryptically laughing.
The older age of Benjamin means this will likely be his final chance to get pushed in WWE. Following years of doing nothing since returning to the company, the Bischoff regime appears ready to utilize him with a new character.
4 Heyman: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
The tag team of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are finally getting a chance to shine on WWE television after years of doing nothing. AJ Styles turning heel is giving us the reunion of "The Club" as a nod to their time together in the Bullet Club.
Both wrestlers have reportedly agreed to new contracts with the hope of finally getting a push. Anderson and Gallows fit the mold of wrestlers loved by Heyman since they’ve found success internationally.
3 Bischoff: Aleister Black
The kicking strikes of Aleister Black already makes him someone that should be appreciated by Eric Bischoff. WCW fans will remember Bischoff’s love of karate and attempting to utilize quite a few wrestlers with similar kicking strikes.
Black also just happens to be an extremely talented wrestler and one of the greatest stars in NXT history. The new character cutting promos backstage is leading to something big and that will likely continue under Bischoff’s creative vision.
2 Heyman: Ricochet
The first main event on Monday Night Raw under the Paul Heyman regime featured Ricochet defeating AJ Styles to successfully defend the United States Championship. It was a huge win for Ricochet, positioning him as a top rising star on the Raw brand.
Reports indicate that Heyman is high on Ricochet and views him as the kind of performer that can connect with a teenage audience. The hope is that Ricochet will win over the younger fan base and continue to rise into an eventual top role. Ricochet is one wrestler happy about the change giving Heyman a role in charge of Raw.
1 Bischoff: Kevin Owens
The change in Kevin Owens character was the biggest difference shown in the first episode of Smackdown under Eric Bischoff. Owens appeared to turn heel after delivering an epic promo ripping apart Dolph Ziggler that the crowd loved.
The end of the night featured Owens hitting Ziggler with a Stunner after the duo lost their tag match. Owens finally was given a chance to show his promo skills again and was given his desired role as a face. The timing of Bischoff’s return likely means Owens is bound for big things moving forward.