WWE Puts Bruce Prichard in Charge of SmackDown, Replacing Eric Bischoff

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Portrait of WWE's Bruce Prichard backstage

Eric Bischoff’s brief run in charge of SmackDown is over.

Bruce Prichard has been hired as Executive Director of SmackDown, WWE announced Tuesday. The move comes less than four months after Bischoff was hired to the same role and less than two weeks after SmackDown’s debut on Fox. 

“Prichard will oversee the creative department of Friday Night SmackDown on Fox and ensure integration across all platforms and lines of business,” WWE said in a statement. 

Bischoff is leaving the company entirely, not being demoted, a WWE representative told PWInsider’s Mike Johnson

WWE announced in late June that Bischoff and Paul Heyman had been hired to oversee SmackDown and Raw, respectively. WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said during an earnings call in July he decided to make the move because he can no longer “be in the weeds” with running every detail of the company’s two flagship shows given his multitude of business interests. 

Raw has been a noticeably different show since Heyman took over, incorporating more risqué and adult storylines like the Bobby Lashley-Rusev-Lana love triangle and Bray Wyatt’s horror-inspired “Fiend” gimmick. SmackDown, meanwhile, has felt more or less the same as it did before Bischoff was installed. 

Prichard has been working as part of WWE’s creative team since February. He was an influential member of the creative department, working closely with McMahon, in the 90s and 2000s before leaving WWE in 2008. This is his third stint with the company. 

Prichard parlayed his behind-the-scenes knowledge of WWE’s “Attitude Era” heyday into a massively popular podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson. The show also ran in video form for 13 episodes on the WWE Network.