Shane McMahon was a recent guest on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast. The SmackDown Live commissioner gave compelling insight into the atmosphere within the company, agreeing that there is an element of walking on eggshells creatively on the part of WWE Superstars:
I’m sure there’s some of that. The freedom to kind of try things is limited – you can try them out more on house shows. As you know, when you try certain things you can see whether they work or don’t work. When it comes to TV, there’s a certain finite of the amount of time that you have.
McMahon also suggested that the death of the territories has given performers less opportunities to mature in the business and learn from their mistakes. He did add that NXT has helped alleviate the problem, pointing out that Triple H’s progressive work with the brand reflects his own original business plan for WWE’s version of ECW.
On the subject of SmackDown Live, McMahon stated that it being a little less under the microscope than RAW gives talent more space for spontaneity. He praised the hard work of Brian James (Road Dogg) behind the scenes and identified the need to make both sides of a storyline benefit in the long run as central to the success of the blue brand.