Vince McMahon will always have final say in the WWE, but turning to Paul Heyman, Eric Bischoff is a good move.
1. Every wrestling fan has an opinion on Thursday's news that Vince McMahon has put Paul Heyman in charge of Monday Night Raw and Eric Bischoff in charge of SmackDown Live!.
Some people think calling on two guys who were giants in the business in the '90s is not a way of moving forward. Some people rememeber the great work each guy did and think this will automatically make both shows better.
One thing, however, that everybody knows, including WWE superstars, is that as long as Vince has final call—and he will—there is only so much Heyman and Bischoff can do.
But this still can only be considered a good move. The WWE was facing the perfect storm. Upstart company AEW has been getting tons of positive press and attention. Several unhappy WWE superstars have left the company. One of their most popular guys who left, Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley, blasted the creative team after the bolted. Ratings have taken a tumble. House show attendance has been down. John Oliver took aim at the WWE for nearly an entire episode of Last Week Tonight.
Many people questioned whether Vince should still be running the company, whether he was too out of touch.
All of those questions remain, but at least the man finally did something to shake up the product. Yes, Vince still has final approval on every thing, but you have to believe he turned to Heyman and Bischoff so they could do their thing. The backlash against the WWE's recent TV product has been harsh and it's been going on for a while. Vince knows this. Vince may have wanted to ignore it, but deep down, he knew he couldn't. A true cynic would say this is just a publicity move, but Heyman and Bischoff—especially Heyman—don't seem like the type of guys who would agree to be in charge of a show if they weren't actually in charge. There is no way either man would've agreed to this without some assurances they could do their thing.
There is no wild card like Vince McMahon. Nobody can figure him out. Nobody can predict what he's going to do.
However, I do know one thing: Never count out Vinnie Mac.
2. Dodgers infielder Kike Hernandez, got heckled by some fans, hit a homer and then blew kisses to said fans and it was great.
3. I have a feeling states that have dragged their feet on adopting legalized sports betting might kick things into high gear after they see that New Jersey took in more cash than Las Vegas last month.
In May, more money was bet at New Jersey sportsbooks than Nevada sportsbooks. It's the first month that's ever happened.— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) June 27, 2019
$318.9 million was bet in May at New Jersey books.
$317.4 was bet in May at Nevada books.
4. LeBron James announced Thursday that he'll be switching to No. 6 next season and teammate Kyle Kuzma wants him to take things a step further.
5. Giants players Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Will Smith were joined by their significant others to recreate the opening of Friends. San Francisco will hold "Friends Night" on August 5 to celebrate the show's 25th annivesary.
6. A's shortstop Marcus Semien fielded a grounder while ducking to avoid a broken bat that flew right over his head.
7. This week's SI Media Podcast features a very spirited interview with Seth Rollins. The WWE Universal champion was on fire, defending the WWE from recent criticisms about the product, addressing Dean Ambrose's controversial comments in which he bashed the WWE, and opening up about his relationship with "The Man," Becky Lynch. It is a must-listen for any wrestling fan.
8. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: This week marks the 28th anniversary of the Macho Man's proposal to Miss Elizabeth, complete with the most ridiculous, over-the-top commentary from Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.
IN CLOSING: The NBA usually gets everything right, but having free agency begin Sunday at 6 p.m. ET stinks.