As first reported in this week's new PWTorch Newsletter, one of the reasons Brian Gewirtz was relieved of his duties was that his replacement, Eric Pankowski, had really impressed Vince McMahon and earned his trust over the last eight months since he was hired. Also, Pankowski is considered "a Triple H guy." Meanwhile, as has been reported, Gewirtz had been working a lot from home lately, hadn't been on the road much at all, and was only in the office a few days a week. While just a couple years ago Gewirtz was considered as close to McMahon and as trusted by McMahon as anyone besides family and Kevin Dunn, he has fallen out of favor since.
Also of note, Vince McMahon went on a tear before Raw on Monday, but in the midst of all of that, there is a buzz because one prominent wrestler fired back at Vince and didn't hold back. Details are sketchy because so few people were in the room, but PWTorch has learned that at least one powerful player in WWE let Vince know that he is a big part of the problem and blaming others and trying to intimidate people into fearing his wrath doesn't change that fact.
The entire weekend built up and imploded on the WWE flight to the West Coast for this week's TV tapings. Vince had been in a bad mood for several weeks and something happened on that flight that pushed him over the edge. We noted before that a major blow-up with a top WWE star backstage was a major factor.
One source put some of the blame on Stephanie McMahon. He told F4Wonline.com: "The reality is Brian isn't the real issue or even a band-aid. Stephanie has run this dysfunctionally toxic division for the entire duration of its ratings decline. Her horrendous structure from the committee dynamic to who she fast-tracks and how rigidly the shows are structured are why this product isn't gangbusters. Plus, three hours is a [disaster]."