Paul Heyman is one of WWE’s most polarizing figures, and is — by far — the most talented performer on the microphone today.
Heyman recently sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone to discuss his on-screen client and real-life best friend, Brock Lesnar, the evolution of WWE, and how he believes WWE will be presented in the future.
Heyman talks about this past Monday’s RAW
“What happened there was I was watching on the monitor, and you look at who’s in the ring. You have John Cena, the top name in this industry for the past 10 years. You have Triple H and all of his accomplishments. You have Stephanie McMahon standing there. You have the Big Show standing there. And you have Seth Rollins, who is — in my opinion — the single best in-ring performer in the world today. Undisputed. And you’re about to have Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman join this group.”
“So we’re standing [backstage] waiting for Brock’s music to play, and I looked at him and said, ‘You know, you can barely tell the players without a scorecard.’ And Brock said, ‘Say that,’ and I did, because I figured before this all breaks down into some spectacular scenario, why don’t we let everyone here understand exactly what they’re looking at, and by the way, listen to the people whose names I’m calling out, because they’re all A-listers. Why not take that moment to catch your breath and realize this is an all-star cast in front of your eyes?”
Heyman on his chemistry with CM Punk and Brock Lesnar, and why some of the “Paul Heyman guys” never complemented him the way he thought they would
“I think the bar was set so high with the chemistry that Brock and I have, and the chemistry that Punk and I had, that it would be very difficult to match that. It’s not just a situation of, ‘Stick manager A with wrestler B.’ Especially when you’re shooting for the top. I’ve never walked through the curtain with someone I wasn’t trying to audition as a WrestleMania main-eventer, and I never want to. And I’m sure the performers I’ve worked with didn’t want to have an advocate whose goal was anything less. But sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there.”
Heyman on Brock Lesnar breaking The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, and Lesnar defeating John Cena for the WWE championship at SummerSlam
“If you look back on WWE 20 years from now, I would suggest the two most newsworthy matches [of this past year] were Brock Lesnar conquering The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, and the most one-sided, uncontested beatdown of a top star in history when Brock hit John Cena with 16 suplexes and crushed him at SummerSlam. I don’t think anything else, from a historical perspective, can hold water to those two.”
Heyman on how WWE will evolve in the coming years
“The next evolution of the business won’t be the actual content or presentation, but the manner in which the business and the content is distributed. I would suggest to you that [with] today’s distribution channels, which are smartphones and other handheld accessories, that the product will skew younger in the next couple of years, because that’s going to be the audience.
“I don’t know if the audience understands the history that’s unfolding before their eyes at the moment. But it’s really not something that either I or Brock spend or time worrying about. Because if you’re worrying about how history’s going to view you, you’re not out there taking the next steps.”
[Image via WWE]