When the WWE released their list of superstars and employees eligible to be drafted to either Monday Night RAW or SmackDown Live, there were several names omitted, of which fans and insiders alike quickly picked up on. Paul Heyman was near the top of that list. Triple H and the Undertaker were exempt due to the expectation that they’d only be wrestling a handful (or less) of times combined. Injured stars like Luke Harper were understandably left off as well, but Heyman raised some eyebrows.
Digging deeper, we discovered that Heyman’s WWE contract had expired, and it just so happened his renegotiation period coincided with the WWE Draft and brand extension. The company left him off the list as a security measure in case the two sides could not come to an agreement.
Heyman has an obvious affiliation with Brock Lesnar, who has been off WWE programming since his WrestleMania match with Dean Ambrose in April. Lesnar was made draft-eligible, but without the services of his advocate, whereas other superstar-manager combos were paired — and drafted — together. Lana stuck with Rusev on RAW while Maryse remained by the side of The Miz on SmackDown Live.
As reported by the Inquisitr on Sunday, Paul Heyman is confirmed to return to RAW on Monday night to be by the side of Lesnar and presumably be the mouthpiece to further the feud between his client and Randy Orton leading up to their match at SummerSlam. It should be noted that Heyman will make the appearance despite not having a new contract. And according to Wrestling Inc, Paul has committed to Monday’s show, the SummerSlam go-home episode of RAW on August 15, and the pay-per-view itself.
Those dates, of course, coincide with the dates that Brock Lesnar is scheduled to appear, but Heyman’s status is certainly worth monitoring seeing how he’s committed to at least three dates without signing an extension. Vince McMahon had decreed in the past to other top WWE officials that re-signing Lesnar was one of his top priorities, with that deal expected to run out in the spring of 2018. Keeping Heyman next to Brock for the duration of his WWE career would only make sense.
It’s been noted that there doesn’t appear to be any heat or animosity between Heyman and McMahon in regards to the lack of a new deal. It doesn’t appear that money is the sticking point, rather the number of outside gigs Heyman is allowed to book. Paul E is a successful businessman outside of the sports entertainment giant and wants to make sure he’s permitted to continue pursuing those other endeavors.
Last month, the Inquisitr also reported how some WWE officials were pushing for the idea of aligning new stars with Heyman. It’s clear that he had become one of the greatest managers in the history of the business, and there were many people backstage who wanted to see him on TV even when Lesnar was on hiatus. Fans seemed to be on the same page as those officials despite arrangements between Curtis Axel, Cesaro and Ryback not working out the way most had hoped. Feel free to sound off in the comment section below as to who you would like to see Heyman manage if given the opportunity.
While those plans haven’t been completely scrapped, it’s understandable that they’ve been put on hold, at least for the time being, due to the impasse in contract negotiations. And for the next month anyway, Heyman will be solely focused on selling the Lesnar/Orton SummerSlam showdown. However, with Heyman and Lesnar on RAW and Orton on Smackdown, it’ll be interesting to see how the feud plays out with the participants not expected to meet eye-to-eye until the actual pay-per-view on August 21.
[Image via WWE]