Paul Heyman discusses how he became The Wise Man of The Bloodline.
In 2020 after returning at SummerSlam, in the final SmackDown before WWE Payback that year, Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman were revealed to be partners, with Heyman beginning a run as The Wise Man that he still holds to this way.
While speaking to Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin, Paul Heyman explained how his partnership with Roman Reigns came about.
“Well, the world changed. The zombie apocalypse hit. I had become, in 2019, the Executive Director of Monday Night Raw. This is while I’m still on camera with Brock. as we are headed towards that WrestleMania, the number I don’t remember, even though I should because it’s a very unique one. It’s the only one with no audience.”
“The pandemic hits. Now Brock’s an expensive meal ticket. He was right in 2004, leave, become a much bigger star in the outside world, come back, get paid outside world celebrity, money, and schedule. So without being able to run live events, and without Saudi, and that enormous deal coming in, budgeting for Brock Lesnar in an empty arena several times a year doesn’t make business sense. So when Brock’s contract came due, and we’re in the middle of the pandemic, it doesn’t make any sense for WWE to do what they had done every year, which is, ‘Yeah, we know this was your final year, but if you’d consider, we’re gonna throw more money at you. Give us another year of this. This was a year where that wasn’t going to happen, because there was no way to get a return on the investment. So Brock went back to Saskatchewan, and in his mind, that was the end. He was done.”
“I’m still there as Executive Director. Roman Reigns has taken time off with his condition. He’s not exposing himself to this pandemic that we don’t have a grasp on how severe it can be quite just yet and at the same time, he’s had enough of the creative. These things are running concurrently. The feud rivalry story with Baron Corbin over dog food and the infamous sufferin succotash promo had weighed on him enough to where he said, ‘I’ve had enough. I’ve reached the cap. I can’t go any further. As the big dog I’ve peaked. and as an athlete, I haven’t peaked as a performer. I’ve barely scratched the surface. I have so much more to offer and since I’m taking time off, I’m not coming back as the same person.” This is where I make my move. This is where I do for me what Lesnar did for himself when he conquered the streak. Something has to become my defining moment and then propel forward from there. The catalyst to something completely different. Four WrestleMania main events to his credit, a run on top since 2015, and one could even say always near the top from 2012 to 2015, but something has to be generational here, something has to define him as Austin, Rock, Sammartino, Hogan, a transformative personality that can then ultimately make the case, I Roman Reigns am the greatest of all time.
Vince removes me as executive director in June of 2020, and I thought I had a bunch of months left on my contract, and I was gonna ride it out, and we’ll see where we go from there. There were limited options in my agreement as to whom WWE could put me with. When I had the leverage, I wrote that in because we had reached a point with the cachet of being Brock Lesnar’s advocate that anybody else you put me with could either make them instantly a star, or you’re watering me down, and ultimately hurting the other person, because they don’t belong with me. They don’t measure up to where you’re used to seeing my character bring someone down to the ring, which is either the main event of WrestleMania or close to it. One of the few names on this list was Roman Reigns. Another was Brock Lesnar, obviously. Another was Ronda Rousey. Ronda Rousey was having a baby. Brock Lesnar wasn’t coming back with Saudi being down. That kinda left Roman Reigns in there.”
“So Vince calls me in the middle of August and he says, ‘We’re gonna take you back into television. I’m thinking, ‘Oh, oh. He’s gonna make me a commentator and Jim Ross isn’t here. What is a commentator in 2020? How can I be disruptive? How can I be evolutionary in the process? How can I redefine this role because I don’t just want to settle in and do what’s been done already. Even by me, I want to do this differently. I said, ‘Okay, well, what do you got in mind?’ He says, ‘I’m going to put you with somebody.’I’m thinking, ‘Has he read my contract?’ I said, ‘Well, you know Vince, the options are kind of limited in that.’ I’m trying to tiptoe into a delicate situation here where I’m about to butt heads with him. I’m thinking Ronda is pregnant. Brock’s not coming back with Saudi down. He’s certainly is not putting me with Roman and he goes, ‘I’m envisioning Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman.’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God. He’s gonna pull the trigger on this. He would never pull it with Cena. He would never have allowed Cena to come to the dark side.”Paul Heyman
Three years later, Heyman remains loyal to the Tribal Chief and has been beside Reigns every step of his 1000 day reign as WWE Universal Champion. We will have to wait and see what comes next for this pairing in the future.
H/T to Ringside News
Follow Corey at @CoreyBrennanBS on Twitter