As noted, Paul Heyman’s “Heyman Hustle” brand recently signed a distribution deal with Yahoo to create content for one of their blogs. Heyman recently spoke with Matt Yoder of AwfulAnnouncing.com about the deal and more.
Below are highlights:
AA: How do you see Heyman Hustle and what you do online as something that you can do for the long-term and maybe beyond your days in the wrestling business?
Heyman: We have developed a real following for the lifestyle that we report on with the Hustle. Obviously we have the whole #HustleBootyTempTats phenomenon, which to this day I can’t find the words to convey how absurd the phenomenon truly is. We have some of the best young sports bloggers that are coming out of NYU and Columbia and Yeshiva and Brooklyn and Hofstra that are now writing for us. We have great self-described geeks that are now reporting on tech, and while we’re certainly not ready to challenge TechCrunch or Gizmodo yet, we are rapidly developing a reputation within the tech community as having an eye on startups like no one else.
So if you’re looking for the 18-24 demographic, I think the Heyman Hustle delivers it better than any other website out there because we have cool sports, interesting political discussion, all the startup news that you could possibly want, and the hottest women on the web all converging in one space.
AA: What is it like being the advocate for Brock Lesnar in this current run with WWE where he has taken on this larger-than-life persona and become a special attraction every time he gets in the ring?
Heyman: There’s nothing different about being with Brock Lesnar day-to-day now than it was 14 years ago when we were first together in WWE except we’re both a little older and wiser and we both have more children than we did 14 years ago when we started together on television. Besides that there’s nothing really different about that man. His values are the same, his interests are the same, his desire and drive and ambition is the same. And his desire to be left alone by the world is the same except now he truly has the resources to ensure he gets left alone by the world.
The run we’re having now to me is based on the credibility that comes along with the fact that when he left WWE he didn’t just go do odds and ends, he became the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world, knocking out Randy Couture and going on to becoming a three-time defending undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship of the world. He didn’t knock out some schlub, he didn’t knock out an interim champion, or someone who just fell into the division without a lot of competition – he knocked out Randy freaking Couture. Along with that comes an awful lot of credibility and with that comes authenticity and legitimacy that WWE can then exploit. So when we come into this run, you don’t have to imagine “wow, what would happen if this guy fought in UFC?” You know what would happen if he fought in UFC – he would take over the heavyweight division like he did. Now WWE fans have bragging rights, that’s the baddest dude on the face of the planet.
AA: Did you ever think any wrestler could make the German Suplex the most exciting and intimidating move in wrestling?
Heyman: As I told Steve Austin on his podcast, I think a headlock can become the most exciting move in professional wrestling/sports entertainment if it’s promoted right and done right by the right person on the right people, sold right by the announcers, pushed right by the promotion.
If Mark Henry would grab people in a headlock and the next thing you hear is “this guy has a cracked skull” and for the next 32 week on television every time Mark Henry has a cracked skull on somebody and they say “this guy has a cracked skull” after 32 weeks when that guy grabs a headlock people will be growing crazy. Why? Because they know this is where somebody gets a cracked skull.
If on that 33rd week he grabs Brock Lesnar or John Cena or Randy Orton or one of the top names in the promotion, then you have a situation where people go “Oh my God, is he going to crack Triple H or Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns’ skull? Here it comes!” Either someone escapes for the first time in 33 weeks or this guy goes down too. Either way it becomes something of magnitude.
The German Suplex became big because he hit John Cena with 16 German Suplexes and the next night on television I talked about it, which is nothing out of the ordinary. I talked the talk and he walks the walk. And then we brand it and people catch on to it.