Paul Heyman spoke with Sports Illustrated and revealed that he initially had concerns about returning to an on-air role when WWE brought him back with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, even with a top talent like Reigns.
Heyman admitted that he was very reluctant to do anything in pro wrestling after his successful run with Brock Lesnar. He said there was very little chance of an on-screen return to work for the company.
“I cannot begin to convey how reluctant I was to ever do anything in this industry after the eight years, let alone the 18 years, that I put together with Brock Lesnar,” Heyman said. “Look at our accomplishments: a 500-day run as champion, multiple world championships, the single biggest, most historic victory in sports entertainment history in the conquering of ‘The Streak.’ There was very little chance of me ever returning on-screen.”
Heyman noted that Reigns was the only one that could get him back on TV for a run without Lesnar.
“For me to pursue, in front of the camera, life after Brock Lesnar, the only lure that could seduce me to even attempting such an impossible goal was to do it with someone that would live their life in the pursuit of achieving that impossibility, and that’s Roman Reigns,” Heyman revealed. “And that’s why someone, that’s why anyone and that’s why everyone should watch Roman Reigns. Every micromoment he’s in the frame, you are witnessing the pursuit of the all-time greatest career in the annals of sport, in the annals of entertainment and in the annals of sports entertainment.”
Heyman called on WWE fans to keep watching to catch a glimpse of greatness, admitting that the brilliance we’re seeing has its own distinct shelf life.
“Keep watching because it’s not forever,” Heyman says. “It’s a rare opportunity, and this only lasts as long as Roman Reigns determines it should last. There is a body of work being put together that won’t be matched, and there is a driving force, a vision, a dream, a want, a desire and a yearning to accomplish.
“Our objective is clear. Stack up ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Bruno Sammartino—these Mount Rushmore names that are beyond iconic—stack them all up together and they won’t be able to reach the level that Roman Reigns will accomplish. That’s the goal here. I say that as a hype artist; I say that as the ‘special counsel’ to the ‘Tribal Chief,’ but there is no hype in that hyperbole—it’s what they call a shoot.”
Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan on last week’s SmackDown in the big Career vs. Title match, banning Bryan from the blue brand. With Bryan’s WWE contract reportedly expiring, it was noted that Reigns is moving forward with his focus on Cesaro on this week’s “Go Back” edition of SmackDown, which will see Cesaro face Seth Rollins. Heyman said Reigns must address Cesaro, but it will end in a bad day for Cesaro because Reigns is untouchable right now, with no one else in all of WWE at his level.