Paul Heyman Details How Pairing With Roman Reigns Began

Paul Heyman Roman Reigns

Paul Heyman has shared the story about how his pairing with Roman Reigns started from the mind of WWE’s Vince McMahon.

Since August 2020, Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman have been linked together with Reigns becoming the “Tribal Chief” while Heyman has been called the “Wise Man” that’s also the Special Counsel.

For the six years prior to that, Reigns was a solo act that was free from The Shield and trying to become the most popular guy in WWE. As for Paul Heyman, he was paired with Brock Lesnar, who he started working with back in 2002 when Lesnar was a rookie destroying everything in his path.

In that August 2020 period, the world was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic with WWE shows taking place inside of the Thunderdome with fans on screens instead of in the building. Reigns had just started his reign as the Universal Champion at a show called Payback on August 30, 2020.

It is now over 1,000 days later with packed arenas everywhere Reigns and the Smackdown crew goes. Don’t forget about stadiums with huge crowds too. Business for WWE is really strong right now because of Reigns, Heyman, and The Bloodline story.

Paul Heyman delivered a lengthy interview with Rick Rubin’s Tetragrammaton podcast where he talked about how his pairing with Roman Reigns started. It came from Roman wanting to do something different, but also an idea from WWE’s Executive Chairman Vince McMahon.

“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 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.”

As he continued, Paul Heyman talked about being removed by WWE as the Executive Director of Raw and what that meant for him.

“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.”

From there, Paul Heyman thought that maybe he would be brought back to WWE television as an announcer. Instead, Vince McMahon wanted to put him with Roman Reigns.

“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.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Three years later, Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman are still key performers in WWE’s biggest storyline with Reigns truly cementing his legacy as one of the best superstars of all time.

H/T WrestlingNewsco

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