After a six months absence, Roman Reigns made his WWE return at SummerSlam and quickly aligned himself with Paul Heyman. For someone like Reigns, who has been a babyface his whole career, and for someone like Heyman, who has been a heel his whole career, the pairing didn’t make sense to lots of people.
One of those people is Eric Bischoff, who believes there needs to be a motivation for every angle in wrestling. He doesn’t see one with the Reigns-Heyman pairing, and he talked about that on his After 83 Weeks show.
“Why is Roman Reigns a heel? Did you see the heat I got when I commented on the Roman Reigns-Paul Heyman promo from SmackDown?” asked Bischoff. “I took a picture and said, ‘And this is heat because??
“I have nothing but a lot of respect for Roman Reigns for a lot of reasons, and I really think Paul Heyman is one of the most talented people in the business on the microphone. [I have] nothing but respect for Paul and affection; I like Paul. It has nothing to do with what I think of them as characters. It has everything to do with the way I feel like they’re positioning Paul and Roman, much like they’re doing with Retribution. There’s no answer to the reason ‘why?'”
Bischoff then cited the Stone Cold Steve Austin-Mike Tyson confrontation in the ring as the inciting moment for the feud between Austin and Vince McMahon, highlighted by McMahon screaming, ‘You ruined it!’ at Austin for flipping off Tyson. This angle between Heyman and Reigns lacks that type of provocation.
“Maybe they’ll go, ‘Oh my God! We should have come up with a motivation before we launched this,’ and they’ll try to backdoor it in and make it feel like there’s a reason. ‘Oh, that’s why!’ Maybe, hopefully, but right now, it’s not working because there’s no reason or motivation for it. There’s no line in the sand,” stated Bischoff.
“I’m sorry, Paul ? I know you’re probably gonna read some of the hate mail I’m gonna get and social media crap, but I’ve got a secret for everybody. I haven’t shared this with anybody. This is an exclusive: Paul Heyman isn’t a heel. I said it. He’s not a heel! People love Paul Heyman! His interviews are too good for him to be a heel, and half the time, what he says is absolutely true – more than half the time. It certainly was with Brock Lesnar. What did Paul Heyman ever say about Brock Lesnar that wasn’t true?”
Bischoff then brought up Eddie Guerrero’s catchphrase of “Lie, Cheat and Steal.”
“Where’s the lying, cheating, and stealing? There is none. I’d vote for Roman Reigns as president right now. Come on! Give me a damn heel, will ya?!” exclaimed Bischoff.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit After 83 Weeks with Christy Olson with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.