Since his newly formed alliance with Roman Reigns began last month, Paul Heyman has made his presence known once again in WWE; especially, on Friday Night SmackDown. If we look back a few months ago, Heyman’s career as an executive director and head creative writer was cut short, after it was reported that he was let go from his newly established position due to a change on how they wanted to run the creative process backstage. Now, he finds himself back on top of the mountain, thanks to his new client the “Tribal Chief.”
Just last week, Heyman spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso on how he felt “thrown out into the ocean of obscurity.” If it wasn’t for Reigns reeling him in, he doesn’t believe he would be back on WWE’s payroll. He believes Reigns needed a special counsel like him to help push him towards his shot of winning and remaining the WWE Universal Champion.
“You can take it any way that you want, but I did say on Friday Night SmackDown – if you were kindly paying attention – the quote was, ‘I was thrown out to an ocean of obscurity, and I was rescued to the island of relevancy by Roman Reigns’,” Heyman clarified in his interview on WWE’s The Bump. “That is a fact. I was cast out. I was thrown away. I was sent to drift out into the ocean and go away.
“Roman Reigns realized that in order for him to protect his status as the Superstar in WWE, [he needed] someone who experienced the same thing he was going through this year, and that would be Paul Heyman. He needed someone to protect him from these evil deeds that were being cast upon him and to course-correct what was happening in the World Wrestling Entertainment.”
While many among the WWE Universe believe Reigns is a changed man, Heyman thinks what we see now is who Reigns was always supposed to be.
“I don’t think Roman has a new attitude. I think, this is the real Roman Reigns that you’re seeing, and that’s how he feels,” he replied sternly. “I would submit to you that Roman Reigns has been authentically Roman Reigns. This is the manner at which he’s going to deal.”
For anyone who’s kept tabs on his career throughout the last 33 years, Heyman was a man of many roles, but it was managing that stood out among the rest. To Heyman, the term “manager” is not exactly who he’s seen himself as. Instead, he believes words like “advocate” and “special counsel” suite him better than just a generic term like manager.
“First of all, I threw out the word ‘manager’ in 1991,” he informed. “I inherited the role – this was back in the day of AWA and WCW – and I knew I wanted to do something new and different – something that was innovative and progressive. I wanted to move the understanding of the role forward. I didn’t want to be just a manager. I’ve always felt myself to be more of an advocate because I advocate the positions of my clients…in today’s role of the manager is an advocate
“For Roman Reigns, I do something different. My role is that I serve as special counsel to the ‘Tribal Chief’ because a tribal chief does not need a spokesman, nor does he need to have someone to advocate his position. A tribal chief needs someone who advises and can bestow upon Roman Reigns.”
Heyman’s relationship with the Anoa’i family stems back many generations ago. Before Reigns was even brought into this world, Heyman knew that he wanted to continue his long established relationship with Reigns’ father and his future children down the road.
“I’ve considered a business relationship with Roman since before he was even born,” he answered. “I’ve known Roman Reigns’ family for a long time… I’ve been supportive and supported by the Anoa’i family for 40 years now. I’m honored to be so. You knew since this child was born he was going to be the biggest single star in our industry, especially [because] he has the magic.”
For now, Heyman admits that his role to Reigns is more important than creating new ones with other WWE Superstars. He concluded his interview by saying that unless he receives Reigns’ blessing, he will not venture off and become someone else’s advocate anytime soon.
“Well, I’m the special counsel to the ‘Tribal Chief,’ so that’s my role, and I’m very happy in that role,” he noted. “Any other move that I would make would only be at the blessing of Roman Reigns.”
You can watch Paul Heyman’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.