Paul Heyman recently appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show and gave his thoughts on if the current Roman Reigns family drama storyline is building towards a potential matchup between The Rock and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Heyman said he bets The Rock hopes it happens because of the box office money and said it was him that brought the idea up in the first place. Heyman also said The Rock is not the only celebrity knocking on Vince McMahon’s door wanting to work at WrestleMania.
“Oh, I’m sure Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson sure hopes so,” Heyman said. “Let’s examine this from a realistic point of view – Roman Reigns never mentioned Dwayne Johnson’s name. Paul Heyman never mentioned Dwayne Johnson’s name. So you can’t categorize this as ‘The biggest star on FOX Network’, let alone the biggest star on SmackDown, let alone the biggest star in WWE is looking to call out a bigger star. We never mentioned Dwayne Johnson’s name.
“The Rock mentioned Roman Reigns’ name,” Heyman added. “The Rock called out Roman Reigns. The Rock is positioning himself to get the celebrity rub off of Roman Reigns, and you know what? God bless The Rock for doing it. He’s always thinking; he’s very sharp. He’s always thinking box office, but he’s not the only box office attraction beeping in front of Vince McMahon’s door saying, ‘I want to work with Roman Reigns’. Every other huge box office attraction, from celebrities, to sports celebrities, to mixed martial artists – Daniel Cormier – to sports entertainers, to legends from sports entertainment, are all banging down Vince’s door saying, ‘Please put me in the main event of WrestleMania to work with Roman Reigns.’ He’s the single hottest box office attraction in WWE and he’s the biggest star on FOX, and he’s only scratching the surface of how far he can go in this new presentation.”
Heyman has long been known as one of the best heel mouthpieces in the business. Performers like Heyman benefit hugely from a live audience to garner those negative reactions, and Heyman took the time to discuss how the COVID-era of not having those live fans in attendance has changed his presentation. He said as a performer, if you don’t have the ability to adapt to changes like that, someone is always waiting to take your place. He also mentioned how much he misses the live crowd, but is having a lot of fun with what he’s doing.
“It’s totally different now,” Heyman said. “I never walked out to the ring with a scripted mind. The interaction with the audience is the greatest ‘high’ I’ve ever experienced. Well, I can’t say it’s better than sex for me, but it’s better than sex for most people – or at least their version of sex. The interaction with the audience is just something to live for, and there is none of that now, so it’s a different way of doing business. Do I still love doing it? Absolutely. Is it completely different for me? Absolutely. Do I miss the crowd? Absolutely.
“I have a job to do,” Heyman continued. “I have a message to deliver, and like everyone else in 2020, you either adapt or you fall behind. We discussed in 2012 about falling behind and not staying several steps ahead of the curve. So if I can’t adapt to the current circumstances, there’s going to be some young kid who is going to be able to and do it better than me and will replace me. When you’re working with Roman Reigns, who is the single biggest star in WWE, you’re either at the very top of your game or they should replace you– whether that is Roman replacing me or Vince. If I’m not the very best at what I do, then I should be out the door the very next day.
“Every performance I deliver with Roman Reigns is simply an audition to be invited back the next Friday on SmackDown,” Heyman added. “2020 is a year where everyone had to adapt. If you don’t adapt, someone will replace you.”
You can check out the full interview in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.