Since the WWE Draft in October and his split from The New Day, Big E has been on his lonesome to prove himself as a singles competitor on SmackDown. His first sights alone began with Sami Zayn and his Intercontinental Championship. This week, a stipulation was made that if Big E won his match with Zayn, he’d get a future shot at the championship. Zayn tricked his way with a count-out victory, blocking any chance of Big E becoming a singles champion in the future for that title. After his loss, Paul Heyman took it upon himself on Talking Smack to congratulate him on his solo run so far.

“It’s about damn time that this Big E came to the surface. This is the Big E we’ve all been waiting for,” Paul Heyman applauded. “When I say ‘we all,’ I mean every single member of the production team, Kayla [Braxton], and all of the contemporaries on the announcing staff, every member of the locker room, [even] Roman Reigns himself and I. We’ve all been waiting for this Big E because this is the Big E what will one day go into the WWE Hall of Fame.

“This is the Big E that Kofi [Kingston] and Xavier [Woods] brag about even knowing. I mean no disrespect towards Kofi or Xavier. You know how much I respect and admire them. But truth be told, sir, the muscle behind The New Day has always been Big E. And now, you have a champion in your sights, which means you have a championship in your sights. Sami is the best first step in that direction for you; because believe me, sir, when I tell you, a champion is only as great as the challenges he puts down.”

Although the “Powerhouse of Positivity” had his sights on becoming the new Intercontinental Champion soon, the “Special Counsel” tried to plant a seed as to where Big E could go in the future by bringing up his “Tribal Chief” client and Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. He was trying to make a point that once Reigns broke away from The Shield and went on his own, he made a big name for himself, and maybe, Big E should do the same with The New Day.

“This Big E, a focused Big E, a singles champion Big E, has so much potential that 10 years from now, they will all say that the accomplishments that you did with The New Day pale by the respectful comparison to the accomplishments you pull off on your own. I say that to you with the following statement: You have to accept in your heart that The New Day will only be a footnote in the story of the greatness of Big E. And if I may prove my case to you, I ask you a rhetorical question: When was the last time you saw Roman Reigns in the ring, and anybody even bothered to mention The Shield?”

You can watch Paul Heyman’s full statement on the WWE Network. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talking Smack with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.