In an appearance on Sports Media with Richard Deitsch, Paul Heyman talked about his partnership with Roman Reigns. He described the likely process for the “Tribal Chief” the day of WrestleMania 37.
“It will depend on how Roman Reigns feels this Sunday,” Heyman said. “Roman Reigns is like several other people I’ve worked with. Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, Bill Goldberg, CM Punk; like them he’s a very eccentric individual.
“He will be close to the stadium, but what time he arrives will be dictated by the atmosphere of the day. He needs to feel it, but it depends on how he’s feeling that day in terms of how much in advance he wants to start feeling it.”
Heyman also discussed how he would book a return for Becky Lynch, who WWE President Nick Khan said would be returning “in the not too distant future”. He revealed what the biggest challenge would be in bringing back the former WWE RAW Women’s Champion.
“Becky Lynch is an extraordinary talent,” Heyman said. “It would be very easy to write Becky Lynch into the 2022 WrestleMania and the scenario, the match and where’d we go. The most difficult about that, as it will be as I envision it for Roman Reigns or how I’d craft a Ronda or Brock scenario, would be editing it. The flood of ideas for these extraordinary talents who push themselves past their own limitations is overwhelming at times.
“And you can only pick so many different scenarios because you have to let them all play themselves out. So coming up with something for Becky Lynch for next year’s WrestleMania isn’t the problem. What one you decide on is the key. It’s paramount to the process. There’s an infinite number of scenarios that Becky Lynch would excel in. She’s that talented and that willing to push her talent past their own parameters.”
All this talk of top talent led to Deitsch later asking Heyman if stars like Reigns and Lynch were born with that “it” quality or if they developed it. Heyman offered a complex answer.
“You’re born with ‘it’,” Heyman said. “Finding it is another story. Some people can’t find their own greatness. Here’s a perfect example. When I took over the creative reigns of ECW, The Sandman was coming out to the ring in a wet suit to the song ‘Wipeout.’ He connected with nobody, including himself. After a few matches I had nothing for him; he was a flop who didn’t believe in himself. The audience rejected him and rightfully so. He was a drag on the product. He was also one of Todd Gordon’s (ECW owner) best friends. Out of respect for Todd I went to Todd and said ‘it’s not working out with Sandman.’ We then went to Sandman and told him he needed to find something else to do with his life. He was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette. Todd turned to me and said ‘this is the guy.’ I’m watching Sandman take this bad news, and he put that cigarette out in his hands. It took a lot for Todd to let that character go that far. But the more Sandman stopped trying to be someone other than himself, he became one of the highlights of the ECW show. But it wasn’t the fact that we created this character that walked out to the ring drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, with a Singapore cane at his side. He always had that magic, charisma, the ability to rise above. He just couldn’t find his own greatness at first.
“Roman Reigns now. He’s a four time WrestleMania main eventer; this weekend he’ll become a five time WrestleMania main eventer. And this year will be the first year where he is THE attraction and is intimately connected to the audience on an interactive basis. Before this year, they were all witnesses to the rise of Roman Reigns and the Roman Reigns era. And this year they will share with it. The audience will be part of it because he’s finally made that connection with them. He’s always been a main eventer, but he was never prepared. The audience had to live through his rise with him, but he himself was never prepared for the level of greatness he could achieve. The level of interaction he could achieve. Because he couldn’t tap into his own greatness without going through this journey.
“So I think you’re born with ‘it.’ And then I think it takes a while to cultivate it, let it manifest itself. And then of course you need someone like Paul Heyman to drag it the f**k out of you.”
Reigns will defend the WWE Universal Championship against Edge and Daniel Bryan this Sunday at Night Two of WrestleMania 37. As always, Wrestling Inc. will have live coverage of the event, as well as the latest news heading into the show.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Sports Media with Richard Deitsch and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription