WWE’s Paul Heyman sat down with Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN to talk about his current run with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Muehlhausen asked Heyman what differentiated this run with Reigns between some of his other famous runs with CM Punk and, most notably, Brock Lesnar.
“I had the run of a lifetime with Brock Lesnar,” Heyman stated. “What we accomplished in our eight years since we returned in 2012, let alone what we accomplished in the 18 years since 2002, and that includes writing a book together that includes Brock’s run in UFC.
“Many would make the valid claim what would be impossible to top; a near 600-day run as champion, multiple world titles, and the single biggest victory in the history of WWE, which was Brock Lesnar conquering The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30. To top that, to compete with that, to follow that is an impossible task. Can’t be done. But that’s the goal. That’s the vision of where we want to take Roman Reigns.”
According to Heyman, topping his run with Lesnar with Reigns was the next logical step for Reigns’ career.
“Roman Reigns also was at a point in his career for WrestleMania main events, scheduled for five, and multiple world championship runs on top since the day he started on the main roster,” Heyman noted. “What was left for Roman Reigns to accomplish except the status of the undisputed, uncontroverted GOAT.
“That is the driving force. That’s the ambition. That’s the vision, that’s the desire, that’s the dream, that’s the craving, that’s the lust, that’s the seduction, that’s the lore. That is the goal. Every single solitary micro-moment that you see, both the character and the man Roman Reigns unfold in front of your eyes.”
Prior to working with Reigns, Heyman had no plans to get back in front of the camera with someone that wasn’t Lesnar. But the opportunity to be with someone as driven as Reigns was ultimately too good for Heyman to pass up.
“That was the only thing that could put me back in front of the camera after my run with Brock Lesnar,” Heyman said. “Because to me, if I’m not with someone driven by the ambition of accomplishing the impossible, then it was time to call it a day. But that’s Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns wants to top everything he’s done since he debuted on the main roster.
“Roman Reigns wants to accomplish and top everything that was done by Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Ric Flair. Combine them all, stack them high. Roman Reigns wants to go to a level all of them together could not, cannot achieve. That’s the goal every single solitary micro-moment you see him on camera. That’s a level of ambition that I strive for as well. It’s an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure to collaborate with such a vision.”
Heyman was then asked what it would take for Reigns to get to the level of those names like Sammartino, Hogan and Austin. Heyman claimed that you’re seeing Reigns do all of that already every week.
“I think you’re seeing it every Friday on SmackDown,” Heyman said. “If you take a look at the evolution of the persona since he returned at the end of August, and you watch how at the beginning, every word was intentional. Every movement has a purpose during his promos, in that we were starting to reveal the dynamic of who this actual human being is.
“Then as we got into the rivalry with Jey Uso and you started to understand he’s not just the Tribal Chief, he’s the Head of the Table and why he is The Head of the Table. The explanation of how he feeds not just his own immediate family, how he is responsible for the entire Anoai/Fatu Dynasty, how he takes care of everybody, how everyone relies on him.”
Heyman continued, “What that pressure, indeed that burden must be on a man and how the championship is a must, not just a prop. Not just something for me or him to hold. Not just the token that is demonstrative of being the main event, the top attraction in the promotion, but how it is a tool by which he can demonstrate to the world that he is the WrestleMania main event, the champion, the attraction in all of WWE and sports entertainment.
“Then as we got into the Kevin Owens situation, and you start to see the sheer savagery of his ambition and why that ambition plays out into the psyche and how it plays out into the psyche of the persona, the character, and the man known as Roman Reigns. Then you get to the WrestleMania main event, and he’s against Edge, who’s a Hall of Famer, Daniel Bryan, who’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The fact that he then not only defeats them both, but he stacks them in the most declarative, dominant pinfall in the history of WrestleMania main events.”
Heyman later doubled down on the comparisons to Reigns and wrestling greats. He also stated it was because this was a side of Roman Reigns no one had ever seen before.
“Every moment that you see Roman Reigns on television, you are witnessing a character and persona, and a human being accomplish that vision of going to a level never achieved by Sammartino, Hogan, Austin, Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Ric Flair, etc,” Heyman stated. “You’re witnessing it every single time. You’re not only seeing another layer evolve. You’re seeing another layer get pulled back at the very same time.
“The strength from which he demonstrates this greatness is at the very same time and quite compelling and riveting, a very vulnerable moment because he’s revealing another side of himself to the public. That is authentic. That is genuine. That is really himself, the human being, and it’s fascinating to watch.”