Paul Heyman has long been heralded by wrestling fans for his ability to elevate top stars and maximise their potential. He currently plies his trade alongside “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns, and is also synonymous with talents such as Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, and the Big Show, amongst a host of others.
Whilst fans are keen to see Reigns and Heyman’s partnership to continue on further, with the act being the highlight of WWE television consistently over the last few months, speculation will always emerge over who Heyman’s next client could potentially be.
Speaking to Sports Media with Richard Deitsch, Heyman discussed the prospect of Roman Reigns taking time away from WWE, and what it would mean for him. He notes that WWE would be keen to keep him on screen in some capacity, and highlights current Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair as someone he could bring the best out of as a manager.
“If Roman were to take a year off right now, and WWE would want to inure the benefit of paying me for the next 52 weeks, so they would want to exploit my character on television. Who would be the first person that I would point to, to say, ‘put me with them?’ It would be Ronda Rousey. I can’t tell you that 1a isn’t Charlotte Flair either and oppose Ronda Rousey. That would also be interesting to me. I also think that Charlotte Flair is a dramatically underutilized talent. Both by WWE but also by Charlotte Flair. I don’t think she understands just how great she is, I don’t think that’s a skill set that someone can be taught without hands-on experience. Together with synergy, professional intimacy, and trust, and again, it’s about the method. But if I were to be able to perform with her, I think I could bring something out of Charlotte. A level of greatness that she can’t achieve on her own. And nobody can achieve it, Roman Reigns couldn’t achieve the Tribal Chief on his own.”
Flair was victorious in her Smackdown Women’s Championship defence over Ronda Rousey at Night 1 of Wrestlemania 38, a match that had been set in motion by Rousey’s Royal Rumble victory earlier this year.
Rousey was another top female star touched upon by Heyman as a potential future client of his, believing her current position to be similar to that of Flair’s.
“The same goes for Ronda Rousey. There are things about Ronda Rousey that are so ahead of the curve, that are so beyond anybody’s ability to even fathom how great she can be. And there’s no way that she can reach that on her own. She needs someone to bounce off, she needs someone to perform with. An actor doing a monologue will never be as great, I don’t care if it’s Laurence Olivier doing Othello in the park. He’s never going to be as great as if he’s opposed against, or doing a scene with another performer that can bring something out of Olivier that he can’t bring out of himself. So with that in mind, a chance to work with Ronda Rousey, whose whole life has been predicated on breaking barriers, and smashing through glass ceilings, and reaching levels that no one else on the history of the face of the planet, male, female, or any other gender that we care to identify, has ever reached in their entire life, or will. Oh my god.”
Heyman’s high praise for Rousey didn’t stop there, noting that working with the UFC Hall of Famer behind the scenes is “beyond inspirational”.
“Selfishly, I would love to see what she could bring out of my performance. So, yes I would love to work with Ronda Rousey. Working with her behind the scenes is just beyond inspirational. Because there’s a strive for greatness that lives within Ronda that you just have to acknowledge every time you’re around her.”
Flair and Rousey both made history alongside Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania 35, becoming the first female stars to headline on ‘The Grandest Stage of Them All’. Since that years edition, Wrestlemania has transitioned into a two-night event, with Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks main eventing Night 1 of Wrestlemania 37 last year.
Heyman goes on to note that WWE’s women’s division are yet to headline Night 2 of a Wrestlemania, however he believes that this will be a matter of when, not if, due the “fierce” competition between talent.
“Here’s the thing, you will see within the next decade, maybe even the next half-decade, the main event of WrestleMania, night two, main event, end of the weekend. You will see two females in the main event, I have no doubt. The competition is too fierce, they’re too good, they’re coming up so fast, and their talents are on display. They are going to end up there.”Paul Heyman
With Night 1 of Wrestlemania 38 providing what many fans believe to be the best match of the weekend in the form of Bianca Belair VS Becky Lynch, it would certainly come as no surprise to see WWE pull the trigger on having their female stars close out a ‘Mania weekend in the future.
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.