Paul Heyman on Seth Rollins as WWE Champion, Keeping Brock Lesnar Content, Roddy Piper, More
– Paul Heyman recently spoke with CBS Sports to promote WWE SummerSlam. The full interview is at this link. Below are highlights:
CBS Sports: The WWE Universe was saddened recently by the passing of Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Having worked with a lot of the best in the business yourself, what do you think it was about Piper that made him such a captivating performer?
Paul Heyman: “His willingness to ignore barriers and boundaries and to put himself out there on a ledge at all times, and to say daring things that sometimes made no sense at all, but [they] were said with such passionate delivery that people would read into it and find meaning in his words. I think Piper was such a unique character because he was so uninhibited in his approach to putting his personality out there to the masses.”
CBS Sports: You seem to be one of the only people Brock Lesnar completely trusts. What’s the secret to keeping a guy like Lesnar content?
Paul Heyman: “I’ve never let him down. I always tell Brock Lesnar the truth. I don’t appease Brock Lesnar. I don’t placate Brock Lesnar. When Brock Lesnar asks me for an opinion, I give to him an honest opinion that I’m willing to back up with facts, with theory. It’s never just what he wants to hear, or what benefits me the most. And I get the same from him, I assure you.”
CBS Sports: What do you think of the job Seth Rollins has been doing as WWE Champion?
Paul Heyman: “I think Seth Rollins is a perennial champion for the next decade. I think in the same way that John Cena and Randy Orton are multi, multi-time champions from 2005 on, I think that is now Seth Rollins’ position. I think Seth Rollins is in the title picture for the next decade. He has established himself as a main event performer. He has delivered on every occasion that he has had the opportunity to perform. And he has risen to the top faster than anyone else that has been called up so far from NXT. So I think Seth Rollins is just at the very beginning of his career as a main eventer.
“I mean, Seth Rollins was involved in the main event of this year’s WrestleMania, but he wasn’t advertised as a main event at this year’s WrestleMania. We have yet to see Seth Rollins have the opportunity to perform in a WrestleMania main event. I don’t think you’ve even seen Seth Rollins scratch the surface of what he’s capable of doing.”
CBS Sports: You’ve been known for years as a man with a great eye for talent. What’s your assessment of the current WWE roster? Is there anyone that stands out as a huge star in the making, that maybe isn’t on top yet?
Paul Heyman: “I think there is a roster filled with superstars that have yet to be exploited to their full potential. I don’t think anyone realizes how much Bray Wyatt has to offer. Roman Reigns has been in an advertised WrestleMania main event. I don’t think people have even seen more than one or two layers of Roman Reigns, and there’s a lot — there’s a lot more to Roman Reigns than what you’ve seen so far. Cesaro, who has been knocking on the door of the main events for the past several years, is just now coming into his own, and what an opportunity he has with Kevin Owens to put on career-making performances for both of them at SummerSlam.
“I think the women have an opportunity just in the next year or so to become bona fide, first-time-ever pay-per-view main eventers in WWE. How could you not look at the Bellas, how could you not look at Paige, how could you not look at Charlotte and Sasha Banks, how could you not look at these women and say that they are going to main event? Because they are. It’s the journey that they’re on and they back it up with their performances every night.
“And there’s a crop of talent in NXT that has not had the mass exposure of network television outside of the WWE Network, that is just chomping at the bit to take advantage of the opportunity of that mass exposure. So I think it’s a roster full of people that are going to ascend to the top. I think the question is who gets there first, and who gets there second and third?”
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