Paul Heyman on Working with Big Show and Brock Lesnar, Lesnar vs. The Undertaker at HIAC
– Paul Heyman recently spoke with Brian Fritz of SportingNews.com to promote Saturday’s live WWE Network special from Madison Square Garden. The full interview is at this link. Below are highlights:
BF: I know you have a special relationship with both Brock Lesnar and Big Show. Brock on working with him now and being such good friends and you’ve worked in a similar role with Big Show. What was that experience like when you guys worked in that role together about ten years ago?
PH: I worked with Big Show in 2002 and 2003. I loved working with Big Show because at the time on Raw, he was the butt of jokes. He was sleeping on a couch having peanuts thrown at him by the nWo. We desperately needed a monster on Smackdown to take on Brock Lesnar and the choice became the Big Show. So, as I talked about on Monday, I meant what I was talking about. He was inspired. He was driven. He was motivated. And he understood he had an opportunity to change the course of his career instead of lying down on a couch and having peanuts thrown at him. He had a chance to main event and he had a chance to main event against Brock Lesnar and Edge and Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle and have the show built around him. He exploited that opportunity. He ran with it. He jumped on it as hard as anyone I’ve seen. It’s always a thrill to work with somebody that has that ambition to go there every night and make the company never regrets giving him that chance.
BF: I know that you’re someone who doesn’t like to sit still or get complacent. Right now, you’ve been working with Brock Lesnar for a while and obviously you have a great relationship. Do you ever see yourself getting complacent working with Brock because it has been for an extended period of time and would you welcome a new challenge in WWE?
PH: Working with Brock Lesnar is a daily challenge because every Monday night that we’re on television, I feel compelled to deliver, at least from my end, the best performance I’ve ever put on. I’ve often said and I know I’ve said it to you several times in the past that I consider every Monday to simply be an audition to appear the very next week on television. I look at every promo I do as a command performance to do better than I did the previous week if not deliver the best promo of my life. And that’s because I’m working with, truly, a once-in-a-lifetime athlete who is driven to put on his best performances every time he steps into the ring. We push each other and drive each other to go past and limits we may have as performers so that when I go out there I’m just expecting of myself the best performance of my career on every promo, I know Brock expects that of me too. And I know that when he steps into the ring, he doesn’t just want to deliver the best match of his career every time he steps in there, he knows that that’s what I’m looking for him to accomplish for himself, for his family, for our act as well. So, it would be very difficult to even imagine a time of complacency with the Brock Lesnar – Paul Heyman dynamic because we’re both very inspired, very motivated, obsessed even because we’re both looking at every opportunity to appear as being a career-defining moment until the next time we appear. My next performance has to be better than tonight’s performance. And my performance after that has to blow my next performance away. And just for the record, Brock Lesnar is a big part of that because’s that what the man expects out of me as well.
BF: You have this big show coming up on Saturday night from the Garden but then you’ve got Hell in a Cell on Oct. 25 with Brock Lesnar taking on The Undertaker to complete that current trilogy. Are you surprised that match is happening so quickly after SummerSlam?
PH: No because now’s the time. This is where there’s tremendous public interest in it and it’s the right match to do. I don’t think we should hold off Hell in a Cell until WrestleMania. I think Brock Lesnar versus The Undertaker in their final conflict — in what is sure to be the final time these two ever step into the ring against each other — and I think that should happen now. I don’t think waiting until WrestleMania would be, to borrow the phrase, “best for business” and I think the heightened public interest coming off of what happened at SummerSlam and the reaction from the public after we told our story the next night on Raw, I think now’s the time to capitalize on it and to exploit the public interest and present the match now.
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