Heyman Talks about Convincing McMahon to Let Him Use CM Punk’s Theme in Chicago
Inside the Ropes released a video from an Evening With Paul Heyman show, where Paul Heyman discussed the Monday Night Raw in Chicago, Illinois where Heyman came out to CM Punk’s music. Heyman discusses the decision to do the entrance, convincing Vince McMahon to allow it, and the reaction backstage. The segment happened in March 2014 after CM Punk had already left WWE. Below are some highlights and a video of Heyman discussing the topic.
Heyman on if it was difficult to do: “No. No because I knew I had the opportunity to do something that no one else could do. Here’s the humble part of this business. The humble part of this business — [Fan yells out, ‘Did Punk know?’] Did Punk know? No. I’ll tell you how that happened. Vince McMahon did not know about the fact that there was a move to ‘hijack’ Monday Night Raw. And the entire show was laid out, just including a Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman promo. And about 90 minutes before the show went on the air, I went to Vince and said, ‘Are you aware of what we’re facing here just weeks before WrestleMania?’ And I showed him, on my phone, just a sampling of what we were about to face on that show. That it was the determination of a very passionate crowd in a very passionate city to take over that show and heckle the show for three full hours chanting the name, ‘CM Punk.’”
Heyman on how the industry moves on without you: “Now, Punk and I have seen this industry in very similar ways for a long time. The industry moves forward without you. The industry moved forward without Bruno Sammartino. The industry moved forward without Bob Backlund. The industry moved forward without Hulk Hogan. The industry moved forward without Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. The industry — hey, in the past year, John Cena, who I mean has pulled this wagon and has been the man in WWE for 15 years, John Cena made fewer appearances this year than he has since 2002. The company moves on. The company was going to move on without Brock Lesnar. The company was going to move on without Paul Heyman. The company was going to move on without Roman Reigns. And guess what? The company’s going to move on one day without Vince McMahon. It just is. And if it doesn’t move forward, than what have we built? We’ve built something that means nothing because if it revolves around one person being involved, we’re screwed! I can’t revolve around one person.”
Heyman on convincing McMahon to do the promo in that fashion and take back the show: “So, Punk was gone, and the audience is going to hijack the show! I said, ‘Hey! Our object is to promote Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker! Well, last year, CM Punk lost to The Undertaker. And that was the beginning of the downward spiral of CM Punk and Paul Heyman because it all fell apart after that. I’m gonna blame it all on the fans because they took Punk away from me!’ And you know else I blame besides the fans? I blame The Undertaker, and I’m gonna teach The Undertaker a lesson! I said, ‘How?’ Because since he had led the fans to taking Punk away from me, being the a**hole that I am, I’m gonna take the streak away from him! And how do I take the streak away from him? Brock Lesnar. So, how do I set it up? [A fan yells, ‘Because you’re an a**hole!’] That’s right. Not as much as you for pointing that out. Because I’m an a**hole. So I said, ‘Let me f*** with them. Let me just go out there and f*** with them.’ *In Vince McMahon’s voice* ‘Goddammit man! What are you going to say?’ ‘I don’t know! But I’m gonna talk to them. I’m gonna lure them in. I’m gonna turn completely babyface. I’m on their side. Oh my god, I wish CM Punk was –‘ *As Vince McMahon again* ‘Goddammit! You’re gonna say CM Punk, you wish he was here tonight?!’ ‘Yeah. Yeah.’ Because I do wish he was here tonight. And you want to know something? This guy, *points to himself* when he’s out there, blames The Undertaker for Punk not being here. And I’m gonna take that streak away from The Undertaker. I said, ‘Just give me 15 minutes. Just let me go out there and lure them in and take it away from them. And believe me, they’ll stop trolling. They won’t hijack this show because they’ll get all their CM Punk chants out, and then they’ll pay attention to the WrestleMania matches that we’re promoting.”
Heyman on seeing the Chicago crowd as a challenge: “I considered it a challenge. I like to be challenged. I like for someone to come up with better promos than me because it challenges me to do better promos. Now, Brock Lesnar would like to fight someone who can give him a legitimate fight in this world. That’s why he likes to fight for UFC. I want to take on someone who can compete with me on this level. I do. I want to take on an audience that doesn’t make it easy for me. I want to see if I can be challenged and how good I can be because my desire had been since the day I had got into the business to be the best ever. I don’t walk around going, ‘I’m the best ever!’ But in my heart, I feel that I am, and I want to know that I am. And I want to push myself to a limit to say, ‘You know what? I’m pretty humble. I know I have flaws as a human being. I know the mistakes that I’ve made, but not one motherf***er back there could’ve done what I did tonight.”
“And so when I went out there and I lured out that crowd — and I just spoke to them. I wasn’t, ‘Ladies and gentlemen! CM Punk is not here tonight!’ I talked to them. I came out in the first segment of Raw, which needs to be high energy, and I just talked to them. And I spoke softly, so that they needed to lean in to listen. Once I had them, I stuck it right up their ***. And when I did, I knew I had them. And when they sit there going, ‘F*** you!’ And when I said, ‘Brock Lesnar!’ And out comes Brock Lesnar and those people were willing to pay to see The Undertaker kick Brock Lesnar’s a** because of what we did. And they stopped thinking about CM Punk, who simply wasn’t around for us to make money with anymore.”