As notorious names go in WWE and professional wrestling history, perhaps few carry the clout to support that title more than Paul Heyman.
From WCW to ECW to WWE, controversy has always been in tow when it comes to Heyman. The current WWE storylines have some of that controversy being brought to the forefront in terms of the on-going return of Brock Lesnar.
And it has helped significantly.
When Lesnar first burst onto the scene in 2002, Heyman was his mouthpiece. He was there to create the hype around the physically imposing Lesnar. A classic case of building a monster heel in the vein of Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart.
Just like Heenan and Hart, Heyman dominated the microphone in creating the Lesnar beast outside of the ring. Granted, it was Lesnar who destroyed opponent after opponent in his rise to being WWE Champion, but Heyman carried the load outside of the wrestling to keep the momentum surrounding “The Next Big Thing” building and building.
Fast forward to Lesnar’s return in April of this year—the night after WrestleMania and subsequent F5 to John Cena, setting up their battle at Extreme Rules. A solo return for Lesnar based around the same physical prowess he bestowed when he last appeared eight years ago.
But since he was solo, he was also turned loose on the microphone to cut promos on Raw, which sadly re-exposed Lesnar’s most glaring flaw.
Everyone threw much-maligned criticism about the near-30-minute contract-signing segment for Extreme Rules, where Lesnar badly meandered in making his demands to John Laurinaitis and finishing the build with Cena going into the pay-per-view.
Perhaps it was the combination of Lesnar’s weakness on the microphone and the limited-appearance contract he signed with WWE that forced the company to bring Heyman back to act at Lesnar’s front man in hyping his impeding grudge match with Triple H at SummerSlam.
Regardless, since Heyman’s return in May, he has immediately stepped right back into his previous role seamlessly. He has generated not only considerable heat around Lesnar, but he also furthered the feud with Triple H.
Fellow B/R writer Richard Warrell attempted to nail down Lesnar’s appearances for at least the near future. With WWE going so top heavy with Lesnar going into Extreme Rules, Heyman was needed to keep him relevant up until the July 23rd 1,000th episode of Raw since he has been absent since April 30th.
You can’t argue that Heyman hasn’t thrown down the gauntlet with his tightly conceived and conveyed promos with Triple H that don’t suffer from excessive wordiness or flubs.
What he has done is make it so when Lesnar returns for the July 23rd show, the heat will be feverish coming from the crowd and shift this feud into high gear heading into August.
Of course, what does the future hold post-SummerSlam? Will WWE keep Heyman in tow of Lesnar for the remainder of his one-year contract? They’d better if they’re looking to ramp Lesnar up toward a high-profile match at WrestleMania XXIX next year.