CM Punk & Paul Heyman: How a Guy Who Doesn't Need a Manager Can Benefit from One

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2012

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Superstars who are paired with managers generally struggle on the mic and aren't capable of getting over with the crowd on their own.

It appears as though that trend has been bucked, however, thanks to the budding partnership of WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman.

With or without Heyman, Punk is the No. 2 guy in the company behind John Cena, so it might seem unnecessary to give him a mouthpiece. There are several capable talkers in the WWE, but Punk is widely considered to be the best among them.

Despite that, joining forces with Heyman is still sensible, and it has been very effective thus far.

Perhaps the only thing better than having one of the best promo men in the business is pairing two of them as a collective force, and that is precisely what the WWE Universe is seeing with Punk and Heyman.

Punk is still the main attraction, but there have been few better authoritative personalities in the history of wrestling than Heyman, and he helps to highlight Punk's qualities even more.

The biggest way that Heyman has benefited Punk has been accelerating his heel turn. Punk surprised a lot of fans when he attacked The Rock on the 1,000th episode of RAW, but that moment alone wasn't enough to garner him heel heat.

It wasn't until he beat down John Cena backstage and left with Heyman that Punk's heel turn truly took off.

With that said, any superstar, no matter how popular, could use a guy like Heyman to an advantage when turning heel or face. Prior to the Attitude Era, fans responded in kind when a face or heel turn happened, and they followed the norm of cheering newly-minted faces while booing new heels.

Things aren't as simple nowadays, since many fans enjoy cheering heels, and that makes it much tougher for turns to be made effectively.

Punk, in particular, had spent a year as one of the company's top faces, and had seen his popularity rise to its high-water mark before reverting back to heel status, so it wasn't realistic to expect the fans to embrace the change immediately.

While many diehard wrestling fans love Heyman, the vast majority of the casual fans despise him for his arrogant, slimy character, and that is why he is the perfect manager for Punk. I'm sure that Punk would have eventually gotten over as a heel on his own, but Heyman's mere presence added credibility to his turn.

Now Heyman essentially acts as a cheerleader for Punk and is meant to be a nuisance to the fans. He carries around Punk's WWE Championship belt, constantly calls him the best in the world and basically agrees with everything he says.

Perhaps putting Heyman with Punk wasn't a must, but there is no denying that it has furthered Punk's transformation.

Managers are truly a rare breed in the WWE today, as very few of them exist, but Heyman is the best in the business right now. There are tons of guys on the roster who would be better off with him in their corner, and that even includes a main-event star like Punk.

An old saying says "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but Punk and Heyman debunk that theory. Punk certainly wasn't broke as a character before Heyman came along, but if you add something good to a situation that was already great before it, it is only going to get better.

Punk was doing just fine on his own. However, Heyman is just another weapon to add to his considerable arsenal.

That doesn't mean that other top guys like Cena should be given managers, but in the right situation, a perfectly single competitor can use a manager to his advantage.

It just so happens that Punk's character was going through a transitional period, and Heyman was the perfect catalyst to speed things up.


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