Who is the most entertaining act on Raw these days?
A few names spring to mind. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be the obvious one. Or how about former WWE champion CM Punk?
Or maybe it’s the recently returned Mark Henry and his violent destruction through most of the roster?
While all are great candidates, the correct answer is, in fact, Paul Heyman.
As a slimy, sleazy heel who wants his guys (Lesnar, CM Punk) to win at all costs, Heyman shines. Is there anyone else on the show more unlikeable and easy to hate?
Yes, ever since the ECW mastermind returned last year in the role as Brock Lesnar’s “Legal Advisor” he has greatly aided WWE’s flagship show.
Indeed, Heyman’s contributions may have been the one thing that has stopped Raw—hindered by an exhausting three-hour format and a messy creative direction—falling off a cliff this past year.
Let’s face it: For all the justified criticism heaped on Raw in recent times, it would have been a great deal worse if Heyman were not around, playing the mastermind evil heel role to perfection.
No wonder the fans hate him and jeer him so heavily when he comes out. He’s excellent in his role.
The manager is also aided by his unrivalled ability to bring out the very best in anyone he works with.
CM Punk was already a terrific talker and outstanding personality by the time he recruited Heyman, but thanks to his manager, he managed to grow and develop even more as a heel act.
Brock Lesnar, who for all his talents is a generally pretty one-dimensional as a personality, also manages to come off as more well-rounded thanks to Heyman. Lesnar’s undying loyalty to his best friend gives his character a depth that he wouldn’t otherwise have.
Vickie Guerrero, who has been playing the same screeching authority figure for so long she’s gotten stale, has also benefited from her association from him.
Come on: How priceless was it when she and Heyman disingenuously attempted to incite a public prayer for the wounded Vince McMahon two weeks ago on Raw?
No one quite seems to know if the two are allies or not—she seemingly changes her mind on him every other week—but her act has been reinvigorated greatly.
Of course, that's not to suggest there are no drawbacks to having him all over the show. After all, there is the risk that he may end up upstaging the wrestlers he's supposed to be helping.
Come on, does it really help The Shield if they're being presenting as doing Heyman's bidding? They're supposed to be a group of renegades who obey no one's rules. Why would they be taking orders from him?
Heyman can still be an asset, of course. And he has made Raw worth watching again. But WWE might be best served in the future by not exposing him too much.