CM Punk and Brock Lesnar will be facing off at WWE SummerSlam, live on pay-per-view on August 18. The match that pits former fellow clients of Paul Heyman against each other is a main event match anywhere in the world and should be big business for WWE.
But thus far, Brock Lesnar has less to do with this than his advocate does. In fact, Lesnar's side of this is being run by Heyman, who is basically using his mic work to carry the bulk of the feud forward.
Truth be told, I believe we all probably expected this. Since Brock first returned to the company back in 2012, his status has been less than part time. He essentially is used whenever WWE has a pay-per-view event to sell. He is saved for the big matches, against WWE's top names.
So far, he has worked John Cena and Triple H. Two opponents in just over a year does not sound like much, but in a company full of talent, Brock does not necessarily have to be used anymore than that to garner attention from fans.
And that will not change now.
We have seen Brock on WWE programming long enough to F5 CM Punk, then assault him again a few weeks later. Since then, we have been put on the fast track to their showdown at SummerSlam. While we wait for the event to get here, we must be content with Paul Heyman carrying Brock's side of the rivalry.
Again, I'm sure we all expected this.
But for me, this is really not a problem at all. Even though Heyman is standing on the sidelines instead of being physically involved in this match, he is more than enough to entertain fans in Lesnar's absence. Actually, he is more than just a replacement.
Let's face it; Paul is flat out killing it.
It's no mystery that Paul Heyman is one of the best mic workers that the industry has ever known. Every time he picks up the stick, he just makes magic. He is one of those guys who makes an impact whenever he opens his mouth. He's so good to the point that it's just automatic for him.
And this works out great for him, especially in this situation. The role of the pro wrestling manager has almost always entailed being the mouthpiece for the workers he has represented. Oftentimes, a guy would be put with a manager because he was not all that strong on the mic and needed that assist that only a great talker could give him.
Get a manager who can talk, and it gets the guy over that's standing next to him. That is the way it's been done for years, and it works practically every time. The truth is we have seen this many times before.
Bobby Heenan is a great example, as many of the Superstars in the Heenan family needed his help. Even though he had Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Ric Flair, three of the best talkers that the NWA had ever known, he also had King Kong Bundy, Andre the Giant and Big John Studd.
These big men may have had the size and strength of main event stars but perhaps not the gift of gab. And in this business, the more you can talk, the more valuable you are and the longer shelf life you will likely have.
Bobby Heenan was able to give the rub to Superstars, making them more credible. He also caused them to be more hated due to the heat that he had with the crowd. Everyone wanted to see Heenan get his back in the 1980s. And everyone also wanted to see the men he managed get theirs as well.
Brock is a veteran in WWE, an accomplished main event star whose history in the company as well as his reputation and career in UFC is without question. But put a mic in his hand and suddenly it becomes very apparent just what Brock's deficiencies are.
So with Paul doing the talking, this rivalry has lost little momentum. In fact I would say it has done nothing but picked up steam.
After all, this is not only Paul Heyman that is engaging in a war of words leading up to the match at SummerSlam. On the other side of this equation is CM Punk—a guy who knows a thing or two about cutting a promo.
The tension between these two guys has been palpable, from the moment that Heyman began lying to Punk about ordering Brock to deliver the F5 the night after Payback. And after Paul cost Punk the ladder match victory at Money in the Bank, the tension has boiled over into unbridled rage.
Punk is now out for blood against the man who stood by him for the bulk of his historic 434-day WWE title reign. He now understands what Heyman's critics have been saying all along, and he now wants revenge on the former ECW owner.
But while Punk would love to get his hands on Heyman, he will have to settle for sparring against his former mentor on the mic. And that suits me just fine.
At the end of the day, this is where Heyman shines. The more drama involved, the better he is. And the storyline involving Punk, Lesnar and Paul's betrayal equals great drama, the kind that Heyman can really sink his teeth into.
If this feud continues on its current path, it stands a good chance of becoming one of the most entertaining angles that fans have seen in years. And we have Paul Heyman to thank for that.
Brock Lesnar's lack of TV time is not helping his rivalry against CM Punk. This would typically not bode well for either man, considering they are headed toward a major showdown at WWE's upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view. But the feud is in good hands with Paul Heyman. At this point, Paul is more than carrying Lesnar's side as WWE continues to build toward SummerSlam.
After all, this is Paul Heyman; he kills it every time.