Paul Heyman may only view himself as an advocate, but he is as much a part of the WWE SummerSlam main event as his client Brock Lesnar and WWE World Heavyweight champion John Cena.
Cena will defend his title against The Beast Incarnate on Aug. 17 in Lesnar's first match since ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania XXX.
Heyman has dubbed himself The One Behind the One in 21-1, and that moniker is well-earned. Heyman has been by Lesnar's side for many massive victories, and a triumph over Cena at SummerSlam would be near the top of that list.
For those who will be in attendance at Staples Center in Los Angeles and those who will be watching on WWE Network and pay-per-view, Heyman has a clear and direct message regarding what will happen at SummerSlam, and he didn't shy away from a multitude of other topics either.
Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam and Beyond
Ever since he began managing Lesnar in 2002, Heyman has been The Next Big Thing's staunchest supporter. Lesnar is a former NCAA heavyweight champion, WWE champion and UFC heavyweight champion, which are accolades that Heyman won't let anyone forget.
One of the few blemishes on Lesnar's record during his current WWE stint is a loss to Cena at Extreme Rules 2012. Lesnar holds wins over Triple H, CM Punk and The Undertaker since that defeat, though, and arguably has more momentum than he ever has.
That is due largely to the yeoman's work Heyman did while Lesnar was on hiatus following WrestleMania. Heyman constantly brought up the fact that his client broke The Deadman's streak, and he simply hasn't let anyone forget about it.
Lesnar enters SummerSlam as the favorite to become WWE World Heavyweight champion, and Heyman revealed in an interview with Ring Rust Radio that he expects The Conquerer to prevail in emphatic fashion much like he did at WrestleMania, courtesy of News of Delaware County's Joe Arcidiacono:
I think the people who need to be sold on this pay-per-view are John Cena fans, to which I offer this very quick sales pitch. If you are a fan of John Cena, and if you are there is no accounting for taste, this is your last opportunity to see him. And if you think it's all hype and hyperbole, here's something to consider; if you look back on 21 appearances at WrestleMania by The Undertaker, you can rarely find a video clip of someone even getting a two-count on The Undertaker. Brock Lesnar just didn't beat The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar hospitalized The Undertaker. Brock Lesnar gave The Undertaker such an ass-kicking that The Undertaker has not been seen, nor heard from since. There was no controversy. There was no outside interference. There was no manager distraction. Brock Lesnar stepped into the ring and beat The Undertaker within an inch of his life, and the same fate awaits for John Cena at the Staples Center, on Aug. 17 in Los Angeles at SummerSlam.
Heyman was a man of his word when he declared Lesnar defeating The Undertaker a spoiler during the build toward WrestleMania. With that in mind, it is difficult to take his words with regard to Cena at anything less than face value.
Lesnar's advocate is so confident in his client's ability to end Cena's 15th world title reign that he has even created a hashtag to commemorate it:
Spelling it out for @WWE @JohnCena on #RAW #MyClientBrockLesnarWillConquerJohnCenaAtSummerSlam pic.twitter.com/tOYy5WR1i7— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) August 4, 2014
If and when Lesnar becomes WWE's top champion for the fourth time, there will be no shortage of potential challengers. Heyman is confident in Brock's ability to defeat anyone put in front of him and named a bevy of Superstars who could conceivably step up to the plate, via Arcidiacono:
I see Brock Lesnar defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against all-comers. That could mean Randy Orton, that could mean Seth Rollins, that could mean Roman Reigns, that could mean Dean Ambrose, that could mean Big Show, that could mean Daniel Bryan. If there is anyone that wants to step up and try to take the title away, because that's the key.
Provided someone ultimately does attempt to achieve what seems almost impossible at this point, Heyman made it very clear that he will end up in the same situation as Cena at SummerSlam, via Arcidiacono:
You're not going to just luck a victory over Brock Lesnar. You're going to have to beat Brock Lesnar in order to take the championship from him. The same way Brock Lesnar is going to hoist John Cena up on his massive shoulders on Aug. 17 at SummerSlam, drive John Cena down to the mat with such ferocity that John Cena will not know what hit him with the F-5 and pin John Cena's shoulders to the mat 1-2-3 to take from John Cena the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. To strip John Cena of the dignity of being champion.
Lesnar vs. Cena has all the makings of a classic encounter much like their meeting in 2012. Heyman wasn't by Lesnar's side for that particular match, so perhaps he will be the lucky charm that swings things in The Beast Incarnate's favor.
Regardless of what happens at SummerSlam, though, Heyman will most definitely manage to put a positive spin on it just like any great advocate would.
The Undertaker's WWE Future
If any one moment is destined to be etched in WrestleMania lore forever, it is Lesnar's shocking win over The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. The result seemingly didn't come as a shock to Heyman or Lesnar, but the vast majority of the WWE Universe looked on in awe as the referee counted to three.
Lesnar's win ended an incredible era of dominance in WWE, and it quite possibly ended one of the most storied careers in professional wrestling history as well. There are still many blockbuster matches that The Phenom could have on the WrestleMania stage, but nobody is entirely sure if he ever intends to return to action.
Count Heyman among those who don't know what to expect from The Last Outlaw moving forward, via Arcidiacono:
I don't know. I truly don't know. I don't know as a human being and I don't know as a character. I don't know what he's thinking and I don't know what his reaction to this is. ... I don't know how he feels about it. I don't know if he feels that once his streak was over, that's what he had left to give. And I don't know if he feels that he doesn't want to go out like that. It's not something I'm privy to the answer of and nor should I be for that matter. It's clearly his decision.
One thing that Heyman did have intimate knowledge of, however, was the state of The Undertaker following his loss to Lesnar.
Taker took such a beating and was in such dire straits that Heyman revealed he had to be taken from the Superdome in New Orleans to a local hospital, via Arcidiacono:
I didn't see The Undertaker after the match. The Undertaker legitimately collapsed five seconds after he walked through that curtain. He never even made it to the gorilla position. He was in between the set and the curtain that leads to the control room known as the gorilla position. He collapsed there. They loaded him into the ambulance down a side ramp from right behind the curtain and was taken straight to the hospital. That's not a storyline, that's the way it happened.
That obviously doesn't definitively close the book on The Undertaker's career, but it is certainly something he will have to take into consideration. Perhaps he will feel terrific by the time WrestleMania XXXI approaches, but he is closing in on his 50th birthday.
The Undertaker felt the effects of facing one of the most aggressive, physical and athletically gifted people to ever set foot in a WWE ring. With that said, it can be argued that The Undertaker's ability to finish that match means there is nothing he can't overcome moving forward.
Heyman Talks New Documentary DVD
Heyman is seemingly juggling a dozen different balls at any given time as it relates to his work inside and outside the WWE realm. In addition to serving as Lesnar's advocate, Heyman has been promoting a new DVD released Aug. 5 entitled Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name Is Paul Heyman.
The documentary-style DVD focuses on Heyman's life and times, particularly in the business of professional wrestling. It touches on a number of different subjects, which include his time as a manager in WCW, his groundbreaking run at the helm of ECW, his exploits in WWE and so much more.
Not only is Heyman an all-time great wrestling mind, but he is a cerebral and interesting person in general. That alone promises to make this DVD an emphatic success.
The release of the DVD at all is quite incredible considering the ups and downs Heyman has experienced with WWE over the years. In fact, even Heyman never expected something like this to happen until recently, via Arcidiacono:
If you asked me two years ago if the WWE would've made a DVD of me, I wouldn't say yes. I wouldn't have envisioned this coming and I wasn't particularly happy when I heard they were going to do it because I didn't know what stories they were going to tell. I also knew that meant sitting down and reflecting upon my career and my life and I hate looking back. I'm obsessed with looking forward. I'm flattered by all of the positive reviews the DVD has gotten and I'm glad people like the take that was offered. Really, I have nothing to b---h about regarding it.
Among those who have already praised the DVD is WWE.com employee Joey Styles, who served as ECW's play-by-play announcer during Heyman's tenure:
One might assume that Heyman was heavily involved in a DVD that chronicles his life, but he revealed that WWE handled the selection of what to include while his contribution was a 16-hour interview. Heyman said the following on it, via Arcidiacono:
My participation in this DVD, besides giving them pictures of my children and a few pictures of my parents to the WWE, was I sat down for an interview, we did it all in one shot, it took about 16 hours. The only request that I had was that we kind of do it like a Charlie Rose interview. I'm sitting at a table because it's a more relaxed atmosphere. I didn't want to shoot it in my house. I didn't want to shoot it in my office. I sat down for 16 hours and we banged it out. I went in with the full intention of just whatever the question was, I'm going to give it a 100 percent honest answer.
Self-reflection is something that Heyman has never shied away from, so his DVD couldn't have been a success without plenty of it. He is among the most controversial individuals professional wrestling has ever seen, but he is also one of the most celebrated.
That combination makes him the ideal subject for a DVD, and it makes Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name Is Paul Heyman a virtual slam-dunk hit.
What's Next for Heyman?
As great as Heyman is in his current role for WWE, fans are always curious about whether or not he has other ambitions. Heyman thrived as a writer and booker in both ECW and WWE, but he has no plans or desire to return to that grind.
One interesting tidbit that Heyman did reveal, though, relates to talks he had with TNA in 2010. He was courted by WWE's chief competition, and he made several requests before considering joining the company, via Arcidiacono:
In 2010, after Brock Lesnar chocked out Shane Carwin (at UFC 116), there was a discussion that I had with TNA that involved Spike TV. Ultimately, because TNA had been trying to get me on the phone from the day I left WWE in 2006 and I never took the phone call. We finally got into a conversation because Spike TV had reached out to make that happen. Ultimately, the story of this is, if I was going to do it, I wanted the (UFC president) Dana White deal. I wanted complete control, I wanted a piece of the company and I wanted the ability to, when the time was right, to take it public.
Most importantly, though, Heyman wanted to present TNA as a complete and total departure from WWE much like he did with ECW. When TNA refused to comply with his vision, Heyman decided that it wasn't the right fit for him, via Arcidiacono:
I wanted to do the programming completely different than the way they had been doing it and Spike TV signed off on it. The concept was a very youth-oriented, youth-based, youth-marketed promotion. A complete contrast to the way WWE does things. A complete and utter alternative to WWE at the time. While the ruling family in TNA had no problem with my salary request, my ownership demands, my concepts, etc. etc., they didn’t want to implement as much of a youth-oriented product as I was looking for and I balked at it. I have no regrets about that. At the end of the day, they were happier being a WWE-lite promotion than they were branding themselves something different as TNA.
Even though Heyman doesn't currently have any interest in helping to run a wrestling company, that certainly doesn't mean that there is any type of void in his life.
He is enjoying his spot alongside Lesnar, and he is also doing plenty of exciting things in the world of marketing as well, via Arcidiacono:
I do my own thing with my marketing brand and talent agency in New York City called Looking 4 Larry Agency. I'm very proud of the body of work. We have a long list of clients including 2K Sports and in the past THQ and EA Sports and a number of different clients. And I get to do my own thing in the mainstream world with a marketing firm right in the heart of New York City. In regard to doing my own thing in sports entertainment, I kind of do my own thing now with Brock Lesnar and I'm very happy doing it.
Heyman hasn't been linked to an acting WWE champion since Punk's historic 434-day reign came to an end last year. That drought has a very good chance of coming to an end at SummerSlam when Lesnar goes face to face with Cena.
Although Heyman markets plenty of great brands, none is more lucrative than the brand that is Brock Lesnar.
Adding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to the mix will bolster his substantial value even more and give Heyman even more bragging rights than he already has to his credit.
Heyman advocates for a beast who ended one of the greatest streaks ever seen in sports entertainment. Come Aug. 17, he may also be able to say that he advocates for a champion as well.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW).
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