6 WWE Superstars Who Could Become Paul Heyman Guys Along with Brock Lesnar
Paul Heyman has been an incredibly valuable asset to WWE over the years, with his work as an on-screen manager possibly being the most important aspect.
In particular, Brock Lesnar owes his continued presence in WWE to Heyman's work as his advocate.
Could you imagine how much harder it would be to push storylines if Heyman weren't making appearances in Lesnar's absence and cutting promos to build feuds? The past few years would have been impossible.
Lesnar's future is in question, as his next appearance could be anything from the next event in Saudi Arabia to never. There's no telling whether or when he will return, particularly as his MMA career may be over, which could indicate that he will retire from wrestling too.
At the very least, his absence opens the door for Heyman to find something else to do and to put his skills to use by partnering up with someone else.
While some would be quick to toss aside the idea and say there's no need for another Paul Heyman guy, let's play devil's advocate and look at the roster to see who might be a good fit if WWE decides to go down this path.
Bobby Lashley has always looked like a million bucks but struggled with the promo side of sports entertainment.
He hasn't progressed much in the past decade, which is why his best work this past year has been alongside Lio Rush, who did the talking for him.
For the second time, it appears Rush is no longer partnered with Lashley, who is cutting promos for himself again. While he hasn't done a terrible job, he hasn't knocked anything out of the park, either.
Having Heyman take Rush's spot as Lashley's manager is, admittedly, a somewhat lateral move, as Lashley would be going from having one mouthpiece to another.
But Heyman is a much different speaker than Rush. He builds the credibility and prestige of his clients, while Rush went for striking the annoying chord to get heat.
With Rush, Lashley was a fine upper-midcarder who could get boos, but with Heyman, he could finally work his way up to the main event level as a legitimate contender for the Universal Championship.
Plus, this could set the stage for one of the few noteworthy matches left for Lesnar, as the two have experience in MMA, and Lashley has repeatedly expressed interest in feuding with The Beast Incarnate.
Infighting between Heyman's two studs would be a fun story to tell, with the former ECW leader having to decide which wrestler to back. That would have to be Lesnar, and the face turn in response for Lashley could be what seals the deal on boosting his popularity to the highest it can go.
In the meantime, just having someone like Heyman cut promos for Lashley would save us from any future feuds that may be reminiscent of his program with Sami Zayn, which awkwardly revolved around his sisters.
Akam and Rezar
The Authors of Pain haven't been seen in a while, as Akam has been dealing with an injury. But even before that, they weren't having the best run on the main roster.
For some reason, they ditched their manager, Paul Ellering, on their debut night on Raw. This immediately set them back, as neither man can carry promos well enough for the team to build storylines.
WWE's illogical answer to this was to put 205 Live general manager Drake Maverick with the team as their new mouthpiece. It's a decision that was likely made because someone thought it would be funny to put a small guy with two hulking brutes.
It didn't pan out, and after some bathroom humor and a complete lack of any value in the tag team division—even as champions—AOP are desperately in need of being refreshed.
Once Akam is cleared to return, Heyman should be the man to bring them back and speak on their behalf.
He has the passion in his promos to put over how destructive they can be, so fans will hear it coming out of his mouth while they see the domination in front of their eyes.
To go the extra mile, WWE could even make AOP so hardcore in their beatings that this evokes Heyman's ECW days, as nobody knows extreme more than the mad scientist who steered that ship.
Managing a tag team would also separate Heyman from the singles competition scene, so there wouldn't be any interference between AOP and Lesnar, as they aren't in the way of each other.
Akam and Rezar need a manager, and there is nobody else in WWE today who could make them feel like a more credible and dangerous threat than Heyman.
For a while in NXT, Lars Sullivan had a gimmick that while he was a monster, he was also well-read with a surprisingly large vocabulary.
In a way, that character was inspired by Rowan's first attempt at a babyface turn. Turnabout's fair play and Rowan took it back, reapplying it for his partnership with Daniel Bryan, to a certain extent.
That has made it so Sullivan can't quite adopt a similar strategy to his future promos, which has left him in a creative wasteland.
There is nothing different with him than any other generic big man in trunks. He's the same monster Vladimir Kozlov, Khali and others have been, which spells doom for his promos.
Knowing how this works, in no time, he will be cutting the same ordinary promos about how he will destroy everyone on the roster that we have heard a million times, which is why Heyman would be a useful tool.
Not only would Heyman be able to cut promos for Sullivan, but he could also help with finding ways to make this character something new, as his talents for mic work are on the creative side too.
Heyman managed to help get Ronda Rousey out of her shell by working on promos with her. He could do the same with Sullivan.
Perhaps there could even be a new dynamic wherein Heyman isn't the eloquent one speaking on behalf of the simpler brute but someone who can have more of a conversation with his client. That way, Sullivan gets to express himself but under the guidance of someone with much more experience to steer him in the right direction.
It could even seem like Heyman has latched on to Sullivan as his next meal ticket in preparation for Lesnar's eventual departure, which could lead to some jealousy and a feud between the two.
Tony Nese is more than capable in the ring and has a good look, but he's lacking in the verbal side of being a WWE Superstar.
He's been given enough time on the main roster as both a heel and even a babyface to prove that he won't suddenly manifest the mic skills of The Rock or Ric Flair. At best, he will improve just a little bit, but it will take a much longer time than he has as champion, and it will be too little, too late.
Pairing him with Heyman would be a good decision to balance out that equation, as well as give some notoriety to 205 Live.
The brand isn't given enough attention to convince the WWE Universe to tune in, but if Heyman were to hitch his wagon to someone he says is worthy of his services on that show, it might get people to tune in.
Nese only has three potential feuds in Ariya Daivari, Mike Kanellis and Drew Gulak waiting for him before he's out of options. Once those are done, there won't be anything left for him to do as champion but feud with other babyfaces on the brand.
It might be worth it to go straight to a heel turn, with Heyman being the one to do the talking about why Nese is the top of the food chain so that we get promos that are more than just counting his abs as a heel or talking about how he's a fighting champion now he's a babyface.
If at first you don't succeed, try again. That may be the case when it comes to Cesaro having Heyman as his manager.
The two were partners five years ago, but things were different back then. Heyman spent most of his time touting Lesnar as the conqueror of The Undertaker's streak than giving attention to Cesaro, so The Swiss Superman wasn't able to benefit from their work together.
With Lesnar no longer the focal point who has to be mentioned on a daily basis, things could be different this time around. It could finally be Cesaro's time to break that glass ceiling and become a main eventer.
The Bar was split up during the recent Superstar Shake-up. Already, Cesaro has been relegated to wrestling Cedric Alexander on Main Event.
If there isn't someone like Heyman to light that spark, Cesaro might linger in the midcard long enough that Sheamus will return from injury and reform the tag team or, even worse, the Swiss will be paired with someone else in what would be the third makeshift team of his WWE tenure.
It's now or never. If CEO Vince McMahon doesn't think Cesaro has the mic skills to be a top guy, he needs a manager, and when looking at the list of possible options, the only person who could do him justice is Heyman.
Cesaro wouldn't work with an annoying manager who irks people with their voice. He's a performance-based athlete who needs the prestige of being seen as a talent who can't be overlooked.
Heyman has what it takes to get that point across and let it be known that Cesaro can get the job done once the bell rings. Then Cesaro just has to go out there and prove it, which we all know he can do.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.