When the biggest known secret in professional wrestling happens on Sunday at WrestleMania 34 – that Roman Reigns will beat Brock Lesnar for the Universal Heavyweight Title – what becomes on Paul Heyman?
While the idea of Lesnar dropping the title and moving out of Vince McMahon’s penthouse is almost a foregone conclusion, what happens to the greatest wrestling manager of our generation is a question that has not been answered yet. Paul Heyman is Gary Hart, Paul Ellering and a bit of Bobby “The Brain Heenan all wrapped into one. And he gets better every time he has to invent another promo for his “client” who makes an appearance on television when the price is right of the city is right,
See what I did there? I took a page out of the Reigns’ playbook to give Paul Heyman another chance to thrill us all with his gift of gab.
Losing Lesnar, who could walk back into a UFC octagon, isn’t as damaging as losing Heyman, who is one of the best things about Monday Night Raw. In a business void of managers and valets, the “throwback” character is refreshing, even if the character has been around for a while. WWE must find a way to keep Heyman around after the “Show of Shows.”
In the business a manager becomes a supporting character paired with a wrestler (or wrestlers) for a variety of reasons. A physically attractive woman accompanying, or “seconding”, a male wrestler to a match is sometimes referred to as a valet.
In this case Paul Heyman is as electric to watch with his voice as Lesnar is for his brute strength and ability to destroy anyone in his path.
Managers are also performers who assume this role may be non-wrestlers, occasional wrestlers, older wrestlers who have retired or are nearing retirement or, in some cases, new wrestlers who are breaking into the business (or a specific company) and need experience in front of the crowds. The wrestler who is paired with a manager may be referred to as his or her charge, client or ward. A professional wrestling manager has nothing to do with their real-world counterpart or with a promotion’s road agent.
Who steps up to follow Lesnar’s path? Which wrestler is in need of Heyman’s services. I like the idea of Samoa Joe and Heyman as a pair. I thought Braun Strowman may beat Lesnar for his title last year and walk out with Heyman by his side. What is WWE tried to resurrect Bray Wyatt’s career with a little help from Heyman? And then, there is the unthinkable pairing that probably will never happen.
Roman Reigns has been better in his promotional work, but he is still lacking charisma. What if Reigns wins this weekend in New Orleans and becomes the next “Paul Heyman” guy? It sounds crazy, it is crazy, but it also would strike gold for WWE.
WWE is about to embark on another long hibernation of Lesnar, who is the epitome of the part-time performer. Heyman is the best thing WWE has in terms of a non-wrestling performer. Taking him out of the spotlight would be damaging for Heyman and the company. Let’s hope the McMahon’s have someone waiting in the wings or this talent will be wasted until Lesnar decides to once again climb back in the ring.