The Advocate for the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to Kenny Herzog at Rolling Stone. And just like pretty much every other time Paul Heyman opens his mouth, it's pretty great.
Heyman is on the job, hyping Brock Lesnar's accomplishments over the past year as a way to increase the significance of whatever the champ does between now and WrestleMania 31 - starting this Sunday, January 25th at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV). In so doing, Herzog got him to reflect on other things he's done during his most recent stint with WWE, and provide some of his innovator's insight into the future of the business.
One thing that many wrestling fans lament in recent history is the failure of Heyman Guys not named Brock Lesnar or CM Punk. Paul takes has a realistic take on that, saying pretty much that his partnerships with Cesaro and Curtis Axel just didn't click:
I think the bar was set so high with the chemistry that Brock and I have, and the chemistry that Punk and I had, that it would be very difficult to match that.
It's not just a situation of, 'Stick manager A with wrestler B.' Especially when you're shooting for the top. I've never walked through the curtain with someone I wasn't trying to audition as a WrestleMania main-eventer, and I never want to. And I'm sure the performers I've worked with didn't want to have an advocate whose goal was anything less. But sometimes the chemistry just isn't there.
There's on talent that we've begun to see Heyman interact with more and more recently whom the ECW founder is just as excited about as most of the WWE Universe - Seth Rollins.
In discussing the stars present for this past Monday night Raw's final segment - Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, John Cena, Rollins, Lesnar and himself - Heyman called the former Shield member "the single best in-ring performer in the world today. Undisputed."
And while he sees his current "client" as making history with each appearance and looks toward working with another mega-star in Rollins down the line, the man who also runs a marketing firm (The Looking4Larry Agency) sees some other trends:
The next evolution of the business won't be the actual content or presentation, but the manner in which the business and the content is distributed.
I would suggest to you that [with] today's distribution channels, which are smartphones and other handheld accessories, that the product will skew younger in the next couple of years, because that's going to be the audience.
Regardless of who's watching and how, Heyman has a refreshingly basic take on the product being delivered:
I don't think the fanbase should ever compromise. They should demand the best product they can get for their money and for their attention.
I'm not one of those people that sits there and says, 'My God, what does the audience really want?' The audience wants something that entertains them, and whether that entertainment is in the form of a physical match or in the form of a skit or video or promo, it's our job to deliver it to them, to the point where the audience becomes the biggest champion of our brand. And if we can't match that, then we're falling short.
For a short interview, there's a lot to digest. Click on over to RS and read Herzog's full article - and let us know what you think about Heyman's observations.
Was there just a lack of chemistry with Cesaro, or was the presentation too focused on Brock?
Will WWE and wrestling target youth more as it moves away from traditional distibution via television and cable?
Is Seth Rollins without peer as an in-ring performer?
Here's you chance to respond to wrestling's best mouthpiece!