Paul Heyman On CM Punk’s Promo Skills, How Lesnar vs. Cena Will Play Out, Raw Segment, More
Paul Heyman recently spoke with Complex Magazine to promote his new WWE DVD and SummerSlam. Below are some highlights:
There was a great moment on Monday Night Raw this past week for Hulk Hogan’s birthday with the appearances of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Rowdy Piper, and others. Although there wasn’t a punch thrown between Brock Lesnar and John Cena, everyone was on the edge of their seat. If you were booking that angle, what would you do differently?
I view that incident from Monday Night Raw differently than you do. I view it as that Brock Lesnar punked out a ring full of WWE Hall of Famers, including the immortal Hulk Hogan. And John Cena thought he was going to play Superman—gonna be a hero—and dived into the ring, but didn’t have what it takes to jump on Brock Lesnar.
Okay, that’s fair. You’ve talked about it a lot this week, but two days away, how do you see the Cena/Lesnar match playing out at SummerSlam?
I’ll be happy to tell you what’s gonna happen Sunday. I’ll save you the time and the effort of scratching your head trying to figure out where this leads. Brock Lesnar is going to deliver a beating to John Cena, the likes of which John Cena has never experienced in his life. When Brock Lesnar is done sadistically smacking around John Cena, Brock Lesnar will hoist John Cena up on his mammoth shoulders. Brock Lesnar will F5 John Cena. Brock Lesnar will pin John Cena. And Brock Lesnar will go on to be the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE heavyweight champion of the world.
Before this interview, I revisited “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcast and you said that you still talk to CM Punk and that’s he’s a friend—he’ll always be a friend. Have you spoken to him recently? And do you guys have a “no-wrestling policy” when you guys talk now?
It would be very uncomfortable to describe to anyone any personal conversations I have with anybody. It would be akin to me saying, “So what did you and your wife talk about at the dinner table last night?” Or, “Hey, I heard you went to the baseball game with your best friend, what was he talking to you about?” The answer is, to the entire world, none of your business. Whether Punk and I have a “no-wrestling policy” or a “no-music policy” or a “no-religion policy,” that’s between us. And since we’re not marketing anything in public together, I’m hesitant in describing anything regarding a conversation I would have with—whether it’s CM Punk, or any other friend of mine.
Understood. Switching gears, you’re known for your superb skills on the microphone. In your opinion, of those wrestler that you have worked with, who is the best of all time in terms of cutting a promo?
That I’ve worked with in terms of writing and producing for them? Or in terms of teaching them? Or in terms of, “I’m on the same roster at the same time I watch that guy and I say, ‘Oh my God, he’s great’”?
I think the last criteria broadens the scope a bit…
I think John Cena has been on top for over 10 years because he understands how to convey his message to his audience. I think “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has revolutionized the way in which a character on a wrestling program can speak. I think that when Vince McMahon was opposed against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, there were things that he said and things that he did that were absolutely brilliant and ground-breaking and changed the sculpt of the villain in professional wrestling. So there are a lot of people that I watched—hey, The Rock is one of the biggest movie stars of the past decade. There’s a reason for it: He understands how to convey his message. And he learned that in front of a live audience in WWE, so how could you not include him on that list? There are others that are coming up—I thought the work that Punk did as Champion was simply brilliant and ground-breaking and trend setting, so I would be remiss not to include him on this list as well.