According to a new report today by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, one of the most respected MMA and pro wrestling news sites on the web, they got hold of this past Monday night’s Raw script after being notified from a source that Paul Heyman was backstage at Raw in Boston. While Heyman being backstage isn’t really huge news, it’s what was listed on the Raw script that was. Paul Heyman’s name was listed as one of the writers on the opening Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley segment (along with former NXT head writer Ryan Ward), as well as the Bobby Lashley segment after the Matt Hardy vs. Bo Dallas match.
It’s no secret that off-screen, Paul Heyman is a huge fan of Roman Reigns. Back during WrestleMania season, he told Nola.com that he “very much like(d) the fact that Roman Reigns has accepted the responsibility of being the leader of the locker room. He has assumed the mantle of being the conscience of the roster. Having seen him grow up in and around this business, I’m very proud of Roman Reigns.” Around the same time, talking to NBC Sports, he stated that “(i)n any other time in history, Roman Reigns would be so dominant on top, both in a story line capacity and a box office capacity in WWE. No one would be in his stratosphere. He would absolutely be the Paul Heyman guy for I would be auditioning every single solitary day to define my role as a Roman Reigns guy. We would be sitting here talking about Roman Reigns approaching 1,000 days as the top champion in WWE. There’s no doubt in my mind about this. No one would be in his league.” Heyman went on to say that “working with Roman Reigns would be an absolute career defining moment for me. I have nothing but the upmost respect and admiration for him as an athlete, a performer, and as a man.”
He was also interviewed by Newsweek and insisted that the Big Dog has nothing left to prove to the WWE Universe. “I don’t think Roman Reigns should for one moment of his life be worrying about earning the respect of the WWE audience. Because what he has is their willingness to pay to see Roman Reigns, whether they respect him or not,” he told them. “Right now, when you look at any of the indicators of selling tickets in terms of “does his name move the needle?,” if you announce his name on a show, how many tickets are sold in the first two hours of his name being announced, Roman Reigns is a box office commodity for WWE.
“People are willing to pay to see him win and people are willing to see him lose. People are willing to pay for the right to cheer or boo Roman Reigns. That is your job as a box office attraction. Your job and the manner in which you feed your family is not dependent upon whether the audience respects you or disrespects you. It’s dependent on the audience’s willingness to pay to see you. And he has accomplished that task better than anyone else on the roster which is why, for the fourth year in a row, he is in the main event of WrestleMania.”
With such a polarizing audience, it makes one wonder if Heyman was brought in to help add some edge to Roman’s character and rough up the edges so to speak – after all, Heyman was the master of edgy characters and storylines when he ran ECW in the 1990s, as well as his stint writing Smackdown in the early 2000s.
Do you think Heyman can save Roman Reigns for the disenfranchised fans, or is it a case of too little, too late? Let us know in the comments below!