Paul Heyman has now been by the side of Brock Lesnar for almost two decades.
From the debut of the ‘Next Big Thing’ in 2002, to Lesnar’s last appearance in a WWE ring, Heyman has been side by side with the former UFC star.
Following Lesnar’s departure from WWE, Heyman has been aligned with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. This has meant that the former owner of ECW, like the rest of the roster, has had to deal with performing without a live crowd in attendance.
Speaking in a new interview with Richard Deitsch of the Sports Media podcast, Heyman has praised WWE for continuing to broadcast during the COIVID-19 pandemic, but acknowledged how daunting it has been to perform without a live audience.
“To WWE’s massive credit, we never missed a week. We kept going through everything. We kept producing content. We are in the content creation, the content presenting, the content exploitation, the content marketing, the content sales business, and we never missed a week. Wow. It is up to us, we, the performers, to do our role in that scenario. It is a daunting task to be interacting with an audience that is not there for you to be interactive with and everything that I do is based off of the reverberations that I get from the live crowd. But, when there is no live crowd, it is no longer a live performance, I am in a studio. I don’t know any musician that prefers being in a closed studio as opposed to being in a stadium full of people that are jamming with you.”
The Special Counsel to the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns, went to explain that the lack of an audience led to his decision not to announce Brock Lesnar to the ring at WrestleMania 36.
“It’s why at last year’s WrestleMania, and the main event which was Brock Lesnar vs Drew McIntyre, when Brock and I came out to the ring, I said to Brock, I can’t announce you.’ That was our schtick. I couldn’t do it because my dance partner wasn’t there and my dance partner was the audience. I didn’t realize it until we were halfway down the aisle to the ring.”
Heyman expanded further, as only he can, by comparing performing without a live crowd to the difference between sex and masturbation.
“It’s the difference between sex and masturbation. Sex is with somebody and it’s wonderful, and you’re making love, and it’s intimate, and it’s a give and take… Masturbation, you’re by yourself. I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up the mic and do that schtick without the audience there with me because that introduction was every bit as much about the audience doing it as me doing it. Without them, I’m just by myself. I didn’t feel it, I didn’t like it, I didn’t want it. I couldn’t do it.”
Brock Lesnar hasn’t been seen in WWE since losing the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 36.
Paul Heyman has recently opened up about his relationship with The Beast, commenting that the pair have
“never had a cross word” during their 20 year friendship.
Meanwhile Paul Heyman heads into WrestleMania 37 in the corner of the current WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Reigns will defend his title against both Edge and Daniel Bryan at night two of the event.
Inside The Ropes will have live coverage of the show when WrestleMania 37 night 1 kicks off at 1am BST on Saturday April 10th, followed by night 2 at 1am on Sunday April 11th.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.