On the latest episode of Talking Smack, Daniel Bryan asked Paul Heyman to honestly tell him whether he thought there was a point in his entire career that Heyman thought Bryan was the best in professional wrestling.
Heyman spent a few moments considering the question, eventually answering that not only does he worry Bryan has been the best, but that he will one day be the best again, and be able to defeat his current client Roman Reigns, who Heyman regards as the current top wrestler.
“Yes and no. I worry that you were the best. And that means our interests would conflict. I worry on any given night that you could still be the best, despite the fact that you see your career as winding down. That doesn’t mean I don’t see your career winding down.
“I think if you get that taste of glory again; if you taste that WrestleMania main event again, come on. It’s so intoxicating. You’re going to want that over and over again. On the given night that you step into the ring with Roman Reigns, if you are the best on that evening, we’re screwed. Do I think you’re the best right now, bluntly? No. I think Roman Reigns is the best of the best. Do I worry that I’m wrong and that you’re capable of proving on any given night that you’re the best? Yeah.”
Bryan responded that he appreciated Heyman’s answer, but that he was wrong to say Bryan was in professional wrestling for the glory or adulation of fans.
“I’m not interested in glory. I’m not interested in the adulation of the fans, despite all the yes chants. Do you know what I loved? I loved when we were at the Performance Center, wrestling in front of zero people with zero noise, just wrestling.”
He went on to compare his career to that of Roman Reigns, telling Heyman that while Reigns might be the best right now, he doesn’t wrestle with his heart. He compared that to himself, saying that fans connect with him because he does put his heart out there.
“I think you’re right, Roman Reigns might be the best right now. He’s performing at a whole different level than everybody else, but he doesn’t wrestle with his heart. It’s a facade, always has been. He came out there when he debuted in this company wearing a vest, a bulletproof vest so you couldn’t see his heart. I have a theory that’s why they connected with me, this happens every night, I put my heart out there.”
We will have full coverage of the Royal Rumble here at Inside the Ropes.
Credit to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.