Paul Heyman spoke with Yahoo Sports to promote tomorrow’s live WWE Network special from Madison Square Garden. Here are the highlights.
What were your thoughts about the initial online backlash when Big Show was announced as Brock Lesnar’s opponent?
I think you’re always going to get a backlash for Brock Lesnar’s opponent because we have built Brock up to such a degree that unless we’re giving them Brock Lesnar for the championship against the current champion and probably every other living ex-champion as well in a handicap match, someone is going to find a problem with the booking of the match. If you just gave them Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the championship in the Garden, people would then say they should have saved that for a pay-per-view. If you gave them Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena in the Garden, they would question why Brock is fighting for the U.S. title and not the World title. People are always going to find fault in any match that involves Brock Lesnar because any matchup that you present for Brock Lesnar, people are going to say how is that a challenge for The Beast?
Who does Paul Heyman, the wrestling fan, want to see Brock Lesnar step in a WWE ring with?
It depends on which show we are talking about. In Madison Square Garden, I personally would love to do something that has mainstream cache to it. I would love to do Brock Lesnar vs. Mike Tyson in Madison Square Garden. Personally, I would find that interesting. I wouldn’t want to do that match at WrestleMania, but I would certainly want to do that at Madison Square Garden. At WrestleMania, I would like Brock Lesnar to be in the championship match — the last match of the night — at any WrestleMania whether he’s the champion or the challenger. At Hell in a Cell, we have the right opponent. The master of the Hell in a Cell … The Undertaker. It’s a rivalry that’s gone on the last 13 years since Brock was a rookie. We finally present the final showdown between Brock and The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell. So, my dream scenarios for Brock Lesnar depend on the show at hand.
You clearly have the gift of gab. Who on the current roster do you feel can go toe-to-toe with you on the mic?
Going toe-to-toe with me on the mic really all depends on what you want out of it. It’s like saying who can last two minutes in an MMA fight with Brock Lesnar? We’re not presenting an MMA fight. This is not a legitimate debate when we go on television, so if someone were able to eat me up on the mic — and I don’t know if anyone has that ability — but even if they did have that ability, does that make for good television? And for me to chew someone up on the mic because I have that ability to do so also doesn’t male for good television. My job is to present — and if we’re just talking — my job is to present a scene on television that is compelling enough to get the viewer to invest in a ticket or a pay-per-view purchase or to subscribe to the network … or to build up the characters (Brock Lesnar, his opponent) around me. So for me to just go in there and gobble someone up on the mic, it does me no good. And if someone can go toe-to-toe with me, I would hope that I’m good enough that everyone can go toe-to-toe with me because if I can work out a scenario with them, I promise you it would make for compelling, riveting television.
You can read the entire interview here.