It is not often that a manager can steal the show from the client he represents in the world of professional wrestling. But for the first time in some time, there might be equal footing in the relationship between Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman.
For now, he IS the best wrestling has to offer.
Heyman is every bit Bobby Heenan, Gary Hart and Jim Cornette wrapped into one charismatic show. Whether it is the condescending way he talks to the fans and wrestlers, alike, or the ability to get under your skin from your living room, Heyman has redefined the role of a wrestling manager in such a way, that he has become must see television. If it were any other wrestler he was paired with – because it is Brock Lesnar – Heyman would be the bigger part of the equation. But with the power couple back in full view for WWE fans, it only proves Heyman’s importance to the company moving forward and the fact he and The Beast Incarnate are the best combination to come along in some time.
I used to think Paul Ellering and the Road Warriors were a perfect fit. Ellering walking around with a rolled up Wall Street Journal in his hand, speaking the gospel of his two wrecking ball animals in a time when the tag team was well ahead of its time. Jim Cornette was Heyman before Heyman came along. The pain in the ass manager who was flamboyant and carried mama’s tennis racket around with him. He led some great combinations of the Midnight Express to world tag titles. Heenan, Lou Albano and The Grand Wizard also deserve a mention in a short list of great managers. But none of them compare to the chutzpah Heyman displays each week.
And just keeps getting better.
Wrestling has gotten away from the early stylings of managers and valets. Heyman makes it cool again to walk around in a suit and tell the wrestling world how things are and how they will be. Maybe in some ways it is the WWE’s version of a car wreck – the one you are glued to because you cannot wait to see what happens next.
That’s Heyman’s hook. And no one has done it better and I doubt anyone will do it better in the future or for a long time coming. The WWE, in its stagnation of sorts to become more creative, needs Heyman’s delivery and arrogance. He’s the best, and he knows it.
The fact he and Lesnar are now together on stage on live WWE programming for what appears to be the foreseeable future is great for ratings. As long as Lesnar continues to dominate the competition – as he did in The Beast from the East last week – then the WWE will continue to draw bigger numbers. It’s a package deal really. You cannot have one without the other. For everything Lesnar is, which is the biggest and baddest entertainer on the planet, he is not the best with his delivery and his self-promotion is not as affective if not for the vocabulary of Heyman.
Fans of today would not be as taken with Lesnar if not for the effective relationship with his manager. While I have always thought there should be more managers in professional wrestling and a return to valets and other outside influences, Heyman is able to stand alone effectively with no peer available.