wrestling / News

Paul Heyman On Possibly Managing Ronda Rousey, Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar Comparisons, SmackDown In 2002 vs. SmackDown In 2020

October 16, 2020 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Ronda Rousey 11-5-18 Raw

In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, Paul Heyman discussed potentially managing Ronda Rousey, the relationship dynamic with Roman Reigns and how it compares to Brock Lesnar, the differences between SmackDown in 2002 and SmackDown in 2020, and much more. Here are some of the highlights:

On potentially managing Ronda Rousey if she returns to WWE: “I would never limit any contribution that I could make to Ronda Rousey’s presentation or Ronda Rousey’s vision for herself in WWE or outside of WWE. Working with Ronda Rousey is one of the greatest honors of my personal and professional life. She is a barrier-breaking, a trend-setter, and every other analogy that you can give. Ronda Rousey is the disrupter of the status quo. Never, ever willing to rest on her laurels. Always looking to blaze a new trail. Not just redefine the role that she’s placed in but to find something that’s bigger and better and grander for that role. Look at what she did for women’s MMA. Look at what she did for the presentation of women in WWE. She not only redefines a role, she creates an entirely new definition with everything that she does, and she’s only in her early 30s.”

On the relationship dynamic with Roman Reigns as compared to Brock Lesnar: “I don’t know if Roman Reigns is a ‘Paul Heyman Guy’ as much as Paul Heyman is a ‘Roman Reigns Guy’ and I’d submit that is the different dynamic with what I do with Brock Lesnar and what I do with Roman Reigns. With Brock Lesnar, you had a very interesting relationship. In 2002, I was this ‘legendary manager’ who took the next big thing under his wing, a NCAA Division 1 heavyweight champion, and I navigated his trajectory to the very top of WWE and all of sports entertainment. With Roman Reigns, you have an eight-year veteran, a four-time WrestleMania main eventer, someone who if he retired today is a first-ballot WWE Hall of Famer and someone who could retire today if he wanted to.”

On the differences between SmackDown in 2002 and SmackDown in 2020: “Back in 2002, SmackDown was on a fledgling network called UPN where Dean Valentine was ready to pull the plug on a multi-million dollar broadcast. Today, SmackDown is on Fox Network, available on a global basis with global distribution and is a multi-billion dollar licensed franchise. I think the difference between 2002 and 2020 is not just 18 years but the exponentially larger value of the brand itself…..I am not in the WWE business. I am not in the SmackDown vs. Raw business. I am in the Roman Reigns business right now.”