The latest episode of SmackDown - staged on Friday night - took place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, in front of a good number of live spectators. Excluding WrestleMania 37, it was the first WWE event with fans in the arena since the episode of Raw on March 9, 2020.
The Stamford federation was able to follow up on their shows even during the pandemic, but the effects were also felt for the leading company in the sports entertainment sector. In fact, in 2021 alone, around 30 superstars were released, as well as numerous insiders behind the scenes.
In a radio interview with Houston Sports Talk 790 station, Paul Heyman said he was proud to have been a part of WWE programming for the past 16 months. “I would be highly dishonest if I didn't get on a chair and admit how proud I am to be a part of WWE” - said Roman Reigns special adviser.
“We never missed a week of the show. Not even one. The whole world just went through some kind of apocalypse, but we managed to hold on and move on. I am infinitely grateful for all that has been done” - Paul Heyman analyzed.
Paul Heyman is expected to be at ringside for the six-man tag team
Paul had lost track of him after his former client Brock Lesnar's contract with WWE had expired. The former executive director of Raw returned in August 2020 as a personal advisor to Roman Reigns.
“I'd be a super liar if I told you I didn't miss the warmth of the live crowd. I've always loved being in front of real audiences so much and hearing immediate feedback from people. I'm drooling at the thought of what awaits us on Sunday evening” - he commented.
Money in the Bank was held in Fort Worth, also in Texas. The hope is that this is only the beginning of a long journey. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Heyman has been replaced by McAfee, and that there was "no real reason" for WWE to make the change: "Meltzer also reported that Paul Heyman is off Talking Smack permanently, replaced by Pat McAfee.
Meltzer said there was no real reason for the decision but 'everything can change tomorrow in WWE.' He said there are questions about how to handle Talking Smack when they go back out on the road, mainly because Fox doesn't want the show to air before the West Coast audience can see the show. He said there doesn't seem to be that level of concern with Raw Talk," wrote Josh Nason for F4W.