Since Roman Reigns made his triumphant return in August 2020 after stepping away due to the initial outbreak of COVID-19, he's been effectively paired with Paul Heyman. The enigmatic Heyman has since donned the role of a "special counsel" to the WWE Universal Champion, serving Reigns and his faction, The Bloodline, with absolute dedication, aiding them in retaining their titles.
In a recent interaction with Rick Rubin on his podcast, "Tetragrammaton," Heyman candidly expressed how the dynamics of his off-screen rapport with Reigns significantly deviate from the on-screen portrayal often viewed by WWE fans.
Heyman's Off-Screen Mentorship Role
Speaking about Reigns, Heyman commented, "Roman Reigns is a brilliant person, absolutely brilliant." Disregarding any pretense of modesty, he affirmed, "Behind the scenes, my role transcends that of a wise counsel to Reigns.
It is more of a mentor-mentee relationship where the learning is mutual. I draw as much wisdom from him daily as he does from me." What sets Reigns apart, according to Heyman, is his forward-thinking approach. He stated, "Roman has a refreshingly progressive perspective towards the wrestling industry, something I strive to keep pace with daily.
During the pandemic, his view of WWE in a digital environment stood out from the crowd." As Heyman noted, while most of the industry saw the absence of a live audience as a restriction, Reigns leveraged it as a chance to experiment.
The opportunity to whisper dialogue or bring cameras into the ring for a closer perspective was something that others had overlooked. "There's a certain intimacy with no audience. You can stage a peaceful dialogue or turn a wrestling match into a film scene," Heyman highlighted, adding, "This change allows us to upgrade and sophisticate our product, introducing better acting, creating more engaging scenes over angles.
We can captivate the audience, drawing them in to anticipate the next story chapter, and it doesn't necessarily need to involve a match." Heyman attributes these innovative changes to Reigns' willingness to adapt to the demands of the pandemic era.
However, the "wise man" firmly believes that without the pandemic as a catalyst, Reigns' dynamic approach would have eventually stirred a significant shift in the industry.