Pro wrestling legend Paul Heyman made an appearance on Rick Rubin’s Tetragrammaton podcast to discuss a variety of topics such as how he has learned so much being with “The Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns and how he learns as much from The Tribal Chief every day as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion learns from him even when he teaches Roman something, he still learns from Reigns.
Paul Heyman said:
“I serve as wise man for Roman Reigns, for that human being, 100%. But, I learn as much from him every day as he learns for me. I’ve learned so much being with him. Even when I teach him something, I learn from him. He’s brilliant. He is forward thinking and I gotta keep up with him. I’m challenged every day to keep up with the progressive approach that he takes to our industry. He looked at pandemic WWE with a digital audience in a manner that no one else did. Everybody else was bitching. Everybody said, ‘Oh, we’re limited. We don’t have the crowd. We can’t feel who’s resonating. We can’t feel these new baby faces. Are they over? We don’t know if the audience will click with them. We don’t know if they’ll make a connection with them. The audience isn’t there at all.’ Oh, he saw this opportunity. [Speaking as Roman] ‘Oh my God, look at the things we can do with this. We can do we can do things in the ring without a microphone. We can have the cameras in there with us because they’re not blocking any view. They’re not on the hard camera view because we can cut it and we can have the cameras right there in our faces. We can whisper. You can’t whisper when there’s 22,000 people, even into the microphone, [gets louder] you have to whisper like this so that the audience at home can hear you. When there’s no audience, you can whisper and you can start doing movie scenes. We can can bring a sophistication to this product, we can upgrade the product. We can elevate the product. We can bring better acting to this product. We can do scenes instead of angles. We can play out storylines that in this soap opera of professional wrestling/sports entertainment is so important. It’s the story that’s the hook. We can literally draw an audience, attract a crowd to see the next chapter of the story play out and it doesn’t even have to be a match anymore. We can completely tilt the axis of what is perceived to be sports entertainment and professional wrestling.”
Paul Heyman also talked about how Roman Reigns is successful because he consistently progresses and he consistently moves forward as well as how there is no nostalgia when it comes to The Tribal Chief and there is no looking back either.
Paul Heyman said:
“Roman has the theory of consistency. Consistently great, consistently consistent. If the narrative constantly and consistently progresses and moves forward, then wherever you take it, you’re still progressing and moving forward. Here’s something, without giving away the secret sauce, we don’t let the Roman Reigns character recap. He doesn’t talk about what’s happened. He brings the stories forward. He talks about what’s going to happen. He talks about the emotions that are on the table at the moment. I recap. I say, ‘I told you so.’ I brag about the victories. … I recap. I bring you up to date. Roman Reigns does not. There’s no nostalgia to The Tribal Chief. There’s no looking back when you’re The Tribal Chief. He’s a shark. He swims forward or he dies. Can he pivot left and right? Yes. But in pivoting, he’s still going forward. He’s not going backwards. The Tribal Chief goes forward. That’s something we decided very early and we have never violated it and never will. If we do, and it becomes the exception, then that’s a story in and of itself. ‘Oh man, he doesn’t talk about things that happened. He doesn’t refer back to last Thursday, last Wednesday. Something’s going on with The Tribal Chief.’ It’d be the same as if he came out on television and he [Heyman pretends to speak Spanish], and you go, ‘He doesn’t speak Spanish.’ There’s a seismic shift happening here. Same thing when he violates the code of the character. That’s a story in and of itself. So it’s a constantly shifting narrative because the world is constantly shifting. Or where something happens that resonates, that changes the way people see it, or see the business or see our presentation, and we have to address it. Or there’s an emotion that’s revealed in the audience that we can expose or tap into or go after, or make people relate to. So we’re always looking for that. Always trying to feel that out. Is there something about to happen that we can be one step ahead of, so that when that emotion becomes prevalent, we’re already into it?”