Paul Heyman opens up about WWE Hall of Fame nod, ‘significant voice’ in Bloodline booking

The ‘Wiseman’ is the one getting acknowledged now.

WWE announced on Monday that Paul Heyman, 58, will be inducted into the promotion’s Hall of Fame in April during WrestleMania 40 weekend in Philadelphia, where Heyman made his bones running ECW in the 1990’s.

In an interview with The Post to commemorate the news, Heyman revealed that he has actually turned down this honor “several” times because he feels that he still has a lot of runway left in the professional wrestling business.

Roman Reign and Paul Heyman, who will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in April. Craig Ambrosio/ WWE

“It’s taken me all these decades to figure this business out and the art of presentation to an audience, so while I hate to use the old cliche of, ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet, and I’m just getting started,’ … You ain’t seen nothing yet, and I’m just getting started,” he said.

“I don’t want a lifetime achievement award when I’m not done achieving things. I still have a lot of other work I want to do in this industry. I want to be involved in the first main event of WrestleMania in Havana, or on the moon, or on Mars when Elon Musk colonizes it. These are things that are going to happen in the future and I desperately want to be a part of it.”

This being the first year that Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE’s chief content officer, is fully in charge of the inductions, coupled with it being the 40th WrestleMania and happening in Philadelphia, are why he decided the time now is right.

Heyman’s on-air character was been on a torrid streak, which has lasted over a decade, managing Brock Lesnar and CM Punk through championship reigns, and then Roman Reigns through the “Bloodline” angle where they are headlining their fourth consecutive WrestleMania together.

At nearly 1,300 days, Reigns has been WWE’s world champion longer than the entirety of the recognized “Attitude Era”.

Paul Heyman started his pro wrestling career at the age of 13.Now, at 58, he takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.— Wrestle Features (@WrestleFeatures) March 4, 2024

“It’s constantly evolving,” Heyman said when asked about the angle’s staying power.

“It’s not based on instant gratification and shock value. The whole designation of the Tribal Chief, The Bloodline, the family saga that plays out on TV and premium live events, is to present the highest quality product this industry has ever seen. We’re cognizant of the fact that for generations great performers in this industry have been inspired, like Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, DX, Stone Cold, The Rock. It’s been done.

“So, when Roman Reigns and I had a chance to work together, starting in August of 2020, our designation was to put together a body of work that would upon reflection compete with “Peaky Blinders”, “The Sopranos”, “The Wire”, “Fargo”, “Breaking Bad” — the most compelling dramas with the most riveting villains that anyone has ever seen. It’s a disruption of what had become the status quo in sports entertainment, and then a constant search for us to disrupt that disruption.”

Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman. WWE

Heyman was proud of the fact that this will be his fifth straight time in the corner of the WrestleMania event, his seventh time overall, and the eighth straight time he’s managing the world champion at the extravaganza, and the ninth time overall.

“These are stats that no one can compete with,” he said.

Heyman pulled back the curtain a little bit on the creative input he has in Reigns’ storyline, which at this point is on dual tracks with Cody Rhodes and The Rock.

“I carry a significant voice in how we are portrayed and presented — that includes everything from camera angles to music to storylines,” Heyman revealed.

“It’s why Roman Reigns bestowed upon me the blessing name of the Wiseman, which is both acknowledgment from the Tribal Chief to his Special Counsel, and also a historical reference to the Grand Wizard, Freddie Blassie and Captain Lou Albano, who are the only managers during the Vincent James McMahon (father of Vince McMahon) era.

“I don’t know if I could only be a performer. I wouldn’t be satisfied. I wouldn’t be happy with just going out there and doing our shtick. I have to have a voice. I have to have some level of input, and so far, as luck would have it, that input has been not only welcomed but encouraged and very well received.”

Another reason this Hall of Fame induction is so special for Heyman is that there was a five-year stretch where he thought he was out of the business for good, as he left the company following a creative conflict with Vince McMahon and had to be coaxed back to manage Lesnar.

“I thought I was done. When Brock Lesnar first came back in 2012, I didn’t come with him. I couldn’t imagine coming back to the industry. I thought I was finished for good and it was time to do something else with my life,” Heyman said.

“They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and the funny thing is both Brock and I only agreed to come back for a year, till the WrestleMania at MetLife in 2013. But by that time, I was already working with CM Punk on camera and behind the scenes, and was having so much fun that we decided to stick around. The next year was the match with the Undertaker in which Lesnar conquered the undefeated streak. Once that happened, I figured I was pretty much here for life.”

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