Paul Heyman recently spoke to Rollingstone.com. Here are some highlights;
Cesaro and Curtis Axel not having as much luck as CM Punk and Brock Lesnar as a “Paul Heyman Guy”:
“I think the bar was set so high with the chemistry that Brock and I have, and the chemistry that Punk and I had, that it would be very difficult to match that. It’s not just a situation of, ‘Stick manager A with wrestler B.’ Especially when you’re shooting for the top. I’ve never walked through the curtain with someone I wasn’t trying to audition as a WrestleMania main-eventer, and I never want to. And I’m sure the performers I’ve worked with didn’t want to have an advocate whose goal was anything less. But sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there.”
The myth of Brock Lesnar’s current run speaking for itself:
“If you look back on WWE 20 years from now, I would suggest the two most newsworthy matches [of this past year] were Brock Lesnar conquering the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, and the most one-sided, uncontested beatdown of a top star in history when Brock hit John Cena with 16 suplexes and crushed him at SummerSlam. I don’t think anything else, from a historical perspective, can hold water to those two.”
The next evolution of the business:
“The next evolution of the business won’t be the actual content or presentation, but the manner in which the business and the content is distributed. I would suggest to you that [with] today’s distribution channels, which are smartphones and other handheld accessories, that the product will skew younger in the next couple of years, because that’s going to be the audience.”
Daniel Bryan recently talked to Digital Spy of the UK. Here are some highlights;
You’ve said before that you were originally slated to face Sheamus at WrestleMania 30, but it all changed very late. CM Punk suggested it was his exit that made that possible. Do you think he’s got a point, or was it just power of the people?
“Two major things happened that caused me to be in the spot I was at last year’s Wrestlemania: the fans rejected Batista as being the big returning hero that WWE wanted him to be and CM Punk left. These are two great big gaping holes that now have to be filled at WrestleMania. If you main event WrestleMania with just Batista and Randy Orton, the WrestleMania crowd is not going to like that. Then CM Punk was supposed to wrestle Triple H, and now you have this opening for Triple H. So those were the two major things that caused me to be in the spot that I was for WrestleMania and neither of them had anything to do with me per se! I didn’t go out there and do anything, the fans took control of the one thing [Batista’s heel turn] and then Punk left and that took control of the other thing, and it’s like, ‘Well, what do we do for these two problems? Ah, well – there’s Daniel Bryan!’ So yeah that’s what happened, Punk was very accurate in what he said.”
Are the ‘smart’ fans ruining the fun for everyone?
“I honestly don’t think that it’s that different. A similar thing [to the 2014 Royal Rumble] happened at Royal Rumble in 1994, with Bret Hart and Lex Luger. Lex Luger was the guy that the WWE was really behind, they did the whole ‘Lex Express’ thing. But the fans wanted Bret Hart, and so it’s interesting that that kind of thing has happened before, it’ll happen again. But I don’t know if the fans are ruining the fun!? For me they’re making it really exciting! Because honestly, without the fans doing what they did last year, I would have never main evented WrestleMania. The fans are the reason why I even got that opportunity. That was never meant to be my spot, so I encourage that sort of thing! I might change my tune if it goes against me one of these days, but as for now – I like it.”
You’re so over with the crowds at the moment – could you ever imagine playing heel again?
“I think anything is possible. To me, the funnest part of wrestling is evolving. If you stay the same, all the time, you’re eventually going to be left behind. This whole time that I’ve been gone, I’ve been thinking about the product, I’ve been watching the show – how can I change so that when I come back I’m a little bit different, so I’m more in tune with the audience? When I watch myself, I see nothing but faults, like, ‘This I need to do different, this I need to do different’, and so if there comes a point in time where I’m like, ‘Man, this whole thing is just getting really stale’, I am not opposed to being the bad guy again. Being a bad guy is fun for me. So we’ll see.”
Seth Rollins has been incredible as the top heel on the show – I think he’s the best bad guy WWE has had since Triple H. What do you think about what he’s done over the last six months?
“I’ve known Seth Rollins for a very long time, it’s strange to say this but he used to watch me at Ring of Honor! He used to come as a fan to Ring of Honor, so that makes me feel old! He’s like, ‘I watched you in high school’ – I’m not that old, but just it makes me feel old. I am a big Seth Rollins fan and have been for a long period of time. He’s been given an opportunity and he’s taken the ball and run with it, he’s going to be one of the top WWE stars for a long, long time.”