Paul Heyman Talks UFC 200, Brock Lesnar’s Athletic Intelligence, the WWE Draft, Does He Think Vince Wants Real Raw & SD! Competition?

paul heyman

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for City Publicity)

The Tag Rope sat down last week with Paul Heyman as part of his exclusive UK Q&A tour with Inside the Ropes to discuss the ramifications of UFC 200, the groundbreaking WWE Draft and a little publication of Heyman’s entitled The Wrestling Times Magazine.

You can watch footage of the entire Q&A, featuring such guests as Will Ospreay, Marty Scurll and Juventud Guerrera, in the video player below, and below are some highlights:

How was UFC 200?

UFC 200 was history making, and it just proved once again that Brock Lesnar is the Beast of the Brocktagon.

And how did it feel for you personally to see your best friend come back from diverticulitis, return to the Octagon after five years and defeat a Top 10 heavyweight in convincing fashion?

Not surprising.

$2.5 million…is Brock Lesnar the smartest man on the planet?

Brock Lesnar is the smartest athlete on the planet, and I would suggest that the media has absolutely no clue what Brock Lesnar made for that fight. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about The Wrestling Times Magazine. This was a publication you started as a teenager, running my own magazine myself – The Tag Rope – what struggles did you face?

Every single possible struggle, from being able to afford the paper on which I had to print the newsletter to being able to afford the photographic equipment to take the pictures, to the film development studio that I built in my parent’s basement.

You see, this is the pre-digital age so we actually had to print out the pictures and develop them back then, which is akin to saying to somebody, ‘Hey, I actually went into a phone booth the other day’. What’s a phone booth? What’s a vinyl record? What’s a mimeograph machine?

Back in those antiquated days of another millennium, you actually had to print out the pictures and that actually cost money as well. And just gaining access and gaining everybody’s trust, it was a daily struggle, which I’m sure you can relate to and that you’re facing yourself.

Back to the current day, the Draft’s coming up. Big time for the WWE, huge shake-up. What are some of the pitfalls that WWE has to avoid that perhaps they couldn’t avoid in 2002?

That’s such a negative attitude, though. Why not ask me about all the things that could happen that would benefit WWE, especially to the viewing audience instead of asking me what pitfalls that they have to avoid so that it becomes a calamity.

Do you think Vince McMahon wants real-life competition between the two brands like he did back in 2002?

I know Vince McMahon wants real competition between the two brands like he had in 2002 because Vince McMahon thrives on the very notion of competition in his life. Vince McMahon’s left hand competes with Vince McMahon’s right hand.

Final question. Back in 1993 you were asked to choose any five wrestlers to base a new promotion around. Same question applies today, new promotion, five stars, new guys, old guys, how do you pick ‘em?

Brock Lesnar, and I’ll give you the other four. Because my Beast, my Conqueror will wipe them all out. I don’t need five, I just need one. And that one is Brock Lesnar.