It was recently reported that Paul Heyman was causing a bit of a stir behind the scenes in the WWE thanks to his altering the writers' material for his on-air client Brock Lesnar. The heat isn't so much with Vince McMahon, but with the writing staff and other talents who aren't granted the luxuries Heyman is.
With a long and distinguished career in the wrestling industry, Heyman has proven he's got his finger on the pulse of what the WWE Universe likes and wants. He's also one of the best storytellers in WWE history. The combination of these two things give Heyman an extra long leash and with that, Heyman has rubbed a few people the wrong way.
In the spirit of telling it like it is (something Heyman is good at), we've put together a list of five different times Heyman has garnered backstage heat.
5. The Advocate
As the advocate for Brock Lesnar, Heyman's job is to make sure his client is in the best possible matches and comes out the victor as much as possible. He does the talking for his client and sends Lesnar's message throughout the WWE. It's a job Heyman has taken personally. What we see and the ideas writers have for Lesnar are not always matching up.
The Beast values Heyman's opinion, as they're both good friends in real life. As such, Heyman is directing much of what we see regarding his client. What we see and the ideas writers have for Lesnar don't always match up. This has the writers upset because they'd like to give different ideas to Lesnar, and they believe he'd be more willing if not for Heyman doing what Heyman feels is best.
4. Took Money From WWE
Paul Heyman was the man behind ECW for some time. During his tenure as the boss, he wasn't always known as the most financially sound business person. His company put on great shows, but could barely manage to make a profit. Eventually, he needed a hand. When the WWE wanted to use ECW talent, Vince McMahon offered to fund ECW.
Heyman never told his ECW talent (who were led to believe WWE and WCW were the enemies trying to put them out of business), but the whole time, he had a side deal with McMahon that would allow WWE to raid the company of some of its biggest stars. Eventually, ECW was sold to WWE and Heyman took a job working with the company he made out to be public enemy number one. Some of the former ECW talents still haven't forgiven him.
3. Made SmackDown More Popular
Paul Heyman has always been a creative genius. 1 knew this and made him the primary booker for WWE's Tuesday night show SmackDown! in 2002. The Raw and SmackDown brands just separated, and in an effort to provide more internal competition, Heyman was tasked with ensuring people still watched the blue brand, as McMahon didn't want SmackDown to suffer from the split.
When Heyman proved to be too good at his job and the SmackDown brand became just as, if not more, popular than Raw, people backstage (namely Vince) got concerned that Raw would suffer. Raw has always been WWE's flagship show and Vince needed it to stay the more popular option for the WWE Universe. It was rumored this led to Heyman's eventual dismissal.
2. Had Douglas Trash the NWA Title
When Heyman took control of ECW, it was at a time that the NWA and Eastern Championship Wrestling were partners. Heyman didn't want ECW to be known as a regional product, and he wasn't pleased that Jim Crockett wanted ECW to help gain more viewers for his promotion while ECW was becoming popular in Philadelphia on its own. Heyman instead decided to rebranded it Extreme Championship Wrestling.
To signify the change, he had Shane Douglas throw down the NWA/ECW title he'd just won and call himself the Extreme Championship Wrestling title holder. The problem was, Heyman never let anyone from NWA know he was going to do this and the Jim Crockett was shafted as a result of ECW's new success.
1. Running His Mouth
This entry covers a number of instances. From the time Heyman was asked to sell some Survivor Series pay-per-views by giving a memorable promo and tore into Vince McMahon to the ECW One Night Stand show where Heyman called out Triple H, JBL, and Edge on a live show. Even Heyman as an announcer for Raw had a way of saying things that the company hated and got him in trouble.
The most interesting one was not even Heyman's fault. When CM Punk dropped his "pipe bomb" on the WWE Universe, he made mention of being a "Paul Heyman guy" and more hardcore Internet fans went crazy calling for Heyman who wasn't even employed by the company at the time. It led to a lot of discussions and was partially responsible for Heyman's return.