Manipulative, Untrustworthy, and Aggressive are words that could be used to describe one of the greatest managers in the history of professional wrestling. While these may be negative traits, the words, Genuine, Mastermind, Survivor, and Friend also could be used to describe Paul Heyman. Heyman began his career in the professional wrestling business as a photographer. He discovered that the owner of World Wide Wrestling Federation, Vince McMahon Sr. always took his close friends to a local steakhouse. At 14 years old, he took that information and used it to get his first press pass into Madison Square Garden. This was Heyman’s first "hustle." Heyman used this same hustle while operating Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Although ECW revolutionized the business, it would not last forever. The company shut down in 2001 and Heyman joined WWE as a color commentator, General Manager, and now an "Advocate." Paul Heyman managed in different territories, before ultimately finding a home at Jim Crockett Promotions. There he managed one of the greatest stables in history, the Dangerous Alliance (Rick Rude, Steve Austin. Larry Zbyszko, Madusa, Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton).
After he joined WWE in 2001, Heyman joined Shane and Stephanie McMahon to be apart of the WCW/ECW Alliance. However, Heyman’s greatest acquisition came in 2002, when he introduced the world to the Next Big Thing, Brock Lesnar the night after WrestleMania X8. While Lesnar was a Superstar, Heyman with his gift of gab, helped propel him to the main event in less than a year. He is proof that having the right manager can make a Superstar who looks like a million bucks actually fill the seats. Here are the top 15 Superstars today that would benefit most by being paired with Paul Heyman.
15 David Otunga
Did everyone forget about one of the most intelligent wrestlers in the business? While Otunga is a great talker, the way Heyman would guide his career would take him to levels he has never been. Otunga defies the stereotypes of pro wrestling. He is a black man who is a Harvard graduate. That is something professional wrestling has never seen before. Heyman would be someone who reminds us of that.
14 Hideo Itami
When Hideo Itami came to the WWE, he received a huge contract and was introduced by none other than the immortal Hulk Hogan. Itami earned a spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31 but was soon sidelined due to shoulder a injury.
When Itami comes back, he will receive a HUGE pop. Fans love wrestlers who come back from injury. However, a perfect swerve would be to place him with Paul Heyman and Heyman could explain how great Itami was in Japan and why he will continue his success in the WWE.
13 Jason Jordan
Prior to teaming with Chad Gable, Jason Jordan's previous tag team partner was Tye Dillinger. Jordan decided to leave Dillinger after consistently losing. Gable later saw Jordan and kept trying to convince him they needed to be a team. Eventually Jordan gave in and the two went on to gain success as a tag team. Many would ask why would Jason Jordan need Paul Heyman if he and Chad Gable are finding success. The truth is, whenever fans look at a makeshift tag team, they will notice that there is always a Marty Jannety and a Shawn Michaels.
Jason Jordan has a good look and he is a pure wrestler. He and Paul Heyman could make a lot of money together. Heyman would sell fans on the fact that Jordan never met a task too large for him. After all, while at the University of Indiana, he weighed 225 and competed in the 285-class.
12 Jack Swagger
Many ask the question, how is Jack Swagger still on the WWE payroll? The answer is simple, he can work. Swagger is a former World Heavyweight Champion, and if he did not get in trouble with the law heading into WrestleMania XXIX, rumors are he was set to win the title. After he was arrested for DUI the plans were scratched.
Putting Swagger with Heyman could help him get back on track. Sure, he has been booked as jobber for a long time, but Paul Heyman is the guy who could retrain the audience and put Swagger on the map as people would buy the fact that he could win the title.
R-Truth is a former NWA Champion. While in TNA, he was a main eventer even though he did not acknowledge his career there on an edition of Table for Three. After he returned to the WWE in 2008, he did not reach the main event until 2011 where he faced John Cena for the WWE Championship. It was during this feud where he created the Little Jimmy character. He was more over with the WWE fans than he had ever been. Truth did not win the title from Cena and due to the "Pipebomb," his reign as the number one heel in the company was short lived. R-Truth is one of the better workers in the company, adding Paul Heyman by his side would allow to him to draw the same heat he once had as fans would once again take him seriously.
10 Damien Sandow
Damien Sandow is one of the most talented guys in the WWE. He can work in the ring, and he can work on the microphone. Many may wonder why would he need Paul Heyman? Heymand could guide Sandow the way he guided CM Punk. He would hold the necessary conversations that would get Sandow in doors that were always closed for him before. As great of a talker Ric Flair was, he still had an executive assistant in Mr. Perfect.
9 Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes is one of the most talented Superstars on the WWE roster. One can credit him with bringing back prestige to the Intercontinental Championship belt when he reintroduced the most famous title that was worn by the greats. However, he just cannot seem to break through the glass ceiling. He and his brother Goldust were Tag Team Champions and with their Dad by their side, easily one of the most fun parts of the show. Later, Cody would become Stardust and eventually that faded out. If Cody Rhodes joins Paul Heyman, Heyman will relay just how great Rhodes is in the ring, how the business runs through his blood, and at the end of the day, fans will be paying top dollar to see Cody Rhodes.
8 Titus O’Neil
When Titus O’Neil and Darren Young split the first time, O’Neil showed his ability to be a good heel. He was not the cool heel, instead he was someone fans wanted to see get booed. He and Young would reunite when the Tag Team division started gaining momentum and they captured the gold. Now they find themselves apart again without explanation as O'Neil is another singles competitor on the main roster without much direction.
Titus O’Neil is a utility guy; whenever the company needs someone to represent them at a campaign they can call him. But if he ever wants wear any singles gold, then Paul Heyman would be the perfect person to take him there. Heyman would speak of O’Neil’s ability to dominate wrestling the way his frat brother Shaq dominated the NBA.
7 Wade Barrett
When Wade Barrett debuted in the WWE as apart of the Nexus, it seemed that like Sheamus he would win the WWE Championship quickly. But after Nexus disbanded, Barrett became a mid carder. Every time it seemed that Barrett would be in-line for the main event, he got hurt. He even found a cool catch phrase, “I’m Afraid I’ve Got Some Bad News!” The problem was that fans started liking it. Now that it is gone, its time for Wade Barrett to get some help. That help is none other than Paul Heyman as Heyman would help Barrett break through the glass ceiling, assuming he can remain healthy.
6 Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin is a young talent who believes he is the best thing professional wrestling has ever seen. Add Paul Heyman with him now, while he is still learning and he will learn from one of the best. Heyman will speak for him and since Corbin is a natural heel, Heyman will make him the biggest heel in the WWE. Corbin is currently down in NXT but having Heyman be the guy who heads down to developmental and plucks Corbin from the bunch could be a massive move.
Cesaro had a brief stint with Paul Heyman, but he was not able to do enough due to the fact that Brock Lesnar had just broken Undertaker’s streak. During this time Heyman was constantly reminding everyone that his client, Brock Lesnar broke "The Streak" and there was no mention of Cesaro. Adding Cesaro with Heyman now would be genius. He can work with ANYONE in the business of professional wrestling. This is a guy who would be a dream for anyone to manage, including Paul Heyman.
4 Curtis Axel
Like Cesaro, Curtis Axel fell victim of Paul Heyman being preoccupied. Axel was paired with Heyman at a time when he was preparing for the CM Punk/Brock Lesnar feud. But in their short time, Axel was more over than he had ever been. He won the Intercontinental Championship on Father’s Day and paid homage to his Dad. However, as Heyman transitioned to the Punk-Lesnar feud it seemed that Axel was lost in the shuffle. Without any significant feuds in the mix for Heyman, Axel could possibly rise to the main event.
3 Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler has been showing off for years and it has only gotten him a lackluster title reign. He has become a poor man’s Shawn Michaels. Even Michaels said some Superstars would take what he did, but then make it into their own. Ziggler has not. He is due for a reboot and Paul Heyman is the guy to do it. Ziggler has the raw talent, but the character is not working. The main event picture has never been too far out of reach for Ziggler and with Heyman on his side, he just may finally reach that point.
2 Alex Riley
Alex Riley was once The Miz' sidekick during his WWE Championship run. When Miz turned on Riley, he looked like he could be a good babyface, but his in ring skills were not fully developed. Recently, Riley has showed a new aggression. He changed his look and appears ready for the main event. One thing is missing, Paul Heyman. Heyman will reprogram the audience and fans will forget about his days as the Miz' manager. Heyman has that ability.
1 Roman Reigns
When Roman Reigns was set to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31, Paul Heyman delivered some of the best promos leading to the match. In a match that featured two powerhouses who were not the best on the microphone, Heyman had fans believing they were set to watch George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali. The way that Heyman put Roman Reigns over with his words made fans believe that there was a possibility of a WrestleMania double cross. Although it did not happen, one could only imagine how good Roman Reigns could be if he had Paul Heyman speaking on his behalf.