It is no secret that Paul E Dangerously is one of the greatest minds in the wrestling business, as he excelled in several different phases of the industry, such as booking and promoting, but he is most famous for his roles as a manger, most prominently of the Dangerous Alliance in WCW, and being the advocate that we all know and love for Brock “The Beast” Lesnar. With over 30 years in and around the wrestling business, Heyman has made several enemies and revolutionized the attitude era with a company that survived and thrived much longer than it should have, but most fans today will know him for his close connections with “Paul Heyman Guys” like RVD, CM Punk and Lesnar.
Managing Lesnar since his early days as the “Next Big Thing,” Heyman has masterfully promoted him into being one of, if not the, biggest draws in the history of combat sports. But many fans question why he only uses his talents with Brock. This is due to the real life friendship between the two, but in recent years WWE has tried to get Paul to perform his magic on other stars like Ryback and Cesaro, or to elevate someone who was already a mega star like CM Punk, but the connection has never been better than with the Beast.
Recently, rumors have started flying that Heyman could be in line to take on some new on-screen clients in order to help create more mega stars for the brand split, and if there is any truth to these rumblings, here are 15 performers who would be perfect candidates to join the ranks of other “Paul Heyman Guys.”
15. Braun Strowman
If you were outraged at the rumors of big, green Strowman being set to take on the Undertaker at WM 31, then you were not alone, but the big man has shown steady improvement in the time since, and using old fashioned squash matches has looked like an absolute monster since being split up from the Wyatt Family in the WWE draft. He has looked menacing, dangerous and brutal in the short time since, and it is clear WWE have big plans for the future of Strowman, and what better way to help him to becoming a big time heel than sticking him with one of the best managers of all time in Paul Heyman? Heyman will perfectly be able to disguise the personality weaknesses of Strowman while he improves his ability in the ring, and when the time comes where Strowman is above average in the ring and working with the top guys on RAW, Heyman will be there to turn Braun from a lumbering giant into a money making star.
14. Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews has the perfect look and amazing skill set to make him a gigantic star in Vince’s company, yet there has been one major knock against him: he has no personality to connect him with the fans, and that is something that Heyman has done perfectly over the years, making this a perfect fit. While there are other stars ahead of him on the Smackdown roster like AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, John Cena and Bray Wyatt, the pairing of Heyman and the former independent stand out would shoot him right into contention for any top championship in the company, as fans have yet to truly see everything he has got on the main roster. This may be one of the less likely options the company would go with if Heyman does take on new clients, but it would be good to see a young star with the potential of Crews given a manager of any nature to improve his connection with the crowd and chances of success.
Out of all the performers on this list, none have as breathtaking an offensive arsenal as the British Neville does; who has constantly stolen the show week after week, yet never rises in the standings due to his small stature and lack of mic skills. All that could be about to change however with the reintroduction of the cruiserweight division, Neville will find himself with a purpose and similarly talented high fliers to work with, and with Paul Heyman by his side could become one of the most valuable stars on the entire Monday Night Raw program. Heyman prides himself on being an advocate for the extraordinary, and with Neville he will get extraordinary in the exact opposite manner to Brock Lesnar, which will be a chance for both performers to thrive in a new and exciting role.
12. Samoa Joe
Of all the stars on this list, Samoa Joe is closest to the current performer Heyman manages, Brock Lesnar, as the Samoan Submission Machine is one of the most talented, devastating, ruthless and athletic wrestlers in the WWE, and although he can handle himself with promos and making a program interesting, he would work perfectly in the similar role to Lesnar as the silent monster that Heyman can 100% promote. While he is the current NXT Champion, and upon his arrival rumors were that he would never progress beyond NXT, he has impressed so much during his heel run that a main roster debut has to be near, and what better way to arrive than start a program with Lesnar where Joe ends up with the services of the advocate? This may be quite unlikely due to Joe’s own skills, but it would be fun to see him have a monster run with Heyman to garner the respect of the wider WWE audience.
11. Finn Balor
Balor is another NXT star who thrived in the small time environment, where his weaknesses were often covered up by video packages and short but effective in ring segments, where his strengths of in ring charisma and wrestling capabilities came to the forefront. That’s not to say however that Balor doesn’t have promo ability, but if the company are serious about pushing him quickly as the next big thing, there’s no one better versed in helping ‘the next big thing’ in wrestling than Paul Heyman. So far into his main roster run, Finn has seemed perfectly comfortable in front of the bigger crowds with his promos (although working with Seth Rollins certainly helped), the myth like aura that management are aiming to create around Balor would only be helped by the aura of a legend like Paul Heyman.
10. The Revival
The Revival have made their name being an old school throw back team in a division which has housed teams like American Alpha, Enzo & Cass and TM61, and they have managed to stand out due to their work rate and become just the first performers in NXT history to win a championship twice. While this may indicate that the duo may not be good enough right now for the main roster, it gives them a chance to grow and improve, and with these improvements would be great as a tag team under Paul Heyman, who back in WCW managed the Dangerous Alliance, showing he has versatility as a manager. While its unclear if the duo will ever be called up to the main roster, an alliance with Paul Heyman would certainly give them credibility in spades upon arrival, as they already have the capabilities to back it up, they would become one of the most important teams in WWE.
9. Kota Ibushi
While it is unclear whether Ibushi will stay in NXT following the Cruiserweight Classic or spear head the RAW cruiserweight division, it is certain that he is quite possibly the best wrestler in the entire world, and with a little help from a manager, the WWE could have another Japanese star on their hands (alongside Nakamura, Itami and Asuka). Logic dictates that alongside Tajiri, Cedric Alexander, Neville and Sin Cara, Ibushi will be tasked with making the newly reinstated cruiserweight division as exciting as it possibly could be, and therefore bringing in the best manager of all time would instantly give credibility to not only Ibushi but the entire division. If this were to be the case, Ibushi has the abilities and presence to transcend the division, and with Heyman by his side, there is no telling what the Golden Star could achieve if he challenged for a mid card or heavyweight championship belt.
8. Hideo Itami
At the time of his arrival, the former KENTA was one of the biggest Japanese and independent stars to grace a WWE ring, and despite arrivals of Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura, Itami still remains popular amongst the Full Sail faithful due to his impressive and enjoyable, hard striking move set and overall in ring capabilities. He has recently made his return and looks as good as ever in the ring, and while moving Paul Heyman to NXT is extremely unlikely, after a lengthy title reign, the pairing would make sense once Itami makes his way to the main roster, as he could potentially dominate the mid card scene upon arrival. Perhaps this would present Heyman with the opportunity to manage several stars to dominate the entire show, and under these circumstances, the stiff striking Itami would be the perfect candidate.
7. American Alpha
While a majority of wrestling fans, including myself want to see American Alpha paired with a returning Kurt Angle, the reality of the situation is that is very unlikely to happen in the near future, and whether or not the two amateur stand outs really need a mouth piece, it would be amazing to see Heyman’s work with a tag team, especially one as popular and exciting as Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. The two have relied on fantastic video packages, in ring charisma and amazing chemistry as a team to gain and continually rise in popularity, but now they are the stars of the Smackdown tag team division, and there are questions about how they will endear themselves to a larger audience. While they may be fine without Paul, seeing Heyman work with a tag team and on a more consistent basis is positive for everyone involved, especially the ratings for the new Smackdown live program.
6. Baron Corbin
From managing one of the biggest stars in MMA history in Brock Lesnar, it only makes sense that Heyman stick with the combat athletes, and who better to be the voice of next than a former Golden Gloves Champion like former NFL player Baron Corbin? The big man worked extremely hard in his 3 years with developmental, eventually earning a call up to win the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal, and now that he is exclusively on Smackdown, it is the perfect time to start building him into the main event star that he will one day soon become. Having a mentor with the experience of Heyman would be incredibly beneficial for someone who is so young in the wrestling business, and while Corbin may never reach the level of someone like Lesnar, with Heyman by his side he could no doubt one day become a multiple time world champion and a great asset to the WWE.
5. Alberto Del Rio
When Alberto El Patron was fired by WWE he went on to ground breaking success within Lucha Libre wrestling, and was a major shock when he came back to the WWE in late 2015 while still being the AAA Mega Champion, defeating John Cena to become the WWE U.S Champion. Since then he has been involved in a mediocre feud with Kalisto, part of the League of Nations and has since split on his own, succumbing to the problems he had in his first reign, he is too boring to most fans, and while he is fantastic in the ring, he has no true connection with the audience, heel or face. Rumors have been running rampant that he will again leave when his contract expires, but a partnership with Paul Heyman may be one way to save Del Rio’s WWE career, as it would give the crowd a reason to invest in him, and he could again become a main event player on Smackdown.
While Bayley has had no problem winning over the crowd in her time with NXT, due to her amazing in ring abilities and infectious personality, it would be amazing to see Heyman take on such a project on the main roster, considering it would be such a stark contrast from his current duties as the advocate for a monster like Brock Lesnar. Due to the fantastic booking skills of Triple H and the entire NXT crew, the lack of amazing abilities with promos on Bayley’s part have been over looked for the most part, where she can pass with them in NXT where mic time is short and effective, she may struggle early on in her main roster career with this portion of WWE. Enter Paul Heyman who could make Bayley even more of a star than she potentially already is, and would create even more competition in a division that already has stars like Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Charlotte.
Time and time again it looks like WWE is ready to pull the trigger on possibly the best wrestler in the company, but each time they come up short of going all in, whether it be management pulling out despite obvious fan support from the ‘Cesaro section’ or untimely injuries, it never seems to go right for the former ROH stand out. While WWE legends like Ric Flair have thrown their name in the hat to help Cesaro finally reach his immense potential, a reuniting with Paul Heyman would do the job perfectly, as both men are amazing at what they do and extremely popular with the WWE Universe, and it could also set up a dream match for many fans with Cesaro vs. Brock Lesnar. Whether or not Heyman or Flair or any manager joins forces with the Swiss Superman, it can only be a matter of time until he gains the spot in the main event he so sorely deserves.
2. Roman Reigns
Heading into the main event of WrestleMania 31, the seeds were sewn for a Paul Heyman/Roman Reigns partnership, as many thought it could be part of a career invigorating heel turn for Reigns, yet that never happened. If this however, was to happen in 2016-17, it would no doubt help the career of Reigns, and could bring about the reigniting of the Reigns/Lesnar feud which was underwhelming at best due to the crowds displeasure with Reigns. Although Roman has been getting better reactions lately with his blossoming program with US Champion Rusev, the plans of WWE for him to be the companies top baby face still aren’t paying off, and with potential baby face stars like Finn Balor and Seth Rollins on the RAW roster, a partnership between Heyman and a freshly turned heel Reigns would heat up RAW like it so desperately deserves.
1. Shinsuke Nakamura
This one has recently begun to make the rounds within the wrestling rumor mill, and pairing Paul Heyman with the most charismatic and hard hitting star in the world would lend itself well to Nakamura reaching his full potential, as he could and should be a future WrestleMania main eventer. Unlike others on this list, Nakamura’s sheer, overwhelming charisma has gotten him over with the fans despite a lack of promo skill, and adding a man the caliber of Heyman, who has been Brock Lesnar’s sole form of promotion for years would only increase the already immense potential that the King of Strong Style has. The interesting thing about this entry is there is already a built in story, with history between Lesnar and Nakamura from NJPW, and having Shinsuke knock of the Beast and be paired with Paul Heyman would cement his status as the brightest star in the entire wrestling business.
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