Paul Heyman + Talking Smack = Best Show On WWE TV
For the past thirty-five years, the wrestling world has been graced with the mind of Paul Heyman. We’ve also had to endure his purposefully annoying mouth. From his early beginnings as a ringside photographer hustling his way into MSG and later Florida, he would get to learn the inner workings of the business from one of the greatest – Dusty Rhodes.
If the scourge of Scarsdale, New York isn’t hawking and talking, he might not be breathing anymore. He has been an integral part of this epic run of Roman Reigns both on Smackdown and its post-show, Talking Smack. However you consume the WWE Network, every WWE fan needs to carve out 25 minutes or so weekly to see why Heyman is still the most “dangerous” man in wrestling.
The Maestro Of Mayhem
During his documentary, Hello My Name Is Paul Heyman, Paul goes into detail and explains that after he hustled his way into a booking meeting, where Dusty Rhodes was holding court. The Dream invited Paul to sit under the learning tree. It was here that Heyman learned how to always promote the show and its superstars.
On Talking Smack, Heyman does this all night long. Whoever is on the show, Heyman has the ability to antagonize and banter with whoever is on the show. For example, early on in the year he was able to get a huge rise out of then-babyface Apollo Crews and light a fire under him. Several weeks later, Crews embraced his Nigerian heritage and became the Intercontinental champion at WrestleMania.
The Virtuoso Of Wisecracks
Right from the get-go, every week, Happy Heyman finds ways to poke and prod at his cohost, Kayla Braxton leaving her flummoxed. But she fires back with bitty banter of her own setting Heyman down a path of wild rants to push all of the storylines forward, including his own.
His ability to make amusing facials and go back and forth with Kevin Owens about what a prick Sami Zayn is and then get serious when bringing things back to KO’s feud with The Tribal Chief or laugh with Nattie and Tamina about the ineptitude of Paul’s cohost, or anyone for that matter before refocusing on the actual storylines and then getting down to business. No matter who comes to the set, Heyman is always ready with a one-liner or a faux-nice greeting.
Like most Jews (as Heyman is), Heyman loves to quip about his heritage, but he also likes to teach viewers at home and the roster about history. As much of the roster is now filled with second and third-generation stars, Heyman is in a unique position. He has worked with plenty of their family members over the years, and in some cases before the superstars of today were even born, as he once told Kayla and Main Event Jey Uso. That history that Heyman shares with the audience and many members of the WWE roster helps to make plenty of his diatribes riveting to watch.
The Talking Smack before WrestleMania had a riveting confrontation between Edge and Heyman, who have had a long history together, dating back to The Smackdown Six. Their scene played out like a mob movie – two old friends now enemies based on their allegiances reminding each other about who they are, who they represent and what is going to go down at The Showcase Of The Immortals. On a more recent edition of Smackdown, the Special Counsel to The Tribal Chief spoke of his admiration for Rey Mysterio and how he had employed in ECW when Rey when he was Dominik’s age before imploring Rey to not seek revenge against Roman for what he did to his son, even though he would understand it.
As one of the very few workers on the roster from the bygone era of unscripted promos, Heyman has, as he likes to mention spent 35 years in the business. He has matched wits, promo wise with nearly every legend in the industry. Years ago, he once spoke of possibly being the replacement for Howard Stern and watching him operate and navigate every promo with every superstar and be able to do something intriguing with every single one of them. Whether he’s praising the vision of Seth Rollins or “translating” for Shinsuke Nakamura, Heyman has made Talking Smack the must-see show in all of WWE, and just like on Smackdown, just like Rhodes once taught him to do, he is always able to bring the conversation right back to the man he is promoting – the reigning, defending, uncontr-…well, you know.