Paul Heyman's time as the RAW Executive Director was met with overall mixed reviews. Many fans loved the fact that Paul Heyman's vision was to build RAW around the stars of the present and future, rather than relying on old, familiar names that don't have the same longevity left within them.
However, if you were to listen to AJ Styles and a few others, the opinion might differ. It's no secret that Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon clashed on multiple occasions, which was perhaps one of the main reasons why he was removed as the RAW Executive Director.
Two more names who don't appear to be fans of Paul Heyman's work as RAW Executive Director are Brian Myers (fka Curt Hawkins) and Karl Anderson. Both superstars, who have found a new lease on life in Impact Wrestling, discussed Paul Heyman as the RAW Executive Director on the Talk N' Shop podcast (H/T Wrestlingnews.co). Brian Myers explained that he saw 'zero brilliance' out of Paul Heyman as the Executive Director:
Myers: “The genius is he had his finger on the pulse in the late 90s but not now, no because I saw no genius whatsoever. I was just explaining this to somebody. I was like, ‘I know you guys all love to praise him for what he did then and I’m sure that’s real and I did see him pull star quality and performances and things out of people that you wouldn’t have thought but man, I saw zero brilliance in 2019.”
Karl Anderson played the devil's advocate, stating he doesn't want to stick up for Paul Heyman, but admitted that there was a big possibility that he wasn't able to go as far as he wanted. He did, however, agree with Myers that Paul Heyman isn't a genius:
Anderson: “Maybe to be the devil’s advocate, maybe because he had somebody above him not allowing him to be completely him and trust me I don’t want to stick up for him. But just saying maybe he wasn’t able to go as far as he wanted to go, maybe that was what was holding him back…I absolutely think he wasn’t a genius but he’s a good promo guy now.”
Karl Anderson added an interesting note, revealing the lie that Paul Heyman told him about being a top guy in the WWE environment:
“He’s the greatest promo guy of all time and to your face as well. He would tell me I was a top guy. I would go, ‘hold on, I know I am but you don’t think I am and neither does he or he or he. I think I am but I know that I’m not in this environment.'”
Was Paul Heyman a polarizing backstage figure?
From the look of things, there are differing opinions about Paul Heyman as the RAW Executive Director. Superstars like Aleister Black, who were given a lot of TV time praised Paul Heyman and the idea of working with him directly.
Ultimately, some people benefited from Paul Heyman as the RAW Executive Director and people that didn't. It's hard to say whether he's a creative genius or not, but Karl Anderson is right about the possibility that he may have been held back from his full potential.Published 21 Sep 2020, 07:27 IST