Payback in Chicago – Role of Paul Heyman
In a month’s time, WWE will head down once again to the All State Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. That might not mean much to an average wrestling fan, but for all the ardent followers of professional wrestling, it is once again that time of the year when the fans get to express their opinions, and do the unthinkable – Push WWE back and keep them on their feet! Chicago has always been known for its raunchy atmosphere and vocal fans; there are very few states in the United States which can compete with Chicago when it comes to making their voices heard at a professional wrestling event. The last time WWE was in Chicago, there were quite a few people running around in the back, ambivalent about the kind of response the show would generate.
It was understandable on WWE’s part as well. We were very close to WrestleMania, and a returning Dave Batista didn’t receive a particularly positive response. WWE took a stance about the main event at that point, pitting Batista against Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight championship, giving signs that they weren’t going to push Daniel Bryan to the main event spot at the biggest event of the year – The one superstar that had broken the proverbial glass ceiling, crossing borders and transcending the sport. But the real reason was the elephant in the room – Something the WWE refused to acknowledge till then. One superstar walked away from the WWE at that point, frustrated with the lack of direction on the creative’s part, and because of the stress he had to endure – Physically and mentally, and wasn’t interested in carrying on anymore.
When CM Punk walked away from the WWE after the Royal Rumble, WWE quietly pushed him under the rug, refusing to mention his name on the air. But when they had to go to Chicago – The backyard of CM Punk, they knew what they were in for. In weeks leading up to the show, there were reports about how WWE were concerned with the episode of RAW in Chicago, and thinking about ways to subdue the fans. They knew that no matter what they did, the fans would burst into massive “CM Punk” chants, and would boo some of the other superstars out of the building. WWE pulled out all the stops, bringing in the likes of Hulk Hogan and even The Undertaker for the show! But ultimately, they went ahead with the one person who the WWE fans least expected.
When you talk about the greatest talkers in the business, one name that you would find at the very top is of the same person who revolutionized the wrestling business. To his credit, he has also proven time and again about how he is a master manipulator; like the sirens of the sea, he could captivate you with his words and restrain you with his verbiage, no matter how hard you try to free yourself. Like an inspirational figure who gathers a cult following, becoming a legend among his peers, Paul Heyman has garnered respect and admiration from everyone. Paul Heyman walked out in front of the Chicago faithful to CM Punk’s music, and like a seasoned conductor controlling the hymns and harmony of the choir, made the WWE fans play to his tunes. When Heyman finished his speech, the WWE fans weren’t chanting for Punk anymore. Instead, they were admiring the verbal prowess of Paul Heyman.
If the genius of a man is measured by the admiration and respect he garners from the naysayers, it is safe to say that Paul Heyman has the best brains in the business. Heyman, to his credit is the only person imaginable who can make a hostile crowd appreciate his skills. When Heyman and Lesnar appeared in front of the WWE fans after breaking The Undertaker’s revered streak at WrestleMania 30, Heyman unleashed a scathing promo, forcing the hostile crowd to applaud for the evil mastermind. If WWE ever had to fall back upon someone, Paul Heyman would be their first option.
WWE might need Heyman sooner than expected, as WWE will once again visit the All State Arena for the Payback PPV in a month’s time. Once again, Paul Heyman might have the task of bringing the boisterous crowd under control – Especially after the recent rumors of CM Punk “retiring” from professional wrestling. Although we can’t predict what will happen come Payback, Paul Heyman in all likeliness will be asked to open the PPV, and one can only imagine what the “Innovator of violence” has in store for the WWE Universe. But one thing is for sure, if Heyman delivers a promo like the way we know he can, history books will register yet another memorable promo – Something that people can look back years from now, and still be left in awe of Paul Heyman.