The challenger coming out a bigger star even in defeat is key, says Heyman.
In the main event of WrestleMania 39 night two, Cody Rhodes unsuccessfully challenged Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
The next night on the Raw after WrestleMania, Rhodes confronted Reigns and stated that without the help of Solo Sikoa, Reigns knows that Rhodes had him beat.
Paul Heyman dove into Cody’s loss and the story that could come out of that loss as he was speaking to Ariel Helwani. Heyman first stated that he enjoys when everyone thinks Reigns’ next title defense will be his last. He commented on the reaction Rhodes got on Raw and said the audience is more passionate and believes in him more because they know he did not fail, but rather that The Bloodline took that moment away.
He added that the next time Reigns and Rhodes clash, the audience will feel like that’ll be the time when Rhodes wins. Heyman stressed that it is important for a challenger to come out of loss as a star because even if he had won the title, where does the champion go from that point.
I like the fact that everyone walks in now thinking this is the last title defense (for Roman Reigns) and I experienced this before with something I had a hand in ending which was The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania and every year, you sat there and you said, oh, this is it and during the match, the audience is actually anticipating and salivating for this to be the moment that they get to witness the historical three count on The Undertaker to which the streak would finally end and then of course when Undertaker would defend the streak, they’d sit there, oh yeah, I don’t wanna see this end. I can’t wait for the next chapter and then it finally ended and the audience was shocked, because they thought they would see it, they thought they would see it, they thought they — no, they didn’t get to see it and this was year after year after year and they finally got to see it and I think that’s the same thing with Roman Reigns’ title defenses now. You hope this is the one, you think this is the one, you’re sure this is the one. You watch the match happening and you go, you know this is the one and then it turns out not to be the one. Oh man, I can’t wait to see the next chapter and the response to Cody Rhodes which was louder than the response last week to Cody Rhodes which was a response more passionate (on Raw after WrestleMania) for Cody Rhodes which was a response from an audience that believes in Cody Rhodes this week more than they did last week when they hung their hopes and their dreams on him and he didn’t disappoint them, we disappointed them, we took that away from Cody Rhodes. Roman Reigns took that away from Cody Rhodes and the audience and they blamed Roman Reigns for it and they appreciate how close Cody came and they know now, they know the next time Cody Rhodes steps in the ring with Roman Reigns, this will be the one. That’s the business. That’s the business at its very best. That’s promotion at its very best, that’s storytelling at its very best. That’s what you want. You want the challenger to come out a bigger star than he would’ve been if he had won the championship because where do you go from there? What’s the story to tell? Now you know the story. It’s Cody’s redemption. He’s coming back for what was just taken from him, from the defeat that he suffered that he didn’t deserve to have to have inflicted upon him.
On Monday morning, it was formally announced that Endeavor acquired WWE and there is going to be a merger between WWE and UFC to form a $21 billion sports entertainment company.
Heyman was asked if he ever thought he’d see the day WWE was acquired and here was his response:
Yes and no (Heyman responded when asked if he ever thought he’d see the day WWE was sold). Vince McMahon loves every micro moment of his life because the most passionate relationship he’s ever had in his entire existence is with building the WWE business and the brand that goes along with the business but it’s the thrill of building the business. He is truly the ultimate disrupter. He disrupted the professional wrestling industry to the point now where it’s called sports entertainment and then every time he found a niche pattern, every time he found what he was looking for in the industry, he then disrupted that whole game plan and went to something different. We’re making hundreds and millions of dollars on pay-per-view, he went streaming. We had this whole concept about streaming, then he makes the television license fees the true bread and butter of the company. Then he builds the stock to such an extent that the company’s valued at nine-and-a-half billion dollars. He’s constantly disrupting his own business plan and marketing plan. So to that degree, strategic partnerships, mergers, etcetera, etcetera. I could see Vince doing whatever he felt was going to build this to being bigger, badder, stronger, more resilient to any kind of storms that could happen in the future, the collapse of television itself. Streaming is taken down by a foreign government who’s infiltrated the systems of the United States. Whatever happens, that we’re gonna survive and we’re gonna thrive so could I see that? Yeah. This particular move? No, but that’s what makes Vince, Vince. That’s why he has a company that was valued at 9-point-something billion dollars because he will see things that we common folk don’t.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the original source with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.