Paul Heyman explains just how hard it is to be Paul Heyman without an audience.
For the last year, Paul Heyman and the entire WWE roster performers have been working without the audience. John Cena famously calls the WWE audience, "the biggest WWE Superstar," and for the last year, that has been missing from the production.
Speaking on the Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch, Paul Heyman credited WWE for never stopping for a single week but explained the daunting task of attempting to perform a show that is intended for an audience without a live audience in attendance.
“This goes back to my father's old philosophy of getting the job done and enjoying it while you're doing it. If I were to complain about this, it would be the equivalent of a doctor coming home and staying, ‘Ugh, all I do is see sick people.’ Then, don't be a doctor!
“To WWE’s massive credit, we never missed a week. We kept going through everything. We kept producing content. We are in the content creation, the content presenting, the content exploitation, the content marketing, the content sales business, and we never missed a week. Wow. It is up to us, we, the performers, to do our role in that scenario. It is a daunting task to be interacting with an audience that is not there for you to be interactive with and everything that I do is based off of the reverberations that I get from the live crowd. But, when there is no live crowd, it is no longer a live performance, I am in a studio. I don't know any musician that prefers being in a closed studio as opposed to being in a stadium full of people that are jamming with you. It's why at last year's WrestleMania, and the main event which was Brock Lesnar vs Drew McIntyre, when Brock and I came out to the ring, I said to Brock, I can't announce you.’ That was our schtick. I couldn't do it because my dance partner wasn't there and my dance partner was the audience. I didn't realize it until we were halfway down the aisle to the ring.”
He continued, "It's the difference between sex and masturbation. Sex is with somebody and it's wonderful, and you're making love, and it's intimate, and it's a give and take... Masturbation, you're by yourself. I just couldn't bring myself to pick up the mic and do that schtick without the audience there with me because that introduction was every bit as much about the audience doing it as me doing it. Without them, I'm just by myself. I didn't feel it, I didn't like it, I didn't want it. I couldn't do it.”
At WrestleMania 37, it will not be a one-man show for Paul Heyman as the audience returns for this year's event. However, this year Paul Heyman is not working with Brock Lesnar, he is working with Roman Reigns.
Elsewhere in the interview, Paul Heyman explains why WWE is in the right, in his opinion, to ask for all promos to be scripted. Read more here.
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