Paul Heyman on Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar Both Evolving Their Characters
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar have both undergone quite the character transformation over the past few years. Plenty has already been written about how Reigns transformed from "The Big Dog" into "The Tribal Chief," while Lesnar's return at last year's SummerSlam eventually led to him becoming a charismatic babyface. Paul Heyman, having worked closely with both, talked about the changes they've made while on The Masked Man Show earlier this week.
"I'm indescribably proud of both of them," Heyman said. "Roman Reigns is a very strategic performer. The Tribal Chief has lived inside of Roman Reigns for a long time but it wasn't the right time to present this persona because he had to go through all of the trials and tribulations in front of the public first. He needed his face roughed up a little more. He needed to show a little bit of age. The Tribal Chief just couldn't be the best-looking man in the industry in his late 20s. He had to be a little more seasoned, he had to be a little more grizzled. To speak as the Tribal Chief before he's the Tribal Chief would not have made sense. He's very comfortable in this presentation. This is authentically who he is. This is how he sees himself. I like to say that SmackDown is the best reality show on television because you're getting to see the real Roman Reigns for the first time. He's not being forced to go out there and smile and tell you how much he just loves to go and sign autographs at 4 in the afternoon for all the little kids that are coming to the show. No, he doesn't. He doesn't want to. He doesn't want to do media appearances that he doesn't want to do. He does the ones that he chooses to do because they're the right ones to host the Tribal Chief."
"In terms of Brock, Brock just never felt like talking. Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do and Brock Lesnar doesn't do what Brock Lesnar doesn't want to do," he added. "When Brock came back, he had been gone long enough and looked different enough and is really comfortable enough with himself now that he just says, 'Screw it. This is who I am and they'll like me for who I am or they won't. I'm just going to give them the real Brock Lesnar,' which is a far more smart-ass Brock Lesnar than most people were even prepared to see. But if you watched him in the UFC press conferences, this is Brock Lesnar. This is who he is. So, again, in an age where authenticity is a very big selling point with the audience, it's just getting both of them to be authentic."
Saturday's Royal Rumble event saw Heyman betray Lesnar and realign himself with Reigns. In the process, Lesnar lost the WWE Championship to Bobby Lashley.