Not to brag (too much), but as Community Manager for WWE Games at THQ, I’ve got kind of the coolest gig. Not only do I get to play video games at my desk at work, but I also get the opportunity to meet all sorts of awesome wrestling folks. To wit: The Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless himself, Mr. Paul Heyman.
For the uninitiated, Heyman is, without a doubt, one of the greatest wrestling minds in the industry today – maybe ever. After starting his career as a wrestling photographer while still a teenager, Heyman traveled the country, working as a manager all over in the dying days of the territory system. But one of Heyman’s biggest achievements came next, when he became a promoter and brought ECW into the world, kicking, screaming and swinging a barbed-wire bat over its bleeding head.
After revolutionizing the wrestling industry with the small Philadelphia-based promotion, Heyman went on to have notable runs as a manager, announcer and creative team member in WWE, where he currently acts as the manager of WWE Champion CM Punk, who is sometimes known as the Voice of the Voiceless (hence, the Voice of the Voice of the Voiceless).
Most importantly for our purposes, however, Heyman is also credited as the “Creative Rabbi” on WWE ’13, a role that I chitchat with him about in this video interview, while also going into the influence of ECW, Heyman’s eye for talent, his approach to wrestling storytelling and Brock Lesnar. Go watch it!
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on October 9, 2012
On worked injuries
The past few days saw WWE kick up their use of worked injuries in storylines: Beth Phoenix lost the Divas Title following a storyline ankle injury and then was unable to participate in her rematch at Extreme Rules, John Cena teased some kind of serious arm injury at Extreme Rules and most recently, on this week’s Monday Night Raw WWE claimed that Brock Lesnar broke Triple H’s arm with his Kimura Lock. All of the above are extremely useful story pieces, with the first explaining why a Divas as dominant as Phoenix could lose her title to Nikki Bella and the others putting Lesnar over as an absolute monster, but I have to wonder about the long-term wisdom of booking all these fake injuries.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on May 1, 2012
How much of this is real?
What a pay-per-view! Normally Extreme Rules is the place for exciting spectacles, but not really where you expect to find compelling wrestling storytelling and drama. This year that couldn’t have been further from the truth, however, as the show featured easily some of the best wrestling television of the year thus far. I was absolutely nuts for the Sheamus/Daniel Bryan match, as well as the CM Punk/Chris Jericho contest, but what most impressed me, both from a wrestling as well as a story-standpoint, was the much-anticipated showdown between Cena and Lesnar, which had me and other fans asking that all-important question: “How much of this is real?”
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 30, 2012
The future of WWE?
On this week’s Monday Night Raw, John Laurinaitis referred to Brock Lesnar as the future of WWE. Of course, this is a little strange considering that Brock already had a WWE heyday around a decade ago. While it’s probably not how Johnny Ace meant it, I think that he could very well be onto something here, as the return run of Brock (and the Rock before him) points toward a different way of booking main event wrestling feuds.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 10, 2012
NO! NO! NO!
While not quite as exciting as the return of both Brock Lesnar and A-Train on this week’s Monday Night Raw, WWE’s SmackDown features a couple comeback kids of its own this week: Skip Sheffield in his Ryback gimmick, and the former Idol Stevens as Damien Sandow, with what has been described as an “actor gimmick.” But what I’m really interested to see this week is what WWE does with Daniel Bryan.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 6, 2012
The big news on this week’s post-WrestleMania XXVIII Monday Night Raw was, quite obviously, the returning Brock Lesnar, who followed in the Rock’s footsteps by coming out and making John Cena look like an absolute joke. I’m a Brock fan, and would be excited about this match even if his t-shirt logo didn’t look like the most awesome Danzig/Swamp Thing hybrid imaginable. Back when I worked at WWE, mentioning Brock on the website was absolutely verboten, even though the guy was a huge mainstream star during his run as UFC Heavyweight Champion. It was a perfect example of WWE cutting off their nose to spite their face, so I’m glad they’ve finally gotten tired of getting nosejobs (to stretch an metaphor).
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 3, 2012