Paul Heyman has long been associated with Brock Lesnar as his advocate, but it wasn't always planned that way.
Ever since Lesnar made his first WWE appearance in 2002, he's been accompanied by his manager and advocate Heyman. That relationship is still going strong today since The Beast is currently the Universal Champion.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes, Heyman reminded fans of how he was first partnered with Lesnar during The Beast's days in WWE's developmental division, Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Heyman said, via Fightful: "[Brock Lesnar] is in the ring [in OVW] as an NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion and people are saying to him, 'You should be a Russian' [and] 'You should just stand there.' Like he's the Warlord or something. Come on! Are you kidding me?
"Here's Taz. He goes, 'They're giving you the wrong advice, brother.' Taz brings him to me. I look at Brock and say, 'You realize that if you do what they're telling you, you'll leave here in six months. You want me to talk to Vince about this?'"
- The Rock believes WWE's next big superstar could be Drew McIntyre
- Roman Reigns sees himself full-time in WWE until at least 2024
- Roman Reigns' attacker on SmackDown was reportedly Daniel Bryan
Heyman talked with Vince McMahon about potentially partnering with Lesnar, but that meant having to scrap his original plans of being paired with Chris Benoit.
He said: "I was scheduled to come back at WrestleMania X-8 with Chris Benoit. That was set. I went to Vince, two or three weeks before WrestleMania, and I said, 'I'd like to produce Brock Lesnar's matches.' He said, 'Go ahead. Let's see what you can do with him.'
"I went to Brock and said, 'Pick an opponent.' He picked Funaki and Spike Dudley. He knows what he's doing. He tossed them around and beat the living crap out of them. I went back to Vince and asked, 'What did you think?' [He said], 'Damn this guy is money.'"
Heyman continued: "The night before WrestleMania, we're going over the show. We get to the Benoit match, and Vince mentions nothing. I wait until after the meeting, I look at him and say, 'This thing with Benoit is off?'
"He goes, 'I think I'm gonna put you with Brock Lesnar.' I said, 'Sure. Give us a little time.'
"[Vince said], 'You start the day after Mania.' I said, 'Okay. Watch out, though. You know, he's The Next Big Thing.' Vince looks at me and goes, 'God damnit Paul, that nickname would suck.'
"I have butted heads with Vince McMahon for many years. To his credit, he has been right most of the time. But on that one, I can tell you, I was right."
Sure enough, Lesnar was The Next Big Thing in WWE, as he went on to become a four-time WWE Champion as well as a three-time Universal Champion and one of the biggest draws in WWE history.
Credit must be given to Heyman too, as the success he's had paired with The Beast emphasises exactly why he is the best advocate professional wrestling has ever seen.News Now - Sport News