WWE made a huge creative decision by having one of their most popular and controversial superstars at the time in CM Punk be paired with none other than Paul Heyman. This all occurred during Punk’s historic 434-day reign as WWE Champion. Heyman admitted the two partnering up shocked him and Punk. Paul and CM were actually real life friends who never thought one day their friendship could be a part of a major storyline in WWE.
The former ECW boss, WWE creative member and Smackdown General Manager spoke to Inside The Ropes recently where Heyman opened up about what was going on in the company back in 2012. Here is what Heyman said, “I look over at [Punk], and then CM Punk said can you believe they’re F—ing putting us together?” Heyman had this response, “We’re both gonna be F—ing fired in the next four weeks, don’t you get it.” And Punk goes “But the s—t we’re going to stir in four weeks, they don’t f—ing have a clue!”
Heyman loved working with Punk, it was the time of his life he said. He also added that both him and Punk had creative freedom to go out and do unscripted promos. “We had a blast working with each other because like me, he had no idea what he was going to say when he went out to the ring,” said Heyman. “He was just doing it, you know, allegedly those shoot style promos that get wrapped around into the storyline where you could tell Punk believed in his heart that he was telling the truth.”
Heyman continued on why Vince McMahon decided to put them together. Paul pointed out how being in the corner of Punk’s was the only way to get fans “to gasp” since they were booing the baby face John Cena either way. “How do you turn CM Punk heel in Chicago? Make it more difficult: How do you turn him heel on John Cena? Because Night Of Champions is in Boston, which is John Cena’s hometown, where they are sure to boo John Cena and cheer CM Punk. So, Vince comes up with the idea ‘If I can’t make them boo him, I can at least make them gasp.’”
The alliance between Punk and Heyman was born in September 2012 when Punk helped Del Rio defeat John Cena in a Falls Count Anywhere Match on Raw. After the match, there was the scene where Punk got into a car with Heyman and the car pulled away slowly. Their alliance would come to an end a year later, when Heyman and his new client Curtis Axel turned on Punk before the Night of Champions show.
Paul Heyman continues to prove just how much of a promo he can still deliver. He is currently one of WWE and all of pro-wrestling’s greatest talkers on the mic right now in the modern era. CM Punk equally had the same natural ability to cut some of the greatest and most epic promos of all-time during his run with WWE. As a fan that’s what got him over, Punk was honest and held nothing back and was passionate about the equation. Those qualities endeared him to the fans. Vince saw that it was working and capitalized on the moment, McMahon knew he had something exciting that would translate to TV well.