Paul Heyman recently spoke with ESPN Playbook about brokering the deal to get Brock Lesnar in WWE 13. Here are the highlights…
ESPN Playbook: You are writing the scripts for “WWE 13,” but this isn’t the first time you’ve worked with THQ on a project. How did you help get Brock Lesnar in the game last year before he returned to the ring?
Paul Heyman: I brokered the deal. I got THQ in touch with Brock’s lawyers and helped broker the deal. It was one of those things where THQ had just featured Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior and they were looking for another huge name that could be a special attraction for the game. So when they asked me my opinion, besides the fact that I’m so tight with him, Brock Lesnar was pushing huge numbers in UFC and had an obvious connection to WWE. I just thought, “Hey, here is a guy WWE fans would love to see again.” But at the time, it was unfathomable that Brock Lesnar would ever even be back in a WWE ring, so the whole concept was, if you ever want to see Brock Lesnar back in a WWE ring, you have to do it in “WWE 12” because there ain’t no way it’s ever going to happen any way else. But as it turned out, it foreshadowed what ended up becoming the major event in 2012 anyway.
ESPN Playbook: Do you think Brock’s involvement in the video game actually helped smooth out the relationship between him and WWE, actually enabling him to come back this year?
Paul Heyman: You know, it’s very funny, but I don’t think there’s any such thing as a burned bridge in business, especially when it comes to Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon can end up in a federal lawsuit with you where there is mudslinging back and forth that makes the front page of The Wall Street Journal, and if tomorrow he figures out a way where the company can benefit from your involvement, you will be at a negotiating table with him at lunch. He takes nothing personally, unless he is in the middle of the fight with you. But the moment that fight becomes counterproductive to his business, and that he can make more money with you than against you, then he wants you in the fold. Pure business. And if there’s anything that’s a perfect example of that, it’s the fact that Brock and I are both back in WWE right now.