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Paul Heyman on what makes a great promo, Vince McMahon, his longevity, more

Paul Heyman recently spoke with ESPN.com about his career and more. During the interview, Heyman intently described what goes into making a great promo.

“Credibility. Authenticity. Believing in everything that you are saying,” Heyman said. “It’s something that some people are born with and don’t know how to tap into. And it’s something some people are not born with, but once they feel the affirmation of the crowd … [they] get that rush.”

While he has had his ups and downs with WWE over the years, Heyman knows that his freedom with his promos comes with tremendous responsibility and pressure.

“If you truly want to reach for the brass ring, you need to put your balls on the table,” Heyman said. “I can go off-point, I can go off-word, I can go off-paragraph, but I can never go off message. Because when I come back through that curtain, if I haven’t sold [McMahon] tickets or pay-per-views or merchandise or network subscriptions, it’s not about reaching for the brass ring — my balls are getting chopped off. And you have to be willing to put your balls on the line with that. Now if you are, he’ll let you do it. It’s your funeral. Or it’s you reaching for the brass ring. Either way, it’s a risk that you have to take.”

Heyman, who is in the mix with several projects, says he only sleeps three to four hours a night and works 18 – 20 hours a day because he loves what he does.

“I’m involved with projects that strike up a passion with me, that stir up completion inside of me,” Heyman said. “People come at me and go, ‘My job makes me feel alive.’ OK, well good for you. My job doesn’t make me feel alive, my job makes me feel alive! I love what I do. I’m passionate about what I do. I live for what I do. And every morning I can’t wait to stop sleeping and to jump up and get out of bed and start doing what I do.”

While Heyman has an insatiable work ethic and a disdain for sleep, he explained that he is not Vince McMahon, who also doesn’t like to sleep,  because Vince is insane and a billionaire.

“Yeah, but he’s insane,” Heyman said. “At least I’m rather sane about it. Then again, I’m sane and I’m a thousandaire, and he’s insane and he’s a billionaire. I don’t think Vince would be flattered by the comparison, but in my little synagogue of life, I could see where maybe we could kibitz a little about that,” he said.

Heyman has no plans to walk away from wrestling but did admit that he would be surprised had someone told him 20 years ago that he would be a featured performer with WWE at this stage of his life.

“I don’t know what explains my longevity,” Heyman said. “I think I’m kind of like the cockroach of the sports entertainment industry. You could drop a nuclear bomb somewhere but who is going to survive? The cockroaches are always going to survive. They are going to be the last things on earth. I’ve survived it all. And you know what? Why would they want to get rid of me by now? ‘This guy is still alive? No one has killed him yet? Put him on television, he must have something to offer!'”

Heyman also talked about his other projects and more. Check out the entire interview here.


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