Having been a part of the wrestling business for well over 35 years, you can be sure Paul Heyman has taken his fair share of punishment, despite being an on-screen mouth piece and backstage figure and not a wrestler. And according to Heyman, every bit of punishment he has received in a wrestling ring is 100% real.
Talking to Richard Deitsch of the Sports Media Podcast, Heyman said the following:
“My preparation for physicality is the emotional understanding that this is going to hurt. The beating I took on top of Hell in a Cell from CM Punk was as real as any beating that he took inside the octagon at UFC. Samoa Joe locking me in the Coquina Clutch on Monday Night Raw was as real as anything that anyone else is going to feel in mixed martial arts because I don't trust my timing and I have no athletic ability. So I prefer, if I'm going to be subject to physicality, bring it.
“I also have been of the mindset that if you put Paul Heyman in a physical situation, the lure is that the audience is going to say, 'Okay, this is going to be visceral. This is going to be a fight. This is going to be interesting.' Because, I've watched other people in this role or similar roles in the past, who didn't want to take the hit. I think the lure, the seduction of Paul Heyman finally getting his ass kicked is that Paul Heyman gets his ass kicked. You sit there and say, as an audience member, 'Hey, I want to see this.' It's why the ratings for Paul Heyman vs. Adam Pearce match on SmackDown did so well.”
H/T: Fightful for the transcription