Few people know Brock Lesnar better than WWE personality Paul Heyman.
Serving as his on-screen manager and later as a dedicated “advocate” for the ex-UFC champion, Heyman has spent years working with Lesnar both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
Ahead of WrestleMania 38 on Sunday, Heyman’s role in WWE is currently aligned with Roman Reigns (real name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi), which means Lesnar has been on his own to speak on the microphone and build his own hype leading up to matches. During that time, Lesnar has been much more outgoing on the microphone, oftentimes joking and getting the audience to laugh along with him, which is a far cry from the typically stoic and grimacing look on his face Lesnar has historically sported when appearing in WWE.
According to Heyman, this has always been Lesnar’s personality, but he just never had a need to show that side of himself until now.
“He didn’t need to [show this side of himself],” Heyman told The MMA Hour. “It wasn’t time yet. It’s the same reason you didn’t see ‘The Tribal Chief’ [character] in 2021. You had to see the Samoan badass of The Shield, you had to see the big dog and you keep on elevating and enhancing and upgrading until finally Roman Reigns was ready to reveal ‘The Tribal Chief.’
“This is part of Brock Lesnar’s personality. Brock Lesnar is not a one-dimensional human being. He’s barely a human being at all. He’s a beast.”
While Lesnar’s boisterous personality might be a surprise to many WWE fans, Heyman already saw some of it shining through when the one-time NCAA wrestling heavyweight champion crossed over for his career in mixed martial arts.
When he was competing in the UFC, Lesnar was always on his own doing interviews and press conferences, and Heyman saw glimpses of the same person WWE fans are discovering right now.
“I’ve seen this side of his personality for 20 something years. He showed hints of this in UFC,” Heyman said. “There was that famous moment where he was asked about Junior dos Santos when he was doing The Ultimate Fighter and he said, ‘Oh yeah, I’m BFF’s with Junior.’ And I think it was against Cain Velasquez and Brock was asked a question, ‘Do you respect his ability?’ — and Brock had something in front of him and Brock just went ‘no’ and pushed it away. The whole place went crazy.
“Brock Lesnar has a great sense of humor — he just never found the time in WWE to display it. He displayed some of it in UFC, and this is just a part of his personality.”
In many ways, the current version of Lesnar is the most authentic version, because Heyman says it’s the same person he knew outside of the pro wrestling ring when they first began working together.
Now Heyman is happy to see WWE fans beginning to understand that there’s more to Lesnar than just a hulking heavyweight known for explosiveness in the ring, because he’s displaying that same kind of attitude on the microphone as well.
“This is a refreshing, new version of Brock Lesnar for the WWE audience,” Heyman said.
“This is what he’s like on his farm. This is what he’s like when he’s hunting. This is offseason Brock. He brought offseason Brock to fight season business this time around because he was going to have to have to show a different side of his personality since I was attached to the hip of Roman Reigns.”