Chael: Paul Heyman saved TUF Brazil 3
Paul Heyman is the architect of ECW, best friend and manager to Brock Lesnar in both the pro rasslin and MMA worlds, once managed three WWE champions in a row, owns the ad agency of record for THQ video games, and much more.
Chael Sonnen was the coach opposite Wanderlei Silva on TUF Brazil 3, and he had a huge problem – the fans were starting to like him more than the native Axe Murderer. Bound by an oath of confidentiality, Chael reached out to someone he had never met before.
Sonnen detailed the problems to Dave Meltzer.
“Some days he'd walk right past me, and that was a good day, with no shoulder bump, and no scowl,” said Sonnen. “Some days I'm coming in and he would put in his mouthpiece, like we're about to fight.”
“To say he was ruining the show may be extreme, but the interaction between he and I is an element of the show that's important… I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to handle this. This is the same time I'm losing my grip on my character as a heel. I can feel it slipping away. He's being aggressive. He's skipping practices. He's partying. I don't know what to do.”
“Paul was a guy that even without knowing him, I knew I could trust him. We have mutual friends, Brock Lesnar and C.M. Punk. I knew he was an expert in psychology and I was stuck, working through this spot, having to deal with this, him not talking to me and the reversal of roles that I didn't see coming.”
“He told me, `Listen, you have to shoot* on him. If he's not playing along, you have to drop everything and shoot on him.' He laid it out a lot more aggressive than that. `You have to drop everything and come clean.' He went into it a lot more detail than that.”
“In many ways, Paul Heyman saved Ultimate Fighter (Brazil) 3. He kept his word. He kept his secrecy up.”
“So not only should we thank Paul for the huge ratings, but we can also blame him for all the bad things.”
Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva fight on July 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
*A shoot in professional wrestling is a match or move or other occurrence that is real. The term comes not from shooting for a takedown, but from the carny term “straight shooting” that refers to a gun at a carnival shooting range that does not have the sights set wrong.