We received more emails on Paul Heyman’s involvement in the UFC 131 Countdown show than anything else this weekend. As of this hour, here’s what we’ve been able to sort out:
Heyman was in Minnesota earlier this week producing Brock Lesnar’s portion of the UFC 131 Countdown show for Lesnar’s fight against Junior Dos Santos. This was reported by The Wrestling Observer‘s Dave Meltzer, who covers UFC for Yahoo!Sports. Heyman was performing those duties for the production company that UFC hires to produce and air the Countdown series on SpikeTV. According to a WrestleZone source at SpikeTV, the show is owned by UFC, and everything that happens is under its control.
When Lesnar was diagnosed with Diverticulitis and had to pull out of UFC 131, Shane Carwin was offered the chance to replace him in the #1 contenders’ fight against Dos Santos. The production company and SpikeTV asked Heyman to produce Carwin, which is similar to the role Scott Coker reportedly offered Heyman in Strikeforce last year (according to a report on the excellent MMA site Cageside Seats).
Heyman never tweeted anything about his Lesnar or Carwin trips on his Heyman Hustle Twitter, which would lead you to believe he was trying to keep this quiet, at least for a while. Heyman did not return WrestleZone’s calls for comment earlier this evening.
Carwin then set off the media storm when he went on his Twitter and said "Paul Heymen @HeymanHustle is here handling the UFC Countdown shoot." followed by "Like Brock Lesnar’s former manager Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle. Nice guy."
What we do know at this point is that Heyman produced Lesnar and Carwin, both as one-time only producer jobs, and has not signed a deal with UFC or SpikeTV. It is intriguing, since Spike is the home of TNA (or "Impact Wrestling"), and Heyman was courted so heavily by TNA President Dixie Carter last year. Heyman working with Carwin will make for fascinating television, since Carwin was so roundly criticized last year in the buildup to the Lesnar fight for being so bland during interviews.
If Heyman brought out some personality in Carwin, you can expect him to do more for the Countdown series, or perhaps Spike will make another run at Heyman for TNA.
It’s a busy week for Heyman, whose book with Brock Lesnar, DeathClutch comes out next Tuesday, May 24th.