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WWE's Paul Heyman Almost Managed Chris Benoit Instead

Paul Heyman Brock Lesnar
WWE.com

Paul Heyman returned to TV 24 hours after WrestleMania X-8 and introduced the world to Brock Lesnar (he didn't quite say it like, "Brrrrrrrrrrock Llllllllesnar" back in 2002).

According to comments Heyman made during a live Q&A with Inside The Ropes though, things could've been extremely different - Paul was originally scheduled to return as Chris Benoit's manager, not Lesnar's. It was Vince McMahon who helped make the change after Heyman spoke highly of Brock behind the scenes and in meetings.

The former ECW mad scientist had also produced some of Lesnar's earliest dark matches and clearly viewed the man mountain as a meal ticket. His desire to manage Benoit evaporated almost overnight, and Heyman was put by Brock's side instead.

It was a match made in heaven, and it's still ongoing today.

Hilariously, McMahon groaned when Heyman first referred to Lesnar as the 'Next Big Thing'. The boss didn't think that was a great nickname at all, but it ended up playing a pivotal role in Brock's WWE development during the first few years of his career.

Benoit, meanwhile, marched on without a mouthpiece to cut promos for him.

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