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Paul Heyman Deserves an Emmy for His WWE Bloodline Performance

Life can change rapidly. Paul Heyman, who once talked his way into Madison Square Garden as a teen to photograph the WWWF, now finds himself at 58 years old being power-bombed through an announce table by a monster he helped create but refused to indulge.

Since the pandemic began, Heyman has been playing a critical role in — and in many ways directing — the saga of the “Bloodline” in WWE, deserving formal recognition for his performance. In previous eras, professional wrestling maintained “kayfabe” — the art of staying in character — but today, it is openly presented as scripted entertainment. With this transparency, there’s no reason why Heyman shouldn’t be considered for a best supporting actor award in a drama series.

Last Friday at MSG, Heyman stood in the ring with the current members of the Bloodline — Solo Sikoa, Jacob Fatu, Tanga Loa, and Tama Tonga — during a ceremony to acknowledge Sikoa as their Tribal Chief. This title in the storyline was an honor truly deserved by Roman Reigns, who Heyman had managed to the longest world championship run in WWE since Hulk Hogan in the 1980s.

While Reigns had once hinted that Sikoa could be his heir, that time hasn’t arrived yet. Sikoa, devoid of any championship and accomplishments compared to Reigns and The Rock in the Samoan family hierarchy, had not earned the title. Instead, he attempted to exploit the power void left with Reigns absent from WWE television since losing his championships to Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania 40.

On-screen, Heyman seemed a nervous wreck, knowing the physical beating he’d likely suffer once his hand was forced. As anticipated, Loa, Tonga, and Fatu each “acknowledged” Sikoa as their Tribal Chief, with Heyman’s eyes bloodshot and his face uncustomarily unshaven. Heyman was then handed the “Ula Fala” necklace, previously given to Reigns by his father and uncle, Sika and Afa Anoa’i, famed as the Wild Samoans in the 1980s and later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

“Solo, I love you, and I acknowledge that you are NOT my tribal chief!” Heyman declared, causing the MSG audience to erupt. Subsequently, Heyman — who has likely earned enough in wrestling to live comfortably multiple times over — was met with a “Samoan Spike” from Sikoa and a headbutt from the top rope by Fatu before being power-bombed through the announce table. Despite WWE being scripted, taking such bumps is a significant sacrifice, more so for those not in peak physical condition, like Heyman.

The segment, aired on “Smackdown,” attracted over 2.5 million TV viewers, and within 48 hours, the clip amassed more than 60 million views across WWE’s digital platforms. Through Heyman’s portrayal, Reigns, previously portrayed as a detestable heel when he lost the Undisputed WWE Universal championship at WrestleMania in Philadelphia, will likely be cheered as a babyface upon his return without even appearing in the storyline for months.

Immediately following “Smackdown,” social media buzzed with calls for Heyman to receive an Emmy, an idea echoed by combat sports host Ariel Helwani. “Cinema,” Helwani described it, drawing parallels to works by Martin Scorcese. “Even if you don’t like pro wrestling, you have to get behind this.”

The storyline has been developing for several years, with Heyman anchoring it both as an on-screen figure and behind the scenes. In March, before his Hall of Fame induction, Heyman spoke about wanting the Bloodline saga to be comparable to classic TV dramas like “The Wire” and “Breaking Bad.” He revealed his deep involvement in its creation, influencing everything from camera angles to music and storylines.

“I carry a significant voice in how we are portrayed and presented — that includes everything from camera angles to music to storylines,” Heyman stated. “It’s why Roman Reigns bestowed upon me the blessing name of the Wiseman, which is acknowledgment from the Tribal Chief to his Special Counsel, and also a historical reference to the Grand Wizard, Freddie Blassie, and Captain Lou Albano, who are the only managers during the Vincent James McMahon era.”

Heyman suggested he couldn’t be content just being a performer without input in the creative process, a role he’s found both welcomed and encouraged. The deadline for WWE to nominate Heyman for an Emmy has passed, but should his performance continue to shine into next year’s WrestleMania season, potentially featuring Reigns vs. The Rock, he absolutely deserves a nomination.

Source: New York Post, Youtube