Paul Heyman

Paul Heyman

Infobox Wrestler
name=Paul Heyman


names=Paul Heyman
Paul E. Dangerously
Paul E. Heyman
height=5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
weight=
birth_date=birth date and age|1965|9|11
death_date=
birth_place=Scarsdale, New York
resides=Edgemont, New York
billed=
trainer=
debut=January, 1987 after several years as a teen photographer and also producer/announcer on indy shows
retired=Sometime, 2007 after a quiet parting with World Wrestling Entertainment over the direction of the Extreme Championship Wrestling brand.|

Paul Heyman (born September 11, 1965) is an American entertainment producer, most well-known for his former roles in professional wrestling as promoter, manager, and commentator. He is also an occasional actor in film.

Heyman is famous as the creative force behind Extreme Championship Wrestling's rise to prominence in the 1990s. He has also worked in World Championship Wrestling, the American Wrestling Association and World Wrestling Entertainment, including WWE's ECW brand where he was recognized as the ECW Representative.

Heyman was named in the prestigious list of Top 100 Marketers by Advertising Age magazine, a widely recognized honor that he is one of the true brand developers not only in sports entertainment but also on a global basis.

Professional wrestling

Early career

Paul Heyman began as a photographer and writer for third-party wrestling publications such as "Pro Wrestling Illustrated". [http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/heyman_paul.html SLAM! Sports - Wrestling - Paul Heyman ] ]

Heyman made his managerial debut on March 18, 1985, initially appearing on the Northeast independent circuit before moving to a more high-profile stint with Florida Championship Wrestling in 1986. There he joined forces with Kevin Sullivan and Oliver Humperdink and first became known as Paul E. Dangerously because of his resemblance to Michael Keaton in the movie "Johnny Dangerously". From there, he traveled to Memphis and the Continental Wrestling Association to manage Tommy Rich and Austin Idol in a heated feud with Jerry Lawler, a war which later carried over to the American Wrestling Association (AWA) -- with the Original Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose) taking over for Idol and the face-turned Rich).

The Paul E. Dangerously gimmick was basically an extension of Heyman's own personality: a brash New Yorker with a yuppie attitude, often seen holding a mobile phone, which was occasionally used as a "foreign object" (it was quite large, due to the technology of the late 1980s).

Continental Wrestling Federation

After departing the AWA, Heyman went to the Alabama-based Continental Wrestling Federation. Paul E. Dangerously became allied with Eddie Gilbert's Hot Stuff Inc. stable. Behind the scenes, Gilbert was the head booker of the promotion and Heyman became his assistant. The two developed a friendship that would later bring Heyman to ECW.

World Championship Wrestling

In 1988, Heyman jumped to Jim Crockett Promotions, where Dangerously again managed the Original Midnight Express in a feud with the new Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) and their manager, Jim Cornette, as well as managing "Mean" Mark Callous. Before long he settled into the role of an announcer, joining Jim Ross to call the matches on WTBS' "World Championship Wrestling" and other programming. During his role as an announcer, he feuded with Ross, Missy Hyatt, and Hyatt's boyfriend, actor Jason Hervey.

After stepping off-camera for a brief period in 1991, he returned as the manager of the Dangerous Alliance, with Madusa as his assistant, managing Bobby Eaton, Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, WCW TV Champion Steve Austin and Larry Zbyszko. Heyman led Rude to the United States title and the Anderson-Eaton tag team to the Tag Team titles. The Dangerous Alliance dominated WCW through most of 1992, meeting their biggest foes in Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Nikita Koloff, Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes and the Steiner Brothers (Scott and Rick Steiner). He left WCW in late 1992.

Eastern Championship Wrestling / Extreme Championship Wrestling

After departing WCW, Heyman attempted to start a new promotion in Texas with Jim Crockett Jr., but was unsuccessful. [ [http://www.eddiegilbert.com/profile2.html Dangerously did work some ECW shows during the year but most of the year saw him trying to get a new promotion off the ground in Texas with Jim Crockett, Jr. The effort would not fly and, by October, Gordon wanted Dangerously brought into ECW.] ]

At this time, Eddie Gilbert was booker for a Philadelphia-based promotion, NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling, which he co-owned with Tod Gordon. Gordon wanted Gilbert to bring Dangerously in as a full-time manager; Gilbert wanted help with the booking. Heyman was hired, but the three men could not agree on a unified direction for the company. After a few months, Gilbert resigned from the company entirely, citing burnout, and Heyman became sole booker, beginning with their "Ultra Clash" show in September 1993.

As Paul E. Dangerously, he managed a few wrestlers, including Sabu and 911, but Heyman's increased workload led to him making fewer and fewer appearances on-camera.

A year later, changing its name to Extreme Championship Wrestling, the company left the National Wrestling Alliance and became its own entity, with Heyman encouraging wrestlers to express their true feelings about the WWF, WCW and the NWA, and allowing them to help develop their own characters. The company grew an intensely loyal fan base with which Heyman encouraged interaction. Eventually, Heyman became owner of Extreme Championship Wrestling and helped it to grow and become the third-ranking promotion in America. Paul Heyman served as booker, promoter, and the executive producer of both live events and television. After Gordon left, he also had to deal with financial matters, which led to ever-increasing debts owed to the wrestlers. He was said to have been living so close to the edge during his time in ECW that many wrestlers had to pull him back to reality so he would not burn himself out, as stated on "The Rise and Fall of ECW".

Under Heyman's guidance, Extreme Championship Wrestling became a catalyst that altered the standard of pro wrestling in North America. The company pointedly eschewed the predictable and cartoon-like nature of the mainstream products, and fostered a counterculture alternative attitude; Heyman specifically analogized it to the grunge movement in music. With this, it also depicted more graphic and realistic violence in its product. Additionally, ECW introduced traditional Japanese and Mexican wrestling styles, which were previously rare on American television, and presented them alongside the North American wrestling. Journalists and those who worked with Heyman credit him alone with these innovations, and their effect reached to the mainstream even after the company had ended.

ECW achieved national prominence, but folded in 2001. Paul and a handful of other wrestlers have said that the death of ECW was for two reasons: One was that Paul did not like sharing power and thus put too much workload and stress on himself; he was getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night, if any. The second reason was ECW could not get another network deal after being kicked off The Nashville Network in favor of WWF. Heyman has also frequently cited Eric Bischoff as a primary architect of the company's downfall, expressing his long-held belief that Bischoff's hiring of ECW wrestlers away to WCW was intentionally meant to weaken ECW, which couldn't afford WCW-level salaries.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment

After ECW folded, Heyman became a broadcaster for the WWF (using his own name), replacing Jerry Lawler (who had quit the WWF in protest when then-wife Stacy Carter was released by the company) as color commentator for "RAW" in March 2001. During that time, he resumed his storyline rivalry with Jim Ross. In July, while retaining his commentator role, Heyman recreated ECW as a stable, which then immediately merged with Shane McMahon's WCW to form the Alliance during the Invasion angle. He was "fired" following the 2001 Survivor Series.

He returned in March as the manager of Brock Lesnar. Heyman led Lesnar to the WWE Undisputed Championship when Lesnar beat The Rock at SummerSlam. Then at the Survivor Series, Heyman turned on Lesnar and helped Big Show take the title from him. Just before Lesnar's title match against Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XIX, Lesnar challenged his former manager to a steel cage match. After his defeat, Heyman left for a while, returning to assume the on-camera role of General Manager of the Thursday night show "SmackDown!". During this time, he re-aligned himself with Lesnar and proceeded to infuriate Undertaker, John Cena, and especially Chris Benoit by making sure he had no WWE Championship opportunities as long as he was GM. Eventually, on "SmackDown!" right before WrestleMania XX, Heyman asked the entire locker room to back him and Lesnar up against Stone Cold Steve Austin, but they just stood there and walked away from him, including one of Heyman's main supporters, The Big Show. He served as GM until March 22, 2004, when he was drafted to Eric Bischoff's "RAW" and promptly "quit" rather than work for arch-nemesis Bischoff, the man who he blamed for killing ECW by raiding its talent.

During Heyman's tenure on "SmackDown!", he served as the head writer and is credited with being the creative force behind the successful so-called "SmackDown! Six": (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero). He placed them in a "triple threat tag team feud" (Angle & Benoit, Edge & Mysterio, Los Guerreros) over the WWE Tag Team Championship. This resulted in a string of high-caliber matches over several months, one of which was awarded 2002 Match of the Year by the "Wrestling Observer"; Heyman was awarded Best Booker.

During 2004, Heyman's on-camera role was again as a manager, this time to the Dudley Boyz (not including Spike Dudley; Heyman's role in that regard disappeared just as Spike became "the boss" of his "big brothers"), and Heidenreich. In these managerial roles, he mainly led his stars in feuds with The Undertaker. Heyman's last appearance on "SmackDown!" saw him sealed in a coffin by Undertaker during a handicap match which featured Heyman and Heidenreich against The Undertaker on January 6, 2005.

Paul Heyman was heavily involved in the booking and promotion of the June 12, 2005 ECW reunion PPV, One Night Stand. Heyman returned to "RAW" on May 23 and confronted former WCW President Eric Bischoff, lauding ECW and criticizing WCW. Among other things, Heyman told him the following: "ECW was a lifestyle, it was anti-establishment, it was counter-culture, and it was up in your face!" Heyman finished it up by setting Bischoff's ECW funeral wreath (made out of barbed wire) on fire. At One Night Stand, a visibly emotional Heyman came to the ring, got on his knees and bowed to the fans, who chanted "Thank you Paul!" He then cut a shoot promo insulting Bischoff, Edge and JBL. The portion of the promo with Edge was a "worked shoot" as Heyman told Edge what he was going to say. On the show, Heyman was portrayed as a face who successfully prevented the heels, Bischoff and his crusaders, from putting ECW out of business once and for all.

On July 10, 2005, it was reported that Paul Heyman took over the positions of head booker and writer in OVW, a developmental territory maintained by WWE.

Return of ECW

On May 25, 2006 it was announced that ECW would relaunch, as a third WWE "brand". [ [http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/ecwlaunch WWE: TV Shows > ECW > WWE launches ECW as third brand ] ] Heyman was in charge of the new brand on-camera but had minimal creative input off-camera as well. Four days later on "RAW", during a face-off with Mick Foley, Heyman announced that he was granted a draft pick from both "RAW" and "SmackDown!" by Vince McMahon. His "RAW" draft pick was former ECW wrestler (and Money in the Bank contract holder) Rob Van Dam, and his "SmackDown!" draft pick was Kurt Angle. Angle then came down to the ring and attacked Foley, hitting him with an Angle Slam. Heyman predicted that Van Dam would defeat WWE Champion John Cena at ECW One Night Stand 2006 and then declare himself the new ECW World Heavyweight Champion. On the June 2, 2006 edition of "SmackDown!", Heyman served as a guest commentator for Kurt Angle's final match on "SmackDown!" with World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio.

At One Night Stand, Van Dam defeated John Cena to win his first World Championship, the WWE Championship. After John Cena knocked an ECW referee unconscious, Edge (in a disguise) appeared and speared Cena through a table, before taking out "SmackDown!" referee Nick Patrick, allowing Van Dam to hit the Five-Star Frog Splash on Cena. With no referee available Paul Heyman ran down the aisle to count the pinfall. The next night on "RAW" Heyman confirmed that because the championship match was contested under "ECW rules" (which means, essentially, there are no rules) that the decision stands and RVD is the "Undisputed" WWE Champion. As the WWE Champion, Van Dam was the number one man in the reformed ECW, so on the debut of "ECW on Sci Fi" the next night Heyman, announced as an "ECW Representative", presented him with the re-instated ECW World Heavyweight Championship. Heyman had previously implied that RVD would "re-christen" the WWE Championship into the ECW Championship. However, Van Dam elected to keep both title belts and was recognized as both the WWE and ECW Champion.

On the July 4, 2006 edition of ECW, Big Show challenged Rob Van Dam to a match for the ECW Championship. Near the end of the match, Big Show took out the referee prior to RVD hitting a Five-Star Frog Splash on Show. Heyman then came out to count the pin (just like at One Night Stand) but stopped at the count of 2. After realizing what happened, RVD began chasing Heyman. The distraction allowed Big Show to recover, and knock RVD to the mat. At this time Heyman began barking orders at Big Show. He then instructed Big Show to chokeslam Van Dam on a steel chair that had been used earlier in the match. Big Show pinned RVD and Heyman made the 3 count, "screwing" RVD out of the ECW Championship. Being that Philadelphia was "the home of ECW", and the audience at the Wachovia Center was the first "true ECW-style" fanbase for an "ECW on Sci-Fi" show, the fans were so incensed by the title change that many of them threw garbage and debris into the ring. This incident has been referred to by the WWE as the "South Philly Screwjob" (evoking comparisons to the Montreal screwjob).

WWE.com then kayfabe announced that Heyman was suspending Van Dam for 30 days (mirroring the legit WWE executive decision, due to his and Sabu's recent arrests on drug possession charges.) Heyman began referring to himself as the "Messiah" and "Father Of ECW", justifying his actions stating "anything [can] happen in ECW" and RVD got what he deserved. He also began being accompanied to ECW events by a pair of "private security guards" in riot gear (in actuality the Basham Brothers), ostensibly to protect him from ECW wrestlers and fans who are angry about his recent actions. Heyman's character has also been shown as having a bias toward the "new faces of ECW" (wrestlers who never wrestled for the original incarnation) instead of the "ECW Originals". The only "new face of ECW" he had not shown bias towards was CM Punk, likely due to Punk's status as a babyface.

Due to a behind the scenes dispute over ECW's first (and only) solo pay-per-view under WWE (December to Dismember) which aired December 3, 2006, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon legitimately removed Heyman from his position the following night and sent him home from the RAW/ECW taping in South Carolina. [ [http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/news/heymanout WWE: TV Shows > ECW > News > Heyman out ] ] In September 2007, Heyman quietly parted ways with WWE. [ [http://www.lordsofpain.net/news/2007_/articles/1190086262.php Heyman Parts Ways With WWE] ] It was over a year after his dismissal before Heyman commented on the departure, revealing that the resurrection of ECW was mishandled in his opinion and how his booking ideas for December to Dismember were completely different from Vince McMahon's.

After wrestling

Having left WWE, Heyman tried to pursue a position in mixed martial arts when he joined a consortium which looked to buy out Strikeforce; it ultimately collapsed due to disagreements between investors.

Since leaving wrestling, Paul Heyman has entered into a collaborative relationship with "The Sun", a UK-based newspaper and website. [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/wrestling/heyman/article762131.ece Paul Heyman:Why I Left WWE] TheSun.co.uk]

On February 4, 2008, he gave "The Sun" an exclusive interview (his first since leaving WWE) about his problems with WWE's handling of the ECW brand, and the events leading up to his quitting.

Heyman has also begun a multimedia project with the paper called [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/wrestling/heyman/ "The Heyman Hustle"] , which he describes as "the high definition video blog of a rambling mind." It features video of Heyman interacting with celebrities from various fields of entertainment on the streets of New York City, as well as regular writings of Heyman's take on the world of professional wrestling, including his thoughts on the McMahon wrestling family, the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, Ric Flair's retirement, and Joey Styles being replaced by Mike Adamle as the ECW play-by-play commentator.

Acting

Heyman portrayed a sports announcer in 2002's "Rollerball." His performance received critical acclaim, even though the movie did not. "Director John McTiernan's Rollerball is an atrocious remake," reported Variety, "whose only saving grace is the hysterical performance by wrestling producer and performer Paul Heyman, who pretty much plays himself to perfection." Heyman was later tapped by "I am Legend" executive producer Michael Tadross to play Gino in the film adaptation of long-running Off-Broadway show "Tony n' Tina's Wedding."

Wrestlers managed

*Tommy Rich
*Dennis Condrey
*Randy Rose
*Colonel DeBeers
*Adrian Adonis
*Samoan Swat Team
*Mean Mark Callous
*Madusa
*Don Muraco
*Jimmy Snuka
*Eddie Gilbert
*Dark Patriot
*Sabu
*Taz/Tasmaniac
*911
*Brock Lesnar
*The Big Show
*Kurt Angle
*A-Train
*Heidenreich
*Rob Van Dam
*Matt Morgan
*Nathan Jones
*Rhino
*Rick Rude
*Shane Douglas
*Tommy Dreamer
*Cowboy Bob Orton
*Test
*Mike Knox
*Hardcore Holly

Stables and tag teams:
*Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Rick Rude, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Eaton, Steve Austin)
*Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas)
*The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley and Spike Dudley)

Awards and accomplishments

2000 - Named one of Top 100 Global Marketers by Advertising Age
*Pro Wrestling Illustrated
**PWI Manager of the Year (1992)
*Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
**Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2005)
**Best Booker (1994-1997, 2002)
**Best Non-Wrestler (2001-2002, 2004)

References

External links

*imdb name|id=0382280|name=Paul Heyman
*tvtome person|id=284815|name=Paul Heyman


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