Pro wrestling promoter
and colour commentator
for all the 'Big Three' US wrestling promotions.
Paul Heyman should go down in history as one of the most influential men in wrestling's storied existence. In virtually every role it is possible to have in the business without actually wrestling, Heyman has excelled.
After early stints in the old AWA, he first came to prominence in the early 1990s in WCW
as Paul E. Dangerously, a heel
manager of a stable by the name of The Dangerous Alliance
. He also did a short stint on commentary with then-WCW-play-by-play man Jim Ross
Tiring of the politics and the changing faces in WCW, Heyman joined Todd Gordon
's Eastern Championship Wrestling
as a booker
. Together with Gordon, he took ECW
from strength to strength, making stars out of wrestlers like Shane Douglas
, The Sandman
and Tommy Dreamer
. As the promotion metamorphosised into Extreme Championship Wrestling, Heyman took full control from Gordon and introduced Philadelphia, the Eastern Seaboard and eventually the nation to ECW
's state of the art gorefests, helped no doubt by legendary tenures in the promotion by greats like Mick Foley
, Terry Funk
Surviving wave after wave of star-poachings by both WCW
and the WWF
, Heyman made star after star - Raven
, Chris Benoit
, Chris Jericho
, The Dudley Boyz
, Taz Mike Awesome
, Lance Storm
, Justin Credible
and Rob Van Dam
all made their names in ECW
- and kept growing and putting on simply amazing shows.
In 1999 the garden looked rosy for ECW
as not only did they score their first videogame franchise, but also got a national cable tv deal with TNN
. However, the network never gave Heyman and his company the backing they required, and in January 2001, the company presented its last show, folding with ECW
owing millions of dollars to its creditors.
Paul Heyman resurfaced in the WWF in March 2001 as Jim Ross's co-commentator, continuing his success both as a booker and as an on-screen character.