REAL NAME: Paul Heyman, Jr.
BORN: September 11, 1965 in Scarsdale, New York
NICKNAMES: Paul E. Dangerously
Paul Heyman can list wrestling photographer, commentator and manager on his resume, but without a doubt what he will be remembered for is that he was the driving force behind one of the most influential wrestling organizations of the modern era: Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Heyman's introduction to the wrestling business came when he served on the staff of several wrestling magazines, including Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Double Action Wrestling. In 1986, however, he made the transformation from spectator and journalist to participant, when he began to manage as Paul E. Dangerously on the independent circuit. Later that same year, however, he made a huge splash, managing Tommy Rich and Austin Idol against Jerry "The King" Lawler in the AWA Mid-Southern territory, going so far as to start a riot during an attack on Lawler in the Mid-South Coliseum.
After leading the Mercenaries to the CWA International Tag Team titles in 1987, Heyman (still as Dangerously) arrived in the AWA. On October 30, 1987, Dangerously managed the Original Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose) to the AWA Tag Team titles. A year later, Dangerously led Conbdrey and Rose to the NWA to feud with the Jim Cornette-led Midnight Express (Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton). Dangerously would even step into the ring to battle Cornette in a Tuxedo Match at the 1989 Great American Bash.
With the demise of Dangerously's Midnight Express, he remained with WCW as a commentator before beginning to form his own wrestlng stable, the Dangerous Alliance, which would include TV Champion Steve Austin, U.S. Champion Rick Rude, Madusa, Larry Zbysko, Eaton, and Arn Anderson. The Dangerous Alliance ran roughshod over WCW for the latter part of 1991 and most of 1992.
By the fall of 1993, Heyman had left WCW and begun booking for Tod Gordon's Eastern Championship Wrestling. By 1996, Heyman had bought the company from Gordon and ECW had become Extreme Championship Wrestling. ECW quickly gained a cult-like following with its hardcore style of wrestling and as an alternative to the cartoon-like WWF and WCW.
Heyman would appear on WWE Raw for the first time in March 1997, as part of the ECW "invasion" of Raw to help promote the company's first pay-per-view, Barely Legal, which aired on April 13th.
In 1999, Heyman signed a three-year deal to air ECW on TNN (The Nashville Network, now Spike TV) on Friday nights. However, ECW's debts were rising and Heyman couldn't pay many of his workers. In short order, many of the organization's top stars, including Raven, Mike Awesome and Taz left for WCW and WWE. In 2001, ECW folded.
Heyman quickly found work with WWE as a commentator on Monday Night Raw, joining Jim Ross in place of Jerry Lawler. On July 9th, Heyman announced that he was forming an ECW faction in WWE, only to join forces with Shane McMahon's WCW as the Alliance in WWE's ill-fated Invasion angle. After the 2001 Survivor Series, Heyman was "fired" by Vince McMahon, but remained active on the WWE's writing team.
In 2002, the day after Wrestlemania 18, Heyman returned to WWE TV, as the manager of the debuting Brock Lesnar. Heyman led Lesnar to the WWE World title from The Rock at SummerSlam, only to turn on Lesnar at the Survivor Series, helping The Big Show win the WWE title, and in turn, aid Kurt Angle in winning the title at Armageddon.
Heyman left television for the spring and summer of 2003 after Lesnar defeated him in a cage match on Smackdown in March. He remained active behind the scenes, adding his input into the Raw and Smackdown scripts. He returned in late October as the Smackdown General Manager, but clashed with the roster, including the The Undertaker and John Cena.
After being drafted to Raw, Heyman quit, rather than work for Eric Bischoff. Heyman's "quitting" only lasted until May when he returned to Smackdown and joined forces with the Dudley Boyz and later Heidenreich against the Undertaker.
After another hiatus from on-screen appearances, Heyman returned in May 2005 to help promote the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view, leading ECW alumni into battle against the Raw and Smackdown superstars and later, appearing on the event itself.
After One Night Stand, Heyman was put in charge of the creative department in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory and later returned to WWE to help promote the second ECW One Night Stand event. With the rebirth of ECW as a WWE brand, Heyman drafted Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle to be a part of his new ECW and clashed with Mick Foley.
Heyman took matters into his own hands at the 2006 ECW One Night Stand, making the three count that gave RVD the WWE Championship.
Heyman, as General Manager of ECW, would eventually turn his back on Van Dam, costing RVD the ECW World title during a match against the Big Show. Heyman would continue running roughshod over ECW with his silly riot squad. His tenure, though, would be short lived.
Vince McMahon’s displeasure over the December To Dismember pay-per-view led him to send Heyman home. McMahon would later cite poor TV ratings and a frustrated roster for Heyman’s removal. Heyman reportedly had been unhappy with the direction of the new ECW, and several of the original ECW wrestlers expressed surprise and disappointment at the news Heyman was out.
Heyman has not resurfaced since being sent home and has vanished from the wrestling scene, thus quietly closing a chapter to what had been an extremely noisy, outlaw career.
Nov. 6, 2013: What's next for Paul Heyman?
Oct. 25, 2013: Hell in a Cell has Paul Heyman intimidated
Apr. 2, 2009: Anti-Semitism in wrestling: Paul Heyman's story
Jan. 23, 2009: The many looks of marketing -- Watts to Heyman
July 10, 2008: Hustling to keep up with Paul Heyman
Dec. 5, 2006: Heyman ousted: Storyline or fact?
Sep. 16, 2006: Heyman explains who's in charge of ECW
Sep. 3, 2006: Heyman's got Extreme vision for wrestling
Aug. 27, 1999: Heyman's ready to rumble
Aug. 25, 1999: Heyman: Mysterio wants out
Aug. 24, 1999: ECW has plans for Canada
--- compiled by John M. Milner and Richard Kamchen
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