10 Memorable Moments of Paul Heyman's Pro Wrestling Career
As seen on RAW Monday, Paul Heyman made his return to a pro wrestling venue since leaving the WWE in 2006 and there are already backstage details coming out of Heyman's future involvement with the WWE.
For over two decades now, Paul has been an influential figure in professional wrestling, well known for being a promoter, manager, commentator and journalist at various points in his tenures within WWE, WCW, ECW and several indy promotions.
To commemorate Paul's return to the WWE, here's a look a 10 memorable moments of Paul's career in pro wrestling.
Forming the Dangerous Alliance
Paul's most memorable stint in WCW among older pro wrestling fans was his formation of the Dangerous Alliance stable as their leader in 1991.
After being fired as an announcer, Paul returned to the company months later as a manager to a returning Rick Rude.
After helping Rude win the United States Title from Sting, Paul would have Bobby Eaton, Madusa, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko and a young "Stunning" Steve Austin join with him to form the Dangerous Alliance.
The stable was a major threat in WCW for much of 1992 where they also claimed the TV and Tag Team titles, and feuded with major stars of the time like Barry Windham and Ricky Steamboat.
The Birth of Extreme Championship Wrestling
Many older wrestling fans know of this moment with Shane Douglas as the day Extreme Championship Wrestling was born with Paul Heyman being one of the major figures behind it.
In 1994, ECW was still known as Eastern Championship Wrestling and was the flagship promotion for a struggling NWA.
When the NWA world title was vacated, a tournament was held with wrestlers from different NWA territories competing for the championship, even those among Eastern Championship Wrestling's roster.
In defiance of the NWA's traditions and wishing to make ECW an independent entity, Paul and then ECW owner Tod Gordon had Shane, the booked winner of the tourney, denounce the NWA in the now-infamous worked shoot promo.
ECW Invades WWF Raw
When the WWF started to take notice of ECW's popularity around the late '90s, the WWF arranged a talent exchange deal with ECW where talent between both companies were allowed to take part in matches and angles with one another.
The most memorable moments of the deal came in 1997 when WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler challenged ECW to show off what skills they had in the ring while on commentary.
The following week, ECW took over segments of Monday Night Raw with Paul Heyman serving on commentary during matches featuring his company's talent.
Much of this posted video contains Lawler's challenge and the segments featuring talent from ECW's roster. Unfortunately, one good part of the angle featuring Heyman calling in to belittle Lawler and accept his challenge is not included in this video.
Paul's Worked Shoot on TNN
Besides Paul Heyman's lousy handling of financial matters, another major source of ECW's downfall would have to come from their horrible television deal with TNN (before becoming Spike TV).
ECW was getting little promotion and hype from TNN when they first premiered in 1999, as well as having to censor their content for broadcast on the channel. The show was later kicked from TNN the following year when the network made a broadcast deal with the WWE.
Paul would make his personal feelings on TNN felt in this worked shoot promo on an episode of the syndicated ECW Hardcore TV program.
Paul's Worked Shoot on Vince McMahon
Many folks are likely familiar with the horrible booking of the WWF's Invasion angle from 2001 when Shane and Stephanie McMahon formed an alliance of WCW and ECW wrestlers.
In one of the few high moments of the angle, Paul Heyman delivered this worked shoot promo expressing his personal feelings to Vince McMahon telling him that he was responsible for "killing" ECW and stealing the ideas that made ECW stand out from other pro wrestling organizations.
Introducing Brock Lesnar
Following the Invasion angle, Paul wasn't seen on WWF TV until four months later when he returned in March 2002 to serve as the manager for the debuting Brock Lesnar.
Here is video of Brock making his shocking debut during a hardcore match and Heyman later coming into the ring with Brock.
Paul Becomes GM of Smackdown
When Stephanie McMahon was stripped of her duties as general manager of SmackDown in 2003, Vince McMahon appointed Paul Heyman as the new general manager of the brand.
Much like Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon had done, Heyman was a corrupt authority figure on the brand where he abused his authority to antagonize the top face talent on the roster like Undertaker and Chris Benoit.
Behind the scenes, Heyman became the head writer of SmackDown and was responsible for its great quality matches and angles during his tenure on the show throughout 2003 and 2004.
Paul Heyman and The Undertaker
When Paul Heyman returned to being a manager on SmackDown in 2004, he recruited Heidenreich and the Dudley Boyz to aid him in feuding with The Undertaker.
The most memorable part of the rivalry came when Heyman had the Dudley Boyz abduct Undertaker's manager Paul Bearer and force the Deadman into a handicap match at The Great American Bash against the Dudleys where Bearer would be buried in cement if the Dudleys lost the match.
During the match, Heyman was near the lever to a cement truck and heckling Taker to lose as he poured cement on a trapped Paul Bearer. The Deadman managed to win the match and buried Bearer himself as he found his long-time manager to have become a liability for him.
In this posted video on the SmackDown episode following Great American Bash, Heyman attempted to take credit on making the Undertaker get rid of any hindrances that made the Deadman vulnerable and would get interrupted by Taker during his promo.
Paul's Worked Shoot at ECW One Night Stand 2005
Besides thanking ECW fans for their support of the revival of his creation at One Night Stand, Paul took the opportunity to rip into the WWE heels organized by Eric Bischoff to crash the PPV in this memorable worked shoot.
Paul Heyman Gives Rob Van Dam the ECW Championship
Following his victory over John Cena and winning the WWE Title at ECW One Night Stand 2006, Rob Van Dam was given the ECW Championship belt by Paul Heyman in the premiere episode of ECW on Sci-Fi when it became a third WWE brand.
To conclude this slideshow, here is a segment of an interview from last year where Paul Heyman gave his thoughts on how he would run TNA.