Paul Heyman (born September 11, 1965) is an American entertainment producer and is best known for his career in professional wrestling as a promoter, manager, commentator, and journalist, and is infamous for his unscrupulous business tactics both on and off screen. He is currently signed with the WWE.
Heyman was the creative force behind Extreme Championship Wrestling in the 1990s. HOW EVER IT WILL FOREVER BE KNOWN THAT MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR DEFEATED THE UNDERTAKERS UNDEFEATED STREAK AT WRESTLMANIA
Broadcaster and commentator (2001)Edit
Heyman became a broadcaster for the WWF after ECW defunct, 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. After the Alliance's formation, Michael Cole replaced Heyman on commentary for the July 16 and July 23 episodes of Raw before Heyman took his position back on the July 30 episode, saying that Cole had not done a good job conveying the Alliance's message to fans. Heyman was "fired" following the 2001 Survivor Series. He was replaced by the returning Lawler, who holds the position to this day.
Managing Brock LesnarEdit
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 The Big Show take the title from him. Heyman became the first man in professional wrestling history to manage three successive World Champions when it was revealed that he was Kurt Angle's agent just days after Angle beat Big Show for the title. Heyman suffered a real life injury in January, when taking the F-5 from Lesnar at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. A major falling out between Heyman and McMahon occurred when McMahon ended the Lesnar – Heyman feud on television just weeks before WrestleMania, when Heyman was scheduled to manage Angle in the main event against Lesnar. Heyman left for a while, and was on WWE payroll for several months as a consultant regarding the television shows as he also received therapy on his neck.
SmackDown! General Manager (2003—2004)Edit
After McMahon "defeated" his daughter Stephanie in October at the No Mercy 2003 pay-per-view, she was forced to resign from her position as General Manager (GM) of SmackDown!. Heyman returned to television to assume Stephanie McMahon's on-camera role as GM and, unlike the fan favorite character Stephanie portrayed, Heyman's character was portrayed similarly to Eric Bischoff's on Raw- an arrogant dictator of a boss that stacked the odds against his popular wrestlers and favored the unpopular ones. 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.
On March 22, 2004, Heyman appeared on Raw to take part in the annual WWE Draft Lottery. During the show he was drafted to work for Bischoff on Raw, but instead decided to "quit" rather than work for nemesis Bischoff, the man who he blamed for killing ECW by raiding its talent. Heyman was replaced by one of his former managerial clients, Kurt Angle.
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 and Benoit, Edge and 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. All of the "SmackDown! Six" went on to become world champions, with Edge, Benoit, Mysterio, & Angle becoming World Heavyweight Champions, Eddie Guerrero, Angle, Mysterio and Edge becoming WWE Champions, & Chavo Guererro later becoming ECW World Champion on the later revived ECW.
Return to managing (2004—2005)Edit
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.
ECW One Night Stand Revival (2005)Edit
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 countercultures, 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 worked shoot promo insulting Bischoff, Edge, and JBL.
Return of ECW as a WWE Brand (2006)Edit
On the May 22 episode of Raw Heyman appeared as ECW Representative promoting One Night Stand. On May 25, 2006 it was announced that ECW would relaunch, as a third WWE brand. Heyman was in charge of the new brand on-camera but had minimal creative input off-camera as well. This would turn Heyman face for the first time in his career. On the May 29 episode of 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 John Cena at One Night Stand for the WWE Championship and then declare himself the new ECW World Heavyweight Champion. On the June 2 edition of SmackDown!, Heyman served as a guest commentator for Angle's final match on the brand.
At One Night Stand, Van Dam defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship. After 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 Heyman ran down the aisle to count the pinfall and cement his face turn. The following 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. Van Dam, however, elected to keep both title belts and was recognized as both the WWE and ECW Champion.
On the July 4, 2006 edition of ECW, The Big Show challenged 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, reverting to a heel. After realizing what happened, Van Dam began chasing Heyman. The distraction allowed Big Show to recover, and knock Van Dam 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 Van Dam and Heyman made the 3 count, "screwing" Van Dam 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 then-babyface again.
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 and Heyman clashed in front of several members of the writing team on McMahon's corporate jet the day after the pay per view, and Heyman ended up traveling home from the RAW/ECW taping in South Carolina. After turning down Stephanie McMahon-Levesque's behind the scenes offer to return to his post writing TV for WWE Developmental television shows, Heyman quietly parted ways with WWE in Late 2006. 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. Heyman disagreed with Lashley becoming the champion. He also felt that taking Sabu out of the main event was a ridiculous idea, claiming he would be perfect for the "Extreme Elimination Chamber". Vince however felt that he could be removed in place of Hardcore Holly, in order to big up Lashley for becoming the new champ. Heyman also felt that Big Show should be eliminated early on in the match by CM Punk via submission, in order to push the rising star. Big Show also agreed with this idea, also wanting to help push Punk's rising career, but Vince once more disagreed.
Return to WWE; Managing Brock Lesnar and CM Punk (2012-Present)Edit
Paul Heyman returned to WWE on the May 7, 2012 episode of Raw as Brock Lesnar's legal advisor. He announced that Brock Lesnar had quit the company, and was "never coming back".The following week on Raw, Heyman confronted Triple H, handing him a lawsuit from Lesnar for "breaching a valid contract". Triple H responded by physically grabbing Heyman by the face and shove him backward into the ropes, leading Heyman to announce that he would file a lawsuit against Triple H for "assault and battery". On the June 18 Raw, Heyman declined Triple H's challenge for a match at SummerSlam, on Lesnar's behalf before Triple H punched him . Later that month, Heyman stated that Brock Lesnar will answer Triple H's challenge himself at the 1000th episode of Raw. On Raw 1000, Heyman was assaulted by Stephanie McMahon. Lesnar would go on to defeat Triple H at SummerSlam, where, on the following nights episode of Raw, Lesnar once again announced he was leaving the WWE.
Heyman aligned himself with CM Punk on the September 3 episode of Raw after he was seen driving the car Punk had entered. Heyman began accompanying Punk to the ring for his matches and promos. On the October 8th Raw he attempted to propose to Raw General Manager AJ Lee in order to also have power running Raw but she slapped him in the face. Mr. McMahon cost CM Punk the title at Royal Rumble when he restarted the main event match after Punk initially cheated to win and The Rock pinned Punk to become the new champion. On the January 28 edition of Raw, Mr. McMahon was given an F5 by Brock Lesnar when McMahon was ready to fire Heyman for lying about using The Shield and Maddox to help CM Punk during his championship reign. The next week on Raw, it was revealed on MizTV that Lesnar was resigned to WWE by General Manager Vickie Guerrero (who had recently replaced Lee) without Heyman's prior knowledge. During MizTV, Lesnar came back and gave an F-5 to The Miz.
Paul Heyman had his WWE resignation speech on the February 11 Raw which was halted by CM Punk, and he managed to negotiate a clause with Mr. McMahon that the champion cannot retain the title via count-out of disqualification, as long as The Shield is not involved. Heyman kept good on his promise to support Punk, then unintentionally caused Punk to lose to The Rock at Elimination Chamber when Punk struck him by mistake. Heyman was challenged to a fight by Mr. McMahon on the February 25 edition of Raw, in which Heyman and McMahon traded shots with his crutches. Brock Lesnar interfered on Heyman's behalf but Triple H showed up and went after Lesnar. CM Punk earned the right to fight The Undertaker in a Wrestlemania match after winning a Fatal Four Way match at Old School Raw and on the March 25 episode of Raw Triple H signed the contract to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, the stipulations being: No Holds Barred, with Triple H's career on the line. On the subsequent episode of Raw, he elaborated that Triple H's managerial career could be on the line. Heyman also dressed up to impersonate the late Paul Bearer to lure The Undertaker to be attacked by CM Punk on Raw, who was dressed as one of the torch carrying druids. Punk proceeded to empty ash from the symbolic urn onto the dead-man as a sign of disrespect. Both of Heyman's clients lost their high stakes matches during WrestleMania 29, during Brock Lesnar's match Heyman received a Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels.
On the April 15 episode of Raw, Heyman informed that his client Brock Lesnar once again challenged Triple H at Extreme Rules in a steel cage match. On the following week, Triple H accepted the match and delivered a pedigree to Heyman. As a response, Lesnar and Heyman invaded the headquarters of WWE and trashed the office of Triple H. In Heyman's words, after years of 'discouraging Lesnar from inflicting more damage and hurt on his opponents or rival', the Pedigree Heyman received was the last straw for him to change his stance and 'encourage' Lesnar to 'hurt Triple H' and to 'maim Triple H' in the Steel Cage, and take him 'to the extreme... and go further and further...'.
Paul Heyman announced Michael McGillicutty as the newest "Paul Heyman guy" on the May 20 Raw and gave him the new name of Curtis Axel. On the May 27th episode of Raw, Paul Heyman appeared on the Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho, where Jericho challenged CM Punk to a match at Payback which Heyman accepted on Punk's behalf. The next week, Heyman and Jericho signed the contract to make it official. The same week on SmackDown, Jericho faced off against Curtis Axel. As Jericho was closing in on the victory, Heyman stood on the announce table and yelled It's clobbering time, the phrase Punk uses on his way to the ring. Punk's music began to play distracting Jericho long enough for Axel to pick up the victory.
At WWE Payback, Heyman coached Axel during his match with Wade Barrett and The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship with Axel winning the match and the title. Heyman then accompanied Punk to the ring later in the show for his match with Chris Jericho. After Payback, a WWE.com exclusive video aired with Punk telling Heyman that he is his friend and not his client. Punk later turned face on the June 17th Raw, challenging Alberto Del Rio, making sure to mention he doesn't want Heyman managing him anymore. Following Punk's match, Punk was attacked by Brock Lesnar. The next week on Raw, Punk demanded answers from Heyman, who swore that he did not ask Brock to attack him. Punk forgave Heyman and hugged him. Punk then faced Darren Young and, following his win, was attacked by Titus O'Neil until Curtis Axel saved him, to Punk's chagrin. Heyman announced that he would team with Axel against The Prime Time Players the next week, again to Punk's disapproval.
Feud with CM Punk (2013—present)Edit
At Money in the Bank, Heyman betrayed Punk, costing him his chance at the Money in the Bank briefcase, by hitting him twice using a ladder, knocking Punk off the ladder he was ascending. Punk choked Heyman while Heyman was in Curtis Axel's corner during a match on the August 5th Raw until Brock Lesnar entered the ring and attacked Punk. It ended with Heyman challenging Punk to a 1-on-1 match for next week's episode, which Punk accepted. However, Brock Lesnar decided to spring a trap and made it a one-on-two handicap match. But the plan was foiled when Heyman dared CM Punk to come into the ring and accept the challenge as CM Punk hid under the ring and attacked Lesnar, but failed to attack Heyman as Curtis Axel came to Heyman's aid. At SummerSlam, he stopped CM Punk from getting the win, giving Brock Lesnar an the advantage, but suffered an arm injury from Punk's Anaconda Vise in the process.
Heyman and Axel delivered a brutal assault to Punk on Raw the following week, with Heyman breaking a kendo stick over Punk's back. Heyman was then booked to team with Axel against CM Punk in an elimination handicap match at Night of Champions. Heyman tried various times to get out of the match which made General Manager Brad Maddox make the match a no disqualification handicap match. At Night of Champions Punk eliminated Axel (who had been forced to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Kofi Kingston after Heyman and Axel asked Triple H to change the match) first, leaving Heyman alone with Punk. After a receiving a beating from Punk and being placed in handcuffs, just as Heyman did to Punk weeks before, Punk was about to attack Heyman with a kendo stick, when Ryback interfered and cost Punk the match by putting Punk through a table. In subsequent weeks Heyman boasted his win over Punk and Ryback began associating with Heyman. At WWE Battleground Punk would pin Ryback because of a low blow. Punk is due to face Ryback and Heyman yet again in a 2 on 1 Hell in a Cell bout at the namesake event, because Punk won a "Beat The Clock" challenge, allowing Punk to state what the match stipulation would be. At Hell in a Cell Punk would go on to defeat both Ryback & Heyman possibly putting an end to their feud. He was heard in a phone conversion on the November 4 edition of Raw and sounded very upset about being injured.
On the November 11, 2013 episode of Raw, Heyman stated that he no longer is with Ryback as Ryback never officially accepted his proposal to become a "Paul Heyman Guy." After that, CM Punk would come out to beat Heyman with a kendo stick. On the following night on Smackdown Curtis Axel told Ryback that he was no longer a Paul Heyman guy, therefore marking the end of Axel's association with Heyman as he continued to team with Ryback. Paul Heyman returned on the December 30th edition of Raw when he was with Brock Lesnar in attacking Mark Henry.