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 a list of Top 100 Marketers
by Advertising Age magazine. (Credit:
discusses the past, present and future, by Phil
Nov. 14, 2003 (credit:
Paul Heyman is one of the most polarizing figures
in sports entertainment.
people really love him, some people really hate him,
Chris Benoit says. Pauls not afraid of
controversy. Hell tell you what he thinks, and
a lot of people dont like that. He is who he
is. Hes not afraid of standing up for what he
believes in, even if hes going against the grain.
You have to respect that. I know I do.
Heyman may have his share of detractors, there are
also a great many SmackDown! Superstars who are glad
to see him back on the show, including Benoit, as
well as the Big Show.
love Paul Heyman, says the Big Show. Hes
one of the most intelligent people Ive ever
met in my life. Hes got a great sense of humor,
and hes got a terrific, wonderful insight into
the business. Some might find him a little bit pessimistic
because he doesnt agree with their views, but
in everything he has to say, I always find something
insightful about it.
supporters, including Big Show, Benoit and Tazz, among
others, say Heyman has a great mind for the business,
is a great teacher and knows how to create stars.
Both Benoit and Tazz credit Heyman for helping them
develop their interview skills.
taught me how to conduct myself as a Superstar in
the ring, Tazz says. He also taught me
how to talk. I never cut a promo. Pauls the
one that gave me the confidence. He pulled out of
me what you see on TV now. As an announcer, and I
think I can speak for Michael Cole on this, Paul taught
Cole and me a lot of things. We spent a lot of late
nights at the TV studio together, and I learned a
ton from Paul. And still now that hes here,
I might go to him once in a while for a commentary
Benoit, Ive got a lot of respect for Pauls
genius when it comes to booking. Out of all the people
Ive gotten to know in the industry, I really
believe hes got his hand on the pulse when it
comes to creating stars and storylines. Ive
got a lot of faith in him and I believe in him. You
look at what he did in ECW with the funds that he
had. It seemed like every time hed develop a
name, one of the companies would pick him up, and
hed develop someone else.
was able to touch about many of these topics with
Heyman in this recent interview, where we learned
that Benoits comment Hes
not afraid of standing up for what he believes in,
even if hes going against the grain
is indeed true.
How does it feel to be back on TV?
Im still at the deflowering the virgin stage.
Its still a novelty for me to be back, and Im
sure its still a novelty for a lot of people
here. I havent settled in yet, so I really cant
be a good judge of how it feels.
What are some of the reasons that you were away for
so many months?
I was away in a creative capacity because I was removed
as lead writer for SmackDown! And I was away in a
performing capacity because I suffered three bulging
discs in my neck and a herniated C7, which is a significant
neurological injury. I was pulled off because of how
badly I was hurt. I wasnt allowed to perform.
At first, I was even told not to travel by
this is an interesting story. It was at the very beginning
Brock Lesnar vs. the Big Show. I had just got on the
road. I got hurt taking the F5 in San Francisco. We
were scheduled to then go to Alaska, and I kept taking
the F5 every night, and it was tearing up my body,
because I had already suffered the injury. From there,
at Armageddon, the Big Show picked Kurt Angle up over
his head and threw him on top of me, and Kurt came
down right on top of me, which furthered the injury.
Then at the Royal Rumble, Brock pulled me over the
top rope, and I always end up landing on my head.
But Ive always been lucky because I guess my
head is hollow. I never got hurt taking it. But I
already had an injured neck and wouldnt get
it checked out because we were in the middle of a
main-event run, and I wanted to continue on. The only
two people who knew I was hurt were the Big Show and
Brock. I landed on top of my head at the Rumble and
I started getting the shockwaves throughout my body
after that. Then we did Handicap Matches and I kept
on taking F5s. I was just ripping my body apart. So
as we were heading into WrestleMania, and plans changed,
I mentioned, You know, this might be a good
time for me to get an MRI. And once I got the
MRI, that was it. I was told, Youre finished.
I was told that my career as a performer in that capacity
was clearly over, without any room to negotiate.
Did you have surgery?
No, theres no reason for me to get surgery because
Im not a wrestler and Im not going to
be taking bumps on any kind of consistent basis. Theres
no reason to put me through the trauma of the surgery.
That aspect of my career pretty much has to end.
Today, you are in less pain...
Im not really in any pain because taking the
F5 is kind of like smashing your head into a wall
it feels so good when you stop, or at least
when the headache goes away. I didnt get thrown
around for seven and a half months. You start to feel
better, or you just resign yourself to the fact that
youre going to have a headache, or this is going
to twinge. You just learn to deal with it, or cope
with it. I feel a lot better than I did back then.
Much, much better. Much, much better. I look back
on how I felt in January, February and March. If you
fall in love with it, if you have a passion for doing
it, its not only being in denial because
I was in denial about it but also I just didnt
want to come off the road. We were doing a main-event
run and I didnt want it to stop.
How much weight have you lost? And what was the reason
I really havent gotten on a scale. The reason
for it is, I can eat better when Im home. I
feel better with less weight. The way I did it was
by having sex with my girlfriend. Shes a remarkably
sexual woman, and she provides me with as much exercise
as I could ever get in the gym.
What is your status right now as it relates to the
Im not on it. I am a consultant, which means
I give them advice in advance of and after the shows.
It has been said by some that you dont have
any hesitancy at all stating your opinion and standing
up for what you believe in even if it directly contradicts
what others want.
Im flattered by the recognition of my abrasiveness.
Im blunt. In an industry where diplomacy carries
as much weight as the context and content of your
suggestions, I choose to be blunt, and willing to
suffer the consequences based on that.
Everyone seems to have a strong opinion of you, positive
or negative. Why do you think that is?
Because Im me. I am who I am, flaws and all.
And Im not apologetic for who I am, and Im
not going to be. Its just not me. I have no
desire in life to be unhappy, and I can only be happy
if I accept myself for who I am and what I am, strengths
and weaknesses. Id rather be held in contempt
for who I am than loved for who I am not. Im
me. I have opinions. I welcome anybody else with differing
opinions to engage in discussion with me. I dont
shy away from it. I actually enjoy it. I learn from
think its a learning experience and can be for
the other person as well. Some people dont like
that attitude. I understand that; Im not even
saying I disagree. But I know in my heart that the
only way for me to contribute to this maximum degree
that Im able to, and learn from there, is to
do it bluntly and do it the way I know how. Some people
dont like that, and some people appreciate it.
Im not saying either ones right. And I
dont spent my life worrying about their opinions
either, which I think also is against the industry
standard. Because I guess youre supposed to
worry what everybody thinks, and I couldnt care
less. I care about the opinion of the reflection in
the mirror, and if I can look at myself, then Im
OK with it.
WWE.com: One of the things a lot of people say about
you is that youve had a lot of success in creating
stars. Why do you think that is?
Because Im a fan. Because I view this industry
as an art form, and I have a deep appreciation for
that art form because Im not physically able
and never have been and never will be physically able
to do what they do in the ring. And even if I was
physically able, I dont think I have the balls
to attempt it. Its so dangerous. Its so
hard. Its so intricate. Its so difficult.
Its so taxing. I couldnt do it. And I
have enormous respect and admiration for those who
do, let alone do it well. So I look at someone who
is in this industry, to me, its two double assessments.
One, and most importantly, what are this persons
weaknesses, and how do we hide them? Two, what are
his or her strengths, and how do we accentuate them?
I think if you go along the pattern of accentuating
those strengths and hiding those weaknesses, you will
find that people will emotionally invest in a character,
and the next thing you know, you have a star on your
hands. I dont have any magic formula. Its
not that I see things more clearly than anybody else.
I just appreciate the magic that they have the unique
ability to bring, and Im conscious of the fact
that they are human and therefore imperfect. And if
Im going to present them in a larger-than-life
situation or presentation or scenario, Im going
to hide their weaknesses because otherwise theres
no reason to believe in them.
How do you foresee your long-term future in WWE?
(Laughs) Im surprised Im still here. I
am waiting in anxious anticipation for the moment
where enough people here realize, Oh, hes
God, get rid of him. We didnt want him back
here. Im surprised Im still