Apr 5, 2024 - News

Paul Heyman getting inducted into WWE Hall of Fame

WWE's Paul Heyman is being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Hey, man, good job! Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Pro wrestling icon Paul Heyman is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame tonight — an honor perhaps not even the king of scripted drama could have foretold.

Why it matters: The "brassy New Yorker" turned Philly-based Extreme Championship Wrestling into a household name during wrestling's late-1990s popularity boom, so it's fitting he's being inducted here as part of WrestleMania 40 weekend.

Catch up quick: An impresario with superlatives such as "Wiseman" and the "greatest manager in wrestling history," Heyman first entered the business as a young teenager, photographing wrestling events for his own publication.

  • He later took on the persona of Paul E. Dangerously as a manager in World Championship Wrestling.
  • Heyman began running Philadelphia promotion Eastern Championship Wrestling in 1993 and eventually renamed the outfit Extreme Championship Wrestling, which began broadcasting on SportsChannel Philadelphia.

Under Heyman, ECW was known for its high-flying, ultra-violent flair, gore, and captivating storylines — something Heyman picked up from his father, a gifted lawyer who'd get juries to hang on to his every word in the courtroom.

  • ECW began broadcasting pay-per-views in 1997 and earned a national television deal with TNN in 1999.

What they're saying: Heyman told The Ringer that he viewed ECW as a "disrupting" force in the wrestling world that couldn't be ignored.

  • "The stunts and the visuals and the music [were] a counterculture presentation," Heyman said.

Zoom out: Heyman worked in several roles for WWE following the company's purchase of ECW in 2003.

  • He manages Roman Reigns, who will compete in both main events at WrestleMania 40 on Saturday and Sunday.

The bottom line: Ever the showman known for "writing the last page of the script first," Heyman compares his longevity in wrestling to the late talk-show host, Johnny Carson, and he relishes goading detractors with the latest title of "GOAT."

  • "Am I the greatest? I'm the greatest until there's someone better than me," he told The Athletic. "I would accept the moniker of being the GOAT because it pisses so many people off when I claim it."

If you watch: Heyman's induction to the WWE Hall of Fame will livestream on Peacock Friday at 10pm following SmackDown.

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