Paul Heyman - The Articulate Genius of the Mic
It all started with a "Superstar" Billy Graham interview conducted by none other than Vince McMahon himself. As soon as Paul Heyman witnessed that moment, he immediately realized his future was written in the stars.
Fast forward to today and it's now safe to declare that the once young photographer has turned himself into not only the greatest advocate the WWE Universe has ever known, but also the greatest mic talker their ears have ever been blessed to listen to.
What makes Paul Heyman one of the greatest commodities to ever be apart of the professional wrestling industry? No need to "Google it, b*tches." I'm about to tell you.
An Extreme Form Of Wrestling Was Born
We all know the legacy that Paul Heyman built for himself while he was the intelligent owner of ECW. We all know the passion and adoration he felt for not only what he created, but for professional wrestling as a whole. And we ALL know that if it wasn't for the EXTREME level of intensity ECW brought to its audience, the Attitude Era that took over WWE would have been completely non-existent.
Without Paul Heyman and ECW, maybe we wouldn't have it cemented in our minds that The Dudley Boyz are the greatest tag team in pro wrestling history. Maybe we would never have chanted Rob Van Dam's initials when he pointed to himself before dropping an awe-inspiring spinning leg drop from the ring apron. Maybe we would have never seen the bone-crunching impact of the "Human Suplex Machine" we now call Tazz. And maybe we would have never known about the heart and soul of Tommy Dreamer each time he steps into a squared circle.
ECW brought wrestling fans other unforgettable characters such as The Sandman, Sabu, Rhino, Raven, and Balls Mahoney. If not for the genius of Paul Heyman, we may not have ever known who they were today.
One of the reasons why I personally appreciate Heyman is the simple fact that he skyrocketed these ECW Originals to the point that their heart and passion increased fans' respect, having constant exposure resulted in their remembrance, and their careers combined turned into a legacy. These attributes all stemmed from the compassionate leadership of one Paul Heyman.
Heyman Enters The WWE
Before smart phones and social media ran the world, professional wrestling was able to pull off some of the best shocking surprises we all would never expect. One of those moments was when the WWE Universe found out that the leader of ECW was now an employee of the WWE under the reigns of Vince McMahon. Not only that, to add to the shock value, Heyman would then sit down next to Good Ol' JR, Jim Ross, as they would expeditiously form one of the most entertaining commentary duos in recent memory.
It wasn't just the bickering and constant squabbling between the two that made their time sitting together memorable. It was the undeniable chemistry they possessed with one another that made us BELIEVE in their disdain for their fellow colleague's thoughts and opinions. It was the level of animosity that as viewers, you thought punches would be flying at any given time during each show. The character that Heyman developed truly exemplified what an on-screen villain on the commentary desk should sound like.
That character development led to Heyman introducing the entire wrestling world to an inconceivable monster that we all know now as 'The Beast'. The growth of Paul Heyman's villainous persona hit the ultimate climax when Brock Lesnar made his debut in WWE. Without even knowing who this remarkably large specimen was, we knew that with Heyman by his side, the entire landscape of WWE would drastically change forever.
The Master of The Microphone
When it comes to the greatest mic talkers in the history of professional wrestling, every fan out there has their opinion of who their favorite is. Some may iterate that the limosuine-ridin', jet-flyin', kiss-stealin', wheelin'-dealin', son of a gun is their all-time favorite, or maybe a certain individual who used to love dropping pipe-bombs every week that made them jump uncontrollably out of their seat is their favorite, or maybe the son of a plummer that wined and dined with kings and queens is their person of choice...
However, in my personal and unbiased opinion, NOBODY can touch the electricity and credibility that Paul Heyman brings to the table every time he holds that weapon of verbal destruction in his hands.
The legendary Mick Foley said it best when he stated this about Heyman:
“Wrestling fans often debate who the best promo guys are – of a current era, or of all time. For Paul Heyman, I think a whole new category needs to be opened up: best speaker. Paul’s ability to turn just about any question into an edge your seat, white knuckle thrill ride for the brain is unparalleled in our business – or any business for that matter.”
One of my favorite promos of Heyman's was at the first ever One Night Stand pay-per-view in 2005. You could feel the overwhelming level of energy and excitement traveling through the air--even from your living room couch, as Paul Heyman delivered a moment that all die-hard ECW fans all around the world, especially the ones in the Hammerstein Ballroom that night, will remember forever.
Whenever you listen to Paul Heyman on that microphone, you can't help but to feel captivated by the simple fact that his words flow more perfectly than a steady river, are more ingenious than Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and have more of a force behind them than a Big Show knockout punch.
The speaker of Heyman's caliber can promote a match so well that it doesn't even matter who the involved participants are. An Al Snow vs Head match could be set up for WrestleMania in today's WWE, and Paul Heyman could not only find a way to make it sound legitimate, but make every single person listening to him react with exuberance and utmost curiosity to see it. THAT'S how great he is at what he does.
Thank you, Paul Heyman, for being one of those individuals in the wrestling world who knows how to ignite an audience's emotions. Whether it be by pushing their buttons, making them creatively think outside the box, or completely mesmerizing them with your words, you're an absolute genius when it comes to credibility with a microphone. Your passion for the professional wrestling business has been an inspiration to the many ladies and gentlemen who've enjoyed watching you for all these years.
Thank you for ECW, thank you for your unbridled commitment to entertaining wrestling fans everywhere, and thank you for always making us all feel an emotion each time you use that weapon of verbal destruction.
In my eyes, you will always be known as the REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED, UNIVERSAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION....of the microphone.
And that's not a prediction.....that's a spoiler!