Sunday, April 14, 2024

Paul Heyman announced as first inductee into WWE Hall of Fame class of 2024


Paul Heyman is the first inductee confirmed for the 2024 WWE Hall of Fame class. The move does not come as a surprise as the ceremony will take place in the city that long served as the base for Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion in the 1990s, Philadelphia.

Heyman first broke into wrestling in his early teens, working as a photographer — including at WWE (then WWF) events as a 14 year old. He eventually transitioned to a managerial role under the name Paul E. Dangerously, working around various wrestling territories before linking up with the National Wrestling Alliance (eventually rebranded as World Championship Wrestling) where he served as both a manager and color commentator. Heyman formed a top stable called The Dangerous Alliance during the early 90s.

After leaving WCW, Heyman found his way to the Philadelphia-based Eastern Championship Wrestling, which still operated under the remnants of the NWA. By late 1993, Heyman was in charge of the creative storytelling for the promotion. This led to an infamous moment where an ECW-hosted NWA event featured Shane Douglas winning the NWA championship before throwing the championship belt down and formally breaking ECW, which would be rebranded Extreme Championship Wrestling, away from the NWA.

Heyman would turn ECW into a unique promotion with a more hardcore edge to both wrestlers and the matches themselves. He officially purchased full control of the company in 1995 and ran it as the third biggest American wrestling brand — behind WWF and WCW — landing major shows on pay-per-view and eventually finding a cable television deal before the promotion ultimately closed in 2001.

During his career, Heyman had developed a positive relationship with Vince McMahon, leading to the WWE CEO bringing in Heyman in various roles.

Heyman’s time in WWE is most closely associated with his work as the “advocate” of Brock Lesnar for many years and his current role as the “wiseman” for undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns and the rest of The Bloodline.

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