Hey Scott, long time reader. Anyways, I read your review of ECW unreleased and it got me to thinking about it. I loved the original ECW but after more than ten years of its demise I can say it hasn’t aged well. On top of all that, it would seem that Paul pretty much killed the company way before TNN took them in, but he didn’t help much before it did go belly up. But that last year is some interesting stuff to check out, Cases in point:
1. On the first episode putting on a repeat match and a music video instead of original matches.
2. continuously bad mouthing the network anywhere he could be heard including on the network itself (leading to his threat being completely silenced by the network)
3. After years of bad mouthing both of the Big Two and proclaiming ECW superior to both of them, he has a WWF contracted Taz beat a WCW contracted Mike Awesome at an ECW house show, but stays silent as Taz jobs cleanly to Triple H on national TV making him look like a chump, and then, as revealed by you, agreeing to not show Taz job to Tommy Dreamer at cyberslam. for a guy who says he has a lot of balls, this deal sure showed a lack of them.
4. Trying to push Justin Credible as the second coming of Triple H. let me just say that I have no problem with Justin, but let’s face it, he is no main eventer anywhere in any promotion that I can ever think of. Him constantly pushed as a main eventer for so long pretty much shows how obsessed Paul was in getting lots of WWF’s castoffs over. He’s definitely no Triple H seeing as he’s lacking about 60 pounds of muscle, a better vocabulary, 6 inches in height, a long luxurious head of hair, and about two thirds of the wrestling talent.
5. And finally, responsibility. The dude seemed to have no money, yet he promised everyone the sun and the moon, and when it went under, he pretty much just shirked it off and went to raw the next night like nothing happened.
Paul may be a creative genius, but business is not his strong point. Thoughts?
1. This one actually isn’t Paul’s fault, even though a lot of other stuff is. He submitted a totally different show to TNN made up of matches from the first set of tapings, and the network rejected it too late for him to retape anything. Probably his fault for making a crappy first show, but that’s semantics. 2. Correct, this one was incredibly dumb, even if his conspiracy theory about TNN kicking him off the network in favor of WWE did in fact turn out to be true all along. However, much like a job interview, trashing your former employer is considered incredibly crass, and I can see other TV networks being gunshy about working with him after that kind of relationship. Like really, TNN kept the company from dying, RIP, in late 98, so Paul should have sucked up his pride and done whatever they asked. Worked for TNA. 3. This one mystifies me to this day. If he wanted the damn title on Justin Credible so badly, why not just PUT IT ON HIM? Why the complex machinations to get the belt onto Taz and then Tommy Dreamer and then Credible? Or why not just strip Awesome of the belt and do a tournament? Was the lineage of a title created by Shane Douglas throwing another belt on the ground after a double-cross (OH THE IRONY!) so important that it justified watching Taz get his balls cut off on national TV in a move so classless that even HHH, the guy who booked himself and his friend to beat the entire Spirit Squad by themselves, thinks it might have been a bit much. 4. Man, the Justin Credible thing. You know what’s scary? Back in mid 97, during the lame WWF invasion of ECW, the Observer noted a few times Paul Heyman was actively trying to get Vince to let Pete Polaco out of his contract because he wanted to give him a big push. So yeah, much like Pearl Harbor, we had the information beforehand and NOTHING WAS DONE TO STOP IT. Keep in mind that he was still technically wrestling as Aldo Montoya, even though WWF hadn’t used him in months and probably had no intention to. But Heyman still jumped through hoops to get him. And then, OK, he wanted to give it a try, I’ll give him that. But it was clearly the wrong character for someone who, let’s face it, looks like a rat-faced douchebag heel and not THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST like Heyman made him out to be. But when it didn’t work, Heyman didn’t hide his weaknesses and repackage him as something else like he did with every other failure he saved, he PUSHED HIM EVEN HARDER as the same character, until he finally put the World title on him and killed his own promotion. Hell, at least HHH got a zillion character tweaks until he found the right combination. Justin in 1998 was the same guy as Justin in 2000, working the same match and doing the same interview. If he was a midcard shithead coward heel like X-Pac who occasionally got the upper hand but then showed ass in the end, that would be one thing. But this dude was undefeated for all intents and purposes for what, TWO YEARS? He never got his comeuppance, ever. Yeah, part of wrestling is building up the heel by having him win matches he shouldn’t and hitting guys with his stupid stick, but then the other half, the IMPORTANT half, is when someone kicks the s--- out of him and shoves that stick down his throat in retaliation for all the s--- he did. To this day, I just don’t get it. 5. Yeah, he ended up owing RVD something like $100,000 and Dreamer the same, and he just shut down the company without ever telling anyone, making sure that he was set up with a job first (and Rhyno) and leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. He was the guy pushing women and children off the liferafts when the Titanic was going down because he steered it into an iceberg while doing coke.