Wrestling: Paul Heyman

"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman..."

"My client, Brock Lesnar, conquered the Undertaker's undefeated streak at Wrestlemania!"

Paul Heyman (born September 11th, 1965) is a professional wrestling manager, promoter, commentator and booker best remembered for his time as booker and owner of the original ECW, although he also worked for the AWA and WCW as Paul E. Dangerously and under his own name in WWE.

He first broke into wrestling as a photographer in Memphis, similar to Jim Cornette. After a successful run in WCW as a heel manager, he pulled up stakes and moved to Philly. He again debuted on ECW in Summer 1993 as a manager, later taking over as booker following Eddie Gilbert's departure and then buying the company outright. This rapid career rise, almost unheard of in the business, had a sticky wicket attached: Heyman was now managing literally everything, resulting in a lack of corporate synergy and rapid burnout. Just before ECW folded, he sold off the company's assets and secretly entered talks with WWE, a move deemed cold-blooded but necessary by insiders. He was downgraded to a commentator for the WWE, but later became an on-screen presence again: most notably as manager to Brock Lesnar, which (as hinted by the above boast) puts him on equal footing with another Paul.

He was briefly a booker for the SmackDown and resurrected ECW brands, but left the company in 2006 after the failed ECW December To Dismember PPV; the cause of his departure, reportedly, was a conference call speaker left on by mistake. Ah well. In May 2012, a clean-cut Heyman returned as Lesnar's legal counsel, aligning himself with CM Punk before later becoming his rival. In the intervening years, he's also managed Joe "Curtis Axel" Hennig, Ryback, and the newly-coined "King of Swing" Antonio Cesaro.

These tropes will be taken to the EXTRRRRREME!:

  • Action Survivor: Paul Heyman is not a combatant at all. Chris Benoit no-sold a kendo stick shot from him; Benoit was a relatively (by WWE standards) small wrestler who was not known for no selling at all.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Brock admitted to Paul during his "Championship Ceremony" that he likes when Heyman says "BROOOCK LESSSNAR" and even asks him to do it again.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jim Cornette, as they carried a long grudge that played out both on-screen and off. On-screen, ECW referee Bill Alfonso and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
  • Badass Boast: "You don't need to sell your soul to the Devil, the Devil sold his soul to me!"
  • Bald of Evil: Though he used to have a scraggly ponytail back in WCW.
  • The Barnum: Heyman is something of a Messiah figure in the IWC. The romanticism of Heyman is often overstated, but probably well-deserved. He has proven time and again that he can magically make anyone a star and cobble a satisfying show out of nothing. Heyman has said that his ambition is always to create stars. To that end, he works out what somebody is good at and shines a big spotlight on it, making mediocre talents look amazing and amazing talents look godlike while cleverly hiding their shortcomings.
    • He even got a dudenote  over who literally couldn't do anything but a chokeslam.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: From the December 4, 2003 SmackDown!. While working in his role as ''SmackDown'' General Manager, Dawn Marie walked into his office looking for a position in his "administration." She tried coming on to him, but Heyman turned her down, saying, "I'm not a McMahon. I don't do the help."
  • Captain Oblivious: Paul and his old foe, Eric Bischoff, represent the Yin and Yang. Eric is a business man, and a good one at that. However, time has shown that when he put himself in the position of booking shows, his business sense suffered. Heyman, on the other hand, is a creative genius. He understands the ins and outs of wrestling like nobody, but the guy has no idea how to run a business.
  • Catch Phrase: Since his return he has often opened his promos with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman".
    • "My client, Brock Lesnar, conquered The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania!"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Paul E. would sell out his own mother if he saw the writing on the wall.
  • Consummate Liar: You can always trust Paul (to be dishonest)!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: As the General Manager of Smackdown, after he replaced the more reasonable Stephanie McMahon. Yeah, you read that correctly.
  • The Corrupter: He has a tendency in kayfabe to be able to convert anyone to his cause with a few honey soaked words playing to their egos and insecurities.
  • Darker and Edgier: His booking in ECW was a very famous successful example of this trope.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In his arm-wrestling match with Missy Hyatt at WCW Clash of the Champions XIV, January 30, 1991, after she took off her jacket to reveal low-cut spandex, giving her the easy victory.
  • Drinking the Kool-Aid: Invoked the trope in-character as the explanation for ECW's popularity; also used to refer to Heyman and the rest of the ECW wrestlers' cultlike mentality and loyalty.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Notorious for willfully screwing his workers out of pay. By the end, Paul owed money all over town and could never pay them and his employees, so he slipped quietly to L.A. to cameo in Rollerball. The salary from Paul E's film appearance (basically a golden parachute) wasn't invested in his dying business; rather, he allegedly hired an agent and wined & dined some TV executives to find other work. Nobody apart from Paul's right-hand man, Tod Gordon (himself a pariah for trading ECW workers to "Al-Qaida" i.e. WCW), knew about this, to the extent that Shane Douglas was owed tens of thousands of dollars by the time ECW collapsed. Steve Corino in Ring of Honor would also talk about how much Paul owed him (before blaming ROH for deserting ECW when it was going under), and New Jack would talk about how all his garbage wrestling ended up leaving him broke, forcing him to return to "regular" wrestling in PWX.
    • Kayfabe-wise, Punk had this reaction when Paul screwed him out of winning the Money in the Bank Ladder match (which, had he won, would have made a three-time winner).
  • Even Evil Has Standards
    • Seemed genuinely horrified when Brock Lesnar broke Shawn Michaels' arm. It didn't seem so much the act as that Brock actually went through with it despite Triple H abiding by their commands.
    • On the January 28, 2013 episode of RAW, Brock Lesnar returned, interrupting Vince McMahon's firing of Paul. Soon after, Brock decided it would be a good idea to hit Vince with an F5. Paul, on the other hand, did not.
    • Paul also begged Lesnar during his rampage on the March 30, 2015 episode of RAW to not harm various people at ringside after Seth Rollins refused to give him his rematch for the title — Brock didn't listen, and proceeded to upturn the announcers' table onto the announcers, throw J&J security over the Spanish Announcers Table, and then F5 both Michael Cole and a cameraman despite Heyman's pleas. Stephanie McMahon was also genuinely horrified by the act, tried to talk him down, and when he look posed to continue, didn't hesitate to suspend him and kick him out of the arena.
    • When he managed Heidenreich, he had this reaction to his client attacking Charlie Haas, while enraged at The Undertaker
  • Fat Bastard: Nicknamed "The Walrus".
  • A Father to His Men: During the ECW invasion of WWF/WWE. When he and the ECW locker room did not have a common enemy to stand against, he quickly abandoned this stance.
    • A big reason why Barely Legal went off without a hitch is because Paul met with each wrestler individually before the show. It was ECW's first live PPV and people were getting butterflies. Paul probably had better things to be doing but he understood that morale needed to be kept up.
    • In one of the periodic ECW documentaries WWE puts out, Dreamer is mentioned as saying to Heyman "I will die for this company." Obviously the adrenaline rush / head injuries weren't helping, but it's no secret that Paul Heyman was the Jim Jones of pro wrestling for a little while.
  • Genre Savvy: Knew well enough to try and get CM Punk to back out of his match with Vince McMahon, because even if he won, then he'd have Vince gunning for his head (never a good position to be in), effectively making it a no win situation. Punk didn't listen.
  • Hannibal Lecture: A hindsight variation. During Triple H's feud with Lesnar, Heyman had him warned over and over that he was past his prime and would only be decimated. Naturally Hunter didn't take any of it seriously during the time, however after losing to Lesnar he was left genuinely wondering if he had a point and started a 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Had this dynamic with CM Punk when he returned to WWE in 2012. Had, because when Punk asked Paul not to interfere with his matches anymore and told him he wasn't one of his "clients", but his best friend, Paul decided to turn on him.
  • Hot-Blooded: When he really gets going in his promos. He also mocked the idea in an interview with Rene Young while explaining how CM Punk was set to go off like a volcano but he, Heyman, was in control of his emotions...right.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: If he's managing you, expect to be back-stabbed when someone tougher comes along. One of his mottos is to always look for "the next big thing". Which ironically enough turned out to be a certain freakishly strong wrestler's Red Baron when he met him in 2002.
    • And now in 2014, he's found another freakishly strong, potential next big star in one Antonio Cesaro.
  • Impossible Genius: The general consensus is that there is no reason ECW should have gotten as big as it did, except that Paul Heyman was pulling the strings. Eventually, however, his lack of business knowledge finally caught up to him, (A business can't survive on charisma and loyalty after all) and ECW was bought out.
  • Improvised Weapon: His cellular phone, when they first came out in the 1980s and were big bricks and easier to use to hit someone.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Most managers tend to backpedal by coming up with excuses as to why their clients came up short in a match, like how Brock came up short in his 2012 Extreme Rules match against John Cena, even after slaughtering him for 20+ minutes. However, Heyman's excuse, that Brock was "only at 50%", contains a kernel of truth, as Brock's constant issues with diverticulitis have kept him from performing at full strength and even proved to be a detriment in some cases, like in his SummerSlam 2012 match with Triple H.
  • Kneel Before Zod: To the Undertaker after stealing his urn and kidnapping Paul Bearer. It only worked once, as Taker took the urn back and buried Paul Bearer in cement (what Heyman was going to do to Bearer anyway if Taker did not comply)
  • Large Ham: One of the only people capable of upstaging Vince McMahon.
  • Mad Scientist: One of his nicknames is "The Mad Scientist of Professional Wrestling".
  • Man Scorned: After CM Punk "turned" against him. (Heyman turned against CM Punk and tried to spin it the other way)
    "I LOVED YOU! I martyred myself for you! I fathered you! I cared about you! You were everything to me! Everything!"
    "I gave you my heart! You broke my heart! I loved you!"
    — Heyman beating a handcuffed CM Punk with a kendo stick on Aug. 26 Raw.
  • Manipulative Bastard: What he had to become after he lost his position as general manager of Smackdown and thus no longer had any true authority on a show of wrestlers just itching to kick his ass.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Nancy Benoit's sister Sandra said in an interview that despite the character he plays, he's one of the few trustworthy people in the wrestling industry.
    • You wouldn't have guessed it from their on-screen feud ("And because you're a woman and that means that you're STOOPID, I'll spell it out for you...!"), Madusa is as dear to Paul E. as his own family. His eyes were glistening at her Hall of Fame induction.
  • The Mole: The July 9, 2001 Raw had seen the surprise debuts of Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam, followed by Paul's "This invasion just got taken to the extreme!" promo. That Thursday on SmackDown!, he cut a promo where he proclaimed that he was the mole who had fed Shane McMahon the information he needed to buy WCW out from under Vince's nose.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: He's done this a few times:
    • On the Oct. 29, 2012 edition of Raw, he addressed the crowd as "Ladies, gentlemen, and the people of Charlotte."
    • During his appearance on "Miz TV" on the June 28, 2013 WWE SmackDown!, while introducing Curtis Axel, he said, "Ladies and gentlemen, and you too Miz."
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: The "E." in "Paul E. Dangerously." While in ECW, he'd say "The 'E' stands for Extreme," it was never clarified what, if anything, it stood for prior to ECW.
  • Nice Hat: Once he started going bald.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's been in some matches, but it's not really his role.
  • Oh Crap!: Heyman's a master of this face, and given that's he's also a master of the Smug Snake persona, it's almost always extremely satisfying to see.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
  • Power Stable: The Dangerous Alliance in WCW.
  • Put on a Bus: Left the company after the failed ECW December to Dismember PPV, December 3, 2006.
    • The Bus Came Back
    • Came back as Brock Lesnar's legal advisor in 2012.
    • And then again as CM Punk's... erm, something or othernote . The correct term was "best friend." Key word: was.
  • Red Baron: (as manager Paul E. Dangerously): "The Psycho Yuppie"; (as booker/promoter of ECW) "The Mad Scientist of Professional Wrestling."
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: "My client, Brock Lesnar, conquered the streak!"
  • Running Gag: Anytime Paul appears on WWE television, he will remind us of that Brock Lesnar conquered The Undertaker's streak... and his mic will mysteriously cut out.
  • Sand In My Eyes: "I want you all to know I'm not crying. My eyes are red because I was in the back smoking a joint with Van Dam!"
  • Say My Name: One of ECW's Crowning Moments of Awesome is the crowd chanting "THANK YOU PAUL" for five minutes straight during One Night Stand '05.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: This behavior eventually cost him his job as the Smackdown GM, as he went well beyond the bounds of his authority several times.
  • Smug Snake: Oh, he's such an asshole that in WCW the fans cheered for Jim Cornette of the beat Ricky Morton with a tennis racket fame, just because they were so desperate for someone to shut up Paul E Dangerously.
  • Soap Punishment: Unfortunately came off on the receiving end of this when Rhyno lost a "Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap" match to John Cena, all the while in a Sharpshooter courtesy of Chris Benoit.
  • Take That: The first in his series of promos promoting Brock Lesnar as the challenger for John Cena's WWE World Heavyweight Championship includes this:
    "The same myth that Brock Lesnar hears every week on television when John Cena is referred to as being the greatest WWE Champion of all time."
  • Take That Me: After The Dudley Boys (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von) left ECW for WWE in September 1999, Paul repackaged their manager Sign Guy Dudley (real name Lou D'Angeli) as a knockoff of himself, as "Lou E. Dangerously." Lou E. even assembled his own stable, the New Dangerous Alliance, with "The Enforcer" C.W. Anderson, long-time ECW jobber "Beautiful" Bill Wiles, valet Elektra (real name Donna Adamo, the real-life wife of Alex "Big Dick Dudley" Rizzo) and Erik Watts, the legendarily talentless son of legendary promoter "Cowboy" Bill Watts, who had fired Paul E. from WCW in January 1993. On the January 1, 2000 (taped December 23, 1999) episode of ECW Hardcore TV, Japanese hardcore wrestler Kintaro Kanemura d. C.W. Anderson (w/Lou E.) Before the match, Lou E. cut a promo where he said that he wasn't paying tribute to Paul E. because Paul E. sucks.
  • Talk Show with Fists: "The Danger Zone," in WCW and ECW.
  • Tempting Fate: "...and there's not a man alive who's gonna stand in my way!" Um, Heyman? Bad words to say when you've got someone like The Undertaker around.
    • He's developed a very bad habit of tempting fate with Triple H, insulting his wife (and getting clocked in the face as a result), then later insulting his children (getting him wailed on by both Triple H and his wife).
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Not exactly a trailer, but leading up to 2014's SummerSlam, Heyman mentioned in just about every interview that Brock Lesnar would thoroughly squash John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. A very bold prediction, given Cena's tenacity and the fact that championship matches are rarely so one-sided. But Heyman was right all along.
  • Troll: So, why did he continue to taunt Stephanie McMahon about her children after he had gotten enough rise out of her to get what he wanted? Why did he feel the need to insult Big E Langston, who had done nothing wrong and nothing to him? Why...well you could be on this entry all day if we decided to list every last thing to show why Paul Heyman is an example.
  • Uncle Sam Wants You: Uncle Paulie wants YOU for the Dangerous Alliance!
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Would not shut up about how Lesnar ended the Streak for the next year and a half. Unfortunately for him, this backfired magnificently when 'Taker decided to cost Lesnar his chance to regain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. If that weren't enough, 'Taker stated the following night on RAW that he wouldn't have done that had it not been for Heyman's constant gloating, more or less stating that this was all Paul's fault.
  • Verbal Tic: He always refers to Brock Lesnar by his full name during his promos, or as he puts it "BROOOOCK LESNAAAAAR"
  • We Used to Be Friends: With CM Punk. When Punk told Heyman he didn't need him any more, and with Heyman up till that point been in Punks corner promptly turned on, claiming all of Punk's success been because of him.
  • Worked Shoot: Heyman's signature style of promo, not to mention multiple Crowning Moments of Awesome for him. Pick a Heyman shoot promo. Any Heyman shoot promo. Yes. Any.
  • Worthy Opponent: Jim Cornette and Paul speak of each other's talents far more warmly in recent years.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Well, he tried, but Madusa kicked his ass several times in late 1992, which was appropriate (see under Politically Incorrect Villain above), as he was a Heel Non-Action Guy facing a Face Action Girl.
  • You Are Not Ready: His response to an invitation to join TNA. Not only was he right, but at the rate things are going, it's highly doubtful TNA will ever be ready.
  • You Have to Have Jews: One of the very few Jews in a high profile position in the wrestling business.

"Ladies and gentleman allow me to remind thatů My client, Brock Lesnar conquer The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania! My client, Brock Lesnar conquer The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania! My client, Brock Lesnar conquer The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania! My client, Brock Lesnar conquer The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania!