Paul Heyman Confirmed For WWE Hall Of Fame

In Philadelphia, it had to be him. When it comes to professional wrestling in the city of brotherly love, no one man is more synonymous with the business than Paul Heyman. And during WrestleMania 40 weekend in Philadelphia at the beginning of April, the former leader of Extreme Championship Wrestling will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

As one of the most creative minds the industry has ever known, Heyman has served as a manager, commentator and promoter. A lightning rod for controversy as well as an Advocate and a Wise Man.

In World Championship Wrestling (WCW) the artist formerly known as Paul E. Dangerously provided his (not so) dulcet tones to the commentary booth alongside his now fellow Hall of Famer ‘Good Ol JR’ Jim Ross. The ponytailed, mobile phone carrying Dangerously also led the Dangerous Alliance, one of the all time great wrestling stables. Originally formed in the American Wrestling Alliance (AWA), Heyman resurrected the group in the Atlanta based promotion, with Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, Steve Austin (before he was Stone Cold), Bobby Eaton, Madusa and ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude.

As well as the Dangerous Alliance, Heyman also managed a young ‘Mean’ Mark Callous, not long before he moved North and became The Undertaker. Wonder what happened to him?

From Dangerous To Extreme

Having ruled WCW at the beginning of the ’90s with the Alliance, Heyman eventually relocated to his beloved East coast, taking over the one-time Eastern Championship Wrestling and making it much more Extreme.

ECW would go onto become one of the most influential wrestling promotions of all time, with Heyman showcasing talents from Japan and Mexico alongside domestic American workers who soon began to raise the eyebrows of those in Atlanta and Conneticut.

Heyman and the late New Jack. A quiet night in, probably

Despite its cult following, ECW struggled financially throughout its existence, eventually shuttering in 2001, with Heyman finding himself on WWE television shortly before WrestleMania 17, sitting alongside JR once more at the commentary desk. And while his closing of ECW left more than a few of his talents in the dark, Heyman’s legacy of bringing the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, Taz, The Dudley Boyz and countless others to international prominence, while helping revive Steve Austin, Mick Foley and the late, great Dusty Rhodes cannot be understated. The ECW Arena in Philly became one of the most notorious wrestling arenas in the world under Heyman’s watch, renowned for its intensely passionate and brutally honest crowds.

Paul Heyman – The Wisest Man In The Business

In the 21st century, Heyman has cemented himself as one of the finest managers in sports entertainment history. His current run as Roman Reigns’ ‘Wise Man’ has produced some of the former Dangerously’s finest work, with his trademark provocative wit and priceless facial expressions a constant hallmark of Reigns’ storylines and matches. His alignment with the Tribal Chief over the course of Reigns’ near-four year WWE Universal Title run will go down in the annals of the business as a turning point in WWE history – a move that cemented Reigns as the bona fide top star in the business ahead of a record breaking run at the box office. Without Heyman, it’s not inaccurate to fathom that Reigns would still be struggling for main event acceptance from WWE crowds. Instead, he has been this generation’s most prominent villain.

Image: WWE

The news of Heyman’s induction into the 2024 class was broken by the Associated Press, who confirmed the 58-year-old as the first member of the class to be inducted on 5th April at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Heyman will be ringside for two of WrestleMania 40’s biggest marquee matches, accompanying Roman Reigns for his main event title defence against Cody Rhodes as well as seconding Reigns and The Rock for their likely tag team match against Rhodes and World Heavyweight Champion Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins on the first night of the two night extravaganza.

WrestleMania 40 will emanate from Philadelphia, PA on 6th and 7th April, 2024, available only on Peacock, WWE Network and PPV

Featured Image Credit: WWE