Hack-Man Pro-Wrestling Paul Heyman Q&A Session

Last updated 4 December 1999

This interview was conducted on 26 February 1997 by Bob Ryder.

Thanks to Prodigy for allowing this excerpt.

Welcome everyone, tonight we are joined live by ECW's own Talent Cordinator, Paul Heyman (Paul E. Dangerously).

Question: Thanks for joining us Paul E. . . How would you rate the ECW's appearance on Raw?

Paul Heyman: As a win for both sides. As a mutually beneficial experience. As an appearance that served their needs and ours....without compromising either product. By those measures, I'd say it was successful.

Question: Any possibility of involving Chris Candito or Shane with the ECW/WWF stuff on RAW? Shane could get some great heat, and get something going with him and Shawn, and you'll have a top-notch feud. Any plans?

Paul Heyman: There has been no talent that we have been discouraged from exposing in this venture. It is more of a situation where the concept of ECW got a chance to be spotlighted. It wasn't about the individual performer as much as it was about showcasing different aspects of what we do.

Question: Paul, I hear rumors that the ECW might be on RAW, March 10. Any truth to the rumor?

Paul Heyman: As it stands now, it's not in our plans. We might get involved in something tomorrow night, or Saturday night, or next week...if a good opportunity presents itself, and we feel comfortable doing it, sometimes you make the move that moment. Boy that answer sucked.

Question: Paul, will you be on WWF color commentary on a permanent basis? Like Jim Cornette was while he was promoting SMW

Paul Heyman: No. This is a far different situation than Jimmy Cornette and SMW. In my opinion, the biggest drawback to ECW's appearance on Monday Night RAW was my commentary. Jimmy liked to perform. He had and still has a passion for it. My goals are behind the scenes.

Question: could you only do a certain amount of things at raw?

Paul Heyman: Obviously.

Question: Would you consider doing a joint card with the WWF?

Paul Heyman: I would consider doing a joint card with the WWF, yes. I would consider doing a joint card with Michinoko Pro, yes. I would consider doing a joint card with New Japan Pro Wrestling, yes. I would consider doing a joint card with All Japan, yes. I would consider doing a joint card with Carlos Colon in San Juan. I would consider doing a joint card with Montana All Star Wrestling. I don't rule out options that could benefit this company as long as we can hold true to our concept of the product. Would I be comfortable with any of this. I doubt it. would it be feasible? I doubt it. If everybody had their goals satisfied, I would match our product up with anyone and let it stand on it's own merit, but I'm sure there would be so many legalities involved...it would never happen. Hey, if I thought I could get 50,000 people in Cincinatti involved, I'd piledrive Marge Schott through a table...but I doubt that would happen too.

Question: Being numerically specific, what type of buy rate do you feel Barely Legal will accumulate?

Paul Heyman: If Barely Legal breaks even, I will be doing cartwheels down Central Avenue in my neighborhood for a week. It's our first show...it's been met with resistance. If nothing else happens but it exposes our product via the national advertising that is planned for it to enough people that have never seen it or been curious or intrigued by it or about it, that when we go into these markets...we can start drawing 2000 people instead of 900 or 1200....then it's a win scenerio for us. The benefit of Barely Legal may indeed be on the back end for ECW instead of the buy rate or the gross or the net. I hope for the best, and we are prepared for the worst.

Question: What did you think of your first night working cooperatively with the WWF?

Paul Heyman: I think we accomplished our goals. I think we did that without compromising what we are about. I'm very proud of our guys, of our production people who stayed up the whole night redesigning our graphics so they would be compatable with the production facilities taht were being used. I'm very proud of all of our guys who came in as team ECW, did their thing, were encouraged to do it on their own terms, acted extremely professionally, and went home after a good days work. I don't know Titan's reaction to us. That's something you would have to ask them.

Question: What was Vince McMahon's overall reaction to the ECW's appearance?

Paul Heyman: You'd have to ask him. I really don't know. I hope he was intrigued enough by it to purchase Barely Legal live on PPV, Sunday Night, April 13 at 9pm Eastern Time...and yes, that was a shameless plug for our show.

Question: will there be wwf wrestlers wrestling ecw wrestlers?

Paul Heyman: Not to my knowledge.

Question: Paul- I'm a huge fan. I wanted to know if your upcoming ECW plans include stopping by in Worcester on 3/10 for RAW?

Paul Heyman: No, it's not in our plans....but we have changed plans on a moments notice...I guess everyone is still evaluating, reevaluating, examining, and figuring out how good, bad, indifferent, successful, or unsuccessful Monday Night was.

Question: Paul E, I think you made a mistake putting the matches on RAW that you did. I mean, Little Guido doesn't impress anyone. Why didn't you make a better first impression, like The Eliminators vs. Sabu/Van Damn, with Taz coming in at the end? That would've made much more sense.

Paul Heyman: How much time do you think we had? If I could only present one match, a tables and ladders match between the Eliminators and Sabu & Van Dam would certainly be one of the forerunners. But, we had to fit what we wanted to present within the constraints of their time frame. This wasn't about giving away or even exposing all that is ECW. It wasn't the entire Extreme experience. We merely had the opportunity to demonstrate we have a sense of humor in the BWO, with a very talented rising star in Stevie. We also showcased the art and the science of wrestling in Taz, who is in my opinion, the most charismatic and most marketable hybrid athlete in the game today. We got to spotlight the ECW brawling aspect in Tommy Dreamer, DVon, Buh Buh Ray, and the Sandman. There are many ways for us to have showcased what we are about. The route that we took, in my opinion, was the one that capitalized most on the opportunity and within the limitations that we had.

Question: Havw things been working out with local cable companies, who don't carry REQUEST, airing the PPV directly?

Paul Heyman: Our audience has been having a great deal of success getting local cable companies to pick up ECW's Barely Legal on what is called a "Stand Alone" basis. That means even if the cable company doesn't carry Request, they will still carry the PPV as a one time deal. My suggestion, my hope, my plea, to anyone who doesn't have access to Request TV and who wants to see the show is simply to call your local Cable Company, and express to them that you as their customer are interested in spending money of which they get a major piece of the action to see the show. Business is business...and good business would dictate that any cable company that sees interest in this show in their area would pick it up. They want to make money.

Question: You're fight with Jerry Lawler was probably the best fight between announcers I've seen. Is there any chance of you fighting Lawler at Barely Legal?

Paul Heyman: No....but that doesn't mean we won't battle it out if we ever run into each other in an airport.

Question: Might we see a ECW vs WWF PPV>

Paul Heyman: I'll be honest with you. Ever since this deal went down on Monday, we have been overwhelmed by suggested scenerios to follow this up. I'm happy keeping ECW as a separate entity, I never believed in Boxers vs Wrestlers...or Ultimate Fighters out of the Octagon...even though we did it with Taz & Paul Varelens (because it was beneficial to us). My concept for ECW is that it's not the same professional wrestling that you see in the WWF or WCW. It's that concept taken to the Extreme. You're not just talking interpromotional matches now. What you're suggesting would require items to be addressed such as what would be grounds for disqualification. In my opinion, every match should have a pinfall or submission. That may not fit into their plans. That's just one item. Can you imagine how many items would be on their agenda...let alone on ours. I think the suggestion of Us vs Them has always been an intriguing concept for ECW fans since Day One, with them being WWF, WCW, UFC, Don King Boxing, Extreme Fighting, etc. It's intriguing to me too. The reality of it, the feasibility of it, may make it difficult, if not impossible to happen.

Question: Paul- I watched Monday Night Raw with great interest this past Monday and found it that you and Vince got along well. Was that just part of the show, or do you guys really have mutual respect for eachother?

Paul Heyman: I respect the fact that Vince McMahon had the balls to put us on the air. There are a lot of people in that company who don't like me personally. There are a lot of people in that company who don't like ECW, what we stand for, what we say, and/or what we do. Despite all those people, who I'm sure spoke up when they learned we were coming, he had the balls to let us come on his show and do what we do....in New York City, in front of a crowd that he had to know was going to be into our show.

Question: how much will the ppv cost

Paul Heyman: I believe the suggested price is $19.95 in advance.

Question: Now that the stars of Michinoku Pro have wrestled a few times for your company, what do you think of them? Who do you feel is particularly talented and has the ability to get over in ECW and in the United States in general?

Paul Heyman: I think the Michinoko Pro wrestlers are going to add an extraordinary amount to our PPV. I think Great Sasuke is a phenomenal performer that brings as much to the table as any athlete on the market today. I am also a huge fan and even a bigger mark for Taka Michinoko. He is so damn impressive, I would love love love to have him in ECW for any amount of time. I haven't been so absolutely blown away by another promotions performer since AAA was sending us Juventud Guerrera. Taka Michinoko is as good as they come.

Question: Does the ECW have any plans to travel to other countries, like they did last year when they went to Japan (I think it was Japan)?

Paul Heyman: Oh, we'd love to go back to Japan...and are always looking for different avenues to accomplish that goal. At the Internet convention this past weekend, we had quite a few people that flew in from England. I'd love to do one of our shows from London. Ever since we did the hour from Koraquen Hall, I've wanted to present ECW from another venue internationally. It just gives the show such a different look.

Question: Is there an agreement between ECW and PRODIGY? If so what features might we see in the future?

Paul Heyman: ECW and Prodigy have formed a major joint venture in which you, the user, will be able to tap in to Bob Ryder's fantasies about Francine. All available via Extreme Virtual Prodigy on the market this summer. Details of course, to be announced Sunday Night, April 13, 9pm Eastern...Barely Legal, Live on PPV. (Shameless Plug #2)

Question: Paul- I started getting ECW up here in MA back in July on 97. I have enjoyed every minute of the programming. I wanted to know if their is a contract with ECW and WUNI Worcester/Boston, and if so, when it runs out will you try to renew it?

Paul Heyman: We have been consistently renewing it. Friday night at 1am has turned into a consistently strong time slot for us in the Boston market.

Question: Will ECW stop working with promotions like NEW JACK CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING now that they're working with the WWF? PS-The stuff with NJCW is great.

Paul Heyman: We're not really working with anybody. If there is a situation in which we don't have to violate who and what we are, and if it benefits everyone involved....we do it. Our guys have had positive experiences working a few Sunday shots for New Jack Championship Wrestling, and unless someone can demonstrate to me why that should stop...it will continue.

Question: Can you confirm or deny the reports in the Observer a few months ago that Sabu makes $100,000 per year from his ECW commitments?

Paul Heyman: I wouldn't confirm or deny if it was reported that Sabu made $1 a match or $1,000,000 a match. I never cared to discuss publically what I was making when I was a performer. If Sabu cares to talk on the record about his finances, that's his business...but I feel it would be a breach of ethics to discuss a mans compensation in public. It's nobodies business but Sabu's. If he chooses to make it public...good for him. If he chooses to keep it private, I happen to agree with that stance.

Question: Any idea of how the WWF wrestlers have taken to the precense of ECW there?

Paul Heyman: You'd have to ask them. I really don't know.

Question: How are noigiotaions with Viewers Choice, regaurding having them offer future PPV's for fans

Paul Heyman: I made the mistake discussing my relationship with Request TV publically once before. It was a very bad mistake. If there is anything to report about Viewers Choice, it should come from them.

Question: Paul- With the ECW segment on RAW beating Nirto in the quarter hour ratings, for the first time in a long time, do you think WCW viewers are getting sick of the same old same old and wanted to see something new?

Paul Heyman: Our whole concept is to provide alternative wrestling programming. I'm sure Shane still feels the same way about them. In fact, I know he does. I won't try to discourage him from feeling that way. He has every right to. I'm sure they feel the same way about him.

Question: Shane has voiced his opinion of the WWF before,how does he feel now that you've started a working relationship with them?

Paul Heyman: I'm sure he feels the same way. Who said there is a working relationship. This was a situation in which internal changes in the WWF created an opportunity that would mutually benefit Titan and ECW. They needed something different on this show. We needed exposure for our PPV. I feel we provided them with something different. I also feel they provided us with the opportunity to say 'Hey, April 13, ECW has a PPV. Check it out". They did their thing, we did ours. Both benefited.

Question: If could you have one wrestler From either Organization who would it be and why?

Paul Heyman: Chris Benoit. Because he's young enough, tough enough, credible enough, physical enough, smart enough, enthusiastic enough, humble enough, and professional enough, to go all the F'n way. As good as Benoit is, as much air time as he gets, as "over" as he may appear to be...they haven't even exposed the tip of the iceberg yet. Man, can that guy be marketed.

Question: Paul, do have the power to change the times ECW is on because i think you have the best wrestling organization, but on COX cable it is on SportsChannel at 2:00a.m. and i hate being up that late. And how much and when is the PPV?

Paul Heyman: From your post, I don't know where you are from. I would suggest that if you want us on a different time...tell the supplier of our programming locally, and tell him that there is interest in seeing this show at an earlier time slot. Television is a business. The programmers, the operators, the packagers, the suppliers...they all pay their rent, their mortgages, their car payements, by supplying you programming that you want and when you are willing to watch it. Tell them they can make money and they would be fools not to listen.

Question: What did you think of Bischoff's comments from last week's chat...where he called you a sellout?

Paul Heyman: It's too bad Eric Bischoff doesn't have an F'n clue about what he is talking about. I would submit to you that a man who runs a wrestling company; tries to be the top performer in his own promotion; has to interface with Turner/Time Warner corporate on a daily basis; has to make all final decisions regarding internal strife for the 90 chefs that cook the soup that is Monday Nitro; negotiates the contracts and determines the salary structure for all of the wrestlers in the Turner owned organization, all the while chasing after his egotistical Hollywood ambition, is a man with far too much on his plate to deliver a proper assessment of whether or not ECW remains independent or has sold out. Perhaps when Mr. Bischoff removes his nose from the asses of the hierarchy at CNN Center, he will be able to view our circumstance with a clearer perspective.

Question: Brandon Baxter who use to wrestle for the USWA said he patterned alot of his managerial skills after you. Have you any plans of contacting him to maybe work for you?

Paul Heyman: I'm very flattered that he feels that way. I don't know Brandon Baxter. I liked his work. We almost brought him in, or attempted to contact him when we fired Jason for the first time, but we ended up using that opportunity to give Stevie Richards more responsibility in front of the camera. I'm always interested in new, young, hungry, fresh, determined, driven, underutilized talent.

Question: Why did you join an alliance with the WWF? You clamied to be the ultimate indy promoter, but you are going against aligning with the WWF

Paul Heyman: Demonstrate to me anything that we did that formed an alliance with the WWF. We used our own wrestlers. We used our own referree. We had an ECW personality on commentary. We even used ECW graphics....so that Tommy Dreamer didn't come out to Tommy Dreamer on Monday Night RAW. He came out Tommy Dreamer ECW Wrestler. Please tell me how in your or anyone elses opinion we compromised what we are about. Please demonstrate to me how we didn't hold true to what we are and what we're about. What code of ours did we violate. We did what all of our fans have been clamoring for since the beginning. We expanded the awareness of ECW without compromising our style, our ethics, or our integrity. Don't read into this more than there is. It filled a mutual need. It accomplished both sides' goals. That's called good business.

Question: I saw the RAW ratings, and we all noticed that the ECW appearance on RAW increased RAW's ratings. Any plans to bring ECW TV to a major cable network like USA?

Paul Heyman: We're always hungry for new ways to expand our exposure. If you have any suggestions as to who may be willing to carry our product without asking us to change it dramtically, I would be a willing listener.

Question: If this PPV works out,how often can we expect to see ECW PPV's?

Paul Heyman: Let's see if it works out first. If we do 4 a year, that would be a lot for us. We are too big to be considered small, and we are too small to be considered big. We are understaffed, undermanned, and overwhelmed.....and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Question: Is Tommy Rich going to MANAGE Little Guido, or is he going to actually wrestle with the FBI. I've heard both rumors. Tell me the truth.

Paul Heyman: Tommy Rich is going to manage Little Guido. What a rebirth for Wildfire! What a performance! What a manager! He was absolutely off the charts fantastic.

Question: Concerning the upcoming ECW pay-per-view, has there been any movement on the part of Viewer's Choice to agree to air it ?

Paul Heyman: You are more than welcome to call Viewers Choice and ask them, politely, if they are reconsidering their stance on Extreme Championship Wrestling. I would prefer that all comments come from them.

Question: Paul E., I don't know how far this working agreement between you and the WWis going to go, but many have speculated that WWF wrestlers may make an appearance at the ECW Arena. Now, knowing how the Philly fans are, what WWF wrestlers do you think could show up, and not be laughed out of the building. I think most of their wrestlers, like The Godwins in particular, wouldn't last 60 seconds in the Arena.

Paul Heyman: I think you're way ahead of yourself, and you are delving into areas that have never been discussed...let alone (at least on our part) imagined.

Question: And can you get ECW back on the air in Denver? :-)

Paul Heyman: Call PSN. Tell them you want us back. Tell them your feelings regarding their refusal to carry ECW. Again, the television industry is a business. If they think there is significant enough interest in a particular show that they can make money providing it to their clientel, they would be fools not to take advantage of that opportunity.

Question: How do you explain the Sandman's behavior at the ECW Fan Convention this past weekend? Do you condone it?

Paul Heyman: I condemn it, and I'm furious about it, and I've made that feeling apparent to him. He has been disciplined over the incident...severely as a matter of fact...and I doubt that he will make that same mistake a second time.

Question: I hear you may start having shows in the Pittsburgh area......can you tell me when you may start there?

Paul Heyman: We will be in Pittsburgh Easter Weekend with two shows, Saturday night and Sunday Night. Ticket information, directions, etc...are available by calling 215-928-9772.

Question: Are there any plans in the works to have ECW broadcast on a weekly basis on a national level ? ECW fans are held hostage by Prime Sports AKA Fox Sports who sometimes carry it, but not on a consistent basis.

Paul Heyman: Refuse to be bound and gagged by your captors. Break free from this imposed incarceration. Escape the terror that these ultra-conservative do-nothing know-nothing draconian thought processed alleged programmers have inflicted upon you. Speak up! Write in! Fax! Email! Let your voice be heard! YOU are the consumer. They are the provider. Inform them that you, the customer, want them, the business owner and service provider to enable you to do business with them. YOU have the power. Use it.

Question: If you could afford to move out of the arena and into someplace bigger,would you?

Paul Heyman: We can...and we don't want to. We may run bigger shows somewhere in Philly in the future, but until someone tells me why it shouldn't be...ECW Arena is our home.

Question: Who do you consider the best worker outside of your organization?

Paul Heyman: Steve Austin, Chris Benoit, Taka Michinoko, Kenta Kobashi....all qualify as superior athletes and tremendous performers outside of ECW.

Question: Paul - What are your thoughts on the way Raw was produced this past Monday?

Paul Heyman: It's none of my business. It's not my concern. I only had to involve myself where ECW had the opportunity to showcase it's talent. Who, How, When, Why, and Under What circumstances they present their guys is their business...it's none of my business, and I don't want it to be my business. I wouldn't tell WCW how to do their show. I wouldn't tell WWF how to do their show. I don't want them telling me how to do mine.

Question: If someone goes to your wrestling school,do you hire them upon graduation?

Paul Heyman: One of our original goals for the House of Hardcore was to create a new source of talent. If you go to the House of Hardcore and you have what it takes to graduate, then you have what it takes to get in the ring, because they don't release anybody to the open market until that person is really really ready...as evidenced by the compliments 'The Rookie' Chris Chetti has received. If you are willing to subject yourself to a training regiment that can only be compared to the United States Military meets a qualified wrestling Dogo call the House of Hardcore 516-586-7329. If you're not serious about it, though, don't waste your own time. If you are serious, I believe in my heart, it's the best place to learn today.

Question: Is there anything you won't do to insure the fans get their money's worth?

Paul Heyman: I take it by your question that you feel we go out of our way to make sure we deliver a product that is worth more than the price of admission. Your question seems rhetorical, if I have misunderstood it, I'd be happy to answer again...and I thank you if it was meant as a compliment.

Question: Paul how does is feel to show up the WWF wrestlers on their own show? Simmons, Undertaker, Godwins looked horrible compared to your guys.

Paul Heyman: We do our thing....they do theirs. Bottom line.

Question: What was Vince's reaction to ECW's perfomance on RAW?

Paul Heyman: You'd have to ask Vince McMahon. As I said before, hopefully we impressed him enough that on Sunday Night, April 13 he will purchase our PPV. (Shameless plug #3)

Question: Paul- Do you ever plan on bringing ECW to Northeast Ohio? We here are dying to see ECW live. There are some facilities in the Akron area that would be great for ECW.

Paul Heyman: Yes, as a matter of fact, Alex Marvez, who is a newspaper reporter who now lives in Ohio, has been dogging me about dragging my feet when it comes to breaking into the Ohio market.

Question: Why don't you do radio interviews anymore? Perhaps on Wacky Wednesday wrestling or Get in the Ring? We've missed your insight the last couple of years

Paul Heyman: Thank you for your compliment. I find that it is difficult sometimes to do radio appearances, because it's not just for people with above average knowledge of the industry that listen. Those who would remember Paul E Dangerously wonder why the "Psycho Yuppie" would give a rats ass about the interworkings of the industry, and those who for whatever reason would care for Paul Heyman's insights, probably don't want to have Paul E Dangerously performing for them. Roses are red, violets are bed, I violets are blue....I am schizophrenic, and so am I.

Question: Many fans have praised your co-promotional deal with the WWF, even if it is a one-time ordeal, but many fans still think that you have sold out-- How can you explain your situation to them?

Paul Heyman: Demonstrate to me how we sold out. Show me how we compromised what we are about. What about ECW did we give up. How did we not stay true to who we are and what we are about? With every decision that is made...you are bound to turn some people on and turn others off. With every push, with every finish, with every decision, you are bound to win some and lose some. This decision, hopefully, turned on more than it turned off. If you are going to be turned off, tell me how we violated what we have stood for. Demonstrate to me how we sold out, because I don't see it that way. I think we held true to our principals, to our ethics and to our product...right down to the graphics.

Question: Any chance of ECW at Wrestlemania 13?

Paul Heyman: Not to my knowledge. It hasn't been discussed, and it would all depend on who, what, how, the circumstances, the situation, etc. Again, I think that's way ahead of what anybody has even imagined. Unless there is a plan that I am unaware of. They had some needs, we had some needs. I know we fulfilled our needs...I hope they filled theirs. That's it...unless something else mutually beneficial comes up.

Question: ECW claims to be hardcore, and you've deal with other leagues, but what do you think about FMW, specifically in terms of ever working with them, as to working with Michinoku Pro?

Paul Heyman: Why would I have to give up a relationship which I'm very comfortable with in order to business with FMW? I think they have filled a consumer need in Japan. I would assume they are making a profit on it. If that's the case, and if they wanted to do business with us, we would certainly entertain the idea.

Question: What will the buyrate for the PPV have to be in order for ECW to break even?

Paul Heyman: That all depends on how many systems pick us up on a stand alone basis. We still don't know the total number of households that will have access to the show.

Question: Had you done any on-air work with Lawler before? He helped you guys tremendously playing the buffoon, setting you up with straight lines.

Paul Heyman: I worked with Jerry Lawler in Memphis 10 years ago when I first started. I worked with him for two weeks in the AWA when he and Bill Dundee lost the tag team titles to the original Midnight Express, and by the way...What do you mean PLAYING the buffoon?

Question: What does the "E" in Paul E. Dangerousley stand for?

Paul Heyman: Extreme

Question: Why did you make the switch to Extreme Championship Wrestling in '94?

Paul Heyman: Because I felt the name better described our product.

Question: what made u choose trenton CYO for your first N.J> show

Paul Heyman: The deal kind of fell into our lap. There was a lot of local interest, and when the venue became available a local promoter jumped on the opportunity. I'm really looking forward to coming into New Jersey. There are a lot of fans who have not had the chance to travel to one of our shows.

Question: Paul,what has been your favorite storyline that you have done in ECW?

Paul Heyman: Sabu/Taz, simply for how long we planned it out from the beginning all the way through the payoff. The never ending saga in the 2 and a half year feud between Tommy Dreamer and Raven, the comeback of Terry Funk (which has been so emotional), despite the criticism...the Sandman's son leaving him, and the overall story of the loner, the slacker, the tortured soul known as Raven, who craves acceptance yet destroys it once he achieves it. The major question is not really what storylines have I liked....it's which storylines have you liked.

Question: Do you think that after seeing some of the talent in ECW (from the tapes that Bruce Prtchard leaves on his desk and from Raw) that Vince might try to steal some of the ECW stars?

Paul Heyman: No, because if they want to go anywhere...let them go. There are no prisoners in our locker room. Everybody who is there, wants to be there. If you don't want to be there, leave. This company and the style which we employ, and the semi-corporate (ha ha ha) philosophy which drives this promotion requires a dedication that cannot be found in people who are here but would rather be elsewhere.

Question: Did you have any dealings with Jim Cornette at the RAW taping?

Paul Heyman: No I did not.

Question: Paul, would you like to make another RAW apperance, or maybe even put on a BIG ppv since the ratings where so high and they have a contract with USA?

Paul Heyman: I'm not a big believer in ratings. I don't think it is truly an accurate gauge of the viewing public and/or it's habits. But, based on the fact that we kind of looked good, based on the breakdowns from Monday...even though I'm not a believer, I guess I've converted for a little while.

Question: is there a plan for an NWA vs ECW card any time soon

Paul Heyman: No Dennis there's not.

Question: You seemed to have good chemistry with Lawler, and it was hailed as one of the main positives of that show. Was that due to legitamite hatred, or other reasons?

Paul Heyman: Much like Shane Douglas emerged as a star when I let him talk openly and freely about Ric Flair...I think Jerry Lawler cherished the opportunity to cut loose on ECW and speak his mind. HE HAD TO BE SHOOTING, BECAUSE HE'S NOT THAT GOOD A PERFORMER.

Question: The biggest drawback was your commentary? I thought it was easily one of the high points of the night.

Paul Heyman: Thank you for your compliment.

Question: Wre there things/angles/skits you wanted to run at RAW that were turned down? If so can you say what?

Paul Heyman: We presented on RAW what we felt was best within the time constraints that we were subjected to, and I was very comfortable with who was presented and how we presented them. If a different opportunity had arisen, ie a different percentage of the program...we would have done something different. This is what we had to work with, and therefore this is where we went.

Question: Paul, I was at ECW last card in Revere, and the Mich Pro guys were GREAT. Proberbly highlight of the show. I'd LOVE to see a Sabu/Sasuki match. Think I'll get to see it anytime soon?

Paul Heyman: If Sasuke is willing to do it, I would be willing to book that match in a heartbeat.

Question: what about doing a PPV from the Manhatten center next....i think you have a built in crowd....................

Paul Heyman: The funniest thing about that crowd is that the Manhatten Center was sold out before it was ever known we were coming....so that's a very encouraging sign for us.

Question: Paul- You mentined earlyer that "Hey, if I thought I could get 50,000 people in Cincinatti involved, I'd piledrive Marge Schott through a table...but I doubt that would happen too." I think you could get 50,000 people. Anyway, don't you think working with Raw on a joint card and getting national exposer would be good for your company? More press better buy rates, right?

Paul Heyman: Obviously I thought RAW had something to offer, because we were there on Monday night....and please have Marge Schotts' attorney contact us to negotiate our appearance at the stadium.

Question: Well, the WWF and WCW seem to have cable and PPV pretty well tapped out these days. Have you ever explored possibilities of a deal with a premium channel, like HBO or Showtime, for a monthly Show?

Paul Heyman: We just had negotiations with Showtime that didn't pan out. We are always looking for new ways to expose our product.

Question: Was the presence of guys in positions of power like Bret Hart and Jim Cornette, who have voiced dislike of your product a significant obstacle in the forming af the WWF thing?

Paul Heyman: You would have to ask Vince McMahon or a member of his staff that question. I am unaware of, and quite frankly uninterested in their internal politics.

Question: Is there any chance of Barely Legal still being on Viewers Choice or is that past the point of possibility at this time?

Paul Heyman: Due to my ignorance in the PPV industry...I am under the impression that they could literally pick it up on the day of the show if they wanted to. I don't know the legalities or the logistics of it, but I would assume that Viewers Choice could pick this show up whenever they would want to...if they would want to.

Question: Paul: Were you pleased at what ECW accomplished on Raw?

Paul Heyman: Yes, I was.

Question: Is there any place we can write to to get autographs from you and other ECW stars?

Paul Heyman: P.O. Box 791 Hartsdale NY 10530

Question: Paul, congrats on the great job on "RAW" Monday night!!!..2-parter: What's the probability we'll see anybody from WWF on "Barely Leagal", and when the he!! is ECW going to have another live event in Fla... :::just a matter of time before VKM & Bischoff are looking to beat ECW's cable ratings ::.best of luck, Paul E., and I'm glad things are working out nationally

Paul Heyman: I don't see how it would help the WWF to expose any of their personalities on our shows. We have many things to offer. Exposure is not one of them. They offer the exposure, not us. We would love to come back to Florida and we are constantly working on ways to make that happen.

Question: What was your reaction when you saw the ratings for Monday night? I mean....the bWo beat Nitro!

Paul Heyman: Insert your own punch line

Question: PAUL E. do you ever plan to bring ECW down south like to New Orleans

Paul Heyman: We're on Cox Metro 10 in New Orleans, and we are very happy with the response we get from that market. I'd love to do a show in New Orleans. I think we have enough support in the area to do real well there.

Question: I know you are appreciative of VKM's cooperation, but does it bother you at the least that they decided to run interviews over the ECW matches (it came off as attempt to distract from the action,IMHO)??

Paul Heyman: If our guys can't hold your attention over someone talking then they don't deserve your attention to begin with. We can compete with any distraction, and if we can't...then the distraction deserves to win your attention.

Question: The heat between you and Lawler made the ECW appearance that much more effective. What is the relationship between you and Lawler?

Paul Heyman: We each pray for the other one's slow death.

Question: Are there any plans for TV in Chicago? I know you've tried in the past, but is there anything new?

Paul Heyman: We would really love to break into Chicago on TV. It has been exceedingly difficult. As always, if there are any leads that our fans could pursue...don't wait for my blessing...get on the phone, write your letters, post your Emails, send your telegrams, and pursue pursue pursue.


Paul Heyman: Thank you for your compliment. You have just given me the ammunition needed to quell whatever criticism we may face from this venture. We turned on a new fan. Hopefully we enticed you to either a: seek our ECW more; b: buy our tapes if you can't see ECW locally; c: travel to one of our live events and experience the difference; and/or d: (shameless plug #4) ECW PPV, Sunday Night April 13.

Question: As the "EXTREME" ruler of ECW, what long term plans do you have for the organization (other than the obvious of making $$$)..??

Paul Heyman: To increase the quality of our product. To increase the public awareness of ECW. To continue to provide a working environment within this industry in which the employees take pride in what they do, who they do it for, what they've built, and what they've accomplished.

Question: Paul, as chief executive for a organization smaller than WWF or WCW, can you give us some insight on who helps you as far as matchmaking, angle setup; and in the same vein, is smaller better?

Paul Heyman: Smaller has it's merits....bigger has it's merits...being the new kid on the block has it's merits....being the old guard has it's merits....and they all have their drawbacks. I take and I welcome and I encourage and I cherish input from all directions from every level of this organization. Anyone who has an idea is welcome to express it here.

Question: Paul - After bashing the WWF and their style of wrestling for the past four years, don't you feel a bit untrue to yourself by working out an agreement with them?

Paul Heyman: No, because we presented our product and didn't compromise the integrity of who we are and what we do. I've said a lot of things about the WWF and I meant them. I'm sure that they meant a lot of the things that they've said about us.

Question: if you are the owner of ECW then what function does Todd Gorden serve?

Paul Heyman: Tod Gordon is the founder of ECW and to label Tod with a job description would show a deep underappreciation of how many different items come accross his desk during the course of a typical day. He's involved on more levels than I could begin to describe to you.

Question: Paul - If you had not been able to work out something w/ the WWF, would you have considered doing something w/ WCW (assuming they were willing)?

Paul Heyman: I never assume that they are willing, number one...and I don't think they should assume that I would be willing.

Question: Paul - Why was Public Enemy one of the most talked about teams in wrestling while in ECW, but they've been turned into the new Buschwackers since entering WCW?

Paul Heyman: Because of the extraordinary brainthrust in WCW.

Question: the night Shane "small package" Douglas trashed the NWA title, did he do so with your and or ECW's blessing?

Paul Heyman: I agree with everything Shane said that night. And yes...he did it with my blessing, and with my encouragment, and at my direction. If you have credit to heap on someone for that, give it to Shane...because it took a lot of guts for him to do that. If you have a problem with it...the buck stops with me.

Question: Is there any truth to the rumor that ECW is trying to buy the building next store to make the ECW Arena bigger?

Paul Heyman: No, but it's an interesting idea.

Question: If a co-promoted PPV between ECW and the WWF occurred what would you like the main event to be?\

Paul Heyman: A handicap match between Jerry Lawler and Jim Cornette vs Sabu, Taz, the Eliminators, Tommy Dreamer, the Gangstas, and the Sandman...with our guys being able to bring a weapon of their choice.

Question: do you think any of your "wrestlers" are going to jump to the wwf now that Vince has had a chance to talk to them?

Paul Heyman: That would require a willingness on the part of our performers to abandon the physical, mental, and emotional investment that they've made in ECW. If they are willing to forsake that, whether it be for WWF or WCW or whomever...then let them go. I feel that we have a crew that wants to build and accomplish.

Question: What do you plan on doing to the arena for the pay per view to give you the best visuals possible for the show?

Paul Heyman: We're not going to change the look and or the feel of the building. I want to capture that atmosphere and present it to a national audience, or as close to a national audience as I can. There is a chemistry in that building between ECW and it's audience that does not require fancy lighting. It does not require pyrotechnics. It does not require bells and whistles. It's an inter-action between a group of incredibly hard working performers and a demanding vociferous and at times emotional and appreciative audience. My God...if that can be captured, and transmitted...if just some of the passion from that building can be felt through your television set....we're going to make a lot of new fans our of people on Sunday Night, April 13 (subtle plug #1, actual plug #5).

Question: I know this is taking a VERY long shot here, but have ever talked or thought about having Jim Helwig in ECW?

Paul Heyman: Only if he were willing to come in as a human pinata.

Question: Paul, are we ever gonna see the absolute greatest member of the FBI, JT Smith, back in Extreme Championship Wrestling?

Paul Heyman: I would love for that to happen. JT is always welcome in the house which he helped build.

Question: paul, do you get frustrated that every time you find and showcase a major talent, like Benoit, Melenko, Jerhico, Public Enemy, Psychosis, Konnan, Rey Mesterio jr., that the WCW buys them out from under you?

Paul Heyman: No, because the individual performer has to be willing to go. You'd be surprised at how many plays have been made for guys that are still here.

Question: people are referring to the 8:15 to 8:30 qtr hour where the ecw segment did a 2.7 to a 2.6 on nitro....what about the rest of the ecw segments...why did they not perform? and (please dont take this the wong way but since it did hit a 2.7 and then died down to 2.3s and 2.5s maybe they came...they saw...they didnt like and they left?

Paul Heyman: Maybe people thought we weren't coming back on. In addition, a drop from a 2.7 to a 2.5 is within the statistical margin of error...a jump from a 1.9 to a 2.7 is not.

Question: You spoke about cable companies picking up the ppv on a 1 time only basis, do you know if Time Warner in NYC will be doing that?

Paul Heyman: Time Warner in New York City has picked it up...and that is due to the efforts of our fans who called in and faxed and wrote letters and EMailed them.

Question: How do you feel about Eric Bishoff slamming ECW on both NITRO and the CHAT events he's been on?

Paul Heyman: Considering how much talent has seduced him into offering them guaranteed contracts based on their performances in our company, I find the more Mr. Bischoff opens up his mouth the more he shows his ass.

Question: Any chance of getting ECW back on Madison Square Garden Network in New York?

Paul Heyman: For now, MSG is content with our appearance on the Prime Wrap Friday nights at 2am. Again, my suggestion would be to alert MSG management and ownership that there is interest in this product.

Question: What do you honestly think of Bishoff milking the NWO angle for all it's worth?

Paul Heyman: It's none of my business. If you don't like it...turn the channel. He'll get the message.

Question: Paul, with your "ally" WWF, you dominate the North East and New England regions. Any ideas on expanding south? Eastern North Carolina in particular has no Major or even Minor federations stop through it, yet have over a third of NC's population. Would you consider an ECW NC tour, with a stop in Greenville?

Paul Heyman: We sure would. It all depends on how do we get the word out about our potential live events.

Question: What do you feel coming off Monday night?

Paul Heyman: Relief.

Question: About the ECW PPVs of the future. Do you plan of holding them all from ECW Arena, or expanding from there? Provided teh original PPV goes well.

Paul Heyman: Providing the first one does well...we'd like to do events from different venues.

Question: I think BWO is a disgraceful clan to wrestling,can't WCW sue you!

Paul Heyman: If you find it disgraceful, turn the channel. Don't buy the merchandise. I'll get the message. I don't think they have a legal leg to stand on, but if WCW wants to play that game I have a file sitting on my desk just waiting to be filed against them...including but not limited to trademark, servicemark, copyright and ownership to the name Public Enemy...just for example. A lawsuit is a very detailed and costly agressive move to make. Frivilous litigation is frowned upon by the courts today. There is nothing that we are doing to create confusion in the marketplace, nor are we violating any of WCW's rights...and they know it....or they would have moved on it months ago. Even Emporer Bischoff himself has publically admitted getting the humor behind the Blue World Order.

Question: I feel that D-Von Dudley is your most improved wrestler for 1997. How do you feel about the progress D-Von has made in the ring?

Paul Heyman: I'm very proud of how hard DVon has worked to improve his performance.

Question: Why do you refuse to change ECW's product? To make it go national, and to have television companies, and PPV companies such as Viewer's Choice air ECW, the changes wouldn't have to be drastic... there are options for succeeding.

Paul Heyman: A minor concession is a minor concession, but we are not interested in making dramatic changes to what we do. This IS what we do. It fills a void. It has created an audience, and I believe in the product. It's like Snapple. Happy to be #3. I'm not looking to get into a contest with Titan or Turner. I want to present an alternative product on terms that I'm comfortable with. That's what we do...for better or for worse.

Question: Paul:I was wondering if you read NEWSLETTERS? and if so which ones?

Paul Heyman: I generally read any opinion that someone believes in strongly enough to put on paper and attach their name to it.

Question: Will your PPV be on DirecTV or USSB? I live in California and got exposed to the ECW on DirecTV.

Paul Heyman: I believe we will be on DirecTV.

Question: Axl Rotten was a wonderful surprise at the Q&A. Are there any plans to give him more mike time in the future, and is there any possiblility that a nice Irish girl can buy you a drink next time she goes to a show? Sorry, had to do it :)

Paul Heyman: Yes, there are plans to give Axl more interview time. As a matter of fact, we just taped promos after the last show. As for your second question...it depends on the drink.

Question: Will you ever come to Iowa. YOu may laugh but we have plenty of wrestling fans here?

Paul Heyman: If I could promote a show properly there, I would go in a heartbeat.

Question: Did you have any managing experience?

Paul Heyman: Yes, I managed to deal with inane questions like this one.

Question: Did you use the word "Extreme " for your company, knowing it was a trendy generation X media slogan?

Paul Heyman: Yes, and I also felt that we could hold the name on a longevity basis because it's an apt description of what we do.

Question: Paul, should the Yanks have kept Jimmy Key or was signing David Wells a good choice?

Paul Heyman: ......and the weather in Honolulu today was....

Question: Paul E. - I thought you showed a lot of class by giving McMahon his due as you were leaving RAW. What do you really think of Vince McMahon???

Paul Heyman: I said it right there. He had balls. He let a wild group do their thing in a building that was going to be very pro ECW. I'm sure he had his reasons, and I know he benefited from it...but still, you have to understand a lot of people must have told him "don't to it", and we are for better or for worse a controversial product, and my anti-establishment counter-culture behavior can't be an incentive for him to consider making available to us a live television program. There are a lot of things to say about ANYONE in this business including but not limited to Vince McMahon. On this given night, in this given circumstance, he allowed this product to be exposed on live TV. That took balls...and if for nothing else, for NOTHING ELSE, he deserved for me to say that...because it's the F'n truth. I have blasted him when it was appropriate. I have no inhibitions acknowledging the truth as I did on Monday Night RAW.

Question: Have you thought of getting the Corestates Center for the next PPV or for any EcW events?

Paul Heyman: That's an awful big building.

Question: When looking for wrestling talent, what do you look for the MOST in a wrestler, as far as "unknowns" are concerned?

Paul Heyman: Willingness.

Question: Is TKR in Central New Jersey going to carry the ECW PPV? We don't have Request 1 but we do have other Request stations, do you know if the replay is going to be aired on any of them?

Paul Heyman: I would call TKR and ask them if they are carrying the ECW PPV, and if they are not, express to them your interest in seeing the show.

Question: When ECW became EXTREME championship wrestling, did you ever picture it taking off like it did?

Paul Heyman: This has been our dream. This is what we've worked for. This is what we have all struggled to achieve. Thanks for the opportunity to talk to Prodigy fans. I've enjoyed it, and hope to do it again soon....and don't forget about all those shameless plugs.