2004-09-16 / Arts & Entertainment

Through The Ropes

Before the NCAA limited the number of athletic scholarships schools could give college football players, the top teams played Hide-The-Ta-lent. Ninety-Five scholarships? Great! Sign 80 to play and the other 15 so they won’t go elsewhere.

In Joey Styles’ recent commentary on 1wrestling.com, he has suggested that Paul Heyman, a.k.a. “Paul E. Dangerously,” is on the payroll and back as a member of the creative team for World Wrestling Entertain-ment simply because Vince McMahon doesn’t want him going anywhere else.

What a shame if that is true!

Nothing against Styles, who is much more entrenched in the inner workings of the sport than I am, but how can McMahon look at Heyman as nothing more than a pawn? Doesn’t McMahon remember that he and Hey-man formed a tag team that brought the cash-laden but idea-depleted World Championship Wrestling to its knees?

While WCW had Savage, Hogan, Flair, Sting, Hart and every other megastar who ever put on spandex, Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling forged along competitively with Mike Awesome and Steve Co-rino. WWE turned “Stone Cold” Steve Austin from mid-carder to icon, transformed Mick Foley from death-match king into lovable figure and marketed The Rock from Goody Two- Shoes rookie to People’s Champion.

Both McMahon and Heyman have the Midas touch for talent. The only difference is that Vince is a business wiz, and Paul wouldn’t know a spread-sheet from a bed sheet.

But if I gave an edge in developing talent, I would go with Heyman, simply because his lack of business acumen has left him with less to work with. And still, he has survived.

Can you imagine the product that these two would bring if they could check their egos at the door? If they got along? If they sat in a bar over a brew and talked for 45 minutes on how the next six months should go?

They’d be unbeatable. National Wrestling Alliance-Total Nonstop Ac-tion and its flimsy national television spot on Friday afternoons would crawl back into its hole and stay there. But NWA-TNA keeps chugging along, mainly because WWE’s content is always just weak enough to make the TNA boys think they can break through.

And if Heyman is simply cashing in his chips, even worse! For him to be working with Vince at 40 percent instead of either working with him or against him at 100 percent is blasphemy. Sure, Heyman has paid his dues, often doing some ECW promos in his mother’s basement while Mom was ironing. But his image is and always will be one who rocks the boat, not takes the safe money and runs.

It Styles is right and Heyman is simply working down a monetary debt to WWE having to do with the ECW bankruptcy, then let’s get our nickels and dimes in there and buy Heyman out of his private hell. What-ever the result, he made history with an upstart ECW, and NWA-TNA would benefit from his knowledge of constantly trying to come from be-hind.

Either way, Heyman, the next time you meet McMahon, whether in the ring or the boardroom, you should greet him with a slap in the chops.

Then, McMahon will either respect you or try to bury you.

Freedom, either way.

You can contact Josh Stewart at throughtheropes1@cs.com.

Return to top

Copyright© 2000 - 2017
Canarsie Courier Publications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved