Who is Paul Heyman?

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May 08, 2012

He’s been called a renegade, a rebel, a mad scientist who changed the way the world sees sports-entertainment. But there’s one word that best describes the man born Paul Heyman — dangerous.

Stepping out in front of a stunned WWE Universe on Monday night, the sneering instigator revealed himself to be Brock Lesnar’s official legal representative. It was the type of Machiavellian maneuver that has made the onetime ECW head a loathed and feared figure at WWE’s corporate headquarters. But how did Mr. Heyman become the least likely person to be invited to a WWE Christmas party?

The most outspoken individual in an industry populated entirely by outspoken individuals, the brusque New Yorker first gained enemies under the guise of Paul E. Dangerously in WCW. Managing Steve Austin, Arn Anderson and Rick Rude in a stable he dubbed his Dangerous Alliance, Heyman used a Big Apple attitude and an oversized 1980s cell phone to help his charges run through the likes of Sting and Ricky Steamboat. (PHOTOS)

Heyman may have spent his entire career as a manager and color commentator had WCW not released the hothead in 1993. Finding opportunity in failure, the innovator became associated with a Philadelphia-based independent promotion called Eastern Championship Wrestling and set about turning the modest company into the most daring organization sports-entertainment had ever seen. Drawing inspiration from alternative rock music and MTV, Heyman rechristened the promotion Extreme Championship Wresting and took it from public access to national pay-per-view through his endorsement of brutal bouts between a rotating cast of misfits that included the beer-swilling Sandman and an ex-con with a staple gun named New Jack.

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