Most Extreme Player for 8/31/06
This week's MEP should be Paul Heyman. After all, Heyman did use Extreme Rules to his advantage by using the assistance of his personal enforcers, Hardcore Holly and the ECW World Champion, The Big Show to defeat Sabu. However, despite Paul Heyman's new undefeated record in an ECW ring, I hereby REFUSE to name Heyman as my MEP and instead choose not to name an MEP at all this week.
Over the course of ten years, I have come to accept the fact that Heyman has taken credit for all of ECW's successes while trying to deflect the blame for ECW's failures.
One needs only read The Rise and Fall of ECW to see that Paul, like former President Bill Clinton, employs the strategy of rewriting history to build his own autobiographical legacy. On page 40 of the book, Heyman claims that it was his idea for me to scream during commentary when I was excited and that it was also his idea for me to wear suits on the air because all other wrestling announcers were dressing casually at the time.
As anyone who knows me inside or outside of pro wrestling can tell you, the more excited I become, the louder my voice becomes. Heyman had nothing to do with that. Heyman also had nothing to do with the fact that I wore suits on the air. I started a sales job with News Corporation five days before my ECW audition and as a result, had a closet full of suits and chose to wear one of them to my ECW audition in Philadelphia in June of 1993. I did so because I simply like wearing suits. I always feel more professional in a perfectly fitted and well pressed suit.
In addition to yours truly, Paul also claims that he "made" other ECW Originals such as The Sandman, Sabu and Rob Van Dam. The truth is, Paul and deserves credit for giving the aforementioned and other ECW wrestlers a platform to be themselves rather than saddle them with silly gimmick characters which was the norm in the early 90s (remember King Mabel? Ugh!)
The truth is, The ECW Originals "made" Paul Heyman and the original ECW as much as ECW "made" all of us. ECW was a collaboration, not simply Paul Heyman's baby.
However, as I said earlier, I have learned to accept, forgive and even be entertained by Paul's semi-factual recollections of the Rise and Fall of ECW because Paul does indeed deserve credit for letting all of the ECW Originals to be ourselves rather than cartoon characters.
What I cannot accept nor forgive is the new found arrogance of Paul Heyman. When Rob Van Dam refused to curtail his voracious appetite for competition and heed Paul's pleadings not to defend both the WWE and ECW Championships on RAW and ECW, Paul decided to, in his words, "crucify his ten year friendship" with ECW Originals, RVD, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Sabu and all the rest.
Instead,Paul feels he can build the new ECW around former WWE Superstars who will drink his Kool Aid and fall under his spell of never ending brainwashing BS. If Paul Heyman had his way, there would not be a single ECW Original in the new ECW which would be the equivalent of ESPN buying the name "X Games" and slapping it on ping-pong and badminton.
In fact, I am surprised that Heyman has not tried to replace me and Tazz with a couple of WWE pretty boy announcers like Todd Grisham and Josh Mathews. I use the word "tried" because even if Paul fires us both (which he certainly has the authority to do), Tazz and I will leave swinging on live global television.
In fact, Paul may fire me just for writing this column and to that I say...so what? I was out of pro wrestling for five years and thus, have proven that I can get another job. What I cannot get is another conscience and for that reason alone, Paul Heyman IS NOT my MEP this week!
For the story of my first meeting with the mad scientist, Paul Heyman, check out ECW.com's new feature, the Styles Files.