Paul Heyman quotes-in character & out
From various Raw is War shows, 1997,
during the ECW/Jerry Lawler invasion angle
"Hey McMahon, I've gotta tell you something. You impress me as an announcer. If this WWF thing does not work out for you, we could actually give you a job in ECW" (Paul to then Raw announcer Vince McMahon)
"You said anyone can get extreme. I doubt very seriously that the court jester sitting next to you could ever be extreme." (Paul to Vince, referring to Jerry "the King" Lawler)
"You know, Lawler, being extreme I have no problem sniffing your jock, but I'm afraid you might like it!" (Paul to Jerry "the King" Lawler)
"Thank you very much. You know what, you have more cahones than anyone ever gave you credit for." (Paul to Vince, for letting ECW go on Raw)
Paul's comments on my own personal favorite wrestler, Chris Benoit
" 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." (Response (ECW era) to a Prodigy chat question of what wrestler he would like to have from either WWF or WCW.) (source:extremenet)
<== Paul and his Clients revel in a beat down of Benoit on SmackDown!
"In my opinion, probably the most technically gifted performer in the industry today. All of his offense is so punishing and so physical. To me, everything he does is so believable. I'm a huge fan of his." (WWE Raw Magazine, July 2001)
Various quotes from a two-part interview in WWE Raw Magazine,
June and July 2001
"When they told me they wanted me to sit in the commentator's chair, I didn't believe it. I hadn't been a commentator since October 1991, when I was in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). And I just couldn't imagine why anyone would want to put a fat, bald, 35-year old Jew on the air. It didn't make sense to me...until 8:57 p.m. when they sent me out to the ring." (Talking about replacing Jerry Lawler on Raw is War)
"I would say that it was smart business on everybody's part to be influenced by us, and study what we were doing right and incorporate it into their own product. We had something very, very special, and it was working. It was creating a situation where we had the most rabidly loyal fan base that many in this industry ever saw." (Speaking of whether ECW attitude influenced the WWE attitude)
"I never really thought about it. I've never taken the time to sit down and wonder what comes next. I see TV executives do that all the time, and I hate their guts for it because they'll make decisions that are based on future political ramifications instead of what's right for their organization. I just wanted to put 100 percent into whatever I did. So I never really thought that I would end up here. It's been close several times throughout my career. But for one reason or another, I always ended up doing something else... I'm glad I had a chance to grow up outside the structure of the WWF (WWE) because it enables me, at 35, to bring an old man's experience but a young man's enthusiasm to the table." (As to whether or not he believed in his heart he would be in the WWE at some point)
"I like lesbians, and there was no reason not to do it...I never saw anything wrong in doing a female/female love interest story...And had the networks not stepped in and flipped out to the extent they did, there could have been a year-long story to tell...They wouldn't air it. MSG in New York wouldn't air it. And we lost networks over that. We lost about one-third of our television syndication based on that one incident. We were proud -- all we had to do was apologize for it, but I wouldn't apologize. I felt no need to apologize. I don't see anything wrong with it. I am a big supporter of gay and lesbian rights. And I think that they should be represented as much in a reality-based television show as heterosexual relationships are. I'm clearly very content being heterosexual. But I bear no malice for, no resentment of, nor do I have a phobia regarding a non-heterosexual relationship on a wrestling program." (Response to a question about the 1996 kiss between Beulah and Kimona in ECW and the networks' response)
"It's a reality that, in this world, things don't always go your way. To cry over things isn't going to help the situation or improve it. You can only change the system from within. Any true rebel will tell you that. You have to infiltrate the system and demonstrate to those on the outside why a change is needed." (Personal note: as someone who has been labeled a "rebel" before, I can say this is a quote to LIVE by)
"I don't know if I did. I didn't pay myself for seven years. I didn't take a paycheck from ECW. So you know, you lead by example. It's one thing if I was building mansions, driving around in Ferraris and taking phone calls on my yacht, and then said, "Wow, you know, we fell behind with your paycheck." But when I'm not taking one myself, it's a little difficult to criticize me. What I did was a labor of love and a love of labor, so it negated the criticism. Because if we did have the money, we would have paid the talent. We never tried to cut salaries and renegotiate contracts. We were a very employee-friendly organization. We did our best." (Response to how he balanced his love for the business with the realities of being a businessman, including not paying the boys)
"No, because none of us sold out. We hung on longer than it was advisable for us to hang on. I don't see where any of our values or ethics were compromised...I have no fear that I have lessened the body of work that we accomplished in seven years as the rebels, renegades, and the counter-revolutionaries." (As to whether or not he felt like he sold out by joining the WWE)
"(laughs) Wow, I've never thought about it. I hope I'll be remembered as a lot thinner and a lot better looking than I am right now." (As to how he thought "Paul Heyman" would be remembered)
His Comments on Sept. 11th
The following was from a phone interview with Paul by WWF.com on September 12, 2001. He had gotten only 2 hours of sleep after being up until 6AM watching the news of the events of Sept. 11th., which ironically, is also his birthday. (source: wwf.com)
was a meeting (Tuesday) morning here in Houston, at 8:30 local time.
I was walking into the meeting, the TV was on and everybody was just staring
with their jaws dropped. The trade centers were on fire. The second plane had
just hit a few minutes earlier and the graphic came up at the bottom of the
screen that said plane crashed into Pentagon moments ago. I thought I was
looking at the Pentagon. Someone else in the room said to me, 'I bet this is a
site you never thought you'd see.' And I didn't answer because it was such a
horrific scene on the television. He said, 'Can you believe that? Two planes 18
minutes apart slamming into both towers."
"As I looked back onto the TV, the picture had changed to a shot from across the river -- probably Bayonne, maybe Jersey City -- and you could see the entire southern end of the island of Manhattan, with this smoke just pouring over the southern tip. At that moment I realized, "Oh my God, they slammed two planes into the World Trade Center.' Like any New Yorker, you're first instinct is, 'Holy cow, it's gonna take a while to fix that.' I never imagined that the skyline of that city could ever be altered to such a dramatic degree. We just were staring in disbelief."
"My phone just started ringing off the hook from different people (saying), 'Turn on the news! Turn on the news! Oh my God, are you watching this?' Including friends who have apartments with a view of the towers, and very good friends of mine with offices of Jersey City who also have a clear shot of the World Trade Center and actually saw the second plane crash in into the second building. It was just memorizing. And as a New Yorker, to me, I was overwhelmed by emotion that I cannot properly convey, even now almost 36 hours later. It is unfathomable as a New Yorker to imagine the New York skyline without the World Trade Center. Yet, as a New Yorker, you are bred to deal with even harsh reality, and several people that I know -- especially some cops who are friends of mine who I spoke to last night -- have a eerie
"When there would be pictures of the towers put up before the incident - even just a few hours after -- it felt like I was looking at something from ages ago. Because for some reason New Yorkers have the uncanny ability to understand that when something like this happens, you have to accept it. New Yorkers try their best to avoid the instinct of denying it to yourself. We immediately say, 'This is what's happened. What do we do next?'"
"I spent the better part on the phone last night, and exchanging e-mails with people who I've known from many, many years in New York City. There's a real feeling of personal loss in New York -- a more-than-numbing feeling. It's not the materialistic loss of these magnificent buildings. It is the compassion and the traumatic feeling that so many New Yorkers feel today. The first building was hit and so many cops and firefighters were there so quickly. It was only 18 minutes between the hits, and they were in the buildings rescuing people when the second plane hit. How many police and firefighters lost their lives? How many people volunteered their blood? How many people are down on the southern tip of New York City -- volunteer workers -- to help search for survivors and dig through the rubble? How proud people who are New Yorkers are now, of their fellow New Yorkers."
"The most telling statement that I can repeat was around 5:30 this morning when a friend of mine -- a police sergeant in upper Manhattan who I've known for many years; we used to hang out at the China Club in his precinct. I said, 'How are you doing? I'm sorry for the loss of your fellow officers.' He was distraught at the loss, and also at the devastation of not being able to go down there. He said to me, 'Never before in my life have I been so proud to be a New Yorkers as I am today.'"
"There is a feeling of not only compassion, but empathy for people who were forced to jump, and who lost their family members in the collapse of the buildings. And most of all for the rescue workers and the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives and yet also continued even under the collapse of the second tower to go in when they knew friends and coworkers had lost their lives. And they're still looking for survivors -- another sign of life, something -- to save another life, to do something about a situation about which we had no control."
"It was just so surreal. So f***ing surreal."
Various quotes from an interview done by Phil Speer of WWE.com on November 14, 2003
"Iím still at the deflowering the virgin stage. Itís still a novelty for me to be back, and Iím sure itís still a novelty for a lot of people here. I havenít settled in yet, so I really canít be a good judge of how it feels." (As to how it feels to be back on TV)
"I really havenít gotten on a scale. The reason for it is, I can eat better when Iím home. I feel better with less weight. The way I did it was by having sex with my girlfriend. Sheís a remarkably sexual woman, and she provides me with as much exercise as I could ever get in the gym." (As to how much weight he has lost and the reason for it)
"Iím not on it. I am a consultant, which means I give them advice in advance of and after the shows." (As to his status as it relates to the WWE Creative Team)
"Iím flattered by the recognition of my abrasiveness. Iím blunt. In an industry where diplomacy carries as much weight as the context and content of your suggestions, I choose to be blunt, and willing to suffer the consequences based on that." (As to the comment that he has no hesitancy in stating his opinion and standing up for what he believes in, even if it goes against what others want)
"Because Iím me. I am who I am, flaws and all. And Iím not apologetic for who I am, and Iím not going to be. Itís just not me. I have no desire in life to be unhappy, and I can only be happy if I accept myself for who I am and what I am, strengths and weaknesses. Iíd rather be held in contempt for who I am than loved for who I am not. Iím me. I have opinions. I welcome anybody else with differing opinions to engage in discussion with me. I donít shy away from it. I actually enjoy it. I learn from it. I think itís a learning experience and can be for the other person as well. Some people donít like that attitude. I understand that; Iím not even saying I disagree. But I know in my heart that the only way for me to contribute to this maximum degree that Iím able to, and learn from there, is to do it bluntly and do it the way I know how. Some people donít like that, and some people appreciate it. Iím not saying either oneís right. And I donít spent my life worrying about their opinions either, which I think also is against the industry standard. Because I guess youíre supposed to worry what everybody thinks, and I couldnít care less. I care about the opinion of the reflection in the mirror, and if I can look at myself, then Iím OK with it. " (As to why everyone seems to have a strong opinion of him, positive OR negative)
"Because Iím a fan. Because I view this industry as an art form, and I have a deep appreciation for that art form because Iím not physically able and never have been and never will be physically able to do what they do in the ring. And even if I was physically able, I donít think I have the balls to attempt it. Itís so dangerous. Itís so hard. Itís so intricate. Itís so difficult. Itís so taxing. I couldnít do it. And I have enormous respect and admiration for those who do, let alone do it well. So I look at someone who is in this industry, to me, itís two double assessments. One, and most importantly, what are this personís weaknesses, and how do we hide them? Two, what are his or her strengths, and how do we accentuate them? I think if you go along the pattern of accentuating those strengths and hiding those weaknesses, you will find that people will emotionally invest in a character, and the next thing you know, you have a star on your hands. I donít have any magic formula. Itís not that I see things more clearly than anybody else. I just appreciate the magic that they have the unique ability to bring, and Iím conscious of the fact that they are human and therefore imperfect. And if Iím going to present them in a larger-than-life situation or presentation or scenario, Iím going to hide their weaknesses because otherwise thereís no reason to believe in them. " (As to why he thinks he has had a lot of success in creating stars)
Iím surprised Iím still here. I am waiting in anxious anticipation for the
moment where enough people here realize, 'Oh, heís back? My God, get rid of
him. We didnít want him back here.' Iím surprised Iím still here."
(As to how he foresees
his long-term future in the WWE)
Random Paul Quotes
"I loved it. I loved every moment of it. I love the fact that every moment that that match went on, the people were getting more and more into it. When the people are that into it, and they want it so bad, there's such a euphoria to it. It's orgasmic. It's better than sex - at least the sex I've had." (Comments on the Rob Van Dam vs. Brock Lesnar match at the Vengence PPV 2002--this even after he got his butt kicked by referee Charles Robinson after the match. Source: Article by Seth Mates, wwe.com)
"For one thing, Iím not qualified to do this. For another thing, I donít have the balls these guys have. Itís so easy to take what these guys do for granted. People donít realize just how dangerous this business really is. Something as simple as a backdrop, if you land on your head just a little you can break your neck...Itís an exceedingly dangerous business, but these guys make it look easy. Tonight was a testament to their work ethic and a testament to their courage. It takes a lot of courage to do what they do so regularly." (Comments after he and Brock Lesnar tag-teamed against the Hardy Boyz at the Judgment Day 2002 PPV.)
took 10 years for people in this business to kill that from their
comment referring to a 1992 WCW match vs. Madusa, the last time he had competed
in the ring prior to Judgment Day 2002. Source for last two quotes:
Article originally posted on wwe.com)