'WWE Vintage’ TV Report #284 – November 10th, 2013
Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.
By Stephen Lyon.
This week's theme: The Paul Heyman Story - In his own words. Today's show covered the career of Paul Heyman, in AWA, WCW, ECW and WWE, with Heyman himself talking viewers through his career. Matches featured included: The Original Midnight Express vs the Midnight Express (NWA Main Event, January 1989); Sting vs Ravishing Rick Rude for the WCW U.S. title (WCW Clash of the Champions 17, November 1991); Larry Zbyszko vs Stunning Steve Austin (WCW Saturday Night, May 1992); and Cactus Jack vs Sabu (ECW Hostile City Showdown, June 1994).
Plus the show featured tons of classic Paul E. Dangerously promos and video packages from his career, as well as a focus on all the various wrestlers he has managed over the years. Heyman was somewhat in-character throughout the show, giving his thoughts on the various moments of his career as he told his story, part in-character, part-shooting about his career.
This was a fantastic show that could have been the basis of a DVD. Probably the best WWE Vintage show to date.
Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund & Renee Young. Full marks to the production team for getting rid of the desk, as Okerlund and Young are now simply sat on chairs on the set. Young had a very short dress on, with plenty of leg on show.
Okerlund and Young announced that Paul Heyman would be telling his story in his own words, and linked to a split screen, where Heyman was situated in a locker room. Heyman stated he had always been ready for the big time, detailing how he took photographs at MSG for Vince McMahon Sr when he was a teenager and that he was on national tv at age 21 as a manager. He said he succeeded because he was new, different, contemporary and vintage.
A video package aired of classic Paul E. Dangerously in the AWA in the late 1980s, huge cell phone at hand. Comments on Heyman aired from Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon. Jerry put Heyman over as being the master at being annoying, whilst Vince called Heyman 'a tremendous talent'. They showed clips of him managing three WWE singles champions, Brock Lesnar, Big Show and Kurt Angle. Surprisingly no mention of CM Punk.
A November 1988 promo from NWA tv aired, with Dangerously (accompanied by Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey - the Original Midnight Express) being interviewed by Bob Caudle at ringside. Dangerously cut a great promo about getting rid of Jim Cornette from the NWA, referring to the beating his boys had given Cornette a few weeks earlier. Dangerously said that Cornette's great 5 year run had come to an end.
1) The Original Midnight Express (w/Paul E. Dangerously in their corner) defeated the Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette in their corner). This match aired on the January 21st, 1989 edition of 'NWA Main Event', taped at the Omni, Atlanta, Georgia on January 1st, 1989. Sole announcer for this match was Jim Ross. Cornette was at ringside, wearing a shirt that read 'Paul E. Sucks' on the back. Only brief highlights of this match aired, with JC's Midnights in control. Stan Lane laid out Condrey with a sidekick and Bobby Eaton dropped a top rope elbow on him. Lane and Eaton combined to bulldog Randy Rose and Eaton had Rose pinned, only for the referee to be distracted by Condrey. Dangerously tried to nail Eaton with the phone, only for Cornette to stop him, and chase Paul E. around the ringside area. In meantime, Condrey K.O.'d Eaton with a foreign object and pinned him for the win.
A video package aired on the many wrestlers that were 'Paul Heyman guys' over the years, with Heyman himself giving a brief description of each guy and their attributes. The video featured: Rob Van Dam, CM Punk, Steve Austin, Original Midnight Express, Samoan Swat Team. Dangerous Alliance, Sabu, 9-1-1, Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle.
Footage from a 2013 Heyman sitdown interview aired, in which he put over the Dangerous Alliance as a huge array of talent that never got to achieve their full potential as unit because 'Bill Watts screwed it up'.
Footage then aired from the February 2nd, 1992 edition of 'WCW Worldwide', in which a tuxedo-clad Paul E. Dangerously and an evening gown-clad Madusa hosted the first ever 'Paul E. Awards' in the ring. They brought out each member of the Dangerous Alliance and gave them a trophy. All wore tuxedos apart from Rude, who was in his robe. Stunning Steve Austin was named 'Best TV Wrestler of the Year'. Larry Zbyszko was given the 'Hannibal LechterAward for Sickest Individual' award. Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton were the 'Tag Team of the Year'. Ravishing Rick Rude was given an 'Outstanding Achievement' award.
A 'Danger Zone' interview segment (Paul E.'s interview show) aired, from NWA tv, September 1989. Dangerously vowed to overcome the departure of his tag team Samoan Swat Team and vowed that the year would be his.
More from 2013 Heyman - Paul told the story of how the Dangerous Alliance came into being - that he had been suspended from his role as color commentator alongside Jim Ross on WCW tv, and brought back as the manager of newly signed Rick Rude, to feud with Sting. Heyman said someone in creative came up with the idea of Heyman leading an updated version of the Horseman, so Sting could battle the numbers game. And thus, the Dangerous Alliance was born.
2) Ravishing Rick Rude (w/Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa in his corner) defeated Sting to win the WCW U.S. title. This match took place at the 'WCW Clash of the Champions 17' live TBS special, taped in Savannah, Georgia on November 19th, 1991. Sting had been ambushed by Lex Luger earlier in the show and sent to the hospital. Rude and Dangerously were in the ring, about to win Sting's U.S. title via forfeit, when Sting showed up, driving an ambulance back to the arena and hobbling to the ring to a big crowd reaction. Rude jumped him in the aisle way and worked over Sting's injured knee. Eventually, after interference from Dangerously, Rude rolled up Sting for the pin. Afterwards, a post match promo from Rude, Dangerously and Madusa aired, in which they gloated about their win.
A 'Did You Know?' graphic noted Heyman had been a NYC club promoter at the age of 19.
A clip from the May 30th, 1992 edition of WCW Saturday Night aired, in which Dangerously blamed Larry Zbyszko for the recent problems with the Dangerous Alliance, notably the faction losing a War Games match against Sting's Squadron at the Wrestle War '92 ppv. Dangerously fired Zbyszko from the group, calling him trash and ordering him to face Steve Austin. Zbyszko slapped Dangerously, but was jumped by Austin, leading into the next match straight away.
3) Stunning Steve Austin (w/Paul E. Dangerously in his corner) defeated Larry Zbyszko. This match aired on the May 30th, 1992 edition of 'WCW Saturday Night', taped in Norfolk, Virginia the previous night. Sole announcer for this match was Jim Ross. The pair brawled at ringside. Zbyszko was preoccupied with Dangerously and brought him into the ring. Zbyszko gave Austin a piledriver, but the referee was distracted by Dangerously. This allowed Bobby Eaton to run in and deliver a knee drop off the top rope to Zbyszko, allowing Austin to then score the pinfall win.
2013 Heyman then declared that he was the reason for the sports entertainment boom in the late 1990s, citing how his ECW promotion was the basis for the WWE Attitude concept. A video aired on the wilder antics of ECW, as talking heads Tommy Dreamer, Chris Jericho, Stevie Richards, former ECW tv producer Ron Buffone, Eric Bischoff, Vince McMahon and Mick Foley all put over the success of ECW. All of these comments made were from several years.
4) Sabu (w/Paul E. Dangerously & 9-1-1 in his corner) defeated Cactus Jack. This match took place as part of the 'ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994’ card, taking place at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 24th, 1994. Sole announcer for this match was Joey Styles. Dangerously helped Sabu, holding a chair in place over Cactus for Sabu to jump into. Highlight of the bout saw Sabu deliver a moonsault off the ring apron, over the guardrail and putting Cactus through a table, which was situated in the crowd. Finish of the bout saw Dangerously nail Cactus in the head with a cell phone shot, leading to Sabu scoring the pinfall win.
Show closed with 2013 Heyman sharing his philosophy for life - that success cannot be achieved if there is a fear of failure. He cited how he'd failed numerous times, but always picked himself up and tried again, and that it made him smarter and hungrier.
Closing thoughts: Fantastic show. Not so much the matches, but the whole concept of the show, how it was put together, the use of Paul Heyman in telling his career story and the use of the clips. It focused mainly on his career up until 2001, before he joined WWE, but his thoughts on his days in WCW and ECW were great. Some of the classic promos he delivered were terrific and really emphasised that Paul Heyman truly is a Hall of Fame talent.
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1) The Original Midnight Express (w/Paul E. Dangerously in their corner) defeated the Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette in their corner) ('NWA Main Event' - Omni, Atlanta, Georgia: taped on 01/01/89, aired on 21/01/89).
2) Ravishing Rick Rude (w/Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa in his corner) defeated Sting to win the WCW U.S. title ('WCW Clash of the Champions 17' live TBS special - Savannah, Georgia: 19/11/91).
3) Stunning Steve Austin (w/Paul E. Dangerously in his corner) defeated Larry Zbyszko ('WCW Saturday Night' - Norfolk, Virginia: taped on 29/05/92, aired on 30/05/92).
4) Sabu (w/Paul E. Dangerously & 9-1-1 in his corner) defeated Cactus Jack ('ECW Hostile City Showdown 1994’ – ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 24/06/94).
Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!
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Until next week, have a good week.
St Helens, England, U.K.