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Paul Heyman on a never-was 1992 Heenan Family angle, initial Punk vs. Lesnar plan

Paul Heyman

Submitted by Stephen Lyon from the Comedy Store in Manchester, UK

From the second night of Paul Heyman's One Man Show UK tour after an eventful night one:

The place was sold out in advance (500 fans), marking the second sold -out capacity crowd in a row on this tour after the first night in London's York Hall Tuesday. The venue has hosted numerous wrestling 'one man shows' over the years and this was the first time the place has been sold out which includes both Jim Ross & Jim Cornette's one-man shows.

The show was awesome. Paul was fantastic, offering numerous anecdotes and tales from his career, often speaking from his heart, and reflecting back on events, which is something you really don't see him do in public as he's such a forward thinking person. The show was very well structured by the Inside The Ropes crew with Heyman's career split up into the early years, the WCW years, the ECW years, the WWF/WWE years, and the Advocate years.

As each section of the show was entered, a well done video package from each of those time periods was shown on the big screen.

Amongst the highlights of Heyman's anecdotes/responses to fans questions were:

- Paul revealed that he had an opportunity to go to WWF in early 1992 when his WCW contract was expiring.

The offer pitched to him by WWF was to come in as Bobby Heenan's protege, billed as 'Executive Vice President of the Heenan Family'. After a run with Heenan, the idea pitched was Heyman would steal the 'Heenan Family' from him, turning it into the 'Heyman Family', turning Bobby Heenan babyface with Heenan retiring from managing to become an announcer. I'm not sure about these timelines as Heenan had already retired as a manager in summer 1991 to focus on announcing, but this is what Heyman said.

Heyman was planning on taking  up the WWF offer when then-WCW boss Kip Allen Frey asked Heyman what it would take to get him to stay. Heyman replied, "Give me Turner Broadcasting employee status" and to Heyman's surprise, Frey obliged, resulting in Heyman staying in WCW.

- Paul mentioned how the 1992 War Games match in WCW (Sting's Squadron vs Dangerous Alliance) was his favourite match in his WCW career.

He told a very funny story about Madusa climbing the cage during the match and Rick Rude looking upwards at her. During the match, Paul asked Rude what he was doing, and Rude replied that he was trying to see if Madusa was wearing any panties.

- On Cesaro:

In response to a fan's question regarding which star today deserves a much bigger spot, without hesitation, Paul replied Cesaro and put him over huge. He said Cesaro connects with everyone expect the people in the WWE front office and he cannot understand why.

On ECW stars:

- He also mentioned past stars, stating Sabu should have been bigger than he was until injuries and drugs took their toll. Ditto Shane Douglas. Heyman put over Raven as a genius (Scott Levy also wrote the foreword for the one man show program), and said Raven & Douglas should never have left ECW when they were right on the cusp of something big.

Other questions:

- He talked booking philosophies, specifically the 'Smackdown Six' in 2002/2003, and described in fascinating fashion how he sought to elevate wrestlers, then using the newly elevated main eventers to make other wrestlers. It was simple booking stuff that's bafflingly not done very often anymore. He also mentioned how 'shoot promos' should have a storyline connection, otherwise they become 'Russo territory' and are worthless.

- Out of respect to Vince, he wouldn't reveal what happened between he and McMahon on Vince's plane in 2006 following the disastrous December to Dismember show that led to Heyman leaving the company other than to imply that there was a very bad argument with a lot of things said that Vince didn't like.

- He talked about how Vince approached him to manage CM Punk in 2012, and how the plan was presented straight away that Lesnar vs Punk was to be the ultimate destination.

- Interestingly, Paul said he and Lesnar approached Vince just before the Lesnar vs Punk match at Summerslam in August 2013 and suggested stretching out the Lesnar/Punk feud until Wrestlemania 30. Vince told them that wasn't what he had in mind, telling them that Undertaker would face Lesnar at the following years Wrestlemania 30 instead.

Heyman said that immediately after that meeting,  he conferred with Lesnar in the car and Lesnar told Heyman (in August 2013 no less) that he would be 'the one in 21 and 1', and that somehow, someway, they'd figure out how Lesnar would wind up ending the streak.  

These are just some of the main parts that I can recall. It won't surprise you that Heyman was tremendous in speaking, hilarious at times, and very interesting at others. For someone who rarely looked back on his career and rarely speaks about his accomplishments in public, he seemed to get a real kick out of it and sharing his thoughts on his past with the fans, as well as answering fans questions.