In a major announcement made by WWE, Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff have been appointed as the Executive Directors of WWE Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live, respectively.
Longtime wrestling fans are no strangers to Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff. Heyman ran ECW, the promotion that made waves during the Attitude Era for being extremely violent and having no rules whatsoever during matches. The style was embraced by both WWE and WCW soon after. Bischoff is known for defeating Vince McMahon in a rating war for 83 straight weeks during the Monday Night Wars. Both went on to become authority figures in WWE. Here, we'll look at 5 iconic and memorable moments involving Heyman and Bischoff.
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#5 SmackDown bags Triple H in the 2004 WWE Draft Lottery
The 2004 WWE Draft Lottery was one for the ages, as WrestleMania 20 was just done and dusted with, and the draft was bound to have severe implications on the careers of several Superstars. As both Heyman and Bischoff stood on the ramp and proceeded with revealing the names of the drafted Superstars, Heyman picked a card that left Eric Bischoff in a state of shock and the Raw locker room in a mood of celebration. Triple H, Ric Flair, and Batista couldn't believe what they had just seen.
Heyman revealed that SmackDown had bagged Triple H in the Lottery, as a dumbfounded Bischoff watched in horror. Unfortunately for Heyman, Triple H was drafted back to Raw after he failed to capture the WWE Title from Eddie Guerrero.
#4 Eric Bischoff's ECW funeral
Back in 2005, Eric Bischoff held a service on Monday Night Raw, in memory of ECW, the promotion that Paul Heyman once used to run. Bischoff stated that he was the one responsible for the death of ECW, as he took all of the promotion's major Superstars, which contributed towards the company losing popularity.
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Vince McMahon interrupted Bischoff and made it known to him that he killed his company, WCW, back in 2001. Vince invited Paul Heyman out, who proceeded to list the accomplishments of a bunch of ECW Superstars like Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, and Tommy Dreamer. Heyman went on to invite Bischoff and the entire Raw locker room to the Hammerstein Ballroom for the upcoming ECW One Night Stand PPV. He proceeded to set fire to the round wreath that was set up by Bischoff, as the Raw GM watched in worry.
#3 Heyman quits
Another moment that longtime fans remember from the WWE Draft Lottery in 2004 was when Paul Heyman quit on the spot when he learned that he was going to be serving Eric Bischoff. Heyman couldn't stand the smirk on Eric Bischoff's face when Bischoff saw the name on the card. He screamed at Bischoff to reveal the name, and watched in terror as the Raw GM uttered the words: "Paul Heyman"!
As the SmackDown locker room celebrated Heyman's draft, the former SmackDown GM made it clear that he wasn't going to go ahead with this. Heyman looked at Bischoff's face, and quit on the spot after hurling profanities on his longtime nemesis. Heyman came back to SmackDown, where he managed The Dudley Boyz for a short period of time. He later became the head booker of OVW, where his friendship with CM Punk was formed.
#2 Heyman gets the last laugh at ECW One Night Stand
Eric Bischoff showed up at the first-ever ECW One Night Stand PPV in 2005, along with a bunch of WWE heels, including JBL, Kurt Angle, and Edge. During the PPV, Paul Heyman hit the ring and let his emotions run wild, which seemed to have been burning inside him for a long while.
Heyman went off on Bischoff and company, who looked down upon the former ECW owner from the high-level seats. Bischoff turned his back on Heyman during the promo, but he didn't have the last laugh. At the end of the PPV, the ECW guys made short work of WWE's heels and Bischoff was hit with a series of finishing maneuvers. Heyman, Steve Austin, and a bunch of ECW Superstars celebrated to end the PPV on a high note.
#1 Austin stuns both Heyman and Bischoff
This is widely regarded by many as one of the most poetic moments in wrestling history.
The backdrop: As the Royal Rumble match was about to begin, Eric Bischoff came out to the ring and began demonizing Paul Heyman, who was the GM of SmackDown at the time. Bischoff promised that a Raw Superstar was going to win the free-for-all, as the roster was superior to the blue show in every way.
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The rant didn't last long as Paul Heyman confronted Bischoff in the ring. Without saying a word, Heyman launched an attack on Bischoff. To a huge chorus of cheers, Austin hit the ring and stunned Bischoff. He wasn't finished though, as The Rattlesnake hit another Stunner on Heyman, and left the ring to kick off the match.
This was an incredibly fitting moment. Just before the most important match of the year, that was going to decide the main event of a milestone WrestleMania event, two of Vince McMahon's biggest former rivals were put down by the wrestler who had helped McMahon fend them off during the Attitude Era.