A trailblazing promoter. A shrewd marketer. A master of the mic. A captivating advocate. A walrus. Paul Heyman has had various monikers throughout his 33-year career.
These days, Paul Heyman is busy transitioning into his role as the Executive Director of Raw. Whatever the job he’s entrusted with - and this is beyond any considerable doubt - Paul Heyman is one the greatest minds operating in the wrestling business.
Paul Heyman? He’s a genius! That’s what most people from the industry would tell you. Some of his former ECW employees may call him financially reckless, but Paul E Dangerously’s contributions to revolutionizing pro wrestling overshadow the mistakes he’s made.
Beyond everything he’s done in the constantly evolving world of sports entertainment, Heyman will be remembered as one the greatest managers of all time. Some may even argue that he’s the undisputed GOAT. There are arguments to support that claim.
Paul Heyman has, directly and indirectly, influenced the careers of many successful superstars. Brock Lesnar would have been a goofy version of Ryback without the support of Paul Heyman. There have been, of course, many hits and misses, yet, being a Paul Heyman Guy is equivalent to getting a monster push.
While there have been many stars whose success is synonymous with Paul Heyman, there are a handful of recognized Superstars who were also under the tutelage of the great man during their careers. The problem is that those moments are hardly remembered.
This slider is dedicated to those forgotten Paul Heyman guys:
The Stinkface. The flinching reaction to Rikishi's massive tush slamming into someone's face made us all sympathize with the Superstars who were on the receiving end.
Rikishi, for all his comedic brilliance, is a WWE Hall of Famer who began his wrestling career in 1985 as a ruthless Samoan. Rikishi, known by his real name Solofa Fatu Jr., teamed up with his cousin Samula Anoaʻi and formed The Samoan Swat Team (SST). Samu and Fatu built their rep by working for Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council, and Fritz Von Erich's World Class Championship Wrestling.
Known for their raw savagery, the SST was picked up by National Wrestling Alliance in 1989 and were assigned to Paul Heyman. Heyman was previously the manager of The Original Midnight Express - consisting of Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose - who left the Jim Crockett Promotion midway through their feud with the new Midnight Express, Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton.
Under the management of Paul Heyman, the Samoan Swat Team came in as replacements and continued the angle with Eaton and Lane. While Paul Heyman didn't remain their manager for long as he was gradually given another client to manage later on in 1989, SST enjoyed a decent amount of success during the alliance with Heyman.
The tag team would get disbanded in the time to come with Rikishi going on to become a popular singles superstar in the WWE.