Sabu says Paul Heyman was responsible for his omission from the WWE vs. WCW/ECW Invasion storyline in 2001.
In 1999, Sabu held a secret meeting with WCW officials J.J. Dillon and Kevin Sullivan in Atlanta, Georgia. Heyman, ECW’s former owner, allegedly found out about the discussions and threatened to sue WCW if they stole his talent.
Speaking to WSI’s James Romero, Sabu said WWE Chairman Vince McMahon put Heyman in charge of acquiring ECW stars for the Invasion angle. For that reason, the two-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion was not included in the storyline.
“No [nobody reached out in 2001], I was already on bad terms with Paul at the time,” Sabu said. “Vince was talking to Paul [to recruit former ECW stars], he wasn’t talking to me. He [Heyman] just blocked me. I don’t blame him. I don’t have hard feelings for him anymore. I don’t want to be mad.” [2:24-2:43]
Sabu was one of ECW’s biggest attractions between 1993 and 2000. The high-risk performer later worked for WWE between 2006 and 2007 as part of the revamped ECW brand.
Why Sabu wanted to stop working for Paul Heyman in 1999
From Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin and Triple H, many wrestlers appeared in more than one promotion throughout the 1990s. Sabu briefly wrestled for WWE and WCW in 1993 and 1995, respectively, but spent most of the decade in ECW and overseas in Japan.
Contrary to what Paul Heyman might have thought, Sabu clarified that he intended to return to ECW if he joined WCW in 1999:
“I was doing it underhandedly, of course, but my intentions were to come back stronger than I was. I thought I’d come back a bigger name and I could carry the company better.” [1:14-1:25]
Sabu retired from in-ring competition in 2021 due to a back injury. Heyman recently said that the 57-year-old deserves to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Watch: Here's why Sabu & these 4 superstars once rejected the idea of getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame
Please credit WSI and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.
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