QUICK QUOTES: Paul Heyman Recalls ECW’s First Pay-Per-View 20 Years Later

Paul Heyman with Jim Ross

Paul Heyman joined Busted Open with Dave LaGreca and Bully Ray (Bubba Ray Dudley) 20 years after ECW’s very first PPV Barely Legal. Here are some of the topics they discussed:

Looking back on the show on its 20 year anniversary:

“Twenty years ago is a long time. And I feel like I’ve lived many lives. And in that way, I’m a very, very blessed man. Just to pull that off and to be a part of it, with all humility, and at 31-years-old, it was the old thing where they say ‘They’ll never be able to take it away from you.’”

Bully Ray noted Heyman doesn’t like speaking about ECW anymore. It’s a part of his past, and now he has a lot of great things going on. He then credited him with creating something special, and how people still chant for the company today. Heyman responded to those kind words:

“It has a lot to do with constantly being inspired by those around me, and take some credit for yourself. Tell the story. You broke your ankle first move of the match, and continued on in the opening match of the show, because that sets the pace for the rest of the event. You broke your ankle and continued on, and not against a couple of guys that you can slack off against. You’re in there with The Eliminators, at the top of their game, and at their most brutal and, at their stiffest. And yet, you continued on, took the finish and everything else, so that the rest of the show would go on without a hitch. And that work ethic of the people that were around me 24/7, 365, that was the mindset, that was the sacrifice being made.

How Heyman was able to keep Sabu and Taz apart for over a year:

“In real-life it was a lot harder keeping them apart, (the feed cut out for a couple seconds) they wanted at each other. It was just the world’s greatest public display of foreplay, and it was foreplay that was quite satisfying. If you watch the first episode of the TV series Dallas with Larry Hagman, Patrik Duffy, the first episode, the first two seasons until J.R. got shot, were all self-inclusive but they all ended with a cliffhanger, so they always left you wanting more, but each episode told an individual story that was self-inclusive.

And in the art, or arc, of storytelling, that’s where we came up with all the things with Sabu and Taz, that every week could tell a story, but the story continued and you knew ultimately these two were going to have to fight. To have a babyface like Sabu never answer the challenge. Never, ever, ever answer the challenge, and to have a heel like Taz tell a story in which you’re sitting there thinking ‘You know what? There’s merit to his argument. I understand why the guy is so bitter. I can see what makes this character so angry’, was something that hadn’t been done before with the babyface in the wrong and he’s not answering the challenge, and the heel is in the right.”

To listen to the interview in its entirety, click here.

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