Paul Heyman On ECWís Impact On the Wrestling Industry, Not Regretting His Experience With the Company

Posted By James Walsh on 11/22/21

In a recent interview on Squared Circle Pit, Paul Heyman discussed his experience in ECW, the companyís impact on the wrestling industry, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Paul Heyman on ECWís lack of music licensing and Jimmy Iovine investing in ECW: ďAn investor in ECW, in our very, very last days, was Jimmy Iovine. The most powerful man in the music [industry] of the past 30-40 years. He sold Beats to Apple for $3.2 billion. At the time, Jimmy was the Co-Chairman of Universal Music Group, which was Geffen, A&M, and Interscope. Jimmy was a fan of ours because he started a rebel music label called Interscope and disrupted the entire music industry. So he understood the struggles of ECW. Our only exposure besides when we did some co-promotion with WWE and then WWF on USA Network was after we were off TNN, we would get these little snippets on Jimmy and Dougís Farm Club, which was on USA Network, because Jimmy Iovine was trying to expose ECW Ė again, in our very last days Ė not just to his audience but also to the USA Network. We were negotiating with Stephen Chao, the President and at the time, the Charmain of USA, Barry Diller.Ē

On his experience in ECW: ďIt was seven and a half years of stress. I mean, it was also, I canít say the best time of my life because, to me, the best time of my life is tomorrow, thatís just the way I view things. I donít regret a single day of it. It was a seven-and-a-half-year struggle to survive. Thereís a certain adrenaline rush to that that you just canít duplicate.Ē

On ECWís impact on the wrestling industry: ďWe disrupted the game. I mean, we were a cause. We werenít a business, we were a cause. Sometimes, the collection agencies and the lawyers and the need to pay bills will catch up to you. We were juggling those chainsaws for seven and a half years. Itís an interesting idea for people to say, ĎWell, itís an interesting business model. You made people drink the Kool-Aid, you made people buy into the cause.í No, we were the cause. If anybody drank the Kool-Aid, I probably drank the Kool-Aid more than anybody or certainly as much as anybody. We were a cause and I canít recommend it as a business model for most other people. I think Bubba Ray Dudley says it best, we were Napster. We werenít meant to last. We were meant to completely change the game. We were meant to disrupt the industry and we were meant to go away and live on as martyrs. Thatís the story of Napster and whether fortunately, or unfortunately, thatís the story of ECW.Ē