Top 10 Paul Heyman Guys (Excluding the Beast)
Why am I excluding Brock Lesnar? Here's why: He's not one of the guys, he's Paul Heyman's Beast incarnate. There would be no suspense if Brock was on the list. We all know you can't think Paul Heyman without thinking Brock Lesnar, he would HAVE to be number one, this is in all reality a list of runner up's. From Brock's not so humble debut, to his dominant streak for the remainder of that year, Paul was there. Paul is the ONE behind the ONE in twenty ONE (now twenty two but it does not have nearly the same ring to it) and ONE, not to mention Heyman is the ambassador of Suplex city. The Beast incarnate maybe his longest tenured client and most successful, but this advocate has represented and elevated the careers of numerous wrestlers This list wasn't hard to make, it was hard to rank, leaving me quite torn about some tough decisions. To be a Paul Heyman guy you have to be the best, here are the best of the best. Including promos that could could be considered the best in there is the best in the world.
10. Curtis Axel
Now Curtis Axel did not rise to greatness, he's not "the next big thing." It took every ounce of Paul Heyman's verbal wizardry to make Curtis Axel even relevant, believable as a competitor, and that's just what the moniker "Paul Heyman Guy" gives you, nearly instant credibility. Axel hadn't done a whole hell of a lot since his days in the Nexus as Michael McGillicutty but when he was repackaged as Curits Axel and paired up with Heyman it seemed as if the Universe had finally made room for him, finally kind of almost cared. Paul Heyman and his fellow client Ryback helped Axel gain victories against big names such as Jericho, HHH and John Cena. Axel even won the Intercontinental title under Heyman's leadership. Once he broke away from Paul he began his decent back into obscurity. This proves how Paul's advisement can make or break a superstar. Maybe seeing as Axelmania and the Meta powers have fallen through (It's a shame I found them somewhat entertaining) Curtis Axel can plead to once again be a Paul Heyman guy.
9. The Dudley Boyz
In all honesty I had completely forgotten that Paul Heyman managed the Dudleys at all. Obviously they were forever linked via ECW but drifted apart and made separate careers in WWF/E for themselves. However in 2004 team 3D aligned themselves with Paul Heyman. As their manager he was not content leading them to menial victories, he wanted them to prove themselves as worthwhile Heyman guys, wanted them to make an impact. The choice they made to make their manager happy? Kidnap another manager, Paul Bearer. Was that the brightest idea? No, but the Dudley's weren't exactly known for their brilliant minds (Despite Bubba becoming the runner up in an episode of the weakest link). Though not exactly well thought out it accomplished what Heyman had asked of them, it made an impact, especially on the Dead man himself the Undertaker. What the Dudley's lacked in scheming and foresight Paul Heyman had in spades. He guided the Dudley's through a feud with the phenom in one of their last big pushes at the tail end of their first WWE run. What Paul Heyman did for the Dudley's was continue to remind the audience where they came from, how extreme they were and how dangerous they could be, especially with the right coaching.
As well as being the self proclaimed first lady of wrestling Madusa has the distinction of being the one and for now only Paul Heyman girl. The Dangerous alliance was before my time as a wrestling fan but through the wonders of the internet and the WWE network (Worth every penny of that 9.99) I can educate myself and appreciate the fact that Paul Heyman managed so many talents of different types, heights, strengths and genders at the same time. From what I can tell Madusa's stint in the Dangerous alliance could be viewed one of two ways: Her star didn't shine the brightest, not much more than a glorified valet not to mention she was fired from the alliance. Or if you're ever the optimist you could say she learned a lot from Heyman, she was a key player in quite a few of his dastardly deeds, and she got the last laugh beating him at Clash of champions. Paul Heyman perhaps didn't bring her to new heights but gave her the tools to do it herself. Boy did she learn how to stir up controversy, dumping a belt straight into the trash, that's a sure fire way to grab some attention.
After winning the inaugural Andre the giant memorial battle royal Cesaro dropped Zeb Colter and his overbearing yet impressive mustache to announce himself as a Paul Heyman guy. Paul could realize the talent and star potential in Cesaro even if no one else in the WWE could. A combination of the master of the mic and the master technician in the ring, a match sure to breed success right? Well there was a catch twenty two, before Heyman came around the only people to believe in Cesaro were the fans. Now there was a dilemma, do you cheer for Cesaro because you want to see more of him, you want him to succeed, you want to hold up signs that say Cesaro section? Or do you Boo him because Paul Heyman is a wicked, reprehensible vile entity that taints everyone around him? Maybe I'm over selling it, but yeah Heyman's a bad guy. It ended in an awkward stalemate. This sounds like a failure, why put Cesaro on the list at all? Or at least put him at dead last? Because there are no failures in Paul Heyman's world only opportunities and sheer awesomeness. Paul Heyman can do one thing better, and more importantly louder than anyone else, talk. You can't ignore him, and that certainly helped Cesaro who before that was stuck in a (in my opinion one of the least entertaining from a gimmick point of view) tag team with Jack Swagger. Trust me WITH Jack Swagger is not where you want to be, Cesaro was treading water at that point. Paul Heyman made Cesaro a stand alone Superstar again, allowing him to shine without having to share his small spotlight with other "talent." It got people talking again, remembering what it was they liked, and now missed because one couldn't rightfully cheer for him, about Cesaro. That talking, that rallying of the Cesaro section is what is keeping his career alive, keeping him from being completely overlooked by the WWE. That's not a failure it's a life saver, Paul Heyman put Cesaro in a position to be appreciated by his fans again. That's why he's farther on the list than Axel, Cesaro can stand on his own two feet, but it's Heyman that made sure anyone watched that.
6. Stunning Steve Austin
Steve Austin's career and all who enjoyed it owe a lot to Paul Heyman, who gave the rattlesnake a boost not once but twice . During his tenure in Heyman's brain child ECW the Stone Cold Steve Austin character that shaped an era began to flesh out and thrive. Before all that though, long long ago in a wrestling company far far away lets say Atlanta Georgia, Stunning Steve Austin was part of Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance. How did this benefit Steve Austin? Being Television champion, great. Being Television champ and surrounding yourself with other champions / well established performers? Better. Being chosen for that spot by, even at that point in time, one of the greatest managers in sports entertainment? Even better. The only thing that could have been better . . .er would have been having all those things sans creepy long hair. (But then we wouldn't have had the Hollywood blonds so I guess it was a necessary evil). The Dangerous Alliance was one formed of greed, wrath and Dangerously's desire for revenge but much like he would do with Axel, Paul Heyman's big brain and even bigger mouth cultivated a barely something, to something simply stunning.
5. Rob Van Dam
Much like the Dudley Boyz and Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam's relationship with Paul Heyman goes all the way back to the ECW promotion. Also in similar fashion to the above mentioned superstars once "The whole F'n show" became "Mr. Monday night" his interactions with Heyman were few and far between. Years passed RVD became vastly successful and popular with the fans and Paul Heyman was . . . Paul Heyman over as a heel as one ever could be. The circumstances in which Paul Heyman and RVD connected again was a night of unbelievable events indeed. A night where: Paul Heyman was actually cheered for, Rob Van Dam won the WWE championship (and also ECW championship just cause) and John Cena lost. One of these things would make an event magical, all three made ECW One Night Stand exactly what it sounds like, a once in a life time, stand out event. Paul Heymen threw the viewers back to the time when ECW was new and edgy, and RVD was on top. This aura of nostalgia made RVD wining the championship, Paul Heyman lifting his hand, presenting him with the gold something special. The warm and fuzzy good times didn't last long, Paul Heyman was quick to back stab Rob Van Dam because . . . he's Paul Heyman and that's what he does, but it was fun while it lasted right?
4. Rick Rude
Rick Rude was already very much an established superstar before crossing paths with Paul Heyman so what did he need then Paul E. Dangerously for? A seamless transition from company to company. The Dangerous alliance (I know I keep glorifying this alliance but the star power in that group can't be undersold or lumped together) needed a clear "main guy" and Rick Rude fit the bill. He needed a purpose, and someone to guide him, Paul Heyman and his apparent pantheon of lawyers had the skills to do just that. Any manager / wrestling alliance that could lead to a title victory against WCW's golden child Sting is something to be marveled at. That's exactly what Rick Rude under Heyman's management did, winning the United States Title in clear Heyman fashion. Paul E. Dangerously and Rick Rude made that alliance something powerful, a force to be reckoned with, a breeding ground for himself and his alliance members to dominate the ring. Without the alliance one can't be sure where and how Rick Rude would have slipped into the WCW roster. Paul Heyman and his eye for coattails to ride was right there when Rude needed him.
3. The Big Show
Paul Heyman's run with the Big Show served a dual purpose, because that's just how crafty of a guy Heyman is. It led to his current client winning the WWE Title and breaking an impressive streak as well as humanizing his previous client. Paul Heyman influenced Brock's career even while representing his opposition. This was the first time and as far as I can recollect only time Lesnar turned clear cut babyface. However this place on the list belongs to Big show and Big show alone. The giant was a juggernaut, just the type of brute force and muscle Heyman could thrive hiding behind. Big show did all the heavy lifting and Heyman found loophole after loophole in contracts to keep his talent protected. Paul Heyman was the spark to a feud between Big show and Lesnar that went off and on for several months. Though Heyman and Show's run together was much shorter it was impactful, it brought Big Show to the top of the mountain and it proved that Heyman still had it, he had not resigned himself to be a one trick pony, he still had tricks up his sleeve and was not relying solely on Lesnar to keep him relevant. It showcased the both of them and their talents in new and revitalizing lights.
2. Kurt Angle
Once out of Brock Lesnar's giant shadow Heyman went on a splurge of management. Not long after taking Big show under his devilish wing Paul Heyman became the advocate for a new client: two time olympic gold medalist and NEW WWE champion Kurt Angle. Leading Paul Heyman to be the first to manage three WWE champions in a row. What makes Kurt Angle better than Big show? One he's just better. (Sure that's my opinion but it's also my list so it is what it is) Heyman believed so, building a stable around him, bringing in team Angle. Heyman might have liked having the giant to hide behind in Big Show but he seemed to prefer having such a well rounded super athlete such as Kurt Angle. He let everyone know, especially Kurt Angle, one of Heyman's best skills is letting his clients know how great they are, how special they are, how much better they are than everyone else. Heyman also tried to thwart the any possibility of a title shot for Brock Lesnar, though royal rumble wins trumps even the best management. Again their run together was not long but this pairing showcased that Paul Heyman truly had an eye for talent and for future champions. This reinforced the notion that being a "Paul Heyman guy" really meant something.
1. CM Punk
Was there any doubt that "the best in the word" would be the number one "Paul Heyman Guy." What makes him number one? What Punk accomplished with Heyman at his side. CM Punk set a record by holding onto the WWE championship for 434 days with some help from Heyman. He aligned himself with the soon to be the hottest faction of it's time The Shield, through some negotiations with Paul Heyman. His match at Wrestlemania XXIX stole the show, the tension built up before the match was bred from heinous disrespectful acts in reference to Paul Bearer's death, something that just reeks of Paul Heyman's masterminding. Paul Heyman slowly cultivated CM Punk into a grade A heel, something that truly resonated with fans. Heyman also invested more time and energy into Punk than he did with any other superstar on this list. They spent so much time together, dominated the locker room for so long that Heyman for a period of time considered CM Punk to be his best friend. It seemed as if the two were inseparable, complementing each other's mightier than though complexes, they meshed better than most of Paul Heyman's clients and their advocate, they had the Universe believing they were truly friends and would rise to the top again and again. Sadly as Punk would eventually find out friendships with Paul Heyman are usually a sham, and tend not to last very long. He would turn on Punk and resume exclusively advocating for Brock Lesnar. Despite their falling out, if there ever was a true "Paul Heyman Guy" CM Punk was it.
despite being excluded from the list, this page seems empty without at least one Brock Lesnar promo from the advocate.