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Rob Van Dam On Working With Paul Heyman In ECW, Heyman’s Genius, How ECW’s Style Changed Wrestling

April 24, 2021 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Paul Heyman ECW, Rob Van Dam, Mick Foley

In a recent interview on Out of Character with Ryan Satin, Rob Van Dam discussed working with Paul Heyman in ECW, Heyman’s genius, and much more. You can read Edge’s comments below.

Rob Van Dam on the passion of ECW fans: “We all had to find our own way to be extreme. I think everything I do is out of the box. That’s the way I think, and I think it just translated to wrestling like it would’ve anywhere else. Before I had my first match, I was thinking of moves that I’d never seen before. That was also true before my first ECW match. I remember I had a pen and paper and I was trying to write down some hardcore moves – maybe I just pick a chair up and do a spinning back kick and kick it into somebody’s face. That’s what I entered ECW with was trying to come up with these new moves. That crowd was so opinionated and waiting for you to mess up or your foot to slip. Just the pressure of them not wanting to bury you like that really brought the best out of me. I paid attention, and I was a perfectionist.”

On meeting Paul Heyman for the first time: “I met Paul in ECW. Sabu had been telling me on a weekly basis that Paul was gonna call me and talk about coming up, and it didn’t happen for a while. I said, ‘OK, whatever.’ Eventually, it worked out and Paul called me, and after a couple of talks, I went out there and I think it was January 1996 and started what would be a pretty effective part of my career putting everything together there. I was wrestling in Japan at the time and it was very stiff and very competitive. To bring that into this hardcore environment and be able to throw the rulebook out, it was awesome. I loved it.”

On Heyman’s genius and how he embraced an innovative style: “Paul had the foresight to see this whole counterculture, revolutionary style. It started at Eastern Championship Wrestling, and that was the first time we heard of all these crazy things and all these crazy wrestlers. The spinoff of that ended up being Paul Heyman’s ECW. He was able to help us discover our strengths, and he was able to help us stay away from our weaknesses. Either fix them or don’t do them. He was always there to help encourage, and he always shared his thoughts. And because he’s so dramatic, I think that helped with his delivery too. He’s telling me, ‘The people are gonna love you.’ You can feel it. When he’s talking to you, you can feel your own reaction and everyone else’s reaction too. Paul is a very important man in our industry for bringing it forward and moving it to the aggressive position that it went to. Now, it’s somewhere different, but it’s still a byproduct of ECW. The whole adding more adult-themed angles and storylines – stuff that’s cool, even if you’re not a kid. All of that, I put on Paul.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Out of Character with Ryan Satin with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

ECW, Paul Heyman, Rob Van Dam, Blake Lovell