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Интервю с Paul Heyman


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Това е първото му интервю откакто напусна WWE. :)

Paul Heyman: Why I left WWE

HE’S the man who revolutionised the wrestling business.

The outspoken leader of a hardcore cult that will never die.

The creative genius forever synonymous with the letters E-C-W.

But for more than a year no one has heard a peep out of Paul Heyman.

Where was he? Why did he walk out of the WWE in December 2006? And most importantly what does he really think of Vince McMahon’s ‘new’ ECW?

Now, for the first time Paul answers those questions and more as only Paul can.

He also reveals the first details and advert for his exciting new project, the Heyman Hustle, which starts right here on The Sun Online on Monday February 18.


Paul, let’s cut right to the chase. What happened with you and Vince McMahon?

I think what it boils down to is Vince McMahon and I have totally separate and distinct visions for what a wrestling or sports entertainment product should be.

There’s nothing wrong with having those different visions, the problem was that Vince started to take the difference of opinion personally.

And once that personality conflict comes into play, when you’re trying to steer the direction of a product, it becomes a bad work environment.

So Vince didn’t like working with me anymore and I didn’t like working with Vince anymore.

And it’s his company, so obviously he has to stay!

What do you think went wrong and why?

The brand should never have been brought back after the very first One Night Stand in 2005.

The follow-up show in 2006 made money, but only because it served as the platform for Rob Van Dam to beat John Cena.

Then Sci-Fi Channel was willing to give a test run for the brand ECW and they currently pay a lot of money for that TV show.

So the theory of bringing ECW back and making it profitable worked as a business move.

But the expectation from the audience that ECW was being brought back only served to be a monumental letdown.

By comparison, if someone were to resurrect The Beatles and say: ”You know what, we want to make them more globally accepted, so we’re going to have a white guy, an Asian female, a Hispanic Bisexual and an African-American with a Scottish accent.”

In the land of WWE that actually makes sense.

But no matter how you look at it, it’s just not the Beatles.

So in the same light, it’s just not ECW.

‘Extreme’ doesn’t mean blood, or tables, or barbed wire. ECW was always about progression, moving forward, giving more bang for the buck.

For example, a finish in most every match. Simple thought. A winner and a loser. And a story with it that makes sense.

But if you voiced that opinion, Vince would take it personally.

If you look at the attempts to recreate the nWo, to re-create Goldberg and, even now, trying to recreate Ric Flair’s career on the line, Vince’s magic only happens when he creates it from the get-go.

If Vince doesn’t create it from the get-go, he can’t embrace the formula.

But why didn’t Vince just say: ”Paul, I know you’re good at ECW, it’s on Sci-Fi, do your stuff, work your magic, make me some money?”

Because that goes against everything that is Vince McMahon.

Vince is such a control freak that if he sneezes, the next 10 minutes of any meeting are ruined because he is so p***ed at himself for not being able to control the sneeze.

And it’s worked very well for him in life.

He is a billionaire. He has his own luxury private plane and, by the way, it’s a really nice plane. He has things and property and cash that every other wrestling promoter in the world doesn’t have.

He has achieved these goals HIS WAY and so Vince is not about to let anyone have free reign over anything in his kingdom. That’s just not going to happen.

How was it for you to see ECW - your baby, the thing you created - almost destroyed in front of your eyes?

It was a very rough road because, make no mistake about it, Vince McMahon has every right to do anything that he wants with ECW.

He bought the right to exploit the intellectual property of the brand. It’s his, he owns it, and nobody can question whether or not he is entitled to do whatever he damn well pleases with it.

Rob Van Dam has articulated on this brilliantly in some recent interviews and it kind of brought back the memories of that time in 2006.

I tried to resign, and in front of other people because I wanted witnesses, several times in last two months of my tenure in WWE/ECW.

I offered my resignation to Stephanie on several occasions. I told her the tensions between me and Vince were getting in the way of the brand, that Vince was taking everything personally, and that it was neither fun, creative, or productive any more.

I thought if I left, Vince would give the brand the TLC - um, that’s Tender Loving Care, not Tables Ladders and Chairs - it needed. Stephanie kept trying to get involved, but Vince was on a tear.

I dare suggest that Vince was craving for someone to compete with him on any level, in anything in life, and also at the same time, hating to lose, said: ”I have the original owner of ECW, I have the original creative mind of ECW, and you know what, we’re gonna battle over the creative direction of this product.”

And, at the same time, it’s like the WrestleMania main event - because it’s a predetermined finish.

At the end of the day, Vince has to determine what the direction is.

I’m not there to compete with him. I’m there to help him. I’m on his side, I’m his tag team partner.

It just became misery to work there which is why, as Van Dam has pointed out, I just wanted out so badly I finally couldn’t take it any more.

When did that happen, what was the actual date, because no one has known where you’ve been for a long time?

The final straw was the December to Dismember Pay Per View. That show was just a wreck.

I knew it going in. I kept trying to pitch different things for the show that week, that weekend, and even the day of the show. All day long on the day of the show, I kept coming to Vince saying: ”The people are going to throw this back in our face.”

Can you give us some examples of the things that you wanted to do that Vince said ”no” to?

I thought the undercard was horrible.

I thought that the design of the show itself made no sense.

I just felt that the entire layout of the show, the entire complexion of the event was a downer.

I also thought that we were doing Bobby Lashley no favours the way he was going to win the title. Lashley winning the title, especially if you eliminate Rob Van Dam and CM Punk early, would be leapfrogging over RVD and Punk.

Van Dam was the sentimental favourite, Punk was the kid that all the crowd was getting behind and they wanted to see the upset.

If you don’t appease the need for the audience to see that new hero get crowned like Punk did the week before at Survivor Series when DX let him say ‘Are you ready?’ then the audience will feel ripped off.

If you don’t put that spotlight on Van Dam, with whom the paying customers have just taken this long ride back into the title chase, then the paying customer will feel ripped off.

My opinion was to start the chamber off with the Big Show saying: ”I’m a seven foot tall, 500lb giant, I’m gonna mow through every one of you.”

And the first to take him on would be Punk. Playing to the fact that UFC is so hot and in the public consciousness, Punk chokes out Big Show in the first round of the Elimination Chamber, four-and-a-half minutes in, and now the champion is out.

You know for a fact, before any two contenders lock up, I’m getting a new champion at the end of this match.

Then, the first guy to come out after Big Show v Punk, would be Van Dam. You let Van Dam and Punk fight it out, and then you start feeding in the heels.

Vince hated this. He especially hated the fact that Big Show liked it.

Even though he was being choked out within five minutes, Big Show liked it?

Of course, because he was making a new guy!

Big Show is so underappreciated in terms of how smart he is to the business, and how willing he is to make new stars.

Vince wanted all babyfaces out of the way and for all the spotlight on Lashley and for Lashley to do a Goldberg-style two minute squash of The Big Show.

At that point, not only did I realise that this is going to suck, not only is everyone going to throw this back at us, but this show is going to run short.

And during the show, I pointed all this out to Vince, which just angered him even more, and he didn’t care.

His attitude was: ”When this broadcast is over, people will see a new champion, they’ll have a new hero and they’ll all be happy.”

When I went to Vince right before I went out to introduce the Chamber, I pointed out again to him ”Vince this show is horribly short.”

I had this idea of getting 15 minutes out of the crowd, but Vince said: ”No, no, no. Just go out there, make your point, and introduce the Chamber.”

Which is why, when I was in the ring, I made the statement: ”ECW will live long after I am gone.”

Because I knew, either when I went back into the dressing room, or within the next day or two, it was time for me to leave.

Was there a part of you that thought about breaking character and actually quitting in the ring live on PPV?

No, because that would be unprofessional.

All that is doing is, in an emotional state, thinking that I am f***ing Vince McMahon over, and it’s a very dramatic thought but I have to say this on the record - I don’t think Vince McMahon f***ed me over.

I don’t think Vince, in his mind, did anything malicious towards me. I think Vince did what he either persuaded or convinced himself was the best for business.

The biggest shoot that I could do in that ring was not to say ”I quit”. The biggest shoot that I could do was to make the statement ”this brand goes on without me”.

That’s what I said, and that’s what ended up happening.

Do you think that Vince was trying to prove that Extreme didn’t work, as he didn’t invent it. That he was trying to destroy the legacy of ECW?

Like most people who make grand achievements in life – Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton – Vince McMahon is a most complex individual.

It would take Freud himself to accurate describe, and probably 900 pages to do so, how Vince’s mind works.

There’s a lot of self-justification that goes on.

Vince could never accept that another brand could be successful.

Look at the success of The Rise and Fall of ECW, the DVD, which has sold close to 400,000 copies worldwide and at any point is the No1 or No2 bestselling DVD in sports entertainment history. The World Class DVD is just breaking out of 10,000 units sold right now. The Rey Mysterio DVD, the John Cena My Life DVD, sold approximately 30,000 units each.

You look at the staggeringly successful numbers that ECW DVD did, Vince’s answer to you will be: ‘Well, of course it sold that many, we’ve educated the audience that ECW is something special by the fact that every time a table broke, every time a high spot happened, every time an extreme style was showcased, we’ve encouraged the audience to chant E-C-W and we’ve allowed it on our broadcast.”

Now if you think about that logic, it’s so ass-backwards, that you’re going to think this man is a f***ing idiot or he’s insane, but he’s neither.

He has convinced, or persuaded, himself the statement is true.

And he wholeheartedly believes that the success of the first ECW PPV was because the $400,000+ gate that was in the Hammerstein Ballroom were the last vestiges of the ECW audience and all those people that bought it on PPV were WWE fans who were educated that ECW would be something special.

Vince McMahon would swear on his grandchildren that is an accurate statement.

He won’t be lying, he’ll mean it when he says it, unfortunately it’s the furthest thing from the truth.

So after December to Dismember, you literally left that night and never came back?

No, we clashed that night after the show, and the next day too. By then, that was fait accompli.

We were clashing on the plane going to North Charleston, South Carolina. It was ridiculous.

So by the time we got to North Charleston, I had already called home and said: ”Just so you know, I’m coming home tonight.” I’d already made up my mind.

After the producers’ meeting, Vince, Stephanie and I sat in that room trying to determine what the future held and I just wanted to go home.

We sat there for a while, there’s a lot of history with me and Vince, and there was a lot I wanted to say to him, to his face, and there was a lot that he wanted to say to my face.

I think we both had merits in our argument.

At the end of the day, I shook his hand and went home and I’ve never looked back.

Have you spoken to Vince or Stephanie since?

Oh, Stephanie called me the next day several times, and tried to repair it. I don’t think there was anything to repair.

I had a run in the wrestling industry that in my wildest dreams as a kid I could never have imagined.

As a performer I accomplished everything I could possibly have wanted. As I writer/booker, I had a run that all but the most uber-successful people in the history of this business could have ever fantasised about.

I owned a company that is the only company in history to be resurrected. Ted Turner lost hundreds of millions of dollars on WCW, no-one’s calling for the resurrection of that promotion.

My tiny little creative vision called ECW not only was resurrected but still stands today without me.

What more is there left for me to do?

Stephanie made me an offer in 2007 to come back and run developmental, because of the success we had in OVW.

She said; ”Vince wants you to create new stars again, do what you were doing in OVW and also get Deep South Wrestling on track.”

They offered me that position, with the same pay, same stock options, same benefits.

It was a wonderful offer and anybody that has the opinion they wanted to drive Paul Heyman out of the business should understand that this offer was given to me and it was most flattering.

Of course, I’m sure that part of the deal would be ”no contact with Vince” but Stephanie really wanted me to take the job, and was pushing me to take the job.

Stephanie was shocked that I wouldn’t jump all over this opportunity because on a money basis, it was an insanely lucrative deal.

A miniscule amount of the work I had to put in before, on a job that I truly enjoy which is developing characters, working with the next generation so every star of the next generation will have been moulded at least partially by me.

It was a very financially lucrative and creatively fulfilling job but by this point I just didn’t want it any more.

Our MMA correspondent at The Sun, Mark Gilbert, said you were trying to buy Strike Force at one point, is that true?

You kind of caught me off guard in asking the question, but it’s 100% true.

I don’t know whose names I’m supposed or not supposed to discuss, so I will skirt the issue of who else was involved by simply saying we formed a group of qualified, intelligent, motivated people last summer and had some meetings with Scott Coker about buying Strike Force and obviously keeping Coker intricately involved.

I think Strike Force was in a position to, if not challenge UFC, then be what ECW was in the 90s which is a very viable alternative brand.

I have a lot of admiration for what Scott Coker and his team have built in Northern California, and I like the name Strike Force. Good name for branding.

I like their presentation, I think they have some marketable fighters under contract, and we had a collective vision that I think could have really, really worked.

The negotiations stopped because one of the key people in our group ended up being someone we didn’t want to get stuck with, because we realised in the negotiations that he was the wrong guy for the deal.

Scott Coker is a good man. I like him personally, love his organization, and think he deserves a lot of credit for what he’s built.

Finally let’s talk about the Heyman Hustle. Let’s give people a taste of what’s going to happen on The Sun’s website in two weeks time.

Well, my partner Mitchell Stuart always laughs at me because I define the Hustle as the High Definition Video Blog of a Rambling Mind.

Our goal is to break ground in the wireless/broadband and digital/mobile platforms, which get so much attention from the entertainment industry right now because its unchartered turf and no-one has been able to figure out what the future holds on this constantly evolving concept.

We want to peel back the layers of celebrity and we’re going to demonstrate that larger-than-life personalities are not only found on television and the movies.

We’re going to find the extraordinary in the ordinary and find the ordinary in the extraordinary.

So, we’re just diving in as deep as we can go and trying to be the leaders of the exploration of this new universe.

So, we’re content providers in a brand new, exploding, and already rapidly changing field.

Damn, that sounds exhilarating!

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Невероятно е как се зачетох само :D Много истини каза и наистина не се направи на голямата работа ами каза нещата точно както са!

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От много време търсех да намеря интервю с великия Пол Хейман,за да видя какво му е мнението за WWECW.Напълно съм съгласен със всичко което казва.RESPECT HEYMAN...lol


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Брей, Хейман е доста скромен за евреин. Хубави работи говори. Според мен Винс вече е прекалено дърт и не търпи промяна. Издразни ме как се изгавриха с него на Halloween special-a. Пак ще извъртя Rise and Fall of ECW в негова чест.



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Трябва Стефани и Шейн да се заемат с WWE-то,ама да се заемат изцяло с компанията.Винс по-дорбре да се оттегли.На годинки е .

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Никога не съм гледал ECW, но атмосферата, която създават феновете се помни дълго /RVD vs. Cena/. Едва ли е нужно да си някакъв спец, за да чатнеш, че сегашното ECW представлява място за мидкардъри, които няма как да бъдат използвани в Raw и SD!

А Хеймън винаги е бил голям. Не знаех, че е евреин. Това опровергава теорията, че опашката е част от шапката му. :D


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Втора част. :)

This is going to p*** people off

FOR most of his career in the business of professional wrestling, Paul Heyman was the most controversial man in sports entertainment.

Speaking for the first time since his fallout with the McMahons in December 2006, it is clear he has lost none of his ability to stir things up.

In our second exclusive interview with the man who made wrestling Extreme, Heyman reveals an outlandish conspiracy theory to explain who he believes will succeed Vince McMahon.

And it is something he believes may be the greatest Hustle of 'em all!

Heyman also gives his views on WWE's competitors TNA and ROH, and talks more about how he nearly entered the MMA business.

If you are a fan of Heyman's and have enjoyed our interviews, make sure you stick with The Sun for the Heyman Hustle, which starts right here on Monday.

Hello again Paul. The thing that surprised most people about our first interview was how warmly you described your relationship with Stephanie McMahon. There used to always be constant stories of rows, so did you grow to like each other over time or were those just rumours?

They weren't rumours, Stephanie and I clashed heavily through most of my tenure in WWE.

And I don't think it should be a surprise that we did. I came into WWE just as Stephanie was taking over the writing team.

Stephanie is a lot like her father. Even those closest to her would refer to her as The Vincess. And they said it in a manner that cannot be mistaken — they mean it as the ultimate compliment.

She has that drive, she has that ambition and she craves doing the job. Stephanie wakes up in the morning motivated to already be at the second item of the day on her yellow notepad.

Steph competes with herself to be better at her job tomorrow than she is today, and better two days from now than she is tomorrow.

This is an inspired person in terms of getting work done. If you don't admire their work ethic, that intensity of passion to make it all happen, then you're clearly missing something.

Stephanie was put in the position by her father that she had to prove to him every day that she could lead and manage people as he does. She had to show Vince that a group of people could be placed under her umbrella and be brought forward with her vision.

So along comes Heyman. Fresh out of his own promotion, a seven-year adventure that was like a rollercoaster with the blindfolds on.

It's pre-determined that we're going clash. And that's a test for Stephanie because her father has had to deal with strong personalities — be it his own dad, competing promoters or wrestlers from Bruno Sammartino to Steve Austin — it's just part of owning a company.

I faced that when I had my own company. So I do understand it from their perspective.

But by the end of my time in WWE, I can only say that she was quite supportive and would not accept my resignation on several occasions, and seriously tried to help the situation.

Do you not think that by the end Stephanie could just sense you had given up and wanted to make peace with you?

It doesn't matter to Stephanie whether she's at peace with you or at odds with you.

She has her father's ruthlessness and that's a very necessary component to taking over the company that she may one day inherit.

Stephanie wouldn't think twice about making peace with me if it's good for business. And she wouldn't think twice about slashing my throat if it's good for business either.

That is interesting — so you think Stephanie will take over the WWE from Vince rather than her brother Shane?

I have my own conspiracy theory on this and I know some people won't take it seriously because sometimes I don't take it seriously. But then, other times, I'm convinced that it's very accurate.

Oh boy, here we go. I'm sure this is going to p*** everybody off.

The theory is that Vince envisions himself running WWE well into his 90s, bypassing the Stephanie/Shane generation and going forward with the succession to Shane's sons because then it's a McMahon running the company.

Stephanie, who is far more publicly visible than her brother, has the boost of running the creative and talent ends, which is what most of the public sees. Stephanie will drive the product.

Shane, who has made and cultivated and nurtured new business relationships and explored new mediums and platforms and applications, grooms the next generation.

It's the same deal that is going on right now with The Royal Family — The Queen is staying alive so Prince Charles doesn't get the throne!

Vince has taken note of this exceptional Machiavellian play and has incorporated it into his own life.

Although you're not with the WWE, do you still watch the product?

Of course I still watch it. I'm still a big fan and I still appreciate the art form. I still get goosebumps seeing the live reaction when it hits.

I never lost a love for the business, it's just that my time in it is up.

I lived out every dream I could have possibly imagined about the wrestling industry when I was a kid. I had a blast and loved every minute, even the bad ones. Well, most of the bad ones. But I have other dreams, too, and I feel a need to pursue them.

As for the product, I think WWE is a fantastic company whose stock is undervalued.

They lost their biggest cash cow, John Cena, and still turned in a fourth quarter that was so profitable it exceeded Wall Street's wildest expectations.

This is a corporation that knows how to maximise assets.

The product is what we as fans put all of our passion into, and discuss and debate, but it's a business. And as a business it's the dominant brand with a market share that is mind-boggling.

But the money-making aside, what do you think of Raw, Smackdown and ECW? What makes you scream and shout, in good or bad ways, when you're watching WWE TV?

I don't get emotionally involved like that any more because I lost enough hair and gained enough weight worrying about these things when I was working there.

So now, I can just sit back and enjoy it for what it is — and that is the public vehicle given to the networks to sell ad time for a thriving corporation, designed in part to satisfy the network's criteria for paying the license fees, coupled with the need to promote, promote, promote.

From a business model perspective, Vince McMahon's theory and implementation of television is a fascinating study.

You talked about WWE being the dominant brand earlier — do you think rival American wrestling group TNA could ever challenge that?

I think TNA has a major hurdle to overcome — and that's the fact that they have no BRAND. There's no one on that roster that is branded TNA.

You look at Kurt Angle and you think WWE. You look at Booker T and think WCW, five-time, five-time, five-time or King Booker in WWE. You look at The Dudleys and think ECW or WWE or even tables.

You look at Samoa Joe, who should be the TNA guy, and you think this guy's great, when's he going to WWE.

Are there hot moments? Sure. Are there personalities to like? Sure. Is there a good work rate? Sure. But there is no TNA style, TNA persona or TNA brand.

They had an opportunity to do this with the X Division, which is a totally unique concept you don't see anywhere else in wrestling, MMA or sports entertainment.

That could have been their version of what UFC did with the Octagon but they diminished the effectiveness of their own creation.

They had a totally different and unique look and presentation, and then tossed it aside like it was just another gimmick.

For the life of me I can't understand why.

But surely TNA have a six-sided ring, a women's division that's becoming the best the US has ever produced, Kurt Angle praising TNA at every opportunity and lots of homegrown talent like Joe, AJ Styles, Kaz and Robert Roode?

I don't think the problem is in the talent, it's in the BRANDING of that talent. If you walked Angle through the airport, nobody would say: "There's that guy from TNA."

Nobody equates Angle, or anybody in that company, to TNA. As a company, they desperately need to address that.

For example, their women's division is attracting attention right now, there's some real momentum behind it. So why isn't Kong on television saying: "My name is Awesome Kong, I AM TNA and here's why."

Then you have ODB, and she says: "I'm ODB and I AM TNA and here's why." Then Gail Kim is doing a promo and she says: "No, I'M TNA and here's why."

TNA is WWE-Lite. Their TV show is the same thing as ECW's TV show. Their six-sided ring is the same as a four-sided ring.

There is nothing that is enough of a difference maker in the audience's mind that makes me as a fan say I'm watching an alternative, a different style, a different product and most importantly, a different brand.

They have a product that is clearly using the WWE formula with lighting that is less spectacular than Vince's.

If I was running TNA, or any wrestling company for that matter, as soon as I heard Paul Heyman was a free agent I would have picked up that phone. So have you thought about going there?

I have no interest in TNA.

They don't want someone to come in and completely change their formula. I don't even think they want to hear that their formula is in need of changing. They have a strong comfort level, thanks to the television contract with Spike in America and what looks like the stopping of their heavy financial bleeding.

TNA is a vanity piece and they don't want someone who comes in and says: "We really have to address all these situations."

The offer that Stephanie gave me to work with all the WWE's developmental talent would be one I would be very inclined to take, if I had any interest in staying in the wrestling business.

But now I want to pursue these other dreams and challenge myself to do other things creatively.

I would see TNA as a step down. It's a viable place to work, but I'm not interested in just doing a job. I want to be intellectually, spiritually and creatively stimulated and challenged. I want to create and participate in a vibrant creative atmosphere.

Bluntly, I don't see that as being part of what they could offer.

Surely there's a part of you that wants to go to TNA, use their talent and money, thrash ECW in the ratings and really stick it to Vince?

I'm not looking to stick it to Vince.

There's a lot of people who have wasted their lives saying: "I'm going to get Vince McMahon. Watch this — I'm going to say that he's a no good f***ing a**hole."

And while they're saying that, he's flying 40,000 feet up in the air back to Connecticut on his $80million private plane.

Hey, you really got him with that one guys! That's a sucker's move. I'm not obsessed with Vince McMahon.

There is an often forgotten third company in America, Ring Of Honor, run by an old protege of yours called Gabe Sapolsky. What do you think of the product and Sapolsky as a person?

I am very proud of Gabe. He has learned from all of the strengths of ECW and also our weaknesses.

He's developed a niche audience that is loyal to the Ring Of Honor product. With no resources, Gabe has branded Ring Of Honor far better than the multi-multi-million dollar TNA product.

When you see Ring Of Honor you know what you are watching. When you see a certain style you know it's the ROH style.

On Ring Of Honor's worst day he still delivers more bang for your buck than most people do on their best.

Do I think that ROH will ever be a global corporation? No. It’s not designed to be.

It's designed to be a boutique promotion to cater to a fan that is looking for a certain product. He has cornered that market and done a brilliant job in doing so.

Obviously working for WWE or TNA would be a full-time job. But have you ever thought of going to one of Sapolsky's shows, having a good time and just helping ROH out? He must have asked you?

I don't think I'd be helping Gabe out at all if I showed up. I don't see how I can contribute to what he is doing.

I neither want to be a nostalgia act — which is why I don't go to any conventions or do any shoot tapes, no matter how much they keep offering — nor do I want to be the guy who comes in and upsets the formula that has worked for Gabe and his company just fine.

Paul Heyman in Ring Of Honor doesn't add to Ring Of Honor. There's nothing I can tell his audience that they don't already know.

Gabe doesn't need my endorsement from me, he needs the endorsement of a 16-year-old kid who goes to school on a Monday and tells all of his friends: "Man, I went to a wrestling show this weekend and had the greatest time of my life. They're back next month – let’s all go."

Does he ask you for advice on ROH booking and do you give it?

I don't talk wrestling with Gabe because I don't want to influence his product. His vision works.

Has he ever called me for advice on a finish, character or angle? Sure.

But I'll give him a perspective where he can find his own answer. I don't want to give him the answer because then it's my answer not his.

Everything he does needs to have Gabe Sapolsky's booking DNA all over it. It's not supposed to be my vision. it's supposed to be his.

Talking about your Strike Force quotes in our last interview, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported you were also talking to MMA groups IFL and YAMMA. Is that true?

I met with IFL right before they went on television. They need an executive producer to run their TV shows and bring a vision to the product. Someone thought I was the right guy to speak with about that.

I just didn't understand where they wanted to take their company and what they wanted out of their television show. I didn't have a starting point from which to build.

First of all, to a kid, the cage is The Deal. MMA in a ring, to me, looks like those old boxing films of Joe Louis or Jack Dempsey or Max Bear. The old grainy black-and-white footage that looks like the Stone Age. The ring is yesterday's model.

The Octagon, or even just the cage, is what people view as MMA and that's a credit to the UFC's branding.

On the other hand Bob Meyrowitz, at YAMMA, is coming back to a business that he brought into the public consciousness.

I've met Bob at parties and weddings - we have a lot of mutual friends - and we've had lots of chats about the MMA business.

I'm interested in seeing what he does with YAMMA because doing PPV in today's environment, with no television to back it up or bring it forward, seems like a really tough assignment.

A couple of days before the big Heyman Hustle launch can you tell us a bit about what it will involve?

Well, we had everything planned for the first episode.

We were going to go to the private party for the cast members of the new season of Survivor, when an hour before we were supposed to start shooting we get a message that all media credentials had been cancelled.

Execs didn't want the cast members to be seen in public.

Now, keep in mind, we're on deadline with the first episode and we're on a tight schedule already. No time to arrange something else. No time to even scramble.

This is a total improv situation which, I must confess, is 10 times the adrenalin rush and a much more exhilarating evening of production in the most sensory-heightening part of the greatest city on earth — Times Square, New York City.

One hour to go. What do we do? What the f*** do you think we did?

We did a Hustle.

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Los Angeles, January 29, 2008 – Ultimate Fighting Championship founder Bob Meyrowitz and his company Rope Partners today announced the formation of a brand new mixed martial arts (MMA) league, YAMMA Pit Fighting (YPF). Continuing in his role as a trailblazer in MMA, Meyrowitz and YPF will take a unique approach to the sport by reviving the Tournament fighting format and unveiling a new fighting surface that promises to revolutionize the traditional MMA approach.

YAMMA Pit Fighting will host a series of pay-per-view television events, the first of which will air live from the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on April 11, 2008. YAMMA Pit Fighting will return to the popular origins of MMA by reviving the Tournament format, in which fighters will participate in multiple fights on their way to claiming the ultimate YAMMA victory, the title of YAMMA Heavyweight Champion. In addition to the exciting Tournament, YPF will also host two “Masters Superfights,” one-on-one matches between some of MMA’s most illustrious and legendary fighters.

Bob Meyrowitz is a veteran in the MMA industry, and it was through his guidance and vision that the Ultimate Fighting Championship was created. Now Meyrowitz is at it again with his company Rope Partners – creating a new league to once again keep Martial Arts and the sport of MMA moving forward.

“It’s with great excitement that we launch YAMMA Pit Fighting,” said Bob Meyrowitz. “Our deep and proven knowledge of the entertainment and MMA spheres put us in a great position to add a new dimension to the presentation of MMA as it moves into the future.”

The YPF surface, known as “The YAMMA” is an evolution of the traditional fighting ring that will greatly alter the current basis of MMA by changing how the fight is fought and the strategy the fighters must use to win. This new surface has been specifically designed to keep the fighting more explosive and continuous. The YAMMA will change the face of the sport and will challenge the relevance of the fighters’ trademark tactics, as methods that were previously successful may be rendered useless with the new ring. This twist on an already successful sport will prove hugely popular with fighters and MMA audiences alike.

YAMMA Pit Fighting (Continued) The fighting line up, commentators, rules and regulations, ticketing information and more event details will be announced on an ongoing basis beginning in February.

About Rope Partners

Rope Partners, formed by Bob Meyrowitz and Peter Kauff, have over a 20 year track record of pioneering successful ventures in the music, broadcasting and sports industries. As illustrated by their successes in building the largest independent radio syndication company, DIR Broadcasting, The College Television Network, the largest private television network in the United States, and Semaphore Entertainment Group the originator and founder of the UFC.


Доста интересно звучи. Може би това ще бъде нещото, което тотално ще промени бизнеса и ще стане това, което TNA не успяха. Bob Meyrowitz има доста интересни идеи, които не успя да реализира в UFC и сега ще има пълна свобода. Eдна комбинация между него и Paul Heyman би била доста интересна.

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