Paul Heyman recently spoke with The Battleground Podcast about the influence of ECW.

Heyman doesn’t believe it is just places like CZW and GCW that have taken things from his company, pointing out that WWE and AEW are also examples of that.

“I don’t think it should limit them to just CZW and everybody else,” he stated. “I think you should incorporate the Monday Night Wars, and even modern-day WWE, and certainly AEW. Which seems to follow the ECW format on a WCW budget, which is what the owner said was going to be their concept over a year ago.

“I think the extreme influence on this industry is exactly what we were shooting for back in the 1990s and into the new millennium. We were the disruptors in the industry, we were what was needed for the industry to propel itself.”

With the Hall Of Fame ceremony around the corner, Paul Heyman talked about which ECW stars deserve a spot. For him, Sabu was the first wrestler that sprung to mind. He believes that Sabu was ahead of his time as a performer.

“I would say Sabu definitely belongs in the WWE Hall Of Fame,” Heyman claimed. “Because I think the concepts that Sabu was introducing, were 20 years ahead of its time. And I don’t just mean the breaking of the tables. I mean just the manner in which he performed in the ring was so far ahead of its time that he never got the credit he deserved.”

Paul Heyman named another person he believes is Hall Of Fame worthy, Joey Styles. He felt that nobody understood how valuable he was to the company, praising the commentator for changing the game.

“I would say Joey Styles was a very progressive announcer that no one understood just how valuable he was to the ECW brand. Because here you had these criminals, and these gangsters and these barroom brawlers and these misfits. Yet you also had these supreme, elite, exquisite technicians,” he added. “Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Psychosis, Juventud Guerrera, that came over from Japan or Mexico. We scoured the world for the greatest talent.

“And no American announcer had ever called the moves for what they were, Joey Styles did. Joey Styles ushered out the era of, ‘wow that looked great, here’s a replay,’ and started calling the moves by the names that were associated with the moves. And he was completely different than any other announcer because he did his job solo for so many years. So I would say Joey Styles, absolutely.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Battleground Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription. 

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