Paul Heyman was recently interviewed on Busted Open radio with Bully Ray and Dave LaGreca to talk about the 20th anniversary of ECW's first PPV "Barely Legal." Below are the highlights.
His reaction to it being 20 years since Barely Legal:
"20 years ago is a long time and I feel like I've lived many lives. In that way I'm a very blessed man. Just to pull that off and to be part of it, and at 31-years-old, it's the old thing where they say 'they won't be able to take that away from you.' I don't look back often, but I'm very humbled."
Being inspired by people around him in ECW:
"I also think it has a lot to do with constantly being inspired by those around me. And take some credit for yourself (Bubba Ray), you broke your ankle in the first move of the match and continued on. It was the opening match of the show, that's the base of the wrestling event, and you broke your ankle and continued on. And not against anyone you can slack off against, you're in there with guys at the top of their game and at their most brutal, and at their stiffest. Yet you continued on and everything else so the rest of the show could go on without a hitch. And that's the work ethic of the people that were around me 24/7 365. And that was the mindset, that was the sacrifice that was being made. My sacrifices could only be matched by the people around me were making. And it was the people around me that were inspiring me in everything that I did cause ultimately I was a fan of them personally and professionally. Such as the sacrifice you made to kick off the show."
Keeping Taz and Sabu apart for an entire year:
"In real life it was a lot harder to keep them apart then on TV. Really they wanted at each other. It was just the world's greatest public display of foreplay. And it was foreplay that was quite satisfying. If you watch the first episode of the TV series Dallas, with Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy, the first two seasons were all self inclusive, but they all ended with a cliffhanger. So they always left you wanting more, but each episode told an individual story that was self inclusive. In the art of storytelling, that's where we came up with all the things for Sabu and Taz. Everything could tell a story, but the story continued and you knew that ultimately these two were gonna have to fight. To have baby face like Sabu never answer the challenge, and have a heel like Taz tell a story in which you're sitting there saying "you know what? There's merit to his argument. I understand why the guy's so bitter. I can see what makes this character so angry," is something that has not been done before. The baby face is in the wrong and is not answering the challenge and the heel is in the right and is being an a**hole about it, which is why the public didn't flip on the two of them immediately. But why it was such a slow story to tell, because every week you're waiting for Taz to drop a bomb like 'oh and by the way i stole your wife. Oh by the way I stole your money. By the way I'm the guy that burned down your house, I'm the guy that killed your father." Whatever it is. While you're waiting for Sabu to say something like 'I was too busy saving a kitten from a tree or I was doing a charity event.' You're waiting for Sabu to tell you something, that you sit there and say 'Okay now I understand his perspective.' But he never gave you a perspective. And every time Taz said something you sat there and said 'Oh my god the son of a b---h is right.' And meanwhile he's victimizing The Dudleys, Rob Van Dam, or anybody. He's victimizing everybody around him in the company and it's all in the name of Sabu. Meanwhile while he's victimizing these people his motivation is - the catalyst is always proper. He has the right to be mad. Once you get ticking on the storyline it's easy because you just want to tell another half of it. The hardest part is really the first five or six weeks because the impulse is always 'Now we can get them close to each other.' But we knew with the November To Remember in 95, when they got into the ring at the same time for one moment together, you can never see them this close again until they square off in the match. Then in became a game, a very fun game. I can't even tell you it was challenging, it was fun. Because we enjoyed the storyline as much as people enjoyed watching."
Click Here to listen to the full audio interview.