Paul Heyman: Meschuggener or Mensch?

Depending on who you ask, some classify him as a “Meshuggener” (a crazy insane madman) and some see him as a “Mensch” (someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character).

In recent blogs and articles I have mentioned another Jewish faction within the WWE, Paul Heyman, the mouthpiece and Client Advocate for the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.  Mr. Heyman has some strong ties to Atlanta when he was part of WCW and Turner Broadcasting, which was based in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1988 – 1993.  In those days he went by the name Paul E. Dangerously. He was both a wrestling manager and announcer for the WCW promotion.

Paul E. Dangerously during his WCW days
Paul E. Dangerously during his WCW days

To this day, except for a few extra pounds and a lot less hair, nothing much else has changed about Paul Heyman. He still has the gift of gab and to this day delivers some of the best promos in Professional Wrestling. He knows the business inside and out and can really work a crowd.  His exemplary oratory skills took root during his colleges days at SUNY Purchase and Westchester Community College, where he worked on-air as an opinionated, controversial shock jock host at the radio stations.  His strong opinions and controversy have followed him his entire career as he has had his ups and downs with every organization he has been part of.  I may be wrong, but it seems like Paul has an issue with authority figures. I would wager he could give Howard Stern a run for his money on who has the bigger mouth.

A few extra pounds and a lot less hair
(Photo Credit: A few extra pounds and a lot less hair

Paul was born in Westchester County (a suburb of New York City), to Jewish parents Richard S. Heyman, a prominent personal injury attorney and Sulamita Heyman, a Holocaust survivor.  So how did Paul wind up in the wacky world of Professional Wrestling?  With a passion for wrestling, he invested all of his bar mitzvah money into buying the equipment to publish shots in a wrestling newsletter he distributed at the age of 13.  With his gift of gab and some extra “chutzpah” he was able to finagle himself as a photojournalist backstage at Madison Square Garden for wrestling events.  It was there that he started networking and learning the business.  The rest is history as he started his climb into the world of Professional wrestling.  Paul has worked for several wrestling promotions as well as running his own promotion, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) from 1993 – 2001.  This was considered a hardcore wrestling promotion with a rabid following, especially in the Northeast.  To this day fans continue to chant ECW at some events.

A young Paul Heyman at Madison Square Garden surrounded by Fred Blassie, Capt. Lou Albano and the Grand Wizard

Heyman began mentoring Brock Lesnar in 2002, and was then made Lesnar’s manager. Heyman was able to help Brock capture the WWE Championship 126 days after his main roster debut when Brock beat The Rock at Summerslam to also become the youngest WWE Undisputed Champion at the time. Their professional relationship continues today as Brock, under the guidance and tutelage of Paul Heyman, prepares to face his number one nemesis, Goldberg, for the WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship on April 2nd at Wrestlemania.  In recent weeks on Monday Night RAW Paul was really able to get under the skin of Goldberg with all his verbal assaults. He even managed to distract Goldberg enough allowing Brock Lesnar to deliver an F5 on Goldberg laying him out in the middle of the ring.  Of course taunting Goldberg also comes with a price as Paul Heyman found himself the recipient of a spear on a past RAW in February. Paul really took a bullet for his client.

(Photo Credit: Paul Heyman getting speared by Goldberg
(Photo Credit: Paul Heyman getting speared by Goldberg

Paul Heyman is a character that you love to hate. He comes across on the microphone as 100% natural and never sounds scripted.  I personally think he is a wrestling genius who knows exactly what the wrestling fans want and he consistently delivers. He has taken Brock Lesnar to new heights since Brock returned to the WWE in 2012.  So wrestling fans what do you think – Meshuggener or Mensch?

About the Author
Lou Ladinsky was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He started following Professional Wrestling with his Dad at the age of 5. He also published a Wrestling Newsletter "The Ringside Rambler" from 1991-1993. Lou is currently a Product Manager for LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
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