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The days of Paul E 'The Manager' were just about done, the days of Paul E 'The Advocate' were still to come. At the start of 1995 Paul Heyman was beginning to embark upon arguably his most creative, enigmatic and productive peak as both an on-screen character and an off-screen visionary.
For fans of ECW's 'Hardcore TV', Paul E Dangerously would be seen as a two-sided coin. He was the representative of the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal, Sabu. In case this wasn't an intimidating-enough prospect, the seven-foot minder known as 911 would ensure your attention. The cell phone was still present, but the character had already began to evolve. In comparison to WCW a few years prior, Paul E was not the centre of attention whenever he was at ringside in ECW. At first glance, the visual intoxication of Hardcore TV shot, both barrels, at the live- and television audiences would make this difficult. On second look, this was a far more elaborate orchestration. The Hyde to this Jeckyll was Dangerously's time in the spotlight. When the shaman from Scarsdale was present with nothing but a camera and a microphone, you knew there was something to hear.
Different from the past in WCW and from what was to come in the WWF, Paul E Dangerously had a different responsibility. His backstage influence had already led to the hostile takeover of what would formerly be referred to as Eastern and what was now known as Extreme. "Join The Revolution" was not a catchy slogan or a pretty t-shirt, it was a vision, a premonition. It was coming, and quick. There was a reason ECW would go on to live in infamy. There was a reason Sandman, Dreamer, Cactus, Funk, Douglas and countless others left all they had - and more - out there every single night. Paul E Dangerously was not creating a locker room. He was creating an army.
Each of these names were not athletes or performers. They were not characters or actors. They were soldiers. They would lead the charge upon Philadelphia and would take no prisoners in converting what was a crowd paying for a show into a platoon of believers. For a wrestling audience such as Philly, this was no mean feat. For a locker room such as ECW, it was a similarly daunting prospect. But, for a character such as Paul E Dangerously and a man such as Paul Heyman, it was a mere representation of what a sergeant major can create amongst his footsoldiers to have an army of Granada that is capable of conquering the Roman Empire.
If this representation of Paul E Dangerously leaves anyone with any solitary shade of doubt, take one, simple challenge. Look at one single episode of ECW Hardcore TV and watch one Paul E promo. Download one edition of the Wrestling 20 Years Ago podcast and listen to one Paul E audio edit. Come back and tell me you do not wish you could see one of the talents he represented. Come back and tell me you do not want to attend one event he promoted. Come back and tell me you do not see possibly the most talented, trail-blazing, thought-provoking; even, at times, threatening interviews you have ever seen in this business. Or, for that fact, any other. I. Dare you.