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Paul Heyman to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame in first ceremony without Vince McMahon

Paul Heyman to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame in first ceremony without Vince McMahon

Tooba Shakir 2 months ago 0 0

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Paul Heyman was announced as the first inductee of the WWE’s Hall of Fame class of 2024 on Monday as the “Wiseman” will finally be honored ahead of WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia.

This year’s Hall of Fame class is one of the more intriguing ones in recent memory. It’s the first one that Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE’s chief content officer, will be handling without the input of Vince McMahon. The pro wrestling executive left WWE and TKO Group Holdings after he was accused of sexual misconduct – allegations McMahon has denied.

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Paul Heyman at WrestleMania 39

Paul Heyman watches Cody Rhodes wrestle Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal title during WrestleMania Goes Hollywood at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on April 2, 2023. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Most of Heyman’s illustrious pro wrestling career is rooted in the rivalry he had with McMahon’s WWE when he helped start Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Heyman later worked for WWE after the company bought out ECW and has since been a managerial figure for some of the top stars in the promotion.

“It’s a terribly difficult situation for me to process,” Heyman told Fox News Digital of the allegations against McMahon. “And I’m not done trying to understand it all. And therefore, I’m completely unqualified to offer anybody a proper perspective on it because I’m trying to grasp the enormity of the situation still to this moment.”

The WWE began its Hall of Fame inductions in 1993, starting with Andre the Giant, and then stopped after 1996. The company restarted its classes in 2004 to coincide with WrestleMania XX. It has since evolved into a major event.

WrestleMania comes to Philadelphia, the birthplace of ECW. Heyman joined ECW in 1993 and helped turn the company into the hardcore promotion it is famously remembered as.

Heyman told Fox News Digital he doesn’t think of his induction into the Hall of Fame as “vindication” for what he helped build in ECW and the impact the brand made on pro wrestling.

Paul Heyman at Barclays

Paul Heyman watches the match between WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Big E during the WWE Survivor Series at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City, on Nov. 21, 2021. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

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“I always thought that what we started in Philadelphia and then what we accomplished on a global basis with ECW was exactly what we had intended to accomplish, which was a complete disruption of the status quo in the industry,” Heyman said,

“I think this is simply an acknowledgment of a career that is far from over and just giving flowers to someone while they’re still around instead of my children accepting it posthumously for me.”

Heyman revealed he turned down offers to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame “several times.”

“I accepted this because, No. 1, and very important to me, this is Paul Levesque’s first year of being completely in charge of the induction process,” Heyman said. “And there will be many, many, many years that Paul Levesque will bestow this honor upon people, but there will only be one first. And I have great respect for that man and the job he’s been doing. I would be remiss if I would have turned him down.”

Paul Heyman at SummerSlam

Paul Heyman (Rob Tringali/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images/File)

“No. 2, it’s in Philly. No. 3, it’s WrestleMania 40. No. 4, my kids have been nagging me to accept it, and it means an awful lot to them, and so this is really the perfect storm of me accepting it. Though I’ve always been hesitant because I feel like I have so many more years or decades to contribute to this industry, and to accept what is, in essence, a lifetime achievement award while still achieving, has always been, at least to me, somewhat of a humbling conflict.”

Heyman is so far the first inductee of this year’s class. The ceremony takes place April 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.

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“Heyman’s influence on sports-entertainment has become immeasurable, as his brash, in-your-face attitude has paved the way for multiple generations of managers and Superstars,” WWE said in a statement. “With a resume that is unmatched, Heyman now takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”

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