Paul Heyman Attempted To Bring Dwayne Johnson To ECW

Paul Heyman

Extreme Championship Wrestling was founded in 1992 as Eastern Championship Wrestling. In the summer of 1994, Eastern Championship Wrestling would be renamed as the anti-establishment Extreme Championship Wrestling, known widely as ECW.

In 1995 the company was sold to it’s head booker, Paul Heyman, and would soon attract great popularity. Soon thereafter Heyman would forge a relationship with Vince McMahon and WWE.

During September 1996’s In Your House:Mind Games pay-per-view, Heyman would appear in the front row alongside ECW stars Tommy Dreamer, Taz and The Sandman. The latter would even throw beer on popular Superstar Savio Vega during a Caribbean Strap match with Justin Bradshaw, who would go on to greater WWE fame as JBL.

ECW stars would invade RAW on multiple occasions in the ensuing months, with commentator Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler consistently insulting the smaller promotion on the air. In reality it was setting up a feud between ECW and Lawler’s USWA group. WWE and ECW’s new working relationship saw some greener WWE talent, such as Droz and Brakkus, appear on ECW television in order to hone their skills.

Paul Heyman attempted to bring Dwayne Johnson to ECW

One such talent that still needed to find his groove at the time was a young Dwayne Johnson. In a recent appearance on Busted Open Radio, former ECW star Tommy Dreamer has spoken of the working relationship and revealed that Heyman pushed hard for Johnson to be sent to ECW:

“I remember Paul [Heyman] being like, ‘Give me that guy.’ That guy was The Rock. They were doing nothing with him. Paul saw something with him, even back then, and Vince wouldn’t let him go. Would that have been awesome to have The Rock under the ECW Original banner? Yes, but it didn’t happen.”

ECW would eventually close in spring 2001, by which time Johnson had captured the WWE Championship on multiple occasions. Heyman would swiftly make his way to WWE after the closure, taking a space at the commentary table vacated by Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

H/T: WrestlingInc for the above transcription