Paul Heyman Comments On The 25th Anniversary Of ECW Barely Legal

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Paul Heyman, the former founder and owner of the original ECW, took a moment to comment on the 25th Anniversary of ECW’s first-ever pay-per-view event – “Barely Legal”, which took place on April 13th, 1997.

Heyman wrote the following:

“April 13, 1997: #ECW’s very first PPV, BarelyLegal.

Sigh.


I suck at being nostalgic.


I’m still too ambitious, looking for new things to accomplish. Yet I would be remiss if I didn’t say SOMETHING about this anniversary.

ECW Barely Legal did not take place at a time where there was 1 brand so dominant, it was easy for companies to call themselves alternative or revolutionary.

We took on two billion-dollar companies during the most hyper-competitive environment in the history of the industry.


ECW’s fight to get on PPV has been covered in books, documentaries, et al. From ppv distributors’ confusion w/ MMA; our competitors doing everything to keep us off PPV; our uncompromising insistence on doing the show w/ our directors, a one-man announce booth, from the world’s most infamous bingo hall on literally the wrong side of the tracks in South Phily; we were willing to die before we’d sell out our vision.


As much credit as we get for being outlaws, true to our cause … we weren’t the ones who got ECW cleared on PPV. It was our fans.

The emails; letter writing campaigns; bombarding cable company execs w/ round-the-clock faxes (what’s a FAX?); picketing #Cablevision offices. ECW was a true revolution.

We didn’t have sponsors, billion dollar trust funds, secret financiers. We had balls, a belief in ourselves and our fans, who championed the cause, changed the industry forever.

I don’t like writing these looks back because the journey to PPV was filled with such moment-by-moment heart-pounding pressure, it’s impossible to encapsulate in mere words. It’s why I’ve shunned all pushes for a scripted movie to be made about it. #BubbaRayDudley likes to say ECW was wrestling’s version of #Napster. We weren’t meant to last. We were there to lead the revolution, indeed evolution, of where the business would go. I often tap out trying to describe it better.

We did it. We made it. The ECW fans got us there.


For that, I will forever be indebted … and I’m going to spend the rest of my career continuing that passion, drive, ambition to over-deliver past anyone’s expectations; to be part of something where the level of performance is … all puns intended…EXTREME!”

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