Paul Heyman Wanted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in ECW Back in 1996 but Vince McMahon Did Not Allow It to Happen

Paul Heyman The Rock ECW

There’s no denying that Paul Heyman has an eye for talent. He recognizes a great talent when he sees one. No wonder why it is an amazing honor to be known as a “Paul Heyman Guy” in the wrestling business. That said, Heyman once thought The Rock would be a great fit for ECW. But Vince McMahon did not allow The Great One to leave WWE despite not using him well in his own promotion. 

Although The Rock never became a Paul Heyman guy or an ECW original, he rose to prominence in Vince’s company. Today, he is known as one of the greatest ever to step foot in the squared circle.

Not just that, The multi-time WWE Champion was the first-ever to attain the highest level of success in Hollywood. But conjuring up The Rock’s electricity in the extreme environment of ECW is very compelling.

WWE: Grave lutto per Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson | Spazio Wrestling

Paul Heyman seemingly wanted to sign The Rock to ECW

While speaking on Busted Open Radio, hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer recalled how badly Paul Heyman wanted to sign The Rock to ECW. Dreamer recalled the period in 1996 when ECW had formed an alliance with WWE. At the time, many talents in WWE lacked personality and were used underwhelmingly on TV. And The Rock was one of them. 

ECW used some of WWE’s underutilized talents through their alliance and made them notable stars in their promotion. Dreamer noted that Paul Heyman saw something special with The Rock and asked Vince if he could send him over to ECW.

However, Vince McMahon did not allow it. Dreamer also noted that The Rock was an ECW fan but WWE did not think he had it in him.

“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.”

Nonetheless, The Rock eventually went from an insipid character to an electrifying personality in WWE. The ten-time WWE Champion became the face of the Attitude Era, alongside Stone Cold Steve Austin and a few others. 

Did The Rock ever work for ECW?

The closest The Rock came to working with ECW was during the WCW/ECW invasion angle in 2001. However, at that point, Vince had assumed control of both promotions.

The Rock returned from a hiatus in 2001 and teamed up with Team WWE against the Alliance in a traditional tag team elimination match at Survivor Series. With a little assist from Kurt Angle, The Rock pinned Steve Austin to pick up the win for WWE. 

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