Wrestling veteran Rhyno may never have become the multi-time champion and household name he is today, if not for the efforts of Paul Heyman.
During the latest edition of “The Kurt Angle Show,” the Man-Beast recalled getting his start in the original ECW and both Paul Heyman and Jim Cornette enjoying his work. He said,
“He just saw something in me, you know? I mean, Paul Heyman has a great mind for wrestling. And Jim Cornette, I’ll tell you a quick story. Paul, when he hired me, it was a Detroit show. I went and worked out in Grand Rapids. Lansing the next day, there were no workouts. Then in Detroit there were workouts, and I was the only one there to work out with someone else.
“So anyways, he goes, ‘Wait until after the show. I want to talk to you.’ So after the show they did all their pre-tapes, and then he talked to me. It was like 3:00 in the morning and he said, ‘Did you ever try going to WWF or WCW?’ And I said, ‘Jim Cornette got me a dark match. He really likes my work and nothing came of it. And then, just keep in touch.’ And Paul looked off to the side and he goes, ‘Huh, we agree on something.’ And then like, he spaced out.
Rhyno also discussed not winning the ECW TV Championship from Rob Van Dam after RVD suffered a foot injury during a match together. He said,
“We finished the match and he gets to the back and does all of his flips and stuff. I mean, just to land on that, I couldn’t imagine the pain. But he had broken a bone in his foot, right? So he’s like, ‘Oh, I’m all right, I’m all right.’ He takes his shoe off and the thing just blows up.
“We’re like, ‘I don’t know if you’re okay.’ So he had to have surgery, so that’s why he relinquished the title and the tournament. In a way, it would have been nice to beat Rob. But then again, I was still on that ascent and in my career where it would have been better to wrestle him after I got momentum and all that stuff.”
Rhyno was the final ECW World Champion, winning the title in January 2001, before WWE relaunched ECW as its third brand in 2006.