One of the most fruitful partners Funko continues to have for making more Pop! figures is the WWE, producing vinyl figures for the likes of legends like Steve Austin and Mick Foley, modern stars such as Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns, and even Vince McMahon. One individual who has yet to get a vinyl figure, though, despite the impact he continues to have on WWE, both on camera and behind the scenes, is Paul Heyman. However, this is going to change very shortly as Funko and WWE will be releasing a new Pop! figure, exclusively at GameStop, for the “mad scientist” of professional wrestling, paying homage to his time leading the ECW revolution.
WWE offered a first look at the newest figure on Twitter alongside a link to pre-order the figure from GameStop, showing how Paul Heyman translates as a Funko vinyl figure. As mentioned above, the figure takes inspiration from Heyman’s time as the head of Extreme Championship Wrestling during the 90s, serving as the third option for wrestling fans who were not keen on the product WWF and WCW were putting on TV. The figure reflects this time with Heyman sporting an ECW baseball hat, dressed in a t-shirt with a blazer and slacks, and a microphone in hand.
The choice makes sense for a Heyman Pop! figure as this is the time when he became the Heyman audiences came to know between ECW and, later, WWE. He would make small changes to his look over time, adopting a full suit when in WWE and wearing hats representing either WWE, ECW, or his home state of New York.
He, also, isn’t a surprising choice given the overall impact Heyman has made on the professional wrestling industry. From 1993 to 2001, Heyman led the charge of ECW being a “true” alternative to the shows WWE/F and WCW were putting on at the time. The promotion became famous and infamous for helping make “hardcore wrestling” more mainstream thanks to a combination of violent, chaotic matches and some of the best young in-ring performers at the time, including Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio.
ECW would also be the proverbial springboard for many talents and ideas that would ultimately be featured on WWE/F and WCW’s television shows. Both companies adopted hardcore championships as an excuse to feature this type of wild wrestling on the shows more regularly while courting some of the top names to jump ship. Wrestlers like Taz, Lance Storm, Rob Van Dam, Eddie Guerrero, and many others would find their way to financially greener pastures, though many fans would argue it was due in no small part to Heyman bringing them to ECW.