PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Paul Heyman first hustled his way into professional wrestling as a teenager with a press pass at Madison Square Garden in the 1970s. Even then, working behind-the-scenes and mingling with the oddities in the outlier of the sports world appealed to Heyman. He struck up a relationship with Vince McMahon Sr. — the old promoter of what is now WWE — and was hired for $50 as a ringside photographer.

    Heyman ditched the camera long ago, but he never stopped trying to tell wrestling stories through his vision. He was an advocate, a wiseman and a manager — and now, call him a WWE Hall of Famer. Heyman will be inducted April 5 at the WWE ceremony at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, the city that served as home base for his old Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion in the 1990s.

    Paul Heyman and his brashness made him a prominent force in the locker room. He schmoozed with some of the wildest personalities of the era — “Captain” Lou Albano, Gorilla Monsoon, The Wild Samoans — and even pitched storyline ideas long before the curtain was ripped open and wrestling became a top form of entertainment.

    He is best known for his work with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), where he served as the owner, booker, and on-screen personality during the promotion’s heyday in the 1990s. Heyman’s innovative and edgy approach to storytelling and character development contributed to ECW’s unique identity.

    After ECW, Paul Heyman also worked for WWE as a commentator, whilst Jerry Lawler had some time off, and a creative writer for Smackdown and WWE. Paul Heyman is particularly recognized for his dynamic speaking abilities and his role as the advocate for several WWE Superstars, most notably Brock Lesnar, CM Punk and Roman Reigns.