One of the things that surprised me the most about the The Rise and Fall of ECW was the apparent level of respect that Paul Heyman was able to command among the various wrestlers of ECW.
Throughout the documentary, many of the ECW wrestlers, like Tommy Dreamer and Tazz, would speak highly of Heyman and his behavior inside and outside the ring. Tazz related a story about one of the times he had to stay out due to injury during which he was still paid by Heyman. At once a nice gesture and an act of surprisingly good faith, it was the kind of thing that seemed to define Heyman's relationship with the wrestlers he managed and generally the way he went about running ECW.
A testament to the loyalty that the wrestlers had to ECW and Heyman was the fact that most of their "contracts" were simply word-of-mouth agreements. When the ECW ran into hard times--during the raids of Bischoff and McMahon as well as their days under TNN--a large part of Heyman's crew felt morally obligated to stick to the the ECW product. This kind of allegiance to a wrestling organization was truly unique. Neither Vince McMahon nor Eric Bischoff, or even their giant organizations could claim to be so esteemed by their crew. While the heads of WCW and WWE were portrayed as high profile execs of their respective wrestling programs, Heyman came off as just one of the guys. Sure, McMahon and Bischoff made their stints in the ring from time to time. However, they were always portrayed as the figureheads of their wrestling establishments, or pretty much as corporate bad asses. Heyman never claimed to be a heel or a face. It seemed like he really was just himself. He was there to openly vent his anger over TNN's censorship just like he was there to bid farewell to Tazz after his final ECW match.
Ultimately, Heyman's attempt to assume the very many responsibilities of managing the ECW would lead to its downfall. Nevertheless, it is apparent that he had a one-of-a-kind establishment and enjoyed a more personal relationship with the wrestlers of ECW.