Former WWE Superstar Paul Burchill now works as a full-time firefighter and paramedic, years after his WWE career ended in disappointing fashion. He lost his passion for the business after some excrutiating years and moved into the business of helping save people’s lives.
But what prompted the change of career for the former OVW Champion? What happened to Paul Burchill? How did he go from the pirate swinging around the arenas to saving lives and running into flaming buildings? In this article, we’ll explore just that.
What happened to Paul Burchill?
Paul Burchill was released by WWE in 2010 after a less-than-successful career in WWE. He seemed to have a lot of potential when he came into the company, but WWE never truly got behind him. Many have reported that Vince McMahon did not understand the Pirate gimmick, which was taking advantage of the roaring success of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, which was just been released. However, that was not the case.
Speaking in 2014, Paul Burchill revealed is what actually Vince who pitched the idea of him being a pirate. Burchill said McMahon literally pitched it to him by saying “you’re going to be a pirate, like from Pirates of the Caribbean” which Burchill went all in on for his most memorable gimmick.
“I went to Mr. McMahon and he said, ‘You’re going to be a pirate, like from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ ” I said, ‘OK, so you want me to be like Keith Richards?’ He said, ‘Yes, but dressed like a pirate!’”
“It’s funny, that seems to be what defines my career. People are like, ‘Oh, the pirate,’ and some are like, ‘That poor guy, he had to do that.’ I would do it right now. I loved it.”
Burchill would swing from a rope onto the stage, dressed like a pirate from the hit movies. His entrance and attire made him an immediate fan favourite, especially given that he had recently split off from ultimate heel William Regal. After a feud between the two, he even convinced Regal to dress up as a pirate himself, leading to an all-time great Smackdown moment between the two.
The gimmick would not last long, as last that year he would be attacked by Mark Henry and written off TV for the foreseeable future.
He would later team up with his in-storyline sister Katie Lea Burchill. The pair had a strange incest angle going which was thankfully stopped by the WWE going PG in 2008. After floundering on the ECW Brand under a variety of gimmicks, including The Ripper, Paul Burchill was released by the WWE in 2010 just months before his “sister” was.
He later took advantage of a WWE talent scholarship to move from professional wrestling into firefighting. Thanks to the companies generosity, he managed to become a firefighter and an EMT. He spoke about how the scholarship saved him from going broke and that he got his degree by the summertime after his release. He now works as a firefighter full time, a job he allegedly loves.
“I [figured I was] going to work a little more and things [were] going to be tight, and then I got this scholarship. Oh my God, it was amazing! It’s literally meant I can quickly go through this degree. I have four more exams to take, some clinical stuff and I should be done by summer. That’s because of the scholarship. I could not do it without it. It’s made such a difference for me.”