It was 8 years ago that we last spoke to Shane Douglas here at the Wrestling Epicenter. In an epic interview lasting nearly 2 hours, Shane shot on every subject you could imagine. Here we are 8 years later... Not much has changed! This is a must hear 36 minute interview!
Being completely honest, I wasn't extremely excited about the Extreme Reunion show happening on April 28th heading into the interview. I, James Walsh, loved ECW but have seen far too many reunion shows to make another stand out. But, my opinion changed when Shane said the goal is not only to reunite the original ECW guys but to "relaunch the brand". I would love to see a company with ECW's philosophy start up and shake up the two big companies... After all, isn't that was the original ECW did in the first place? Color me excited!
We hope your opinion will change to and you'll attend the Extreme Reunion at the Armory in Philly on April 28th. Tell Shane the Epicenter sent you!
This interview is available to be heard through WrestlingEpicenter.com. Simply click the link at the top of the page below Shane Douglas' photo. The audio is a part of a YouTube video that you can listen to on your computer, smart phone, or any other portable device. Feel free to browse all of our other interviews conducted over the past 10 years. They're all still online, available to listen to 100% free of charge. And, our next show will feature the young and talented Taeler Hendrix, OVW Knockouts champion! www.WrestlingEpicenter.com.
- The Franchise is welcomed back to promote his new ECW Reunion show in April. He says that everything thus far has gone very well. He feels that all the different reunion shows (like WWE & TNA's attempts) have weakened the brand and expected more difficulty doing this show.
- His opinion that WWE & TNA's attempts at ECW Reunion shows were insulting and did a lot to anger & upset the fans. However, he has found that the true fans of ECW's past are excited for what he has to offer.
- He feels that ECW is so fondly remembered because it was such a polar opposite to what WWF, WCW, & everything else was doing. The other products were accessable for kids, but not adults, and that's what ECW was able to accomplish.
- His reaction to the ECW Arena not being used for wrestling anymore: He's not sure if its finalized yet, but hasn't tried to book the venue for one of his shows. He hopes that this decision doesn't come to pass and that those in charge realize what a great wrestling venue it is. The energy that the ECW brand captured in that building saved the Wrestling business in his eyes. Madison Square Garden is often called the mecca of pro wrestling but for Shane, the ECW Arena is.
- Shane is not a fan of WWE or TNA's products, but wants them to do well. He feels that if Wrestling had multiple successes & strong brands, then the whole business succeeds. Wrestling was at its finest when WWF, WCW, & ECW were all red hot.
- The plan for Extreme Reunion is to do the first show and hopefully make it successful enough to launch as a permanent brand that can offer something different to Wrestling fans, much like ECW did back in the day. It is not just a reunion of the ECW stars but an attempted relaunch. Shane takes aim at WWE, TNA, and Francine's attempts to do ECW reunions calling them "piss poor".
- When ECW first started, nobody knew who Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Sandman, Taz, Shane Douglas, & the like were, but were made into stars through the ECW Brand. One of the goals of a relaunch is to create a new group of misfit stars.
- He never saw Hardcore Justice, TNA's ECW Reunion show. He never saw the full show, but was disgusted by the extremely low pay that the talents got that night as opposed to Flair & Hogan extremely large paychecks. He didn't do the show over money disputes. He described what they offered him as "laughable" but counter-offered that he'd work for free if they made a donation to Wounded Warriors instead.
- Shane, had he worked Hardcore Justice, would have wanted to work with Ric Flair just to settle their issues going back to the 90s. Whatever personal problems he has with Flair, he does respect him as a performer, though he feels he is over the hill now.
- When talking about the Flair/Franchise Slamboree match, he said he wanted to work professionally with Flair to do the best work for WCW. However, he later found out that Flair suggested alot of the bad ideas that litered that feud. It means nothing to him that he went over, and says that they hit each other with some stiff shots. He respected Flair for never complaining about those shots.
- Jesse Ventura used to say on commentary that he was "From the Rush Limbaugh Institute". He says that Ventura & he used to have political debates, Douglas more conservative and Jesse more liberal. He says that he was amazed that Jesse won the governorship and governed as conservatively as he did. He also put over Jesse as a very intelligent guy.
- When asked about "Perfect Strangers" by Deep Purple, he says that it was originally supposed to belong to Chris Benoit, while Douglas originally used "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz. They wound up using "Perfect Strangers" as part of Triple Threat with Benoit & Malenko and just kept it after they left it. He feels that song captures The Franchise character perfectly.
- He is hopeful that the Extreme Reunion will bring in a new group of young fans whose parents followed the original ECW.
- When asked about Johnny Ace's role in WWE & the shots against The Dynamic Dudes, he says that he doesn't watch the show regularly. Personally, he says that it wasn't one of his prouder moments & didn't like the name, but he isn't ashamed of the run. He says it was the first time in wrestling that he made good money and felt had they stuck with the original name "The Next Generation", it would have worked better.
- Shane feels Johnny Ace was a bad mic worker back in the day and is worse now, and bad promos are a major problem in wrestling today. So many of the talking segments either have no point, run too long, are poorly delivered word for word scripts, or a combination of all those problems. That's one major aspect of wrestling he would like to fix.
- When asked if Paul Heyman will play any role in this new reunion, he simply answers "Stay Tuned".
- When commented that "Shane Douglas was Triple H before Triple H was" he says that he was never upset by any similarities and appreciates hard work & trying to capture an individual spirit.
- When WCW & ECW folded, wrestling as a whole took a major hit, and Shane feels that losing ECW in particular caused wrestling to lose logical & adult storylines. That is something he wants to recapture. He also says that Heyman let the stars be themselves and the team effort from the boys carried the ball. The Franchise was mostly his own creation as well. Now, the stars are just forced to act out a step for step script without injecting their own personality into what they are given.
- Will Paul Heyman be a part of a brand relaunch? "Wait and see", says Shane... Hmmm.
- Before ending the interview, we get one last plug for Extreme Reunion as it hopefully succeeds and brings about another wrestling brand.
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