Shane Douglas Discusses WWE, Shawn Michaels, 'The Franchise' Character & Much More

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Recently, BeneathTheMat.com's Brian Soscia talked with former ECW Champion Shane Douglas during a candid, lengthy conversation that virtually covered his entire career. Among the topics, Douglas discussed; John Laurinaitis, his WWE runs, Shawn Michaels and much more. Here are some of the highlights:

On his former tag team partner in the Dynamic Dudes, John Laurinaitis, and where he is today: "Johnny's an extraordinarily bright guy. He came from a corporate background. He worked for Honey Well up in Minnesota before he even got into wrestling. So, [his success] doesn't surprise me because, A, he's college educated and B, he's got that corporate background. He fits into that three piece suit routine that I never quite acclimated to. [Laughs.]

"But, he does have a good head on his shoulders. The one thing that surprises me with Johnny is that, for years -- not just when we were together as a team because we traveled together before then when he was still working with the Sheep Herders -- he used to say it nightly. At the time, he didn't like how the boys were being treated by the company. You were treated like a piece of meat. If you get hurt -- Ahh, if you're hurt, get out of my way. That kind of stuff. You were treated very condescendingly. He told me every single night, 'Shane, with our college educations and our backgrounds, one of these days, we're going to run this industry. We're going to do things differently.'

"Now, I hear from the wrestlers that are up there now that it seems like Johnny Ace is just the same old promoter. Becoming a boss is very different from being a wrestler. There's a lot of baby sitting that has to go on. Last night, we were on the phone until three o'clock in the morning, taking care of guys. Travel issues and all of these last minute issues that as grown men and professionals, they should have taken care of or asked about before last night. But that's what happens in that position so it goes with the territory.

"I saw an interview with Paul Stanley from KISS and he said, 'If you want to be a politician, don't b---h about wearing a tie.' [Laughs.] What a great line. So, you know, I'm not complaining but it goes with the territory. To be fair to Johnny, that's a very tough position to be running a company of that size with that money prima donas, egos and attitudes.Too be able to to do that and not take flack for it -- sooner or later, somebody's going to say something."

On whether or not he could tell that his ECW run was going to be as big as it was: "I felt good about the character. When Paul Heyman came and gave me the whole idea for the character, 'The Franchise', I remember the NFL was just starting to classify one of their players as the franchise player. So that was the whole idea, that 'The Franchise' was the franchise player for ECW.

"When he gave me the idea for the character, it was very simple. He only ever gave me one direction, he didn't micro-manage it every week. 'Do this, do this, don't do that.' He said to me the very first night we talked about it, 'You're the captain of the football team that steals everybody's girlfriend and sleep with them.' So, I said, 'I know that guy.' Then, over the next two years, we fleshed that character out and we made a ton of mistakes with the character but I only made them once. When it didn't work, we scratched it off the list. So, after a year and a half or two, there was a character that was very organic, very close and true to who I was on the dark side -- which I think everybody has.

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