Shane Douglas Discusses WWE, Shawn Michaels, 'The Franchise' Character & Much More
"'The Franchise' is that guy that never had an off switch. Whatever pops into his head, he says. Whatever he wants to do, he does. Some people would call that psychotic with a guy that can go out and murder someone and explain why it was the right thing to do. To me, that character had very compelling possibilities for television. The first guy that ever came out and used the f-bomb on television. It just oozed through that this guy was -- in his mind -- the most important thing walking on the planet. When that character stepped on camera and had this beautiful valet with him, and you see him throwing guys down with broken necks and throwing the NWA title down -- there was nothing he wouldn't do. That's compelling to watch. It's a train wreck. You're waiting to see what he's going to do next."
On how it was in WWE for his second run with the company: "There was nothing I could point to and say this was a red flag or that was a red flag. I just didn't want to go there. After several trips up, about five trips up, I finally took my wife on one of the trips. She didn't know the first thing about the professional side of things or the business side of our sport but I wanted to use her as the good cop, bad cop (thing). So, I told her on the plane ride up, I said, 'Listen, if he asks you any questions, look him in the eye and tell him exactly what your thoughts are.' It was the only time in my relationship with Carla that I ever did that.
"He said, 'Carla, I'm sure you have some concerns.' She looked him in the eye and said, 'My husband teaches school five days a week and loves that job. He works for Extreme Championship Wrestling, the only company that has utilized his talents fully. He's worked for you once before and he's worked for WCW and NWA and nobody's capitalized on his talent like ECW has. And he's at home with me, five nights a week, in bed. What can you possibly offer my husband to walk away from all that?' She said that right to Vince.
"I thought, like, atta girl. Vince doesn't have a desk, he has a table and it's the most gaudy -- he makes Elvis Presley look tasteful. But, he leaned across and he stroked her hand and said, 'Carla, you have my word as a man: I'm going to make your husband a very wealthy man.' At that point, I slipped in and I said, 'Well, Vince, I'm sure you and I have different definitions to the word wealthy. What are we talking about?' He said, 'Well, we don't offer guaranteed contracts, pal. But, it's not uncommon for someone in the position we're going to put you to make $350,000-550,000 a year.
"I still didn't jump at that. I left, went home and I called Ricky Steamboat, Sharri Martel, Rick Rude, Curt Hennig, Mike Hegstrand and Joe Laurinaitis of the Road Warriors -- literally everybody that had worked in a top spot over there. They all told me the same things. 'That's exactly what he told me and I got rich.' That was when I signed the contract."
On being handed the Intercontinental title by Shawn Michaels: "Vince would always say, 'We believe the fans should always go home happy.' I'd say, 'Well, Vince, with all due respect, that's where you and I disagree. Because I believe in sending the fans home ticked off once in a while so they want to come back and pay to see you get your butt kicked.' So, he told me that Shawn was forfeiting the title -- and it'd take to long to get into the whole thing but he was fine. He hadn't been beaten up like they said he was beaten up. He was fine, the make-up girls beat him up like that.