Shane Douglas Talks Extreme Rising, ECW, Leaving WWE, WCW Folding, WWE's ECW Revival
|By Raj Giri||November 16, 2012 | Comments|
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WrestlingINC: You started your career in the '80s, you've been around a long time now. In the '90s, you started in WCW before going to ECW and you were there right when ECW started to reach catch fire and it was completely different than anything we had seen. What were your thoughts on being there at that time and being there from WCW and when you left?
Douglas: Well, I got my break in the business with the now-defunct Bill Watts' TWF, the old Mid-South, Which was really in many ways the predecessor to ECW in it's time, in that age. It was a really cool, high-impact, snug type of product. It was pro wrestling the way we all remembered it.
WCW sort of followed that theme. Then, you started to see a lot of the silly story lines. WCW lost sight of what it's strength was. At least from my point of view, it was always seen as the wrestling company, not the entertainment company. When they got away from that and started getting into the cartoon characters instead of their strength, you could see their support and popularity sort of begin to wane away.
To leave all that and go to this little company named ECW -- I had been out of the business a while, six months or so when I got the call from Eddie Gilbert to go to Eastern Championship Wrestling. For me, going in for the first time, I remember going to the airport. Terry Funk and I being picked up at the same time. Driving over the hotel, he said to me, 'Shane, how long do you think we'll ride this train before it runs off the tracks?' We really thought it was just another independent company. Seven and a half years later, I think we were all in awe of what it had become and what it left as a legacy.
It was just one of those things where everything lined up right. When Eddie Gilbert left, I think Paul Heyman was a much better choice. Especially for the time frame to give it that hip, cool look. I think Eddie Gilbert rekindled a lot of the Memphis stuff. I love Eddie and I respect Eddie and my break into the business Eddie gave me. But, I think Paul Heyman was the right thing at the right time to bring that new feel and style that the American wrestling scene had never seen before.
It was great for me to be a part of it. To see something go from nothing more than a small, tiny independent wrestling company to something that changed the flow of professional wrestling and left a very lasting legacy.
WrestlingINC: When you signed with WWF in 1995 and left ECW during it's initial ascent, what was that like? WWF at that time was completely the opposite. It was really geared towards kids, you have a bunch of silly gimmicks, I mean, they gave you the Dean Douglas character. How big of a change was that?
Douglas: Tectonic, to me. I mean, coming from ECW where I was basically given the chance to shoot my promos. There were no scripted out promos given to me. The finishes in our matches and the story lines -- Paul would give us the general outline of a story line he was developing and then we would take it and steer it with how we were finising the match, the spots that we would show. We really did have input in that, to me, was very refreshing. I'd never seen that before that.
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