Shane Douglas Talks Turning Down TNA, Tonight's Extreme Rising IPPV, Matt Hardy, More

But, I had several friends that attended the show and from the people that I talked to in the company about how the guys were treated. Then, of course, the thing with some of the guys being inebriated after the event and everything else. I knew that they would just capitalize on that and try to make us all just look like misfits as opposed to what I feel is a very creative group of guys. Guys that I always respected and that I worked side by side with and shoulder to shoulder with these guys for years.

I didn't think it was right for them to try to squeeze that legacy for a few bucks and then turn right around and treat them ad second-rate citizens.

WrestlingINC: What made you decide to get back in the fold and start Extreme Rising earlier this year?

Douglas: Well, over the last several years on the independent scene, I caught myself almost nightly seeing a piece of talent here, two pieces of talent there at these independent shows. I kept saying to myself, 'Man, this guy would have been great in ECW. This guy would have fit perfectly in Extreme.'

After several times of doing that, over and over and over again and at nauseam, I thought, what if we gave them that forum? What if we were able to give these kids that open forum where we're not saying, 'Here's a script, here's what we want you to read and say. Here's what we want you to do and be.' But, allow those kids -- the same as I was allowed to create the Franchise character and flesh that character out.

What would happen with these group of kids that are so athletic today and yet have no real connection or understanding of where the business used to be and how it was put forth and created. And, if you gave them that, what would be the outcome of it? What will they come up with creatively?

As the promoter of Extreme Rising, I'm enamored by the idea the same as the first time I saw Sabu hit his triple-jump moonsault. I was in the back watching the monitor and I jumped out of my seat like a mark. I was so impressed by seeing that, thinking, my God, that is so cool as hell. I want to see these kids not go out and mimic us or imitate us. Or just use a chair or table because that's what we used to do. I'm enthralled with the idea of seeing these young kids who are so talented and athletic show me what the next thing is. What's the next triple-jump moonsault? What's the next putting-somebody-through-a-table?

Give us their take on extreme in 2012 and 2013. That's what brings the fan out in me.

WrestlingINC: When you ran the first event, it didn't go so smoothly. What do you think went wrong with the first one?

Douglas: Well, first off, let me defend the show. If you watched that show without listening to any of the pre-hype or post-criticism from certain people, if you watch that show from start to finish, that's not a bad show. It holds up pretty strong from start to finish. Kudos to Crowbar who was put in a very difficult situation then went out there and put out what I consider to be a five star performance.

Kudos to 2 Cold Scorpio who was at the last minute put into the main event without any forethought or any opportunity to think it through like we had with all of our other matches up to that point. 2 Cold delivered very well. So, I think the show on it's own merit stands up very strong.

That said, it wasn't what we wanted to present as Extreme Reunion and it wasn't the product that we wanted to put out there. But I don't think that it was anywhere near the people that were being hyper-critical of it because of those things. It's fine to be critical of it, saying, 'Hey, I thought it was going to be Sabu and Justin Credible and instead we got something different.' In that vain, the criticism is well put and completely on the mark. You have every right to say that.

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