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WRESTLING COLUMNS

He's Buff and He's the Stuff
April 7, 2006 by Sara Anders


I was a first time visitor to www.OnlineWorldofWrestling.com when I decided to look up one of my favorite wrestlers, and I was surprised to come across the "Hall "OWW" Shame" with the picture of one of my favorite wrestlers of all times Shane Douglas. So I read the article and was disappointed in the way it made light of the career of one of the most important wrestlers of the 90's. The article even went as far as to call Shane Douglas "Crap". Are you kidding me" You are talking about a guy who was rated in the Top 100 of the "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 List" from 1993 to 2000. Shane Douglas is one of only a few guys who can say he held titles in four of the major companies in the 90's - WWF, NWA, WCW, and ECW.

Most of the "Hall "OWW" Shame" article centered around his lack luster WWF and WCW days, and made light of his ECW run. Vince has always been a fan of the smart, pompous, I'm better than you because I use big words characters like: The Genius Lanny Poffo, Mr. Perfect, and Chris Nowinksi from "Tough Enough 1." So when Shane Douglas came in and Vince found out that he had a B.A. in Education he came up with the Dean Douglas character, a lot like what he has done with the Matt Striker character that he is using right now today. From what I hear Shane was never that fond of the Dean Douglas character, and it had a part in him leaving the company along with his fathers' poor health; and as far as his problems with "The Click" he's not the only one who felt they got a raw deal from those guys.

Now let's look at his ECW run. This is where most people have their problem with Shane Douglas. At the time in the early 90's ECW wasn't on national television, and many people didn't get a chance to see some of the ground breaking things he did there. I was fortunate enough to be able to see a lot of ECW because it was picked up by PRIMESPORTS (this name may not be exactly right) in Oceanside, California where I lived. The show would come on anytime between 12am and 4am on Friday nights from about 1994 to about 1997; when I moved and could no longer get the station. I later got a chance to see it again when it was picked up by TNN. But if you didn't get a chance to see Shane Douglas in this period you never got a chance to see him in his prime. I had became a fan of his after seeing him team up with one of my all-time favorites Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat when they won the WCW World Tag Team Championships in 1992 I think it was. So when I saw him is ECW I was aware of his in ring work, but was blown away when I heard him on the microphone. He was the only guy I seen at the time who didn't seem to have this over the top mic voice, which had become almost cartoonish to me at the time. He would just grab the mic and go on to cut some of the most convincing promos I've ever seen, and what was most impressive is that he would be willing to back it up. For example Ric Flair would cut a promo saying how a guy couldn't carry his jock strap, but if the guy came out he wouldn't crack an egg until he had to in a match. Shane Douglas's character on the other hand would proceed to cut a promo and when he finally got the guy to come out to the ring wouldn't think twice about getting in the ring and backing up all the trash he had talked; he wouldn't always win, but if he called you out he would back it up. This was a first for me to see a heel with wevos. Until Shane, a heel - if you weren't a beast like Vader - would act more like a bully on the school playground, meaning they would talk a lot on noise but if you stood up to them they would more than likely back down.

If you had got a chance to see the Shane Douglas of that time you would see a lot of similarities between that character and the early version of The Rock's heel turn; how he would cut promos while walking to the ring to get in the face of his baby face protagonists. Even when you look at Steve Austin when he came to ECW and the promos he cut on Hogan and Dusty Rhodes - I'm not saying that Austin stole that from Shane - I'm just saying Shane did the whole thing first when he got to ECW and he would cut promos on Hogan and Flair. He made that pissed off, trash talking, get in the ring and prove me wrong style of heel popular - to me anyway - and a lot of his attitude was what ECW was built around long before RVD and before Sabu really established himself as the face of ECW. Shane Douglas kept that company afloat for a good 3 years before RVD and Sabu started having there classic matches. Remember, RVD didn't even come to ECW until 1996. On a side note, if you want to talk about lack luster runs and misuses of talent look no further than RVD's WWE and WCW runs. Yes he did have a WCW run; remember Robbie V.

Now for those wrestling fans who loved ECW remember this: if it wasn't for Shane Douglas ECW might not have even lasted as long as it did. If you don't get where I'm coming from follow this: Eastern Championship Wrestling was a part of NWA. So when Shane Douglas won the NWA title in 1994 and threw it down that's what called for the name change to Extreme Championship Wrestling and the companies' separation from NWA. ECW might have just ended up being another independent company that you never heard of. That milestone also further imprinted the attitude of ECW on the minds of wrestling fans as this new era of professional wrestling, and it was Shane Douglas leading the ship. That moment was one of the biggest in wrestling history and should not be over looked. Shane Douglas put all his eggs in one basket with that move and made it pay off, becoming the true "Franchise" of ECW.

As far as his second run with WCW, by the time Shane got there the company was already in trouble and they didn't really know how to use his character. They gave him a short storyline and a quick run with the U.S. title, but never took advantage of the heat he had from ECW or made the effort to play up feuds that he had with other former ECW stars that were working with the company. Too many times do we find ourselves, as fans, blaming the talent for not getting over in a particular company, but when it comes down to it your only going to be as good as the storyline they put you in, and at the time if you weren't one of the big names in WCW you were not going to get a major push.

I'm going to try and wrap this up, I never intended for this to be this long. So in closing I'd like to ask a question. What do you look for in a good wrestler: mic skills, in ring ability, a good bump taker, or a great story teller" Well Shane Douglas is all four. If you don't think so hunt down some of the ECW DVD's like the ones with Douglas vs. The Pitbulls, or Tazz, or Tommy Dreamer, to name a few. Even if you don't like Shane Douglas as a person you have to respect his place as a great performer in the wrestling business and a milestone character in his era.

by Marcellus Horton


Wattsrvn wrote:
I agree 100% with what you've said Marcellus. Shane Douglas was truly one of, if not the greatest heel character that wrestling has ever seen. He had the ability to make fans really despise him on the mic, and then go to the ring and kick the snot out of his opponent, which made fans that much madder. Douglas was great in ECW, with his steller matches with Terry Funk, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer and Taz. The Triple-Threat Match with Funk and Sabu was brilliant! He was also good in WCW, especially when he was teamed with Johnny Ace (Animal's brother) as the Dynamic Dudes, and he feuded with the Hollywood Blondes (Steve Austin and Brian Pillman). Their matches were so good that they would often be pushed to the main event, a pretty impressive feat when the roster at the time featured guys like Sting, Ron Simmons, Cactus Jack and Vader. I also agree with you that people often think of Dean Douglas instead of "The Franchise" when they think of Shane, simply because many wrestling fans have only watched WWE and only see the WWE's characters. Shane Douglas hated the Dean character so much he even tried to talk Mick Foley out of going to WWE because he was worried that his friend and former classmate (in Dominic Denucci's wrestling school) would get stuck with a lame gimmick like he was. Douglas can still go in the ring. He's made several Ring of Honor appearances, and he put on a great match at Hardcore Heaven, so I too think that he doesn't deserve to be in the OWW Hall of Shame.
Brad Dykens wrote: For the record, Shane Douglas isn't in the Hall of Shame, DEAN Douglas is.

Jesse Lee wrote:
Um.. I don't think the submitter of that particular "Crap" actually dislikes Shane Douglas. It was written to describe Douglas' career in WWF, which was indeed crap. The Kliq (HBK, Diesel, Razor Ramon, and 1-2-3 Kid) were the top game in WWF at the time. The talented Franchise was pushed below them due to politics. Also, it was the time period where, as Wrestlecrap.com puts it, "everyone had a profession before being a prowrestler." In this case, Shane Douglas was supposed to be a teacher, or a dean, before he came into the World Wrestling Federation (Entertainment.) Chill out sometimes, man, and ask questions. I personally loved Shane Douglas whenever I had the chance to view him in prime-ECW. However, I also feel that Dean Douglas was, indeed, crap.
raphael esguerra wrote:
the character "Dean Douglas" is in the hall of shame, as it should be. shane douglas of ecw, or even the less entertaining shane douglas of wcw, isnt in the H.O.S. id be pissed off as well if that was in the H.O.S. because shane douglas helped revolutionize EXTREME. but Dean Douglas is a MUST for the H.O.S because its another one of those "really good talents given a horrible gimmick by Vince."
Chris Palmer wrote:
Hey, Marcellus, did you actually read the article in question" If you had, you would have noticed the last paragraph, which gave props to Douglas' runs in ECW and noted his sporadic success in WCW, but still gave him credit for it. What it was referring to was the Dean Douglas gimmick AND ONLY THE DEAN DOUGLAS GIMMICK. If you had read the article in question, you might not have felt the need to go off on it. Next time, read something through before you criticize it.
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