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Former WCW, WWE and ECW Legend, current head of Extreme Rising and Crossfire Director of Operations the always opinionated “Franchise” Shane Douglas joined Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday Night. In a nearly 30 minute interview, he talked about Extreme Reunion’s pluses and minuses and what to expect from Extreme Rising, his use of social media and its use by wrestlers and fans, his involvement with Crossfire and a possible return to the ring, why he chose the six participants for the Heavyweight Championship Tournament, the climate of profession wrestling and what he would do to fix it, and a litany of other topics.
The Pluses of the Extreme Reunion show- “What went right was we hit our stride, we showed our promotional capacity, we brought in a hell of a house with 2,000+ with 600 turned away which it unheard of in independent wrestling today. It shows that the wrestling legacy that ECW left still has legs and the fans are still willing to see something that is a reference to how the business was back in 1992 that brought rise to the original ECW the first time. If WCW and WWF, back then, were giving fans what they wanted, then nobody would give a damn about what we did in that bingo hall. Instead, we changed wrestling forever and I think that legacy still holds on and we tapped into some of that.”
The Youtube video/social media he recently released about the Extreme Rising event- “It was about getting out ahead; this whole thing with the social media, it has toppled governments talk to Mubarak in Egypt and Gadhafi in Libya. We wanted to make sure we were well ahead of, or at least trying to maintain ourselves, with the social media and that we understand how powerful it can be; how powerful one or two voices can be in a sea of thousands voices or two thousand voices. So I wanted to get out ahead of it because there were things that went right with the show but there were things that, I’m sure you can imagine, that I was less than thrilled about with the show: with Sabu, with Justin Credible, with Raven and whatever you call his segment (that was not what was booked). So from those standpoints, I was not happy at all about the show and I wanted to make sure those things didn’t take on a life of their own and become the tattoo on the show.”
His opinion of wrestling today- “My belief is our wrestling business is in a very bad place today. Vince McMahon has historic low ratings, his stock is at historic low numbers, his revenue is at a historic low level never before seen, house shows are bad. Wrestlemania, after spending $10+ million and over a year to promote it; not sold out. These are numbers you can’t ignore. I can have my opinion all I want; no one knows where I stand on TNA and WWE’s product, but those numbers scream from the mountaintops what’s really going on; you can’t deny it, you can’t say it’s not going on but the proofs in the pudding. The fans are demanding something different; we’ve lost 43-45 million fans that used to watch wrestling 10-12 years ago. They didn’t disappear and they didn’t get sucked up in a rapture that we were all left behind on, so what in the world can we do to bring those fans back to the table? From where I sit, that’s the problem I’m working on; how do we get those people back to the table?”
His involvement in Crossfire Wrestling- “I’m committed to the product, I believe in what they are doing, I believe in Marcus (Pastorius, CEO/Owner of Crossfire Wrestling), and I believe in the company and the commentary. But I believe in it from the standpoint of me contributing from the office. I don’t think Crossfire needs Shane Douglas in the ring; they have enough talent down there and bringing stars in like Bret Hart (coming in August) which is a huge deal down there. So, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to just sit there and say ‘Well, they need Shane Douglas in the ring’; they have enough talent, they are loaded on talent. What they need from Shane Douglas is for me to bring in my 30 years of experience and helping to get these guys over and I’m committed to that with Crossfire and Marcus.”
For more information on the Crossfire event on August 4th, log onto www.crossfirellc.vze.com and for this weekend’s Extreme Rising shows (June 29th in Corona, NY and June 30th in Philadelphia, PA), log onto www.extremereunion.net. Shane can be followed on Twitter (@Real_Franchise), through Crossfire Wrestling (@CrossfireLLC) and his websites http://www.franchisefansite.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/shanethefranchisedouglas