Shane Douglas recently spoke before the weekend's Extreme Rising show. Here are the highlights…
Thoughts on the Extreme Reunion Show: Very small portions of the crowd were hostile. When Bob Artese walked out to the ring, he got three words into his introduction, "Hello, and Welcome," and there were already groups of people around the audience telling him to "Shut the F up." There were people there with an agenda. The feedback we got back from the show has been 85% to 95% positive. I said from day one, the show did not come off as we planned, and we took responsibility for that. But we made every amends we could, we made very quick decisions that needed to be made immediately to show our fan base that we were taking those directions, ie; Sabu going immediately into rehab, which to me, in the larger scheme of things, the fact that Sabu chose that path because of what happened in April, to me, is a huge win... The quality of the show is there. If you watch it and don't read any kind of either Shane Douglas' take or Joe Blow's take on it, if you watch the show from start to finish, it's a damn good wrestling show, and I stand behind it... I was so busy in the back literally shuffling the card, second to second, because of Sabu and Justin Credible, who really had the opportunity to stand up and help. I remember the story about Metallica up in Montreal, and James Hetfield got burned pretty badly, and Guns N' Roses really could've stepped up and delivered, and the fans would have walked out and said "man, we didn't get to see Metallica, but Guns N' Roses was phenomenal." Instead, Axl got pissed off and walked off stage, instigating a riot which tore the Montreal Center to pieces. Justin had a unique opportunity to stand up and pull the pieces together which is what everyone that endeavors to be a main event talent wants to do... I assumed going into the last match that the crowd was apprised to the fact that Sabu and Justin were unavailable, especially with Sabu being in the main event. Unbeknownst to me, the crowd had not been apprised of that. I assumed that it had scuttle butted way through, just from word of mouth, because people in the crowd were texting about it, and information was flying back and forth. I guess I assumed wrongly. When I went out to announce that Sabu was not performing, I assumed the crowd knew, that was my faux pas. But 2 Cold Scorpio stepped in the ring in a very tough position, and he really delivered. He didn't half-ass it because he wasn't the advertised main event. He went out and gave it his all and really delivered for us. If you step back... and you watch the show from the first bell to the last bell, it stands up, it's a good wrestling show. Solid. It wasn't what we wanted to deliver, but I don't hide from any of it.
On Justin Credible getting a second chance: Absolutely. I'm a huge fan of Justin Credible, more than that, I'm a dear friend of Peter Polaco's. What angered me more than anything- of course I was angry as the guy who he'd been telling for four months that that wasn't gonna happen, so yeah, I was pissed about that at the point- but more importantly I was worried about Peter Polaco. As someone that's been through this disease; this disease kills people. And it kills them quickly and without incident, and it don't care about whether you're a nice guy or a bad guy, you're rich or you're poor, you're white or you're black, you're tall or you're short, you're fat or you're thin. It kills people. When I saw PJ in that position, it broke my heart. This kid is incredibly talented, no pun intended. At his age, he's at that point in his life where he could still be making a boatload of money with his talent level, but nobody, and you can't blame Vince, you can't blame Dixie, you can't blame us, you cannot invest money in a guy that's taking whatever and who can't guarantee his performance. If he just finished the 45 days, that's the best news I've heard all day long, and absolutely the door is wide open for PJ to come back.
On New Jack and taking the Gangstas out of the upcoming cage match, and precautions in general: As the booker, and one of the owners of the company, I have to be cognizant that a: someone is healthy enough to go to the ring, and b: that they're not going out there just because of the warrior attitude that we all have, how many times I've gone to the ring injured. After I had major reconstruction on my elbow after November to Remember '97, I checked myself out of the hospital, in order to make a show that weekend where Taz german-suplexed me in a cast up to my shoulder. Now that was stupid on my part. We were brought into the business to make your shots, don't let the fans down, and all of that. I, as the booker of Extreme Rising and an owner of the company, will not allow anyone to go out there and do that. Look, New Jack's toughness is not in question. He's proven that how many times over the last two decades. What I don't want is Jerome Young going out and performing stunts just because he's got that attitude, and walking away in much worse condition than he would've been going in. I can't allow- especially because it was news to me. At the show that night in Pittsburgh, I spoke to New Jack. He didn't seem to be in any pain, he never said to me that he was in pain, he wasn't limping or hobbling around. So when I read this on Facebook, I certainly was concerned about it because my first thing was that Jerome Young's health be protected. I can't let somebody go out there like I did, injured, and allow themselves to bang themselves up, and then down the road, God knows what happens. An Oxycontin addiction or whatever. These are not made-up scenarios, these are real-life scenarios that happened in my life, and how many brothers I've put in the ground. I care not to do that anymore. So if I can do something as the... (Continues on next page)