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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.”
Former ECW Legend and the “Evil F’n Show” Jerry Lynn joined Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday Night. In a nearly 45 minute interview, he discussed Metallica, the situation at Extreme Reunion with Justin Credible and his match with Crowbar, his upcoming matches with Matt Hardy and Homicide at Extreme Rising, his pending retirement from wrestling, his participation in the Crossfire Heavyweight Championship Tournament on August 4th, the use of social media and the destruction of “kayfabe”, the independent wrestling industry and their battles with one another, who he wants his final match to be with and where and so much more.
His match with Crowbar on Extreme Reunion and wrestling in front of the extreme fans- “For me, the most fun I’ve ever wrestling and the best time I’ve ever had, as far as work goes, was ECW. I’ve done a lot of the ECW reunion cards or homecomings, and all that, and it’s always been just a blast and the ECW fans are just great to wrestle in front of. That give you a little more Umph, a little more motivation to go out there and just kill it. I don’t know, no matter who I’m out there with, I always just want to go out there and have fun.”
The situation at Extreme Reunion with Justin Credible- “It was a very stressful day, trying to figure out what we were going to do as far as what the match was going to be; who was going to be in the match? Justin has had he demons that he can’t beat yet and hopefully he will; I don’t want to hear someday that he’s the next one we are going to have to bury. Cause he’s a great guy, I love him to death; I’ve wrestled him I don’t know how many times and had great matches with him. I always said if I ever turned heel one day, I hope I could be a good a heel as he is. So it was a very stressful day wondering if he was going to make it and then when it turned out he couldn’t, then it was well, sometimes things work better. Crowbar was great, he stepped up to the plate and hit a home run; he came through for the company and did a great job.”
On facing a rejuvenated Matt Hardy and Homicide, still bitter from Extreme Reunion, at this weekend’s Extreme Rising- “I’ve run into Matt a few times around the country in the past year and I’m really looking forward to it. He seems to really be rejuvenated and have a fire lit under his ass so I’m looking forward to it.. I went after Devon (at Extreme Reunion), Devon moved and there he (Homicide) was. Anyone who’s watched the old ECW or been any of those shows knows ringside is not a safe place to be. If you go to one of those shows, you just have to expect something is going to happen”
His pending retirement and what he’ll miss- “One of the saddest parts about retiring is that there is a lot more that I want to learn. You learn mostly by being in the ring; I still learn every time I step foot in a ring, every single time I learn something (new). So, that’s the thing I’m going to miss most. I really look forward to wrestling a lot of different guys for different reasons; like I’ve always enjoyed wrestling Homicide because sometimes, after a while you get kind of complacent and every time I’ve been in the ring with Homicide, he’s pretty much gotten me psyched up and lit a fire under my ass and it’s been very motivational for me.
Social Networking’s Effect on the business- “What I miss about the business is the mystique; when I was growing up, the few times I got to go see wrestling, you always wondered what was going on behind the curtain. Now, everyone knows what’s going on behind the curtain. I’m just a firm believer in just keeping everything behind the curtain: go through the curtain and turn on your game face, come back and turn it off.”
For more information on the Crossfire event on August 4th, log ontohttp://www.http://www.facebook.com/franchisefansite.com/and shanethefranchisedouglasFor more www.crossfirellc.vze.com and for this weekend’s Extreme Rising shows (June 29thin Corona, NY and June 30thin Philadelphia, PA), log ontowww.extremereunion.net. Shane can be followed on Twitter (@Real_Franchise), through Crossfire Wrestling (@CrossfireLLC) and his websites