Erm, the title of this post sounds bad!
Shane Douglas took part in a Q&A and welcomed everyone to their first show in NYC bringing back Extreme.
A fan asked whether they would be using Youtube for Extreme Rising TV. Douglas said that he’s still trying to wrap his brain about social media but its an amazing medium to promote the show and it’s cheaper than buying advertisements online. He said that social media is amazing when you look at the political changes it’s brought to the world.
Shane was asked about the criticism of the video promoting Sabu’s return. Douglas said that having been involved in ECW, it had angles based on crucifixions, the death of Tommy Dreamer, etc. and pushing the tasteless envelope was part of ECW. Douglas said that when TMZ was calling and asked for information, they couldn’t respond with anything because the hospital wouldn’t provide them with real information. They had heard at one point that he was in a coma and at one point that he had died, but it wasn’t true. His concern was that his friend was safe and was well. He said that once he knew that, they had a heart to heart. Shane said that he knows how tough it is to overcome addiction. He said that Sabu has a lot to give to the business still. He said that it wasn’t like anyone hadn’t seen the footage already, they wouldn’t have used it. Well, that was a lie. I think he meant that they used the footage because people were aware of the situation or saw the Justin Credible photo of Sabu all messed up. He said that the important news is that Sabu is clean and sober and his final chapter hasn’t been written. He’s proud to have Sabu back.
Shane was asked about Tommy Dreamer’s new promotion. Douglas said that he was aware of it and Dreamer has a great head on his shoulders and worked in the WWE and ECW offices. Douglas said that he believes that the future of wrestling is that it’s going to go back to what it was. He said that he believes that after the money Panda Energy “flushed away” on TNA, he doesn’t believe another corporation will offer anyone a ton of money to run a company. He said that they started with zero dollars and turned away 600 people on Philly and took that money to seed the events this weekend. Douglas said they made a profit on the first show and put it back into the advertising and the rent. He said that every three and a half weeks at the ECW Arena was a make or break show for ECW and that’s the truth and it’s the same now with this promotion. They can see that they are connecting with the audience every week and they can monitor the influx of blogs and emails and feedback. If they do something wrong, they have to stand up and face the criticism, which is why he did the Youtube statement a few days after their debut event. He said that like the original ECW, they will learn from their mistakes and they will never screw or lie to their fans. He wants to bring back the realism, the fun and the extreme attitude. He said that he wants to give those of us who love the business something they love.
Douglas was asked about his greatest match or feud in his career. Douglas said that his first match was memorable as it was a barbed wire match and he was teaming with Dominic DeNucci. Wrestling Eddie Gilbert and winning the UWF TV title. He said Gilbert gave him his first break and the business lost a lot losing Eddie. He said that working with Steamboat was a big deal and he felt that the company wouldn’t put him with Steamboat unless they saw something in him. He said that he learned so much every night with Steamboat. Steamboat was such a gentleman that he would alternate which of them would get the heat on them and make the hot tag to the other guy. Steamboat would often take the heat when he wasn’t supposed to in order to help Shane get the hot tag and improve at making the big babyface comeback. His first match with Terry Funk, which was a 45 minute Broadway. He said that Paul Heyman wanted to recreate the idea of the 60 minute man and Funk pulled him through and created that. He said Funk really made him a heel.
Douglas was asked about working with John Laurinaitis as the Dynamic Dudes. He said that they got along pretty well back then when they were kids. Douglas said that back then, he had come from corporate America as he worked for Honeywell and didn’t have a lot of time in the business. He got in through Animal. So, its not a shock that he did well on the corporate end of WWE. He said that back then, Johnny hated how the office treated the younger talents, but now when Douglas hears stories, it’s not very much different. He said that he knows that Ace is in a no-win situation but you need to care about the talent who works for you.
Douglas was asked where he wanted the company to be a year from now. Douglas said that he hopes they are in business a year from now. He sees so many great talents out there and admits he is a mark for the business. He said that when he sees all the great TNA talents and others out there, he loves them but sees things they are weak at from a veteran’s standpoint. He said that he wishes he could be booking guys and helping them become the stars they deserve. He said that he hopes a year from now, he would hope some of those names would be able to come here. He said that there are some great wrestlers they are negotiating to come in. A year from now, he’d hope to hit all the original ECW cities and they are in negotiations with promoters in a number of countries, including Japan, England, Saudi Arabia, China, Kenya, Germany and Italy, among others. If some of those come through, they can provide a living for some of these talents and provide them with a chance to only work here. He said that in ECW, they grew from 1-2 shows a month to a point where they could work exclusively for ECW full-time. He said that they had the fan commitment and they need the commitment from the fans today.
A fan who said he loved the first show said that watching the footage, it was obvious there were fans who came to see it fail. He asked what Douglas thought of that. Douglas said that he’s seen that there are fans who are loyal to one company but will go to other shows to crap on it. He said that everything like that undermines the overall business. He said that there is a clear attempt from one company to hurt others, He said that they need to go back to the territory days where indies like Big Time Wrestling, ROH, Extreme Rising and Crossfire Wrestling all doing well. He said that the debut event was a pretty darn good show but there were fans who wanted to watch it see it fail and were vocal about it.
A fan asked about a Shane and Francine reunion. Douglas said that Francine is happily retired and is married with two kids. He said he knows never say never. He said that she was an integral part of making ECW successful. She is and was a superstar in wrestling and he wouldn’t be shocked to see her involved back in the business someplace.
Douglas was asked about using a new girl. Douglas said they are debuting two new girls tonight and he hopes they will be bringing all the same things to Rising that the ECW female stars brought to ECW.
Douglas was asked about a permanent name of the company. He said they have a few names they have copyrighted. He wants to be the biggest pain in Vince McMahon’s ass since WCW. He said that he doesn’t mind running his mouth. He wants to take on WWE and TNA and not back down to anyone. He said that people who love and work in the business take more punishment than they should and when there is an issue, they shouldn’t be dismissed when they get hurt. He said that Sabu should have the same protection and insurance that any MLB and NFL players have.
Jerry Lynn also took part in a pre-show Q&A at Extreme Rising in Queens, NY.
Lynn was asked about his favorite matches. Lynn said that it’s hard to pick one, but named RVD, Chris Candido, Sean Waltman, Justin Credible and Lance Storm. He said that Michinoku Pro had a masked tournament and he had a mask vs. mask match against Gran Naniwa. He explained that the fans in Japan react differently from the way fans react in the United States. When they liked something, they stomp their feet and it sounds like thunder and he always hoped to have a match with that reaction in Japan and he accomplished that.
Lynn noted that this would be his last year in the business as a wrestler. He said that people say the business is fake and he wishes that it was, because he could keep going. He noted that he just turned 49.
Lynn was complimented on the RVD series. He said that it was his pleasure.
Lynn was asked his thoughts about wrestling Matt Hardy tonight. Lynn said that he’s watched Hardy’s career. He said that he’s retiring for a reason and this company isn’t making this easy on him. He said that with his body, it’s hard to be that 25 minute wrestling guy anymore. He said the match is what this company is all about – having that ECW feel with new talents who can fit into that environment.
Lynn was asked whether the new ECW counted as ECW. He said that it wasn’t the same, just like the new NWA companies aren’t the old NWA.
Lynn was asked about wrestling Marty Jannetty in MA a few weeks ago. Lynn said that the promoter asked him if there was anyone he wanted to wrestle since he was retiring and Lynn said Jannetty. He said that he grew up watching the Midnight Express on AWA TV, so he was always a big fan. He was running into Marty quite a bit. Lynn said that there’s one more guy who he wants to work with and that’s tag with Ricky Morton.