Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ECW Original Shane Douglas publicity stunt from WWE Monday Night Raw

Shane Douglas is remembered as one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of Extreme Championship Wrestling. World Wrestling Entertainment bought the company's assets after ECW went out of business in 2001. As such, they own the history of the Philadelphia-based, extreme promotion.

Shane Douglas had a very forgettable mid-90s run in WWE as Dean Douglas. He did not endear himself politically to some of the higher ups of WWE, and has never returned to the promotion.

When WWE produced an ECW tribute pay-per-view titled "ECW: One Night Stand" in 2005, Shane Douglas went to work and created his own ECW tribute event held the same week, called "Hardcore Homecoming." A documentary, "Forever Hardcore" was made about the event.

The last ECW reunion event was put on by TNA in 2010. Their "Hard Justice" pay-per-view was renamed "Hardcore Justice" and several ECW-themed matches were presented. One of the most notable wrestlers against the event was Shane Douglas. He had two main problems with the event - he said that nearly 10 years later, it was time to let ECW stay dead. And, he also said that they offered him a disrespectful amount of money to work the event.

That's surprising to me, because Douglas has seemingly had a very good relationship with TNA over the years. He wrestled for them in their early years, then settled into the role of a backstage announcer when his full-time wrestling days were over.

After hearing his comments about leaving ECW alone, it then really surprised me about 5 months or so ago to hear that Shane was creating his own ECW-based reunion special called "Extreme Reunion."

After hearing more about it, I'm intrigued about the concept. It is not a one-off, ECW reunion like several others over the years. The plan is for it to become a full-time promotion in the same vein as ECW, and the key to get attention is to feature former ECW stars prominently in the begining and then phase them out.

I'm guessing "Extreme Reunion" is just being used to gather attention for them, and then an actual name for the promotion will be debuted at some point down the line. I figure the main stars initially will be former ECW stars who can still "go" at a pretty high speed - Jerry Lynn, Justin Credible, Sabu (surprisingly), Little Guido - and feature as a garnish the former ECW stars who can still "go" at a decent speed, provided there is enough bells and whistles to cover up their age and limitations - Raven, Douglas, Tommy Dreamer, etc. And, then those older stars will be phased out by newer stars.

I mentioned in a previous blog the importance of Philadelphia in wrestling history. ECW was based out of Philadelphia. The March 19, episode of Monday Night Raw was in Philadelphia. At around 9:30 p.m. during a Kane versus Big Show match, apparently Shane Douglas was sitting in the front row wearing a lucha libre mask. He took it off, revealing himself, and was promptly escorted out of the building.

I didn't catch it on TV. He was sitting on the side that would have been visible on screen. The video embedded above was from a person sitting beside him. The video isn't so great because he was likely hiding the fact that he was recording it, since doing that is against WWE rules.

What I'm most surprised by is how quickly he was escorted out of the arena. He took the mask off, was instantly spotted by somebody in WWE's production truck, and within seconds a security guy came over and told him to "take a walk."

His little publicity stunt was a success. It has people talking about Extreme Reunion. We'll see what happens with the event when things pick up in the coming months. It sounds like a good idea, in theory.

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