Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1994 ECW as told by Shane Douglas


This was released in 2011

The interview was conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs at two hours and eleven minutes long

 

JANUARY

At this time, ECW was still called “Eastern Championship Wrestling” and still affiliated with the NWA. Shane said the NWA tried to use the ECW’s popularity to start a title tournament in an attempt to relaunch the NWA.

 

On his “Franchise” character, Shane said that Paul Heyman had a character for him and the only direction he was given was of the football team captain who steals everyone’s girlfriend. He even said at one point, Heyman wanted him to mimic Ric Flair’s “Wooo” and chops but Shane said would have been a terrible idea. He then really puts over Sherri Martel as being a sweetheart of a person who would always be the first to check on someone in the locker room who got injured. Shane then tells a story of how a fan whacked him in the back of the head with a board as Sherri yelled “this motherfucker has a board” and Sherri got on top of Shane to protect him.

 

He then credits Terry Funk for helping the “Franchise” gimmick get over to what it became and how he taught him how to work as a heel.

 

When asked about Mikey Whipwreck, Shane said that he believes Whipwreck was on the ring crew at the time and Heyman saw something in him and put him on the show. Shane then confirms that the “Whipwreck” name was a play on the last name of a promoter in New Jersey.

 

 

FEBRUARY

911 made his debut teaming with Sabu against Ian & Axl Rotten. Shane said he was a big, thick guy and would argue with Taz over who was the toughest in the locker room. Shane said that beneath it all 911 was a teddy bear.

 

When asked about his triple threat time-limit draw at the “Night the Line was Crossed” against Sabu and Terry Funk, Shane said he remembers thinking to himself the match felt like “hell” and was pissed that he missed out on an opportunity to do something special as he thought it did not gel or flow but saw the crowd give them a standing ovation and later on when he watched it on tape he saw why it worked. Sean asks about the key of keeping the crowd involved in a sixty-minute match as Shane said if he was saying he’d be better than Flair then he would have to do broadways like Flair did in his prime so to keep the crowd into it you have to pace yourself. Shane said that they would go and fight in the crowd to give them a few minutes so they can think up some more stuff to do in the match.

 

On February 28th, Jim Crockett held a TV taping for the World Wrestling Network. It was a new NWA-affiliated promotion that was going to have shows streaming over the internet in high definition and Heyman booked the card which featured a lot of ECW wrestlers. Shane said he did not wrestle that night due to atrial fibrilation and the commission would not let him perform. He said there was a lot of talent there that night and it had some hype with the Crockett name and thought it would take ECW to the next level but it rapidly fell apart. Shane thinks there was too much emphasis on beating the WWF and there was just too much micromanagement.

 

 

MARCH

At the March 5th TV taping, The Sandman turned heel after beating his opponent after the match then holding up his hand to his valet Peaches. Shane said that Sandman’s surfer character was not going anywhere and thinks Sandman realized if something didnt change he’d be gone. At first, Shane thought Sandman’s new character was dumb and adamant he could not be the champion but ended up being wrong. Shane puts over how Sandman’s character was an extension of himself and that his entrance captivated the crowds.

 

 

APRIL

On April 16th at the ECW Arena, Sabu pinned Terry Funk when a masked man later revealed as Bobby Eaton attacked Funk. Arn Anderson then ran out and made the save. Shane said that Eaton was a little bit intimidated by the hardcore ECW style then noted how Heyman wanted Brian Pillman & Steve Austin but got Eaton & Anderson instead. He also did not know the extent of the WCW/ECW relationship.

 

 

MAY

He is asked about Joey Styles leaving for a month due to his day job while Jay Sulli & Willie “Scoop” Watts took over in his absence. Shane believes Styles is the best pure announcer in wrestling as he never had a “booking sheet” and never missed the name of a hold or move and that he never messed up anything that they had to record again. They eventually moved the post production to New York so he would be able to continue his job in ECW.

 

 

JUNE

2 Cold Scorpio debuted in a losing effort to Sabu. Shane puts him over as being smooth in the ring despite his limitations as a talker.

 

Cactus Jack made his debut beating Sabu at the Hostile City Showdown. Shane talks about training with Cactus and how he was always obsessed with that hardcore style and idolized Terry Funk. He also said that Catcus was not allowed to do much of what he wanted in WCW and tried to show everyone what he was capable of in ECW.

 

Pitbull #2 came back as Shane said he had some heat because their was question of him being involved in “illegal activities that sometimes gets people killed.”

 

 

JULY

Shane is asked about Terry Funk asking the fans to toss chairs into the ring. He talks about worrying that they were one errant throw away from the company closing down and that would never be able to do that stuff today.

 

ECW ran their first show in New Jersey, which was were promoter Dennis Coralluzzo would run. He said at that time they had to grow the company but the show did poor and only drew 200 people. Sean brings up Tod Gordon and Coralluzzo’s agreement not to run in each other’s states but that Coralluzzo would call the police on ECW to say they had too many people in their building as Shane said they both went at each other.

 

 

AUGUST

Once again, Funk asked for fans to toss chairs into the ring and it ended up being 100-200 tossed in the ring. Shane said that Heyman was shitting bricks backstage as they were all a bit worried as Funk himself even apologized to Heyman as he had no idea it would get that out of control.

 

Shane talks about fans bringing in stuff and how in Pittsburgh they had to have two dumpsters at the door as fans would bring in stuff such as fire hydrants and one time someone brought a car door that the Eliminators took it as Kronus rolled down the window and pretended he was driving. He even talked about one of the Dudley’s smashing storm door glass over Perry Saturn’s head and he had hundreds of cuts all over him. Shane puts over security for making sure fans were kept far enough away from the action.

 

He also tells a story of how a fan hit him with a chair and he jumped into the crowd where someone else threw a glass bottle at his face as Shane beat the guy down.

 

On August 27th, a tournament was held to crown a new NWA Champion. Shane said the original idea was to catapult both the NWA and ECW to bigger things but it quickly became more focused on ECW as Tod Gordon & Paul Heyman promoted the event along with Corraluzzo. Shane said the NWA was all but dead and only alive as a few “marks” kept tossing money at the board to keep it alive while ECW was getting buzz. He said that Heyman said the NWA could have Shane tour around with the belt or they could use the tournament to benefit ECW. Shane said he did not want to disrespect NWA names of the past but then realized that era of the NWA was long gone and would not be tarnishing their image by declaring the belt dead and that it was now the ECW Title.

 

Shane talks about Heyman calling him with the idea to declare the NWA Title the ECW Title and even listed the pros and cons a week before it happened. Shane claims he made the decision to go through with it as Corraluzzo kept giving him a contract. Shane told Coralluzzo he would only sign after his attorney looked it over but he kept following him around then recalled a few weeks later of Coralluzzo going on Mike Tenay’s radio show and claiming he no-showed dates. After the match, Shane said Coralluzzo would not look at him after he won then backstage, he came up and told Shane he would defend that belt then shortly after that Heyman talked to Coralluzzo and they filmed a promo as Heyman called a cab for Coralluzzo to leave. Shane does not believe that Heyman and Coralluzzo buried the hatchet but recalls both Heyman and Gordon feeling sad when he passed away.

 

He then confirms that Arn contacted Heyman to see if he was serious about wanting to do a Flair vs. Shane match and if he could keep Shane in control and that led to Flair and Heyman having discussions. Shane said Flair wanted about $120,000 guarantee but ECW could not make that happen but rather propose a three match series with Flair winning in Charlotte, Shane in Pittsburgh, then the final match on PPV with Shane going over. It almost happened but Flair ended up re-signing with WCW. Shane said he stopped mentioning Flair in his promos once there was no chance of a match happening.

 

On¬†Auguat, The Sandman beat Tommy Dreamer and got the right to cane him ten times. Sandman laid into Dreamer, who refused to stay down even though he was bloodied. Shane talks about how that got him over as his original character was going nowhere and this made him more than just a “pretty boy.”

 

 

SEPTEMBER

Shane talks about the Public Enemy and how they were darlings of the “Dirt Sheets.” He also added that Tommy Dreamer hated Bruce Mitchell of the PW Torch because he would trash his matches.

 

 

OCTOBER

Shane said that the ECW fans were always trying to play “booker” and out guess the product and that made it easy to swerve them with stuff like making them think Sandman legitimately got a lit cigarette knocked into his eye.

 

 

NOVEMBER

He confirms that the angle with Chad Austin coming out and always saying that Smoky Mountain Wrestling was better than ECW only for him to come out and beat Austin down, making him say that ECW is #1 was due to Heyman’s heat with Jim Cornette.

 

Heyman booked another show the same night Coralluzzo ran a big show. Shane said they outdrew the NWA show and he tagged with Brian Pillman. Shane talked about how they worked a spot where Pillman would grab a fan to use as a shield as Shane would just stop short of hitting them but Pillman instead grabbed a six-month old child as Shane nearly hit him and was pissed afterwards as Heyman was irate backstage as Shane talks about how the “Loose Cannon” moniker fit him well.

 

Shane did not like hitting Sherri with a piledriver as that signaled the end of their pairing. He puts her over for being tough and a great person.

 

 

DECEMBER

Tommy Dreamer wrestled six times in one night at the December 16th show in Hamburg, PA. Shane does not know why that was the case.

 

They wrap up the year with a few questions. Shane said Heyman owes him $144,410 and that people still talk about ECW today as it caught the imagination of the fans and offered a viable alternative to the bad cartoon characters the WWF were putting on TV.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall, the interview was decent enough. It did lag at times and there was a ten minute piece on Flair that had nothing at all to do with 1994 ECW. Some of this was dull but at times it was interesting and informative.

I’m not that familiar with 1994 ECW myself but I they did a fairly decent job setting the mood for the year I thought, especially the second half of the timeline as the product became more interesting.

ECW fans should enjoy this interview. As for everyone else, I guess it depends on how you feel about Shane as there as a lot of this was about him too.

You can purchase this DVD for $20 here


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