October 13, 2004
NICKNAME: The Franchise
240 lbs. 6-feet
BORN: November 21, 1964 in Pittsburgh
Controversy has followed the career of Shane Douglas. He has wrestled in five major organizations and has won many titles in his career, but he may well be best remembered for the championship he won, but refused to accept.
Douglas began wrestling in November 1982 while still attending Bethany College where he graduated with a BA in history and political science in 1986. He trained under Dominic DeNucci in a class that also included Mick Foley.
After debuting as Troy Orndorff in Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1983, Douglas (having changed his name to that which he would use for the bulk of his career) made headlines in 1987 by defeating long-time UWF Television champion Eddie Gilbert for the championship. Although he would lose the belt to Gilbert's protege Terry Taylor a month later, Douglas had begun to put himself on the wrestling map.
A stopover in Continental Championship Wrestling earned him a tagteam championship with Lord Humongous (Sid Vicious) but by 1989, Douglas had followed Vicious to WCW. Teamed with Johnny Ace, Douglas became one-half of the Dynamic Dudes, two California surfer-types who skateboarded to the ring. The fans hated them and weren't saddened when the team disappeared shortly after feuding with the Midnight Express.
Douglas arrived in the WWE in 1990 but never really rose above lower-card level. Shane lasted in the WWE for only about a year before having to leave the company and the industry as a whole to care for his dying father.
In 1993, Douglas returned to pro wrestling and signed on with WCW. Teaming with Ricky Steamboat, Douglas became one-half of the WCW Tagteam Champions, when the pair defeated Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham. They would soon drop the belts to the Hollywood Blondes (Steve Austin and Brian Pillman). Douglas would soon depart WCW and head to Philadelphia to join what was then known as Eastern Championship Wrestling.
On September 9th, 1993, Douglas defeated Tito Santana to win his first of four ECW Championships when Santana no-showed for a match in Roanoke, Virginia. A second reign started on March 26th, 1994 when Shane defeated Terry Funk as part of an eight-man tag match.
In 1994, the NWA, attempting a comeback on the national level, held a tournament to crown a new NWA World Champion. Douglas was among the ECW contingent in the NWA World Championship tournament. On August 27th, Douglas defeated Too Cold Scorpio to win the tournament. But then, in one of the defining moments of his career (not to mention that of ECW) he threw down the belt, saying he didn't want to be champion of a "dead promotion".
With that, Douglas further aligned himself with ECW which changed its name to EXTREME Championship Wrestling. Douglas teamed with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit to form the "Triple Threat" and feuding with the Sandman for months. Douglas would lose the ECW title to the Sandman when Woman, who had turned on Sandman, subsequently turned on Douglas
In 1995, Douglas returned to the WWE but instead of being just Shane Douglas, he was Dean Douglas, a nod to Douglas being a former teacher. Dean Douglas became Intercontinental Champion via a forfeit when Shawn Michaels was unable to compete. The victory was short-lived as he was ordered to defend the title against Razor Ramon that night. Within minutes, Douglas' reign as champion had ended.
Later that year, he was back in ECW. On April 11th, 1996, he won his first of two ECW Television Championships. Just over a year later, on April 13th, 1997 Douglas retained the TV title against Pitbull #2 at Barely Legal, the first ECW pay-per-view.
On November 30th, 1997, he would defeat Bam Bam Bigelow to become ECW World Champion for the fourth and final time. His final reign would last fifteen months and end at the hands of Tazz (then just Taz) on January 10, 1999.
In July 1999, after months of speculation, Shane Douglas was signed by WCW and appeared on Nitro shortly afterwards. He quickly became part of "Revolution", a heel stable including Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn and Chris Benoit.
Douglas was at the forefront of WCW's locker room revolt against bringing in Kevin Sullivan as booker in 2000 but stopped short of joining, Saturn, Malenko, Benoit and Eddie Guerrero in bolting WCW for the WWE.
After a brief stopover in XPW, Douglas returned to WCW and became involved in the New Blood vs. Millionaire's Club feud, even getting to battle Ric Flair. (Douglas had been critical about Flair over the years and thus, their in-ring feud had a touch of irony to it!)
As well, Douglas teamed with Buff Bagwell to win the WCW World Tagteam titles (defeating Flair and Lex Luger in the tournament final at Spring Stampede in April 2000) and later, at Sin, Douglas defeated General Rection to win the U.S. Heavyweight Championship.
After the demise of WCW, Shane Douglas did not travel to WWE like so many other WCW talent. Instead, he appeared on many independent shows and joined forces with the burgeoning NWA-TNA. In addition to being a frequent in-ring competitor, Douglas joined the NWA-TNA broadcast team as a backstage interviewer.
During the early months of 2005, Douglas made headlines for his role in the June 10th "Hardcore Homecoming", a reunion of sorts for alumni of Extreme Championship Wrestling. In addition to promoting the show, Douglas was part of the main event in a three-way barbed wire bout, featuring Terry Funk and Sabu. (Sabu won the bout!)
After returning to TNA, Douglas continued in his role as a backstage interviewer before deciding to turn his attention to guiding the floundering careers of the Naturals. After putting them through their grueling paces, Douglas has unleashed the newly-refocused Naturals on the TNA tag team scene.
-- compiled by John Milner
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