Shane Douglas Talks Extreme Rising, ECW, Leaving WWE, WCW Folding, WWE's ECW Revival

To go from that then to the WWF... I remember the first time I was doing the promo, which I was well known for in the business, and given the time cue countdown into it. I'm looking into the camera and all of a sudden I see the teleprompter feeding these words up to me. I said, 'Stop, stop, stop. I don't need that.' They said, 'No, we want you to...' I said, 'Please take that off, I'll do this without it.' So that just started to make me begin to realize that this may not have been the smartest move.

For me, at the time though, I can still explain what my reasoning was. I had had a pretty strong run as ECW champion and I knew that that was coming to a close. For a company the size of ECW, there wasn't room for multiple over-the-top personalities. So I though, well, this might be the perfect time for me to leave. So, I'll make money there and then come back in a year or two. Id' of had that exposure on a national level. it wasn't until I left and had gone to the WWF that I realized that this was a universal change from what I was familiar with and what I thought my character did best.

So, almost from the very beginning of getting there, it was time to get the hell out.

WrestlingINC: What was the feeling like of leaving WWF and going back to ECW?

Douglas: It was like being reborn. I remember the first day I was back and I just felt like a kid in a playground. Being home and being around everybody. Several things had changed in the six months that I was gone. Paul had leaned back from the more straight-forward hey-were-a-shoot to leaning towards the more entertainment side of things. Not that the Dudleyz were entertainment-based but their presentation with the broken glasses with no glass, the stuttering from Bubba. One black, one white brothers. It was just a shift from what I was familiar with.

At first, I was a little turned off by it. Then, once I saw the Dudleyz work, for instance, I realized that, hey, the presentation might not be my cup of tee, but these guys are like a hand and a glove, they fit.

WrestlingINC: You were there for a few years this time before you went to WCW. What were your thoughts on your final run with the company and why did you ultimately end up leaving?

Douglas: Well, I was broken-hearted to leave. I mean, I put literally my heart, soul and body into ECW and it didn't feel as if it were right, just or fair that I was leaving. The only reason I was leaving was that I was owed so much money. Every time Paul would tell me something to try and reassure me, I knew that he was lying. I had already done my homework and spoken with people behind the scenes like Steve or his mother and father. I knew that what he was telling me was a lie.

For me, the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak, was after all I'd done for the company, what we'd all done for the company, I think the one thing we deserved was money. At that point, before the Taz match, it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $144,000, somewhere around that. I didn't want to leave, all I wanted was the money. And a lot of it -- about half of it, $77,000 -- has money that I had spent out of my own promoting shows in Pittburgh or plane fair or rental cars or whatever.

So, it wasn't money that I deserved and it would be tough to lose it. It was money out of my pocket that I had already made and spent. So, when he came up with this idea where after a year of going over on Taz. I would not have for that year building up to that match done the things that I had done. I would never have back-peddled from Taz knowing that I was losing to him. That kills my character. For a year, I would have been running from this guy, terrified of Taz. Now you put him over on me and my heat is completely gone.

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