Shane Douglas Talks Turning Down TNA, Tonight's Extreme Rising IPPV, Matt Hardy, More
But Extreme Rising, you know, I came up with the name and put it on the table because I really do believe that after the whole fiasco of Vince gave us with his version of 'ECW,' and just all the things with Dixie Carter trying to squeeze the legacy and everything else, it was time for us to say, 'OK, Vince, you own the name. You can't change that. But the legacy is ours forever. And it's only going to do what we want to do with it because it was ours in the first place.
So, as we move forward, it's kind of like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it's time for extreme to rise from the ashes of what had happened with the original ECW, what's been done to it since. And now we present that next generation with that platform to raise it back up to where it should be.
WrestlingINC: This Saturday, you're wrestling Matt Hardy who, correct me if I'm wrong, you've never wrestled before. What can fans expect from your guys' match this Saturday?
Douglas: First of all, when I said back after the first show that I was taking myself off the active roster to put all my energy to the back side of it, the production value, the writing and the presentation of the company, this is not a second coming of 'The Franchise's' career. When we were forced to move from Philadelphia -- a show that we had already announced for November 17th and were subsequently told that the building may not be available because of reservations -- we had to move so that the fans wouldn't end up getting screwed. Pittsburgh then was the obvious choice.
It wasn't until after we made the announcement for the November 17th debut moved to Pittsburgh, that I realized it was the 15th anniversary of November To Remember '97. Which was the show that, even though Philadelphia was our home, really put ECW over the top. It was a legitimate 5,000 seat venue. I turned 3,000 people away or close. It was our first legitimate six figure live gate, our first $75,000-$85,000 in merchandise sales. It was what even told us -- Paul Heyman, me, Taz, Tommy -- all of us that believed that ECW had a very finite and small group of loyal followers that maybe we had a much larger group of followers and we could be a lot bigger than we even thought we could be.
So, we're hoping that this will sort of be the same thing. And because it's in Pittsburgh, we heard from the fans that they wanted to see me perform again. For me, with Matt Hardy, what I've really been impressed with -- and I've seen him multiple, multiple times in the last 6-8 months on the independent scene -- what I've seen from Matt is impressive. For somebody that had problems that I'm familiar with and critics were savagely getting on him, and I think correctly in some veins because of what was happening, Matt has come back with a firing burning in his belly that I have rarely seen in talents of his caliber.
For somebody that's been the top of the hill like he's been to come back and be so righteously hungry and adament that they're going to prove the critics wrong... It's a fire that quite frankly is really refreshing to see in somebody of his caliber. I've never seen him go out there and take it easy. I think Matt has the intention to show the world and his critics that they were wrong, that what happened was an abberation not the paradigm and that he is going to show the world and the critics that there's another chapter in Matt Hardy. He's taking advantage of these opportunities to show that he's not going to rest on his laurels and slide on by.
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