The rumors broke last week that Shane Douglas was working on putting together a new professional wrestling promotion that included health benefits, retirement and more. In an exclusive telephone interview with Examiner.com on March 31 about his new movie "Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies," Shane Douglas confirmed that the promotion is in the works and could debut as soon as the next year.
According to Douglas, the idea for the new promotion started when he and "Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies" director Cody Knotts met with a wealthy and well-connected businessman about the movie and he showed an interested in Douglas' thoughts on professional wrestling.
"When we went to meet with him, he was very professional and polite and he turned to me and asked why wrestling today is so different than what he and I grew up watching," Douglas said in the interview. "A week later on Super Bowl Sunday, I got an email from him. I read the email but thought I wasn’t reading it correctly because it didn’t sound right. So, I read it a second time and then read it a third time and I was like, this guy isn’t wanting to just do something different, but he wants to change the industry."
Douglas said the man wants to start up a new professional wrestling promotion with health insurance, revenue sharing, 401K and pension plans. This is something unheard of in the wrestling business.
The original rumors were that wrestlers from across the country had received Letters of Intent to give their interest to wrestle in the new promotion, which is rumored to be based in Las Vegas with possible expansion to the Pittsburgh area as well.
Douglas confirmed that the Letters of Intent were sent out and that 35 wrestlers responded almost immediately. He said that he wasn't sure why the others had not responded yet, but mentioned that fellow wrestler Kevin Sullivan put it in perspective.
"Professional wrestlers are classic procrastinators," Douglas explained. "[Sullivan] asked if I thought there were people out there who didn’t buy it. It took me three times to read it and a phone call to make sure it was real. But, you start to feel the ground move in the wrestling industry, there is something big at float here. The people who don’t buy it or don’t believe it, when they start to see this lion untamed coming out of the cage, that is when the reality will set in for some of them. The professional wrestling business will get very interesting over the next 12 months."
As for the style of wrestling, Douglas described it as an amalgamation of the smart storylines and real characters from classic wrestling, but with the slick and professional production values that the WWE have made popular. He also said that it won't be like the ECW, which he said has been overdone by now.
"I’ve always considered the UWF to be the ECW before there was an ECW," Douglas said. "Bill Watts used to write some amazingly intelligent storylines that really reached out and grabbed the audience, taking them along for the ride, along with a talented roster. If I was to answer in a three letter answer to what I would want it to look like, it would be UWF more than the WWF or WCW or ECW."
Shane Douglas finally said that the new promotion could start up in the next year if all the pieces fall together right. Read the full Shane Douglas interview here.