After WCW failed to use him to his full potential, Shane Douglas arrived in the NWA’s Eastern Championship Wrestling as the fledgling promotion’s “Franchise.” As the ECW Champion, Douglas shocked the wrestling world when he won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in August 1994 and threw down the once prestigious title in the center of the ring. Douglas then hoisted his ECW Title in the air, proclaiming himself the ECW World Heavyweight Champion! That same night, history was made again as ECW was renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling.
“The Franchise” continued to use the microphone as a flame thrower, directing vitriolic tirades against sports-entertainment institutions like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. With the gorgeous Francine by his side and Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Candido watching his back, Douglas ruled as ECW’s most dominant figure for almost five years until losing the ECW Title to Tazz in January 1999. — J.S.