Shane Douglas And The Birth Of ECW

“And they can all, kiss, my, ASS!”

Shane Douglas

Today we’re going to take a look at the most famous wrestling pipe bomb that birthed ECW.  Next week we’ll look at AJ Lee’s WWE pipebomb, and wrap it up the week after with MJF’s uh…meltdown I suppose you could call it.

One of the first-ever true pipe bombs was in the then National Wrestling Alliance: Eastern Championship Wrestling. You know it better as ECW. The year was 1994, August 27th. A young man named Shane Douglas had just won the most prestigious belt in all of wrestling.

Please note throughout this I will call it Wrestling. Sports Entertainment is garbage and for kids, I will not acknowledge any of the WWE Era so-called “Pipe Bombs” because they’re scripted garbage.  Except one.  AJ Lee.  We’ll get to that later.  But let’s dive right in.  Sidenote, this is an update to an article from 2020, so if you’re going “Some of this looks familiar…” it is.  But it’s updated.

So, going back to NWA: ECW. Shane Douglas had just won the title from “The Ice Man” Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio, both of who would go on to have careers that made them famous in WCW later on. Shane Douglas stood in the ring and gave a passionate speech.  If you have not seen it, please, stop here, and watch this video. This is the COMPLETE video, the match, the aftermath.

The COMPLETE video of that night | Credit; Pro Wrestling’s History Brigade

“I stand here before my God and my Father….as I said I would be world heavyweight champion.”

Shane went on to name some greats, Lou Thez, Jack Brisco, Dory Funk Jr, Terry Funk, Nature Boy Buddy Rodgers, Harley Race, etc etc. He went on to thank everyone, accepting the NWA title. It was a passionate speech, but then after naming some more names, in a foreshadowing of what was to come, Shane stopped, looked up, and said “This is it, Dad.”

Let me stop you here.  Everything from here on about disrespect and such, are my personal opinions.  Did Shane do the right thing?  In his mind, yes.  But unlike most of the IWC, I can call it disrespectful as hell, and yet still respect the man.  He did something no one in wrestling to that point, and for a long time after, would have the balls to do.  Throwing down the NWA belt?  Absolute sacrilege. 

Do I hate that he did it?  You bet.  Do I respect the absolute hell out of him for doing it?  You bet.  Do I hate Shane for doing it?  No.  I have the utmost respect for the man.  But let’s move on with my pure opinions.  One final time because someone will get their panties in a bunch.  This is an OPINION.

Shane Douglas with the NWA Championship
The only photo of Shane Douglas with the NWA belt.

What was about to happen would forever change history, and was one of the most disrespectful moments in wrestling, ever. At least in my opinion.  Shane continued to name a few more names while looking at the NWA title. No one but him, Paul Heyman, and a couple of other people knew what was about to come. This was a closely guarded secret, obviously, because I believe the NWA would have cut the cameras and they most definitely would not have allowed what was about to happen to transpire, unlike the “Montreal Screwjob”, but that’s for another time. This moment, this one moment shook wrestling down to its very foundation.

IWC
The IWC in one photo

Shane Douglus looks at the belt, says “God that’s beautiful, and Rick Steamboat.” and then, the famous, “And they can all…kiss. My. Ass!” as he threw down the most prestigious title in wrestling, the NWA Championship. The belt that started it all. WWE, ECW, WCW, WCCW, TNA, Impact, ROH, almost every single united states promotion has gotten its feet wet thanks to the NWA, and this man disrespected the belt, and threw it on the ground, proclaiming himself the “NEW E C W World Heavyweight. Champion. Of. The. World!”

ECW. Not Eastern Championship Wrestling. ECW.

This was the birth of a new era. Tired of the then WWF and WCW’s “fluff” programming, Paul Heyman sought to revolutionize wrestling, focusing on death matches, blood, and shock value, and it all started on August 27, 1994, starting the era of “The ECW” as he said.

The reason Paul chose Shane was his “I don’t give a shit” attitude. He didn’t care. Shane had a famous dispute with Ric Flair in WCW after all, and the way he despised Ric could be heard in his voice during his promo, “The….’ Ric Flair’s…”. The disgust could not be hidden, but Shane Douglas had the respect to at least acknowledge Ric. Shane was perfect, Shane was the man to lead ECW. He had the look, he had the charisma, and he had the attitude. Since this moment in history, many people have tried to replicate this “Pipe Bomb” promo, CM Punk, Roman Reigns, and John Cena, but those have all been scripted. This was real.

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