Episode 30 of The Triple Threat Podcast featuring “The Franchise” Shane Douglas and The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling is NOW available. In the following excerpt Shane, Chad and John discuss the upcoming and groundbreaking Women’s Royal Rumble match as well as Shane sharing recollections of his lone Royal Rumble appearance in 1991, the psychology behind a battle royal and what factors come in to play with that many superstars in the ring at once. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
Below are some interview highlights, with an h/t to The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling for the transcription:
The huge announcement of the first Women’s Royal Rumble:
“I’ve said it before that I am not and haven’t been throughout my career a huge supporter of women’s wrestling and I haven’t paid that much attention to it. But I will say this that with as over as the (Total) Divas show has gotten it seems to be the more buzz-worthy part of WWE these days. I think it is completely in line and long overdue. Why not let the women have the same crack at it that the men had? If you are a WWE fan (which I am not) and if you are a fan of that than I don’t see why you wouldn’t demand to see who will come out on top of this match.”
“I think it is completely appropriate and long overdue but sadly I think it has more to do with identity politics and that women are out there making a lot of noise right now and getting a lot of traction so let’s go in that direction. Be that as it may and if that is the reason or if it is not the reason I think it is long overdue. They’ve been the more spoken about part of the WWE now for several years so why not give them equal footing.”
“If you look at the WWE from the last several years it is the ladies division that has gotten a lot more press and far more traction and far more buzz than the men’s division. We’ve seen the men’s division side of it decline to an incredibly low level and seems like every year it is declining and that the women’s shows still have some punch behind them. I hear far more buzz about the women wrestlers than I do the men wrestlers in the WWE which leads me to believe that it has more buzz behind it. If that is not true go attack me on social media about it. It seems that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and it seems to me that is where the WWE has placed their assets and it is far more behind the women’s division than the men’s division.”
His appearance in the 1991 Royal Rumble:
(Laughing) “The orange tights were right after the Dynamic Dudes run and most of my gear was those bright pinks and oranges and yellows and greens so I continued to wear them there. But I do remember that Royal Rumble very well. The building was extraordinarily hot that night and I knew that I would have to go out and put in a substantial amount of time. Battle Royals are difficult to begin with but when you have a Battle Royal that is a very specific position of when you are going in and have a very specific idea of when you are going out, not everyone else in that ring is thinking what you are thinking. They are thinking of their long portion of that match and could give a sh*t less about yours so not only are you going out there and trying to shine (as we say in the business) and get yourself over but you are also trying to keep yourself from getting thrown out by one of these 900 pound monsters that were in the ring back then for the WWE.”
Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper putting him over on commentary:
“I wasn’t privy to what Gorilla (Monsoon) and Roddy (Piper) were saying about me obviously but to hear that they were putting me over and speaking kindly of me is pretty cool and I’ve never listened to the commentary and believe it or not I’ve never watched the match back. But it completely fits Gorilla who was a guy that I got a long very well with and Roddy Piper was a guy that I got a long very well with so it doesn’t surprise me that they said that. They also were probably privy to information that I wasn’t privy to at that point and that I was somebody that they were preparing to build.”
The psychology behind competing in a Royal Rumble match:
“Like I said you know your cue going in and you know your cue going out. Going out (to the ring) is the easy part because you are on deck and they’ll tell you that you are in five more spots, three more spots and one more spot and then say when you are ready to go and you’ve got to keep as a baby face especially some level of fire and that you are excited to be in this match. Going into that match as clearly one of the unknown guys when you are in the ring with the likes of The Road Warriors, The Nasty Boys and so many other of the WWF stars of that time you’ve got to go out there and make an impact. You can’t just go out there and float around and hide in a corner someplace. Secondly, you know you are going out in a very specific position as well. That is a lot more difficult because there is not someone standing there in the ring saying Shane you are next. You’ve got to be paying attention to what everyone is else is doing and knowing specifically who you follow and luckily for us back then and opposite of the way it is done today is that we were given the leeway and weren’t told what to do in the ring.”
“Everyone that was in the ring at that time were very much professionals and working on the same page. Even though they didn’t know specifically what time I was supposed to go out or what number, if someone did come over and grab me like Earthquake who could very easily throw me out anytime he wanted to all I had to say is not yet big man and we’d work it into something else. Everyone in the ring like I said was very professional and very supportive of helping me get through that. Everyone in the building was very well aware of how hot it was in the building because it was stifling hot and humid and to go that long in the ring took some doing because you aren’t just out there whistling Dixie you had to really focus on all those things. Just so many aspects you have to keep in your mind beyond what number you are going in because that is the easy part and now you have to pay attention to who you are following, how much time has gone, do you have to get out of there immediately after the guy in front of you is gone and do you have time to fill because the match has to fill out more time on the pay per view.”
“There are a lot of factors at work and luckily I had a ring filled with uber professionals that were all working towards the same common goal (thank God) but I also remember a lot of humor being in that match as well.”
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