Ring name(s): Dean Douglas
Billed height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Billed weight: 249 lb (113 kg)
Born: November 21, 1964 (age 46)
New Brighton, Pennsylvania
Billed from: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Trained by: Dominic DeNucci
Debut: 1982Professional wrestling careerEarly years (1982–1989)
Martin was trained by Dominic DeNucci in the Pittsburgh suburb of Freedom, Pennsylvania, alongside Mick Foley in the mid-1980s. He had been wrestling professionally to earn money since 1982. When he started, he used the character of Troy Orndorff, the fictional nephew of Paul Orndorff. In 1986, he wrestled Randy Savage at a WWF Superstars of Wrestling taping using his real name. He would also wrestle "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff in the debut episode of Wrestling Challenge, once again using his real name. Later that year, he began wrestling as a fan favorite for the Universal Wrestling Federation using the name Shane Douglas, which was given to him by "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt ("Shane" coming from Martin's middle name, and "Douglas" from Michael Douglas, who at the time had just appeared in Wall Street). Douglas defeated Gilbert for the World Television Championship on August 3, 1987, but did not rise above mid-card status. Douglas soon lost the title on September 2 to Terry Taylor.National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling (1989–1990)
Eventually, he signed with the National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling. He retained his Shane Douglas ring name and was put into a tag team of skateboarders known as The Dynamic Dudes with Johnny Ace. Since neither Ace nor Douglas knew how to skateboard, the fans saw through the character and refused to buy into it. Jim Cornette, who was managing The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) at the time, decided to manage the duo to help them get over. When Eaton and Lane in storyline did not approve, they forced a match between the two teams with Cornette remaining neutral at ringside. He ended up turning on Douglas and Ace and the teams feuded for a couple of months. The Cornette turn was to have established The Dynamic Dudes as a top fan favorite tag team, but the turn backfired and made The Midnight Express more popular than they already were.
The Dynamic Dudes broke up in 1990 after Ace began competing progressively more for All Japan Pro Wrestling, which was breaking down its ties to American promotions. Jim Cornette also states that the end of the Dynamic Dudes came when Douglas went over his head to Jim Herd about having a finished changed to make him look stronger. Cornette, who was part of the booking committee, washed his hands of working with them afterwards. Douglas soon left NWA/WCW and wrestled on the American independent circuit.World Wrestling Federation (1990–1991)
In 1990, Douglas signed a deal with the World Wrestling Federation. His most memorable WWF performance took place at the 1991 Royal Rumble, where he lasted for 26 minutes and 23 seconds. This was the seventh longest time for any wrestler in the Royal Rumble's first four years. Shortly after, he left the company to take care of his ailing father.World Championship Wrestling (1992–1993)
He returned to WCW in 1992 to team with Ricky Steamboat to win the World Tag Team Championship from Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham on November 18. The team of Steamboat and Douglas had a long feud with The Hollywood Blondes ("Stunning" Steve Austin and "Flyin'" Brian Pillman), often wearing identical body suits and masks and calling themselves "Dos Hombres". They eventually lost the belts to The Blondes on the March 27 edition of WCW Power Hour. Soon after losing the tag titles, Douglas left WCW for Eastern Championship Wrestling.Eastern / Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993–1995)
Upon debuting in ECW, he initially supported the fan favorites, but then turned on Tommy Dreamer during a match in which Douglas was defending the Tag Team Championship alongside him on behalf of Johnny Gunn against Kevin Sullivan and The Tasmaniac. Douglas blamed Dreamer for the loss and turned on him, proclaiming himself as "The Franchise" of ECW, effectively becoming a foul-mouthed, incredibly arrogant villain, an attitude that would define him permanently and give him success. Another notable moment in his career was at the event "The Night the Line Was Crossed", as he wrestled Terry Funk and Sabu to a one hour draw in the companies first-ever three-way dance.
Douglas was instrumental in the development of "extreme" wrestling when he won a tournament to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion on August 27, 1994. In an angle which only he, Tod Gordon, and Paul Heyman knew about, Douglas threw down the NWA title belt before stating that he did not want to be champion of a "dead promotion". He then raised the ECW Heavyweight Championship and declared it to be a World Championship, calling it the only real World Title. According to the Forever Hardcore DVD, Douglas only agreed to throw down the NWA belt after NWA president Dennis Coraluzzo buried Douglas on Mike Tenay's radio show. Shortly afterward, Eastern Championship Wrestling changed its name to Extreme Championship Wrestling. Capitalizing on the controversy that surrounded his literally "throwing down" the NWA belt and the promo following it, Douglas was encouraged to express his true feelings in interviews by the ECW bookers and began calling himself "The Franchise". This helped raise ECW's prominence in the eyes of wrestling fans and journalists and allowed it to become an alternative to WCW and the WWF.
It was during this time that he formed the first version of the Triple Threat stable, aligning himself with Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko before he began feuding with The Sandman in early 1995. Sandman's valet, Woman, seemed to have aligned herself with Douglas but then turned on him to aid Sandman in defeating him for the World Heavyweight Championship. A rivalry began between Douglas and Cactus Jack, as each wished to be the one to dethrone Sandman. Shane eventually went on a tirade about the lawlessness of ECW and brought in Bill Alfonso as a troubleshooting referee to restore order. Shortly after this however, Douglas left for the WWF.World Wrestling Federation (1995)
In 1995, Douglas returned to the WWF with a college dean character as Dean Douglas. To establish himself, he filmed several vignettes with a chalkboard, "teaching" wrestlers and fans. He would also be shown "taking notes" of his opponents at ringside during some bouts, and frequently carried a paddle (dubbed the "Board of Education") with him to the ring. Upon his WWF debut, he became the first former ECW Champion to ever be on the WWF's active roster.
He was set to wrestle Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship at In Your House 4 on October 22, 1995 but Michaels forfeited the title, supposedly due to injuries incurred after being attacked and severely beaten by a group of Marines in Syracuse, New York. However, he immediately had to defend the title against Razor Ramon, who defeated him, making his title reign one of the shortest.
His last appearance on WWF television was at In Your House 5 in December 1995, when he was booked to wrestle Ahmed Johnson. According to the storyline, his back was not in wrestling condition and so he introduced Buddy Landel, who was devastated by Johnson in forty-two seconds, as his substitute for the night.Return to ECW (1996–1999)
In January 1996 at the event House Party, Douglas returned to ECW and soon targeted then-World Heavyweight Champion Raven. During this time, he also had a memorable feud with Cactus Jack. Cactus was getting ready to leave for the WWF and was cutting promos encouraging Tommy Dreamer to come with him, deriding ECW's hardcore style and promoting "clean" wrestling. During several matches, he refused to wrestle hardcore. Douglas eventually pinned Cactus Jack in a match after performing a drop toe-hold onto an opened steel chair. After finding himself unsuccessful in his title shots, he began a feud with 2 Cold Scorpio, based on Douglas' lack of respect for the World Television Championship. Douglas soon won the TV Title at A Matter of Respect, but lost it under a month later to Pitbull #2 at Fight The Power.
Douglas eventually won the TV Title for the second time after beating Chris Jericho in a four way dance that also included former champions 2 Cold Scorpio and Pitbull #2 when The Pitbulls' manager, Francine, turned on them and aided Douglas.
Douglas, with Francine, went on to feud with Pitbull #2 for the rest of 1996 and, by year's end, reformed the Triple Threat with new members Chris Candido and "Primetime" Brian Lee before later adding Bam Bam Bigelow when Lee left ECW. Douglas would go on to hold the TV Title for a year before losing it to Taz at Wrestlepalooza. He then turned his sights on World Heavyweight Champion Terry Funk and, at Hardcore Heaven, in a rematch from The Night the Line Was Crossed, Douglas defeated Sabu (who had beaten Funk a week earlier for the title in a barbed wire deathmatch) and Terry Funk in a three way dance to win the World Heavyweight Title for the second time. In October, he briefly lost it to Bam Bam Bigelow, but regained it 15 days later at November to Remember, held in his hometown of Pittsburgh. With the exception of these two weeks, he would reign as champion until January 1999, finally losing the title to Taz at Guilty as Charged, whom he had feuded with throughout 1998. He eventually became a face and allied with former nemesis Tommy Dreamer against The Impact Players (Justin Credible and Lance Storm), defeating them at Living Dangerously before finally leaving for WCW due to differences with Paul Heyman.Return to WCW (1999–2001)
Upon returning to WCW, he pledged to "cut the cancer out of WCW", the cancer being Ric Flair (with whom he had a genuine rivalry). He reunited with former Triple Threat members Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko, along with fellow former ECW wrestler Perry Saturn, to form The Revolution. Asya was later added to the group. In Flair's autobiography, Flair claims that Douglas approached him backstage at a WCW event and explained that the conflict was a work. Flair took exception to Douglas and thought little of him for the episode, though Flair has had a history of burying wrestlers in his book as a "receipt" (payback). Douglas has said in shoot interviews that he never told Flair that the heat was a work and that he meant everything that he said.
Douglas had an onscreen feud with Flair, who was a favorite target of his during his ECW interviews, where Douglas had claimed "Dick Flair", as he referred to him, held down his career. The group was rarely featured prominently, however, and never really challenged the dominant wrestlers of WCW. This led to them never really getting over as an idea, though both Benoit and Malenko were over individually. He was part of The New Blood group run by Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff, which feuded with the older established Millionaire's Club, which included Flair. He won the World Tag Team Championship once more, this time with Buff Bagwell, as well as the United States Heavyweight Championship, during which he also gained Torrie Wilson as his valet.XPW and WWA (2002)
After the WWF purchased and absorbed both WCW and ECW in 2001, Douglas later appeared for the newly-formed Xtreme Pro Wrestling promotion, where he won its World Heavyweight Championship. However, because of a failed television deal, XPW folded very quickly afterwards. Douglas also had a short stint with the Australia-based World Wrestling All-Stars after XPW's collapse.Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003–2007)
Following the closures of both XPW and WWA, Martin signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in June 2003. Under his Shane Douglas ring name, he immediately reignited his feud with Raven. The two ended up joining separate factions (The New Church for Douglas, The Gathering for Raven) and clashed throughout the summer of 2003.
When this feud ran down, Douglas broke away from The New Church and began a quest, alongside his new valet Tracy, to find "The New Franchise". He decided on up and comer Michael Shane and took him under his wing throughout the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004. When the grouping of Shane and Douglas broke up, Douglas went into a semi-in-ring retirement. He became an onscreen commentator and interviewer for TNA's weekly television show, Impact!, and their monthly pay-per-views. In addition to this on-screen role, he worked backstage as a road agent and took a few independent bookings.
Douglas returned to television on the May 18 episode of Impact!, appearing on the entrance ramp as Andy Douglas (no relation) made the save for his tag team partner Chase Stevens after a brutal squash match against Samoa Joe. A few weeks later, on June 15, Shane confronted them on their recent losing streak and their squandered talent, referring to their former manager and Douglas's close friend and ex-Triple Threat teammate Chris Candido in the process. He offered to become their manager, which they accepted. During the promo when he offered his services, he spoke his true feelings on World Wrestling Entertainment's revival of Extreme Championship Wrestling, admonishing Vince McMahon for "exploiting the memory" of the company he helped build nearly 15 years earlier. After becoming their mentor, vignettes showed Douglas training The Naturals have been shown on TNA programming, though he doesn't stand at ringside during their matches like most other managers. Once they were deemed ready for competition, Douglas billed them as "The Newly Franchised Naturals".
On the December 21 episode of Impact! after The Naturals lost to Team 3D in a tables match, a fed up Douglas turned his back on them, saying "This experiment is over!" However, on February 8, 2007, he, along with Andy Douglas, came to the aid of Chase Stevens after he was attacked by Abyss, who took out both The Naturals and their manager that night.
Despite the failed "experiment", prior to the departure of The Naturals from TNA, Chase Stevens was featured in an unsuccessful singles match while wearing the gold-and-black "Franchised" Naturals attire. Douglas came out after his match to heatedly confront Stevens about wearing his colors, leading to an in-ring confrontation between the two. After the angle, Douglas remained completely unseen on TNA programming. On October 10, 2007, it was confirmed that Douglas was released from his TNA contract.Independent circuit and return to TNA (2009–present)
On March 13, 2009, Douglas returned to the National Wrestling Alliance for the first time in nearly fifteen years, wrestling for the On Fire territory in a singles match, defeating fellow ECW alum Little Guido.
On the May 28 episode of Impact!, Douglas returned to TNA and attacked Christopher Daniels after his match with A.J. Styles. The following week on Impact!, Douglas again attacked Christopher Daniels during his match before subsequently stating that he wanted a second chance in TNA like Christopher Daniels received, after the latter was, in storyline, fired from TNA. The next week on Impact!, he was granted a second chance and was given a match with A.J. Styles which he lost, only to attack Styles after the match. Daniels would come out to help Styles, only to have Douglas hit him with a towel containing a pair of handcuffs. At Slammiversary, Douglas lost to Daniels in a "second chance match", resulting in Daniels retaining his spot on the TNA roster. His profile was removed from TNA's website shortly after the match.
He refused TNA's invitation to be apart of the ECW reunion show Hardcore Justice as the company did not agree to his terms for his appearance.
On August 14, 2010, Douglas defeated Spike Dudley in Webster, Massachusetts to become Big Time Wrestling Heavyweight Champion.