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Why The ‘Franchise’ Wrestler Chose to Return to WCW Over WWF in 1999: From Money to Legacy

In a recent episode of his podcast, Franchise University, ex-WWE Intercontinental Champion, Shane “The Franchise” Douglas, delved into the reasons behind his unanticipated return to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1999. This came after he’d departed Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) for the second time.

“I faced a wave of criticism when I decided to go back to WCW after my second stint in ECW, instead of joining WWF,” Douglas confessed. “Most wrestling enthusiasts by then felt that The Franchise was a better match for what WWF was offering at that juncture, rather than the WCW.”

However, Douglas revealed that WCW offered a salary 30 times more significant than what WWF tabled at the time. “It was a decision I made for my family’s financial security. If Vince McMahon had made a higher or even a similar offer, there’s no doubt I would have gladly taken a second tenure at WWF,” he affirmed.

The Franchise found himself in a financial predicament following his exit from ECW, largely due to unpaid dues. Thus, the considerable financial gain that WCW promised was hard to turn down.

In July 1999, Douglas made his third comeback to WCW. He expressed pride in the unique niche he had cut for himself in the wrestling world, even though he never made a return to WWE. He teamed up with wrestling stars, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn to constitute The Revolution. Following a brief break in early 2000, Douglas allied himself with Vince Russo’s and Eric Bischoff’s ‘The New Blood’ crew. He reintroduced The Franchise gimmick and continued his journey with WCW until WWE, under Vince McMahon’s ownership, bought it in 2001.

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