On November 30th, 1997 Shane Douglas and Bam Bam Bigelow battled for the ECW Heavyweight Title. The Franchise lived up to his moniker as he faced the Beast of the East at November to Remember in 1997.
This win gave Shane Douglas the second-longest world title reign in Extreme Championship Wrestling History. The leader of the Triple Threat held the title for 405 days.
Bam Bam Bigelow entered ECW on February 1996 after his almost career-long run with the WWF. Most notably he was in the main event at WrestleMania XI with football great Lawrence Taylor.
To Bigelows credit he made Taylor look like he was in the ring for years. He also made it to the finals of the King of The Ring 1993. Despite all of the Beast of the East’s obvious attributes, he never won the WWF Championship. After a failed face turn, Bigelow made his way to Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Shane Douglas had a chip on his shoulder since leaving WWF also. He was remade into Dean Douglas. The “Dean” wasn’t what he pictured when he made his debut in the big time.
Arguably every wrestling fan agreed he deserved better. Douglas wasn’t the type to enforce the rules he was more like a class bully. Instead of scratching his nails on the chalkboard as the dean, he would knock someone unconscious with one.
Shortly after his Extreme debut, Douglas acquired the services of Francine and the rest of the Triple Threat. He ran roughshod over every ECW star he came across. He truly was the Franchise of the Land of Extreme.
Shane Douglas and Bam Bam Bigelow |
The Battle to Remember In November
Bigelow was as bad as they come and Shane Douglas knew it. Whether you like him or you didn’t is irrelevant and Shane made The Beast of the East a Triple Threat member. Take a look at the star power there.
Shane Douglas with Francine, Chris Candido, and the Beast of the East. Shane Douglas was so good at being bad. The triple threat was on Fire. Until, acting Commissioner of ECW Ravishing Rick Rude chooses Bam Bam Bigelow as Douglas’, next opponent.
After that, all hell broke loose. On ECW TV on October 24th, 1997, Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Shane Douglas for the ECW title. As a result, Bam Bam was kicked out of the Triple Threat.
This began a series of matches against The Franchise. Unfortunately, during one match, he gorilla pressed Francine. When he dropped her he broke her pelvis. Bam Bam repeatedly said it was a mistake.
Francine would now appear with crutches. Douglas wanted Bigelow out of ECW and attacked him causing a kidney injury. As a result of this Bam Bam Bigelow was set to defend the ECW title against Shane Douglas at November to Remember.
On November 30th, 1997, ECW presented November to Remember from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Shane Douglas’ hometown. Douglas’ ring gear was the black and gold reminiscent of the Pittsburg Steelers.
Douglas immediately zeroed in on Bigelow’s kidneys. The Franchise tried everything he could to get the big man off his feet. Even when he clotheslined the Beast from the East over the top rope he still landed on his feet.
Douglas even slingshot himself on Bam Bam but was caught and power bombed through a table. This gave him enough time to regroup. The pain on his face was evident from the kidney damage. As Joey Styles commentated
“Bigelow is the well-traveled veteran. He knows not to show pain to his opponent, but the pain must be such that he can’t hide it.”
Bam Bam managed to powerbomb The Franchise in the middle of the ring, but only got a two-count. Douglas was resilient. A completely underrated champion he fought his way back. Bigelow regained control. He was ready to finish the Franchise.
He set up a table and proceeded to lift Douglas up for a third powerbomb. Amazingly The Franchise caught the Beast from the East in a belly-to-belly through the table. This was a direct hit to Bam Bams’ injured kidney. Douglas covered him for the win and won the ECW Championship.
In 2019 on Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, he mentioned his respect for the Beast of the East.
“I have a world of respect for Bam Bam Bigelow. I count myself fortunate enough that he stood by my side in ECW in the Triple Threat. We always hear the phrase best big man in wrestling, but Bam Bam took it to a different level.”