Backstage News on Raven & Douglas Returns, Don West News, More

– Don West’s persona in TNA is being completely patterned after WWE Hall of Famer Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Fellow announcer Mike Tenay was Heenan’s best friend in World Championship Wrestling so he knows how to work with Heenan to make him shine.

– In attendance notes, all three house shows in the Carolinas — the 5/15 show in Florence, SC, 5/16 in Greenville, NC, and 5/17 in Fayetteville — drew approximately 1,000 fans.

– As reported earlier, Raven, 44, returned to TNA this past Monday after a long absence. He was said to have come back in better condition then when he left in early 2008. Towards the end of previous stint in TNA, he was dealing with a thyroid condition as a result his excesses of the past, which caused him to balloon in weight no matter how much he exercised. His medical problems have since been cleared up and his weight is back under control again.

– Shane Douglas’ return to TNA at this past Monday’s iMPACT taping was quite surprising as it was believed that his career in professional wrestling was over. Despite being 44 years old and noticeably heavier (he wore a T-shirt for his return), they are indeed bringing him back as a wrestler. Following a less than stellar stint as a wrestler in late 2003 and early 2004 (including a match with Raven in September 2003 in which he was so gassed he vomited in the middle of the ring), he became a road agent for the company. In late 2005, he took a leave of absence to check himself into a rehabilitation clinic to battle a painkiller addiction he was dealing with. He came back in the spring of 2006 to manage The Naturals, but the experiment ultimately failed and he parted ways with the company in October 2007.

Since he was last seen in TNA, Douglas has worked a variety of jobs in the Pittsburgh area including a stint at a Target department store in their Manager Trainee Program as well as a history teacher at a middle school in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. While people in wrestling always want to come back to still be part of wrestling, it’s surprising that he would come back as a wrestler as opposed to an agent, manager or announcer. He’s said in the past he couldn’t wrestle without pain medication and didn’t want to put himself through medication again due to his family and so many of his friends dying.