RIP The Naturals: Rise, Franchise, Demise

GregCorrespondent IJune 15, 2009

I remember when I first started watching TNA. It was back when the Naturals came into TNA. Before TNA, the Naturals started out in USA Championship Wrestling.

They were known as the Natural Heat before shortening the name. They went to Jerry Lawler's Memphis wrestling as "The Alternative Express."

Back in 2003, The Naturals, Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens, appeared in TNA as a threat to AMW. They fought AMW for several months, and in a 12-second long match, they took away the titles by hitting James Storm with the title belt.

Douglas and Stevens held the titles for two months, when they were beaten by Chris Harris and Elix Skipper.

After that, they formed a stable with the late Chris Candido. Candido became the mentor and manager of the group. They joined Planet Jarrett, and won the NWA tag titles from AMW again. Two days later, Chris Candido passed away.

After Candido's passing, The Naturals turned face from the crowd reactions, becoming fan favorites. Some of the tag team maneuvers they used were even in Candido's memory.

Later in the year they said that they were being advised by a "legendary figure" who later turned out to be The Mouth of the South, Jimmy Hart. Hart was their manager the rest of that summer.

They had feuds with Team Canada, and AMW again. In 2006 they were rarely seen. Douglas was injured by Scott Steiner and Stevens went into singles competition for two months.

After Douglas return, "The Franchise" Shane Douglas took an interest in the team. They lost to the Diamonds in the Rough, causing Douglas to come down to the ring furious.

Douglas announced that The Naturals were disgracing his friend Candido's name. He told them that they needed them. The fans agreed. There was a month of Franchising videos, then at Victory Road they defeated Diamonds in the Rough.

The Franchised Naturals went into a feud with Team 3-D for a while, and gave 3-D their first Tables loss.

A month after that, Shane Douglas admitted that "the experiment is over." The Naturals were released a short time later and have since been floating around in the independent circuits.

They wrestled in the WWE in some squash matches, one being a three on one match with Luke Hawx to take on the Big Show. They didn't last and were gone from the WWE faster than they showed up.

When they left, Douglas and Stevens split after they started wrestling in smaller circuits. The Naturals were finished. TNA is quickly losing some of its stars, originals, and others. They weren't "originals" but they were interesting to watch.


This has been a Bushboy Inc. Production