Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: The Natural Experiment


Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: The Natural Experiment – TNA, 2006


Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas had been having problems with managers. They had allied with Chris Candido and won the NWA World Tag Team titles with him only for Candido to suddenly pass away.

Their next manager was Jimmy Hart. Things appeared to be going well… until Hart suddenly signed a Legends deal with the WWE and was gone.

By June of 2006, Shane Douglas had been seen on the ramp watching Naturals matches for about a month. On the night of the 16th, the Naturals were taking on Elix Skipper and David Young, Simon Diamond’s Diamonds in the Rough. The Naturals wound up losing the match after Diamond nailed Stevens with a chain that busted him open.

After the match, Shane Douglas came to the ring. Douglas told them that they’d forgotten everything Chris Candido had taught them the year before and announced to the crowd that he would be their new manager. He then warned the Naturals that they had to do whatever he told them.

At Slammiversary, Eric Young and A-1 defeated the Naturals. After the match, Shane Douglas chewed them out.

The next few weeks of Impact showed the Naturals in training under Douglas. Douglas promised that soon they’d get another title shot.

July 16th’s Victory Road opened with the Naturals getting another shot at the Diamonds. The Naturals won, but Douglas wasn’t happy with it. Douglas chewed them out again to encourage them to do better.

The Naturals took on Maverick Matt (Bentley) and Kazarian the following Impact. Again, the Naturals won, but Douglas still wasn’t happy. He chewed them out again for nearly getting pinned at various times during the match and told them that their shoulders should never be on the mat.

The next week the Naturals faced off against longtime foes America’s Most Wanted. The Naturals won after Harris accidentally clotheslined Storm but we didn’t hear anything from Douglas as Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner came out and they helped AMW obliterate the Naturals.

At the Hard Justice PPV, the Naturals, AMW, the James Gang, and Bentley and Kazarian were scheduled for a #1 contender’s match. Unfortunately, this was also the infamous show where the Impact Zone caught fire so the match wound up bumped due to the mandatory evacuation of the building.

The match was rescheduled for the following Impact. Now it would see Chase Stevens, Chris Harris, Kazarian, and BG James in a match to determine the #1 contenders to Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles’s tag team titles. During the match, Storm wandered out with a beer bottle in his hand and wound up dropping Harris’s handcuffs. Stevens nailed Harris with the cuffs and covered him for the win.

Afterward, the two Douglases came out to congratulate him. Shane Douglas even praised Stevens’s performance in the match.

A week later we had the Naturals taking on Paparazzi Productions representatives Alex Shelley and Johnny Devine. Surprisingly, Shelley got the win and the Naturals got yelled at by Shane Douglas afterward.

To say Shane Douglas was unhappy would be an understatement. On the September 7 Impact he warned the Naturals that if they didn’t win at No Surrender that he was finished with them.

At No Surrender, we had a Tag Team Triple Chance Battle Royal. The entrants were the Naturals, AMW, Paparazzi Productions, Shark Boy & Norman Smiley, Kazarian & Bentley, Ron Killings & Lance Hoyt, the Diamonds in the Rough, and the James Gang. In the end, the Naturals did secure the win.

The Naturals then disappeared until Bound For Glory, where Shane Douglas debuted the “newly-Franchised” Naturals. Here they were in a four-way match against Team 3D, AMW, and the James Gang. In the end, Andy Douglas got pinned to give the win to Team 3D. Afterward, Shane yelled at Douglas for the loss and slapped Chase Stevens for failing to help his partner.

The Naturals got their shot on the next Impact. Before the match even started, AMW attacked LAX. The Naturals lost and then LAX beat them down. Shane Douglas screamed at them again afterward, and this time they didn’t take it. Chase slapped Douglas back and Andy knocked him down. Douglas simply rubbed his bloody lip and smiled at them.

On the November 9 Impact, Shane Douglas decided that the Naturals were ready for the next step. Douglas came out to the ring and called out Brother Ray, accusing him of disrespecting him. Douglas continued by saying that Ray had only made his career in a washed up company. Douglas slapped Ray and Brother Ray attacked him with a chain.

That brought the Naturals out to beat down Brother Ray. After they left Ray down, we cut to the back to discover Brother Devon unconscious under some production equipment.

The next week was a two-hour special, so we had the Naturals taking on Team 3D in a tables match. In the end of the match, Team 3D had the Naturals where they wanted them. They’d set up a table when Shane Douglas hit the ring and sacrificed himself to keep the Naturals in it. After that, the Naturals hit Ray with a 3D and put Devon through a table to win the match.

At Genesis, the Naturals easily defeated Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal.

The next week on Impact saw the Naturals defeated by AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in what was build as Styles and Daniels’s final match as partners. Afterward, Rhino tried to help Styles and Daniels patch things up, but Daniels just stormed off.

The Naturals basically did nothing after that until the December 21 Impact. Team 3D returned and obliterated the Naturals in a tables match. Afterward, Douglas said that the experiment was over and walked out on his team.


And here we see TNA Try #3 with the Naturals, and we also see the team’s basic problem. They’d always been with the company, so when a bigger name (like the Dudleys or New Age Outlaws) arrived from the WWE, they wound up shoved into the background.

However, the Naturals did average about one push a year that saw them usually feuding with America’s Most Wanted before they were returned to the back burner to make room for the newest WWE arrivals. (Kind of like Monty Brown.)

In the end, they were undone by multiple things. Team 3D needed to make a strong return, and Shane Douglas was getting ready to vanish from his onscreen role as well. Add to that TNA’s reticence to push the team (over matters such as Andy Douglas refusing to cut his hair when asked) and we had a team that would bubble to the top occasionally and then vanish again.

Where are they now?

The Naturals wound up released from their TNA contracts on May 10, 2007. They continue to appear from time to time with TNA at house shows. They also had a shot at a WWE tryout on September 17, but the offer was withdrawn after Andy Douglas posted the tryout information on his Myspace. Today the Naturals appear regularly on the indy scene and in Puerto Rico for IWA, where they are the current tag team champions.

Shane Douglas was released from TNA on October 10, 2007. He still makes occasional indy appearances and currently works full time at a Pennsylvania Target where he is in a management training program.