Aspiring 350-pound (158.7 kg) wrestler Eric Kulas, who performed as a Ralph Kramden-esque bus driver gimmick named "Mass Transit", convinced Extreme Championship Wrestling president and booker Paul Heyman to allow him to fill in for Axl Rotten by lying that he had been trained by Killer Kowalski. Again, it doesn’t make it morally right, but Kulas had no right to file a lawsuit when he lied to ECW to get a chance to play wrestler.

Performers who testified at Young's trial stated that Kulas was extremely arrogant and demanding backstage prior to the match and, when told that he would have to bleed as part of the match, Kulas had asked Young to blade him, since he had never done it.

Heyman stated afterwa Where the controversy starts is that when planning the match, Kulas stated that he wanted to bleed during the bout, but didn’t know how to blade, or cut himself in a safe manner, a common practice in the business for decades.

Ultimately, Kulas, a naive fan that wanted to play wrestler, couldn’t keep his story together and the inconsistencies led to Jerome Young being acquitted and nobody was found to be liable for the injuries. Kulas would later pass away on May 12, 2002 at just 22 years old due to complications from gastric bypass surgery. New Jack took offense to the jobber's impudence and took liberties that included slicing open his forehead with a scalpel and generally beating the hell out of him, prompting the quote above. Rotten was scheduled to work a tag team match with D-Von Dudley against The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustapha Saed) at a house show in the city, but was unable to compete due to travel issues. Plus, he could actually wrestle technically matches earlier in his career when The Gangstas had an extensive feud with the Rock n’ Roll Express in Smokey Mountain Wrestling in 1994. Kulas and his family later did an interview with Inside Edition that featured footage from the incident, including New Jack cutting him and berating him after the match. The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa) were supposed to face D-Von Dudley and Axl Rotten, but Axl no-showed.

[4] Erich Kulas, a wrestling fan who had just turned 17, told ECW owner and booker Paul Heyman that he was 21 and convinced Heyman to allow him to fill in for Rotten by lying that he had been trained by Killer Kowalski, a retired star wrestler who ran a notable wrestling school in the Boston area. In this process, he insults, disrespects and disregards countering opinions. The very real situation continued when New Jack pummeled Joe with various objects until the promoter stopped the match. The incident led to a future ECW pay-per-view being temporarily cancelled and a lawsuit from Kulas' family. [3] He's white. According to New Jack's episode of Dark Side of the Ring, Kulas (who obviously lacked the knowledge of locker room etiquette) tried to lay out some of the match's progress (an action viewed as vastly overstepping his bounds), including suggesting that New Jack blade him. Given that Kulas hadn’t endeared himself to the rest of the crew, The Gangstas made a point to keep D-Von outside of the ring and focused on not letting Mass Transit get any offense.

When the time came for New Jack to blade Kulas as he requested, the ECW tag champion sliced deeply into the teenager’s forehead, opening a geyser that squirted a continuous stream of blood onto the canvas.

New Jack was arrested at the time, but was ultimately let off when the court found out that Kulas had lied to Paul Heyman about his age and experience level. Brie Bella Total Divas Teaser, WWE Announcer Responds To Fake Tattoo Concern, Fans On WWE TLC, Fans On Goldberg Vs. Brock Lesnar III, WWE Looks At Starrcade 1986 Scaffold Match (Video), Bulldog, New Documentary Unwraps Mystery of Vampiro, The Power Of Persistence:The Wes Fetty Story, New Piper Documentary Details Rowdy Career, Several WWE Superstars Allegedly Want To Join Impact Wrestling, Adam Cole And Kyle O’Reilly Turning Babyface From The Other Undisputed Era Members, The Rock Makes An Announcement Regarding The XFL, Latest News Regarding Edge’s Recovery From Surgery, Video: New Promo For Unknown NXT Superstar Airs.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most infamous incidents in pro wrestling history, “The Mass Transit incident” at an ECW house show in Revere, MA in 1996. Eric Kulas had just turned 17 years old.

After hearing about Erich Kulas' request to New Jack to blade him, a jury acquitted Young of all charges in the criminal trial,[3] and he was later declared not liable in the civil trial.

E mail [email protected] | You can follow me on Twitter @jimlamotta, $5 off orders of $35 or more with code WWESAVE5 at WWEShop.com. It’s tragic that Eric Kulas passed away at a young age, but he clearly had no business attempting to be a wrestler in 1996.

As medics rushed into the ring to aid Kulas, New Jack grabbed the house microphone and shouted, "I don't care if the motherfucker dies! Advertisement: The Mass Transit Incident is one of the most infamous moments in ECW history. It's a learning process because I'm... As seen below, a new promo for the mystery WWE NXT Superstar returning at Sunday's "Takeover: 31" event aired during tonight's NXT go-home episode.... You'll find information on this website about the following: WWE News, WWE Rumors, WWE Spoilers, WWE Results, TNA News, TNA Rumors, TNA Spoilers, TNA Results, John Cena, Vince McMahon, Impact Wrestling, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, WWE Divas, TNA Knockouts, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, PPV Results, and much more! The video showed New Jack quietly asking Kulas, after the blading, "You alright?" He's 17!" [2][3] Heyman stated afterward that he was unaware of Kulas' real age. Two decades later, retrospect provides a much clearer picture of what actually happened and what the results could’ve been if the stunt wasn’t recorded. Step forward, Eric Kulas. However, it’s interesting to consider how serious the consequences of The Mass Transit incident could’ve been at the time and the ripple effect it would’ve had if Barely Legal remained cancelled. The following year when wrestling in Florida, New Jack legitimately stabbed an William Lane nine times after the independent wrestler tried to actually fight him during the bout. Furthermore, he claimed to have performed on … NXT UK Updates For This Week: Video Highlights, Heritage Cup Opening... Former WWE & NXT Wrestler Lio Rush Starts OnlyFans Account. [1] During the match, Dudley and New Jack brawled outside the ring, while Saed and Transit fought inside the ring.

At the time, the firestorm of negative press prompted the cancellation of the company’s debut on pay-per-view the following year before owner Paul Heyman persuaded providers to distribute the event. Erich Kulas died on May 12, 2002 at the age of 22,[2] due to complications from gastric bypass surgery. Heyman, by his own admission in The Rise and Fall of ECW, "begged and pleaded" with Request and finally convinced the company that they had been misled.

Axl Rotten had been scheduled to work a tag team match with D-Von Dudley against The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa Saed),[2] but could not make the show due to a family emergency and then getting traveling issues. Passing by the audience, Kulas began giving them the finger in an attempt to continue "playing the bad guy".[2].

He was a young man attempting to earn a name for himself and hoping to achieve this by working a house show for ECW. TVTropes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The match was booked as a squash and Dudley was quickly isolated outside the ring. The book The Rise and Fall of ECW also states that as the medic crew carried Kulas out, he was escorted by Tommy Dreamer, who held his hand to comfort him.

He asked New Jack, one of the most notorious figures in the history of the business, if he would make the cut for him. This is not a smart thing to do when you're dealing with New Jack. The Rock, who is now one of the co-owners of the XFL, announced that the football league will be returning in the Spring of... During an appearance on Busted Open Radio, Edge talked about his recovery from surgery:

The segment depicted Kulas as an innocent, unprepared victim while vilifying ECW, even going as far as showing that Heyman had not asked for any state identification.

Three years after the incident, Jerome "New Jack" Young was tried on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and was later sued by the Kulas family.

New Jack agreed, and it was determined that the contest would be one-sided since The Gangstas were an established team. While Jerome Young is a very complex individual that hasn’t always made the best decisions and he undoubtedly decided to cut Kulas deeper than he probably should’ve, he wasn’t legally responsible for Mass Transit’s injuries. What the court case came down to was Kulas asked to be cut and then knowing what was going to happen, waited to get bladed.

As mentioned, the negative press almost costs ECW their chance on pay-per-view, and New Jack, the real-life Jerome Young, was eventually charged with assault and battery. This was, along with Raven's Nest crucifying The Sandman, one of the two debacles that nearly killed ECW's chances of getting on PPV. Subscribe to WWE Network to get your 1st month FREE & instant access to all special events! [1][3] At the end of the match, New Jack bladed Kulas with a surgical scalpel,[5] as the two had agreed, but cut too deeply and severed two arteries in Kulas' forehead. The "Mass Transit incident" was an event in professional wrestling that occurred at an Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) house show on November 23, 1996 at the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, Massachusetts.

Regardless, two decades later, the incident is still talked about as one of the most controversial events in pro wrestling history.