The Full Wiki

Mass Transit incident (professional wrestling): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The "Mass Transit Incident" was an infamous event in professional wrestling that occurred at an Extreme Championship Wrestling house show on November 23, 1996 at the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, MA.



Eric Kulas, an untrained 17 year old boy who convinced Extreme Championship Wrestling President and booker Paul Heyman to allow him to fill in for Axl Rotten, who was scheduled to work a tag match with D-Von Dudley against The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustapha Saed). Heyman was allegedly unaware of Kulas's age. Kulas performed as Mass Transit.

During the match, D-Von and New Jack brawled outside of the ring, while Mustafa and Transit fought inside the ring. The match was booked as a squash and D-Von was quickly isolated outside the ring. The Gangstas then double teamed Kulas inside the ring, with New Jack beating the young man forcefully with toasters, crutches and various other objects. The end of the match saw New Jack blading Kulas, making him bleed profusely. This sparked a series of events that included New Jack's arrest and the almost cancellation of Barely Legal, ECW's impending first pay-per-view broadcast.



Pay-per-view cancellation

The incident led to the cancellation of the Barely Legal pay-per-view by pay-per-view provider Request TV, on Christmas Eve, 1996. Heyman, by his own admission in The Rise and Fall of ECW, "begged and pleaded" with Request, and was finally able to convince the company that they had been misled, and were placed back on the schedule on Sunday night, April 13th, 1997, at 9:00 PM.

Inside Edition interview

Eric Kulas and his family later did an interview with Inside Edition that featured footage from the incident, including New Jack cutting him and kayfabe berating him after the match. The segment was biased towards Kulas, showing him as an innocent, unprepared victim, while vilifying ECW, even going so far as to expose New Jack's criminal past. The story was done before the Kulas' launched their lawsuit and so key details of how Kulas actually got into the match had not been made public at that point.


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. After hearing about Eric Kulas' request to New Jack to make him "get color", a jury acquitted Young of all charges in the criminal trial, and he was later declared not liable in the civil trial.

Performers who testified at Jerome Young's trial stated that Eric Kulas was extremely arrogant and demanding backstage prior to the match, and, when told he'd have to bleed as part of the match, Kulas had asked Young to perform the bladejob for him, since he had never done it. It was also testified that Stephen Kulas began berating The Gangstas and screamed, "He's only 17!" and "Take it easy on him, he's just a kid!" when they isolated his son from D-Von Dudley during the match and double-teamed him.

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. Passing by the audience, Kulas began giving them the finger in an attempt to continue "being the bad guy".

Kulas' duplicity

Authorities later determined that Kulas had lied to Paul Heyman about his age and experience; Kulas claimed to be 19 years of age, but he was really 17 years old. He claimed to have been trained by Killer Kowalski, and Stephen Kulas (his father) even vouched for his son, but Kulas was never formally trained to wrestle. In The Rise and Fall of ECW, Paul Heyman states that Kulas's dubious credentials as a student of Killer Kowalski were endorsed by a then-known midget wrestler, who was with Kulas when he and his father approached the staff about getting Eric in. New Jack later stated in interviews that after he found out about Kulas' duplicity, he didn't have any remorse for what he had done.


Due to the event being a house show, the match was not televised. However, Extreme Fan Cam was on hand to record the event on a camcorder, and recorded footage was used as evidence for the trial; video footage showed New Jack asking Kulas, "You alright?" This prompted some to consider his actions moments later as part of the show and not representative of his true feelings. After the incident, the Gangstas proceeded to work Kulas over even more, prompting Stephen Kulas to scream, "Ring the fucking bell, he's 17!" As medics rushed into the ring to aid Kulas, New Jack grabbed the house microphone and exclaimed, "McMahon, Bischoff, look at this motherfucker! As far as I'm concerned, that fat piece of shit can bleed to fucking death, because I don't give a fuck." With the help of the Internet, video of the incident has spread among the wrestling community.

The death of Eric Kulas

Eric Kulas died on May 12, 2002 at the age of 22 due to complications from gastric bypass surgery stemming from his weight problems. He had weighed close to 300 pounds when he was 10 years old, and had continued to have weight issues throughout his life.

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address