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What If's in Pro Wrestling History

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
I haven't read/listened to shoots about that time period but I'm assuming the only reason why WWF phased Scott Levy out so quickly in '94 when the heel roster was so thin was because there were serious behavioral issues, even by standards of '90s WWF.

But, hey, that made him perfect for ECW!

I agree that Dreamer is not where he is today in a scenario where Raven never happens. I think he could still be a memorable ECW guy but maybe more at a Balls Mahoney level without that iconic feud.
Is there a reason Tommy Cairo fell off the face of the earth after his early ECW run?
 

Valeyard

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I was thinking about what would happen in 2005 if Brock and Vince smoothed things over. I'm assuming Brock/Batista finally happens, crossing off the last of the era's dream matches, but what else? More Taker, I assume, as well as stuff with Eddie. I don't see him going to Raw as much as I think he could've had some good stuff with Cena and HHH at the time.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Thinking about it more, if Brock and Vince smooth things over in 2005, (and I'm assuming this would be around the fall when Brock debuted for NJPW), I think Batista's momentum is damaged if not permanently crippled. He wasn't really a sure thing as a main eventer until The Undertaker feud IMO. If Brock comes back and essentially takes his role as a rawboned genetic freak of nature (except a lot younger, more athletic, and less injury prone), I wonder if they ever go back to Batista as a top guy.
 

Epic for the Summer

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If Brock failed in UFC (and it was looking like that at first since he lost his first fight), he also would have been back a lot sooner than he was. If Brock returns in 2008 when Batista was very clearly a made man, he also probably would have been doing fun HOSS stuff with Umaga.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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I don't think Brock is biggest star in WWE of past 20 years (or bare minimum, 1B to Cena's 1A) if he doesn't leave for nearly a decade. I feel like if he had never left or came back too soon, someone would've gotten hurt badly.
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
If Brock failed in UFC (and it was looking like that at first since he lost his first fight), he also would have been back a lot sooner than he was. If Brock returns in 2008 when Batista was very clearly a made man, he also probably would have been doing fun HOSS stuff with Umaga.
That first fight with Mir was booked better than Pro Wrestling. Brock mauled a former world champ but his rawness lead to a quick mistake and he was forced to tap. Brock showed his crazy potential and it set up a mega rematch where Mir mocked Brock's Pro Wrasslin' and Brock knocked a door off it's hinges in rage over seeing Mir mocking him.

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Valeyard

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I miss Heath Herring.

I just don't know if Vince being Vince (especially 2005 Vince, and especially under the circumstances) gives Brock another big run out of the gate. Like, maybe six months of classic humble-booking seems in character for the time. Sure, we get delays on great stuff but we also get Brock/Heidenreich so maybe it'd be okay.

I could see him essentially getting Angle's push in 2006. Besides the idea of Brock being Heyman's golden child on ECW, killing Sabu and Sandman every week in comical fashion, sounds like a nice timeline.
 

Laz

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That first fight with Mir was booked better than Pro Wrestling. Brock mauled a former world champ but his rawness lead to a quick mistake and he was forced to tap. Brock showed his crazy potential and it set up a mega rematch where Mir mocked Brock's Pro Wrasslin' and Brock knocked a door off it's hinges in rage over seeing Mir mocking him.

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I also found it hilarious that Brock lost to an ankle lock in his first UFC fight. Just...just perfect irony.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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(checks Raven's Wikipedia)

TIL Raven unsuccessfully pitched the gimmick to Jim Cornette before he pitched it to Paul Heyman.
Crosspost of a crosspost...some Inception stuff here.

But what if Jim Cornette says "GOD DAMN SCOTT! THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!" and decides to introduce Raven as a character in SMW? Is it a hot enough character to save (or at least prolong the life of) SMW?

What the hell does ECW in a world where the Raven-Dreamer feud never happens? Is it doomed to stay a niche promotion?
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Crosspost of a crosspost...some Inception stuff here.

But what if Jim Cornette says "GOD DAMN SCOTT! THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!" and decides to introduce Raven as a character in SMW? Is it a hot enough character to save (or at least prolong the life of) SMW?

What the hell does ECW in a world where the Raven-Dreamer feud never happens? Is it doomed to stay a niche promotion?
I'm not sure Raven works in SMW as a gimmick. I would think the Hillbillies Corny was drawing would be more likely to hate Johnny Polo or Scotty the Body's gimmick instead of trying to understand a whiny grunge heel.
Honestly Bradshaw's planned SMW run that was canceled when the promotion folded probably had a better chance at moving tickets than Raven.
IMO.
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ECW had so many pieces that made it a compelling package (Funk, Sabu, Taz, Triple Threat, Public Enema, Rotten Bros gory feud, etc etc) that I would need some convincing/elaboration to properly contextualize Dreamer/Raven being the catalyst for growth. I followed the product 8-10 weeks behind by reading PWI so I do not have the first person experience of watching the promotion grow.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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I think Raven was so motivated to prove doubters wrong after his dreams of being the next Roddy Piper in WWF failed horribly that he would have made that character work anywhere. Raven in SMW would've been different but I think his early TNA stuff proved he could make it work in a Southern rasslin environment.

I always thought of Raven as the heart of ECW. Yeah, the other stuff was cool but Raven's storylines with Dreamer and The Sandman is the stuff that made people want to tune in on a weekly basis. Idk if they're anything more than a fad among wrestling nerds if he's never there.
 

Laz

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Dreamer/Raven is what put ECW over the top in terms of weekly TV quality. Raven, though, wasn't the draw. ECW was the draw. They were drawing bigger audiences with Justin Credible on top than they were with Raven interwoven into every major storyline, which was a Paul E deal (having programs interact and grow between each other).
 

Valeyard

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Dreamer/Raven in itself wasn't the appeal for me but the way it involved pretty much everyone at some point was the big part. I knew about them feuding, yeah, but then the more I dove the more I realized how heavily tied to it people like Cactus or Funk really were and how their own feuds also overlapped it. It was a big enough feud that it took some kind of toll on everyone in the company at different points. When it ended nothing ever was that woven together, and it just felt like kind of standard wrestling feuds or stories vs a whole universe these characters were forced to work in.
 

strummer

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There's that strange period in ECW between when Shane Douglas comes back in late 95 and before the Francine heel turn in mid 96 where Shane is pretty much directionless and is basically Tommy's lil buddy in his feud with Raven.

I still remember Shane's "you're too much man!" reaction to the "I'll take em both!" segment.

It seemed Paul had *everyone* involved in that program at sometime

Oh just remembered that Shane's back was still destroyed at this point so that's probably why he wasn't doing much
 

Laz

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It's a big part of why Dreamer/Raven is my favorite feud of all-time. The only other feud of that scope in a promotion that I can think of is Austin/McMahon, which literally laid the groundwork for every main event program of the next 4 years.

...which makes the fact that all they learned from it was "evil authority figure hates the crowd favorites" even more egregious.
 

strummer

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I wonder where they would have gone with Cactus/Raven had Foley not signed with the WWF in early 96? The obvious is Foley eventually turning back face after realizing Raven was using him but the Foley heel turn was so organic and felt too natural to give up on at the time.
 

Valeyard

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Cactus would've ended up with the title for at least a short period of time. The good booking/fan uproar about a fictional threeway where Cactus beats Raven and Dreamer for the belt would be legendary.

Cactus staying in ECW is a good one, though. Could take Stevie's place at Barely Legal, for instance.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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How differently do you think Jim Duggan's career would play out if he didn't make the mistake of having the Iron Sheik be his riding partner?

Even with the scandal, he still managed to be a Top 5 babyface for a half decade. Do you think there's a chance that he becomes Hogan's heir apparent instead of Warrior? And given the fact that he's a good natured dude that seems universally liked by his peers, do you think it's possible that unlike Warrior, it actually takes?
 

Laz

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I don't see Hacksaw being a big star nationally, the guy was a little too oaf-ish for that kind of position once Hulkamania was so firmly established, but I could see him being #2 for a few years while Hogan is off (movies, injury, whatever).
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Even after the incident he worked w/ Harley Race and then a B Team headline run w/Andre (including a MSG show that didn't draw).

It may have been more of a case of Savage turning face, Beefcake being Hogan's drug mule and the Anabolic Warrior showing up that forced him down the card more than any long term revenge booking. He's Hogan's buddy in 90-91 and then finally falls off as the Expansion era roster becomes passé.

Even in the early RAW days he had a IC title mini feud w/HBK which was a good use of transitioning roster stars.
 

JHawk

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Had Verne gotten a run as NWA champion, there is no NWA so the business is completely different.

Bruno's reign wouldn't have lasted a year as he'd be sick of the travel by then and I doubt he draws well enough outside the northeast for the NWA to want it.
 

Laz

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WWE adopts a much stricter regulation on high spots, even greater than they did years later following the Benoit tragedy (and the plethora of injuries around the same time). TNA and ROH differentiate themselves even further with their products, which stood out as they were, and WWE's product takes a steeper dive in quality, both as a result of a top star's absence and as they panic (from PR issues and a scramble to fix the shows).

Brock never goes to UFC, obviously, and I think UFC takes longer to get as phenomenally massive as it does (as Brock was a major draw), but only by a year or so. Brock's return is also a major tipping point for WWE booking after the PG turn (the unofficial start of relying on older stars returning for paydays), so if that doesn't happen then the ME looks very different. Maybe they pull the trigger on Punk getting the WM main? Maybe they're less likely to jerk the crowd around with Bryan?
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Like it'd be a massive news story (scandal?) Even though they were in deep decline in 2003, it's still main event of their biggest show of the year (and they were still closer to their peak of cultural relevancy than they were during the Benoit scandals). Idk if it scares WWE straight into reforming five years earlier but maybe. I think it might effect UFC history as much as it does WWE history. I'm sure UFC becomes mainstream regardless but Brock's success did help.

As for WWE, short term future, I think there's three options. 1. Turn Angle babyface ASAP and have him do a Nikita Koloff in '87-esque, "I'm paying tribute and fighting for my fallen rival" type gimmick. Maybe WWE's more mindful of their road schedule and Angle doesn't feel the need to push himself to the brink and get strung out pain pills & booze. Maybe he becomes a WWE lifer. Alternately though, maybe having his opponent become crippled during the biggest match of his career would set him off into the path of self destruction.

2. John Cena's super push starts a few years earlier. They were already testing the waters so maybe they just throw him into the deep end and seeing if he can swim. It's obvious they were really looking to move on from the Attitude Era dudes being top guys by mid '02 but...

3. Obvious/safest choice afaic is maybe starting the era of the part time main eventer a few decades early. We're still years away from F5 and The Rock becoming Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: World's Biggest Movie Star. If he's given the option to work a few PPV matches a year indefinitely while maintaining his movie schedule, I bet he stays in WWE for a few more years before his movie handlers tell him to knock it off.. Remember WWE kind of pushed him out because they decided "We don't need The Rock! Batista (and Cena) are better"
 

Valeyard

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I figure short term we get some good panic booking. Brock would be gone, Angle would be gone for a while before the miracle surgery, and I'm sure Austin and Rock going amplifies everything despite being on Raw. Maybe just Taker back on top and a couple months of Big Show matches before either Eddie or Cena get the trigger pulled. Maybe a really good Taker/Benoit match slips in there as well as Taker/Hogan 4. Jericho or someone comparable gets sent to Smackdown to fill some of the void. 2004 and beyond could very well be the same. If Brock doesn't come back, it would've been some sweet Cena/Tensai action.

Brock would sue WWE into oblivion, too. That would be the biggest change. The kind of lawsuit that would alter how they'd actually do business and protect its workers. That could save lives, or at least drastically change how a few wind up.
 

The Franchise

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What if Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Eddie Guererro had a wrestling match on either TV or on PPV. Do you guys think that would be a dream match for the ages? I think that Bret/Eddie could very easily be a match for a WrestleMania. What do you guys think?
 
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