Chat! culturecrossfire.slack.com

What If's in Pro Wrestling History

Laz

0101100101
Messages
18,471
Reaction score
1,733
Points
253
Location
Music City
I think that's a dream match we never got (at least in a meaningful way), but I also don't think it could've possibly lived up to any expectations we'd have of it.

Realistically speaking, the only times their paths could have crossed would be WCW 1998-1999, which was when Eddy's demons were at their worst and Bret's passion was at its lowest. Had they met in this time frame (and I'll leave it to @BruiserBrody or @King of Summer Kamala to check if it did), it would have been a great Thunder midcard workrate marred by interference or other shenanigans, and forgotten about within weeks.

Now, PRIME Bret (1994-1997) and PRIME Eddy (2002-2004, arguably)? Hell yes. Great match. Maybe not a classic, but they would have worked something that made them both look great.
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
I think that's a dream match we never got (at least in a meaningful way), but I also don't think it could've possibly lived up to any expectations we'd have of it.

Realistically speaking, the only times their paths could have crossed would be WCW 1998-1999, which was when Eddy's demons were at their worst and Bret's passion was at its lowest. Had they met in this time frame (and I'll leave it to @BruiserBrody or @King of Summer Kamala to check if it did), it would have been a great Thunder midcard workrate marred by interference or other shenanigans, and forgotten about within weeks.
They did not have a match. Closest IIRC was they brawled outside the ring during a Jeff Jarrett-Kidman match on the New Year's Evil episode of Monday Nitro.

If Bret signed with WCW in Fall of '96 though instead of returning to WWF, I think we might have gotten some dope Bret Vs Eddie matches.
 

Valeyard

Burn
Messages
7,773
Reaction score
2,965
Points
218
It hit me that Punk's AEW run is almost exactly what Bret's WCW run should've been.

I'll die on the hill of Bret being used to elevate the mid-upper card with all the workhorses makes more sense than literally anything they did with him. Make the US/TV title the most important belt in the country and then get the big clusterfuck matches with the main event.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
Messages
24,328
Reaction score
1,436
Points
293
Location
[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Bret's timing also didn't help him. Hogan vs Sting was going to have to run several months to properly monetize it, so Bret Hart coming in fresh off the WWF title "loss" didn't get to work what should have been the natural program.
However, the Bret as ref spot at Starrcade could have set up Souled Out being Bret vs Sting, with Hogan spending the month whining about being screwed by Bret, who clearly jobbed him out of the title so he could have an easier path to claiming the title for himself.
And by monotize.... I apparently mean "Rematch not on PPV" as Sting is AWOL from Souled Out. Luger vs Savage is listed as the main event in an angle I've long forgotten was rebirthed in 98. Sting vs Hogan was done to kick off Thunder as a thing, IIRC.
Apparently the Savage/Luger build included Savage losing to Chris Adams on the Thunder debut.
And of course, had Bret been properly built, even over a few months of working with the Flairs and Hennings, then by summer Goldberg was in full swing as the hot new thing.
It just wasn't in the cards.
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
What if Ric Flair left JCP in August '88 to join WWF as heavily rumored? Do we get Hogan Vs Flair at WrestleMania in their primes? Do we assume that Tully & Arn jump over still? Is there any Horsemen interaction in WWF?

Does Ted Turner even want to buy JCP a few months later without his main man Ric? As bad as losing Flair in '91 was, I think it would've been even more painful three years earlier. Do they make a hard play at bringing Piper in as top guy?
 

Hawk 34

Integral Poster
Messages
5,571
Reaction score
1,346
Points
248
More than likely I believe Flair aligns with Heenan and the Family is a defacto Horseman team.

The stories of Flair and HAKU together would be iconic.
 

alkeiper

Welcoming our new insect overlords
Messages
9,484
Reaction score
1,152
Points
218
Location
Northeast Pennsylvania
I think it pushes Crockett to run with Luger as world champion and that could have been a positive.

As far as Flair in WWF, Hogan/Savage was honestly the better money match. I could see a house show feud with Savage vs. Flair along the same lines as the '92 feud. Flair would have been a great foil for Savage and Elizabeth. After that, maybe they ask Flair to help Warrior look good in his matches?
 

Hawk 34

Integral Poster
Messages
5,571
Reaction score
1,346
Points
248
Flair/Jake or Duggan would be his first major program while they blow off Mega Powers.

Flair being there really cuts Dibiase off but he was gonna lose steam by mid 89 anyways so it wouldn’t have been a total change.
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
I think Hogan/Savage was already penciled for WM V by August '88. Having Flair there gives everyone on the babyface side so much more breathing room. Having him there at that time probably delays the early '90s decline by a year or two IMO.

I enjoyed Flair's first WWF run but it was a year too late to make any real impact. Even if he had left for WWF in the Summer of '90 after dropping the WCW World Title to Sting, I feel like it would've meant way more.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
Messages
24,328
Reaction score
1,436
Points
293
Location
[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
What if Ric Flair left JCP in August '88 to join WWF as heavily rumored? Do we get Hogan Vs Flair at WrestleMania in their primes? Do we assume that Tully & Arn jump over still? Is there any Horsemen interaction in WWF?

Does Ted Turner even want to buy JCP a few months later without his main man Ric? As bad as losing Flair in '91 was, I think it would've been even more painful three years earlier. Do they make a hard play at bringing Piper in as top guy?
One wonders if Vince would give a shit about Flair in the grand scheme of things. Vince couldn't identify which of the RnR Express was which according to Corny and they were drawing money all over from 84-87.
By summerslam 88, Vince had to know Hogan vs Savage was the direction (and they do the split second tease during the post match pose down at the PPV). Bossman was BIG and being set up to work Hogan for the Fall. And Zeus is in the can as the movie is filmed and what better way to plug the movie than to bring in the top heel in person? I suppose Bossman could be shunted down to sticking with the Twin Towers or working with Duggan/Warrior, etc.
Rick Rude has the ladies man gimmick, so Vince probably makes Flair downplay that sort of thing. Cheryl is already in the mix w/Rude, so Flair/Jake can't really redo the Sunshine/Flair angle.
Maybe Hogan swings Beefcake towards Flair so they can work B or C show main events?
Maybe a run with Warrior for WM 5?
Duggan works too if they pivot away from Bravo and it becomes a working class slob vs the rich jock ass.
Vince could go the total opposite way as Dillon, Arn, Tully all come in by the end of 88 and Windham wasn't too far after. Maybe Hennig can get slotted in if they do a WWF Horsemen faction.
It would be a waste, but Flair is a hell of an upgrade for late in the year where Savage works BN Brown, Haku and IIRC Rude after the Dibiase/Andre singles runs finally finishes after Novemberish. Maybe they just work a loop and save a real feud for down the line.
Also this creates a situation where Dusty can stay in WCW/NWA as there is no more power play to worry about with Flair over dropping the belt to Sting or Luger. Windham likely stays on as Dusty's assistant.
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
Yeah, that's another thing. I'm guessing Flair would've gotten a push regardless because he seems like a Vince guy through and through (despite spending most and the best of his years elsewhere) but there's always the chance that WWF would have wasted him in midcard purgatory like Harley and Dusty.
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
Last John Arezzi podcast I listened to (which was covering a show from late August 1992) had a report from Wade Keller about WWF and WCW negotiating a trade that would send Sting to WWF for Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, and Shawn Michaels.

Now assuming this report wasn't speculative BS (which it probably was)...if this trade had gone through, what do you think WWF and WCW look like in the mid '90s? IMO, Sting is the one dude that maybe could have effectively replaced Hulk Hogan as the top babyface. If Sting's there though, I don't see where there's room for Bret Hart.

On the WCW end, it seems awfully heel heavy with Vader already being top heel there ATT. I know Flair returned and worked as a face for his first year back in WCW so maybe he has more interesting stories to go through. I just can't see Shawn Michaels being a face so soon after the Barbershop Window or DiBiase being a face after a half decade as MDM. Maybe a window opens up for Dustin Rhodes or the Steiners to be top guys (or WCW goes after Bret Hart again).
 

Valeyard

Burn
Messages
7,773
Reaction score
2,965
Points
218
Sting would get a rocket push in the midcard, Bulldog was fizzling and Bret was ready to move forward so at least we'd get a solid IC title run, which would hurt Razor more than anyone, probably. He also probably eats up Tatanka's push just because come on. Sting in Luger's spot in 1993 is a fucking success though.

Dibiase would probably get a feud with Steamboat, probably the TV title a couple times. I could see him falling in with Arn or Eaton to have a workhorse heel team the rest of the time. Probably gets a few big shots when Hogan comes in but mostly is probably akin to where Orndorff was.

Shawn gets either Austin or Pillman's spot in the Hollywood Blondes. Failing that, he gets Roma's spot in the Horsemen. He'd have a really good run until Hogan arrives and derails it. Honestly his tenure could be very much like Austin's was.
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
You probably keep Mr. Perfect as a heel if Flair leaves?

If Sting jumps to WWF in the Fall of '92, is there a way that he gets Bret's spot as World Champ? It's far from unprecedented to have a new guy to come in and immediately be catapulted to the World Title (see Pedro Morales in '71 and Hulk Hogan in '84)
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
I wonder if his old workout buddy and tag team partner being there might help settle Ultimate Warrior. Probably not since it didn't help Warrior's WCW stint!
 

Valeyard

Burn
Messages
7,773
Reaction score
2,965
Points
218
Flair puts Bret over like he did, and Bret gets basically the same run. Sting would be ready but this is Vince and there would be no way he'd immediately put the title on the top face of the competition so fast, especially right after doing so with Flair and losing him. Assuming the Hogan run goes the same, and Sting being in Luger's spot the rest of 1993, the big match is Sting/Bret for Wrestlemania 10 (assume you booked Wrestlemania the same but lead to Sting/Bret at the end).

Perfect is weird. Given how face-heavy the roster would be at the time, you kinda have to have him at least wind up a heel by Wrestlemania 9. For the sake of argument have him turn when Flair's on his way out and feud with Heenan and Lawler or whoever, then make him kill Bret at the Wrestlemania brunch instead of Luger. He gets Shawn's spot the rest of the year doing whatever, maybe Razor or maybe Sting or maybe even Savage or Warrior. Luger of course gets Sting at Wrestlemania because dude.
 

Hawk 34

Integral Poster
Messages
5,571
Reaction score
1,346
Points
248
Sting immediately starts off hot with Razor and they build to Mania 9 where Sting goes over. You keep the Bret title change intact but still loses to Yoko instead of doing the hogan ending.

Sting and Yoko would have fucking slapped so Sting chases Yoko to Slam and gets a run with the strap until he gets fucked by Luger at the Rumble and Bret goes back to Yoko to get the strap at Mania X.

Luger obviously never turns and you put the IC title on him in the summer and do a long run there building to mania over the IC title with Sting.

There you build to Sting Bret colliding a year later at XI.
 

King of Summer Kamala

Integral Poster
Messages
48,786
Reaction score
5,662
Points
293
Location
Vacationland
I wonder what the hell Hogan does without a Money Inc storyline to distract him for WrestleMania IX? Does he make a harder push for a main event? I can't see any other circa '93 WWF tag team being fit. Maybe keep The Nasty Boys as heels so he can give three friends paydays instead of just one.

Alternately though, I feel like if you have Sting maybe you aren't as incentivized to bring in special guest star "Where's Poochy?" era Hogan for IX.
 

Valeyard

Burn
Messages
7,773
Reaction score
2,965
Points
218
It would've been better than the Taker series, for both guys.

Perfect/Taker is a match we never got but should've. I don't think it would've been great or anything but the character work would've been amazing.
 

Alfdogg

Alfdogg
Messages
6,385
Reaction score
659
Points
218
Location
Anderson, IN
Bring Sting in as a heel and have him squash Warrior, usurping him as the face-painted monster, then have him roll through everyone Goldberg-style until a Mania ME with Bret. It would work
 
Top