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Thread: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

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    Default What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    Shamelessly stole this from PWO since we have the best wrestling fan minds in the bizness right here at PW (cheap pop). Here is the original thread.
    http://prowrestlingonly.com/index.ph...et-over-shawn/

    I'll post some of my thoughts and theories in 20 minutes or so.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    I'm of the opinion that the big stuff is mostly unchanged. I find the notion that Austin-Mr. McMahon "needed" The Screwjob to work to be one of the biggest bullshit conventional wisdom things that's often repeated. Austin vs. McMahon was years in the making, first beginning with a potty mouthed heel Austin getting on commentator Vince McMahon's nerves, Vince taking shots at him on commentary, and Austin taking shots at him back (A Heel JR had broke the illusion that Vince was only a commentator in 1996). After Owen drops Austin on his neck at SummerSlam '97, Austin vs. McMahon starts to become a major storyline due to Austin being suspended for medical reasons. It's during that time that Austin really starts to get over as the Austin we would get to know, as he's fighting the corporate machine, trying to be allowed back in the ring, even stunning Vince in September of '97 at Madison Square Garden. This is all before the Screwjob, Austin is already the hottest thing in wrestling, the fans are having no trouble booing McMahon, Austin vs. McMahon is already a thing. Mr. McMahon doesn't need anything to get booed. He was inherently unlikeable as a white meat commentator, and it turned out he was one of the most gifted heels ever on top of that. Mr. McMahon can get booed whenever he feels like it. Austin's trajectory is mostly unchanged. He's winning the belt at WM14, and McMahon isn't going to be happy about it the next day, and they're off to the races.

    The biggest change on this front is, is Tyson still a part of the build? It's been spun that McMahon took Bret's money and paid Tyson, but who knows if that's true? Regardless, Tyson is suspended and can't box, he's an asset the WWF wanted to use since 1990, I think it still gets done. Hart vs. Austin, Tyson as an enforcer, or whatever he was, in a match far superior to the one we actually got with a pouting Michaels overselling his back injury.

    The Rock hits his stride in the second half of 1997, in an IC Title program with Austin. It becomes obvious this is the feud of the future, and I don't see his trajectory changing much. Maybe his first title reign is a little later (there would be no "screwjob" in 1998, that's for sure), but he's undeniable as a talent and still becomes the 1B to Austin's 1A. Hart treated young Rocky Maivia great (Michaels and Triple H did not), they got along great, maybe they even work a program together at the end of 1998 (Corporate Hart vs. People's Rock before an eventual Rock heel turn ).

    Undertaker is the Undertaker. He is his own thing. Him and Kane is unchanged, and I imagine 'Taker still ends up facing Austin at SummerSlam '98.

    I agree with the people at PWO that Foley is potentially the biggest change. Does Foley become the wannabe corporate champ with Bret still there? Bret would have made the perfect "corporate champion" in 1998. If he he does, there's two scenarios. The Undertaker thing, which would see the HITC bump, and Foley is a legend. Or, a Bret Hart program, which would obviously be very different, but Bret loved Foley, and Foley would have came out looking like a million bucks.

    Triple H's first push was already being set in motion in 1997. If Michaels is gone, I reckon he still takes over DX. Does X Pac still come over if Michaels goes to WCW? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, Triple H's DX have to eventually mix it up with The Rock's Nation, and that's always going to be money. Triple H will be fine.

    I think all the elements that made the WWF so big remain mostly unchanged, so we have a slightly deeper Attitude Era, since Hart wouldn't disappear after WM14 like Michaels did. Hart could be good fodder for Triple H and/or Rock in 2000 while they get elevated in Austin's absence.

    Then there's Michaels in WCW ...
    Last edited by Kilgore; 05-18-2017 at 09:11 PM.


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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore
    I'm of the opinion that the big stuff is mostly unchanged. I find the notion that Austin-Mr. McMahon "needed" The Screwjob to work to be one of the biggest bullshit conventional wisdom things that's often repeated. Austin vs. McMahon was years in the making, first beginning with a potty mouthed heel Austin getting on commentator Vince McMahon's nerves, Vince taking shots at him on commentary, and Austin taking shots at him back (A Heel JR had broke the illusion that Vince was only a commentator in 1996). After Owen drops Austin on his neck at SummerSlam '97, Austin vs. McMahon starts to become a major storyline due to Austin being suspended for medical reasons. It's during that time that Austin really starts to get over as the Austin we would get to know, as he's fighting the corporate machine, trying to be allowed back in the ring, even stunning Vince in September of '97 at Madison Square Garden. This is all before the Screwjob, Austin is already the hottest thing in wrestling, the fans are having no trouble booing McMahon, Austin vs. McMahon is already a thing. Mr. McMahon doesn't need anything to get booed. He was inherently unlikeable as a white meat commentator, and it turned out he was one of the most gifted heels ever on top of that. Mr. McMahon can get booed whenever he feels like it. Austin's trajectory is mostly unchanged. He's winning the belt at WM14, and McMahon isn't going to be happy about it the next day, and they're off to the races.

    The biggest change on this front is, is Tyson still a part of the build? It's been spun that McMahon took Bret's money and paid Tyson, but who knows if that's true? Regardless, Tyson is suspended and can't box, he's an asset the WWF wanted to use since 1990, I think it still gets done. Hart vs. Austin, Tyson as an enforcer, or whatever he was, in a match far superior to the one we actually got with a pouting Michaels overselling his back injury.

    The Rock hits his stride in the second half of 1997, in an IC Title program with Austin. It becomes obvious this is the feud of the future, and I don't see his trajectory changing much. Maybe his first title reign is a little later (there would be no "screwjob" in 1998, that's for sure), but he's undeniable as a talent and still becomes the 1B to Austin's 1A. Hart treated young Rocky Maivia great (Michaels and Triple H did not), they got along great, maybe they even work a program together at the end of 1998 (Corporate Hart vs. People's Rock before an eventual Rock heel turn ).

    Undertaker is the Undertaker. He is his own thing. Him and Kane is unchanged, and I imagine 'Taker still ends up facing Austin at SummerSlam '98.

    I agree with the people at PWO that Foley is potentially the biggest change. Does Foley become the wannabe corporate champ with Bret still there? Bret would have made the perfect "corporate champion" in 1998. If he he does, there's two scenarios. The Undertaker thing, which would see the HITC bump, and Foley is a legend. Or, a Bret Hart program, which would obviously be very different, but Bret loved Foley, and Foley would have came out looking like a million bucks.

    Triple H's first push was already being set in motion in 1997. If Michaels is gone, I reckon he still takes over DX. Does X Pac still come over if Michaels goes to WCW? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, Triple H's DX have to eventually mix it up with The Rock's Nation, and that's always going to be money. Triple H will be fine.

    I think all the elements that made the WWF so big remain mostly unchanged, so we have a slightly deeper Attitude Era, since Hart wouldn't disappear after WM14 like Michaels did. Hart could be good fodder for Triple H and/or Rock in 2000 while they get elevated in Austin's absence.

    Then there's Michaels in WCW ...
    Great analysis! You made a great point about the seeds already being planted for Austin-McMahon before the Screwjob. The Screwjob just gave it an extra boost. And I agree that most things probably wouldn't change. Hart-Helmsley and Hart-Rock would've been interesting to see.

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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    *I have a more pessimistic take than Kilgore and will go wrestler by wrestler.

    HBK- There's no way he's jobbing to Bret at Survivor Series '97. So no (reverse) Montreal Screwjob is happening. He either does the right thing and tells Vince in advance he's not showing up so they can change the card or, and this is more likely given the fact that it's 1997 Shawn Michaels we're dealing with, he simply no shows, throwing the Bret/Michaels main event 20 months in the making into disarray. He goes to WCW. Probably has a pretty good run with his boys for a year or two. Maybe it's just The Clique instead of NWO Wolfpac. And maybe Syxx stays? Michaels is busting his ass with great matches on Nitro against workrate guys and cutting edgy anti-WWF promos. But eventually Michaels will be Michaels and his coworkers will get tired of his crap. I can't see Hogan putting him over. He probably has a backstage spat or two with Goldberg. Or maybe Steiner! Ooh, that would be fun. Even his buddies Hall & Nash are more established in the WCW Universe. So Michaels hits a glass ceiling. Of course he pouts. And it ends with HBK pulling an HBK and walking out. Of course with this being WCW they still pay him his fat contract while he's sitting home doing an astronomical amount of drugs. If Vince buys WCW in this universe, and I'm not sure he does, HBK likely gets the Luger/Jarrett treatment for screwing him over. Maybe Shawn actually dies from an OD at some point? Morbid but possible. Maybe he does come back with the NWO (and gets buried)? Or maybe he comes back old and out of shape for a nostalgia run years later? Maybe his first appearance back isn't until his Hall of Fame induction in the 2010s? I don't know. But Shawn is definitely considered less of a legend in this universe.

    HHH- Makes out alright. He's an astute political player so he'll fill in for Michaels at Survivor Series '97. There's nobody else. Austin is back for his revenge against Owen and not up to a lengthy main event. Undertaker is out playing dead again. Kane is debuting in the ring vs. Mankind. Everybody else hasn't been built well enough and is stuck in Survivor Series tags. This can be a slaughter. HHH isn't really ready and Bret can get one last hero moment in Canada vanquishing the last vestige of DX. Maybe they write Michaels out with HHH taking him out or Rude doing something because "Michaels is the past and HHH is the future." It doesn't really matter. Anyway, this earns HHH respect with the boys. He's still made either way. He can join his four buddies in WCW or stick it out in WWF and still likely get the same push. Only thing is there might not be a DX to help get him over. Does he hook up with the NAO? Does he become an (ugh) badass face who stayed when his friend left a la Owen (who also failed in that role). Does Syxx come? It doesn't matter all that much. HHH is on everybody's good side (even Bret!) for doing the right thing. He'll be alright whether he stays or goes.

    Rude/Bulldog/Anvil/Crush- All stay. This is a net negative for WWF Rude becomes a Corporate Vince henchman. Maybe commissioner? Anvil becomes Bossman. Ugh. Bulldog remains a solid upper midcarder. Does he still suck in this universe? Probably. But Bret will protect him. Crush becomes...I dunno...another Corporate enforcer, maybe. Perhaps him and Faarooq become a proto-Acolytes type thing once Rock takes over the Nation.

    Bret/Austin/McMahon/Etc.- Bret gets Michaels spot in late 97-early 98. vs. Shamrock at IYH Hart Foundation (Shamrock makes out better in this universe due to Bret being a Shamrock guy), vs. Undertaker at Rumble w/ the same Kane involvement, w/ Owen & Bulldog vs. Austin/Funk/Foley at IYH February. Then he drops the belt to Austin at 'Mania. Now this whole time it's clear that he's Vince's guy but they're a little subtle about it. Vince isn't Mr. McMahon yet. He's just a pretend neutral guy who sides with Bret every single time. Tyson comes in as a Bret ally. It's a mutual lovefest. "You're the greatest boxer in the world!" "Well, you're the greatest wrestler in the world!" *hug* Tyson wears a Hart Foundation shirt. We get a similar 'Mania finish to the real one.

    Now things really pick up. Vince McMahon becomes Mr. McMahon in the wake of Wrestlemania. The Hart Foundation morphs into The Corporation. Maybe another wrestler or two comes on board. I'm not sure how I book the next few months. You don't really want to waste Bret/Austin at smaller pay per views, or overdo that matchup, period, but I don't know who else Austin works with. He won't work with Owen for obvious reasons. Bulldog may suck by this point. Too early for Taker, Kane, Rock or Shamrock. HHH is a badass face (maybe?) on his own separate trajectory. Maybe Foley steps in just like in real life. Bret & Vince think Foley can be used. And they use him. But dissension soon surfaces between Bret & Foley. Maybe Foley succeeds where Bret fails? Like Bret tries taking Austin out one week. Fails. Foley succeeds in that mission the next. So I'll do some Austin/Foley matches while Bret works Shamrock or HHH...somebody like that. Maybe Vince can "protect" Bret by keeping him away from Austin for a while because Austin beat him at 'Mania. This can also lead to friction. Eventually we get a big Bret/Foley showdown.

    Austin is Austin. He stuns people, drinks beer and flips off the boss. Owen & Bulldog & Anvil pretty much become his personal Stunner-eating bitches every week. But things aren't quite as chaotic in this universe due to Bret's (who will surely have booking power) old school tendencies. Attitude Era becomes Attitude Era Lite under Bret. Stuff like Val & Godfather are toned down. Stars aren't jobbing every week for no reason. This is going to hurt WWF in the long run. Austin vs. McMahon & Bret is still hot but I don't think it gets QUITE as hot due to Bret's unwillingness to go overboard. We get backstage Bret/Russo clashes. It kind of turns into WCW, maybe? Perhaps Russo's stuff is getting over and drawing ratings while Team Bret's stuff isn't working so well. This all leads to friction.

    Undertaker will have the same trajectory and be fine. Undertaker vs. Austin is still set for Summerslam. Hopefully Taker/Foley still happens. We get a big Taker/Bret/Austin three way at some point. But I'm not sure things work out so well for Kane. I could see him being more of a Monster of the Week type in this universe and get shuffled down the card pretty quickly once the Undertaker feud runs its course. Best case scenario for Kane is he becomes Undertaker Jr. having his own sideshow freak show matches when Taker is doing stuff with the main eventers.

    I still think Foley works out fine doing stuff with Vince, feuding with Austin, and being frenemies with Bret before moving onto Rock.

    Rock will also be fine and have pretty much the same career trajectory, only better because he'll feud with, and beat, Bret at some point. Maybe that's the feud that turns Bret face again? Vince makes Rock his new Corporate champ because Bret is "old" and has failed him.

    New Age Outlaws may not fare as well in this universe. You figure Owen & Bulldog will be the top team through at least early '98. Maybe we get a 3 way feud with Funk & Foley. If DX reforms with the NAO & HHH they'll be fine, but will it?

    Maybe Test is bigger due to being a Bret guy?

    Shamrock fares better here likely having a feud with Bret where he goes over at least once. Maybe he also gets Corporate Champ treatment vs. Austin.

    Oh, and at some point they have to do a Bret/Austin I Quit match where Austin makes a bloody Bret scream "I QUIT" into the microphone while trapped in the Sharpshooter. Survivor Series '98, maybe?

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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    My co-worker (who also happens to be my best friend) and I were discussing this topic earlier after I read the thread on PWO. After discussing the potential what if scenarios of Vince choosing Bret over Shawn, we came to conclusion that if Vince chose Bret, I would've never met and dated my girlfriend. It sounds preposterous but lets run down the events in chronological order:

    - Vince chooses Bret over Shawn altering the course of wrestling history and human kind.
    - Shawn leaves the WWF where he probably continues his drug addiction and ultimately overdoses and dies around 1999-2000.
    - My best friend who hated wrestling early on would've never start watching WWE in 2003 as he cited Shawn as being the only reason he started watching in the first place.
    - Had he never started watching wrestling because no Shawn, he never would've formed a bond with a mutual friend of ours that also happened to like wrestling.
    - If he never forms that bound with that mutual friend, he and I would have never been introduced and gotten close and he would've never helped get me on with my current job.
    - If I never get on with my current job, which is owned by my girlfriend's mom, I would have never met my current girlfriend of two years and would most likely still be with my ex.

    So, as you can all see, Vince choosing Shawn over Bret ultimately led to me meeting my future girlfriend.

    All credit goes to surrender!

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker View Post
    Austin is Austin. He stuns people, drinks beer and flips off the boss. Owen & Bulldog & Anvil pretty much become his personal Stunner-eating bitches every week. But things aren't quite as chaotic in this universe due to Bret's (who will surely have booking power) old school tendencies. Attitude Era becomes Attitude Era Lite under Bret. Stuff like Val & Godfather are toned down. Stars aren't jobbing every week for no reason. This is going to hurt WWF in the long run. Austin vs. McMahon & Bret is still hot but I don't think it gets QUITE as hot due to Bret's unwillingness to go overboard. We get backstage Bret/Russo clashes. It kind of turns into WCW, maybe? Perhaps Russo's stuff is getting over and drawing ratings while Team Bret's stuff isn't working so well. This all leads to friction.
    I disagree in the sense that while aligned, Bret and Vince aren't going to be joined at the hip. Austin and Vince can be as raunchy as they want while Bret is doing other stuff on the show. In fact, the raunchier it gets, the more self righteous Corporate Bret can get, being borderline Right to Censorish. Bret calling Sable a prostitute, in 1998, while she's the most popular thing on the show not called Steve Austin, would get him even more heat. I think it would be great.

    Bret objecting to the existence of Val Venis would have some lols too, and might finally put Val in a match where I see his supposed prowess.


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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
    I disagree in the sense that while aligned, Bret and Vince aren't going to be joined at the hip. Austin and Vince can be as raunchy as they want while Bret is doing other stuff on the show. In fact, the raunchier it gets, the more self righteous Corporate Bret can get, being borderline Right to Censorish. Bret calling Sable a prostitute, in 1998, while she's the most popular thing on the show not called Steve Austin, would get him even more heat. I think it would be great.

    Bret objecting to the existence of Val Venis would have some lols too, and might finally put Val in a match where I see his supposed prowess.
    See, I had Bret & Vince being inseparable onscreen (aside from the occasional spat over Foley) from at least Wrestlemania through Summerslam (probably more like Survivor Series).

    Backstage Bret, with booking power, is going to fight stuff like Val & Godfather, and even his boys taking a beating from Austin every week. I guess he can be RTCish onscreen for more heat. That's a good idea. But I think real life Bret with his old school/prudish sensibilities could hinder the Attitude Era's popularity in this universe.

    Also, not that it matters much, but I suppose the European Title disappears. Maybe Shawn takes it to WCW and throws in the trash....assuming he even remembers he has the damn thing in the first place.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    I don't think Bret would have much booking power. In real life, he only got it as part of his release, which wouldn't be happening now. Bret could certainly have some control over himself, and his boys, but I can't imagine anybody listening to him about Val Venis or Godfather.


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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    Aside from Shawn's almost assured overdose-related death, this thread makes me so wish that Vince had gone with Bret instead.

    I didn't click on the link, but is the premise that only Bret OR Shawn stays then? Holding onto even a bitter Shawn would be nice as far as having an extra player to occasionally do something with (i.e., whenever Shawn decides to play ball).

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    Default Re: What if Vince chose Bret over Shawn?

    I agree with Baker about Ken Shamrock and Test doing better in this universe. I can see them getting a run with the title.

    I also think the New Age Outlaws would be fine as well. I always thought that they didn't need DX. They were already over.

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