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Thread: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

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    Default What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Rick Martel had a solid career for himself in the territories before wrestling a short stint for the WWF from '80-'82 then he made a name for himself in the AWA where he did well for himself in his 595-day reign as the AWA World Champion, and then he returned to the WWF where he stuck around this time from 1986 to 1995 which counted as a ten-year stint. Martel was initially a tag team guy earlier on in his WWF career as a way to get him more familiarized with the WWF audiences who may have never seen him before. Even though he also wrestled from 1972 to 1980, that timeframe was mostly spent wrestling in Canada so the casual fans in the States wouldn't know who he was. He couldn't be a World Champion at the time, but he was good at drawing a solid amount of fans so he was granted WWF Tag Team Championship Belt reigns.

    From 1986 through '88-'89, Martel formed tag team partnerships with Tom Zenk for the Can-Am Connection and later Tito Santana for Strike Force. Both of Martel's tag teams were depicted as good looking youthful pretty boys and high-energy in-ring performances, so those traits helped endeared Martel and Zenk/Santana to the crowd as fan favorites. At the time, the WWF never or rarely mentioned past accomplishments of veteran wrestlers when they debuted in the company or outside the WWF. Plus, you have to look at the top of the heap of the WWF card placement at the time. Hulk Hogan was undoubtedly too valuable to be bumped off the WWF main event picture as the number one guy, so was Andre The Giant at a close second, so being in the midcard with the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, Tito Santana and Greg Valentine and others wasn't a bad place to be. Today's WWE would be hungry to have such an incredible midcard lineup of that caliber right now.

    The Can-Am Connection dissolved as Tom Zenk thought Rick Martel negotiated an individual contract worth three times more than Zenk's contract behind his (Zenk's) back. Traditionally, tag team performers are paid the same amount of salaries. Martel disputed Zenk's claims, by admitting that since he (Martel) got fired by Jim Barnett, he stopped discussing money talks with other wrestlers, and that Zenk had it in his head that Martel made more than him which wasn't true. Martel also even mentioned that Zenk got overwhelmed by the rigors of wrestling and that he wasn't dedicated enough of a hard worker as Martel wanted him to be. As for Strike Force, the beginning of the end for the team came when Demolition (Ax & Smash w/Mr. Fuji) put Martel out of action via injury angle when Smash hit Martel in the back with a steel chair before Demolition performed their Demolition Decapitation finisher on him at ringside to leave him out cold on the floor. WWF in kayfabe listed Martel as injured with kayfabe back injuries and a concussion with a brief storyline-mandated retirement, but in actuality, WWF granted Martel time off to allow him to take care of his wife who was ridden with illness. Furthermore, Martel was in line to be upgraded from tag team guy to singles performer when he had a one-night only reunion with Strike Force to cap off Martel's heel turn at WrestleMania V (5) to help offset Martel's heel turn on Santana by abandoning him to be taken out by The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard).

    And although he became a heel who acquired Slick as his manager, it took Martel a while to find his footing as a singles performer because he still played himself. It wasn't until Martel transformed from plain Rick Martel to Rick "The Model" Martel that he eventually became a key midcard villain who feuded with Tito Santana and Jake Roberts before representing the WWF on Japanese tours for Super World Sports for the rest of 1991, although for years, Martel was said to have taken his 1991 hiatus because he contemplated leaving the wrestling business in favor of starting up his real estate career. Martel also had the overmuscled look by that point, but I seriously doubt Martel was ever linked to the WWF Steroid Scandal at all. Ultimate Warrior, British Bulldog and Road Warrior Hawk all got canned from the WWF as punishment, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage had to go off steroids for a while, and Martel knew he wasn't going to be wrestling much longer as it would've been time for him to look at other careers and ways to make money.

    When he came back in 1992, he spent much of that year feuding with Tatanka, including a storyline highlight where Martel stole Tatanka's sacred eagle feathers to add to Martel's Model wardrobe collection. And when he wasn't feuding with Tatanka, Martel had a short-lived heel vs heel feud with Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam '92 over Sherri. Plus, Martel acted like a babyface while feuding with The Heart Break Kid in matches since The Model gimmick was becoming stale by 1992, plus the whole Rockers breakup on The Barber Shop segment in late 1991/early 1992 was still fresh in the fans' minds so it would've been no surprise that they're pretty much anyone but Shawn Michaels at that point, so Martel could've easily been able to look like a credible babyface for that match. Afterwards, 1993-1995 would see Martel being more heavily invested in his outside interests as he was basically a semi-retired performer who made occasional WWF appearances when he was booked for a select amount of shows before dropping out of the wrestling scene altogether for real estate. It's nothing new when wrestlers try their luck at retirement where they want to pursue lives outside of pro wrestling but can't quite fully move on.

    And when he was trying for a comeback to pro wrestling in the late 1990s, Martel was supposed to have come back to the WWF in 1997 to have a short run with Don Callis as a heel tag team dubbed The Supermodels with the ultimate payoff being that Callis was supposed to turn against Martel to make Martel into a full-time babyface for the first time since 1989 to get his sagging career back on track. But a pay dispute with Vince McMahon prevented that from happening as Martel wanted a one-year contract (12 months) instead of being made to take a three month deal as Vince offered to him. I still believe Martel would've been better off with the WWF in 1997 instead of going to WCW in 1998 where he looked beat up and injury-prone over there.

    Who knows? Because The Hart Foundation were one of the biggest heel stables for much of 1997 along with The Nation of Domination and D-Generation X, I wouldn't be surprised if Martel got a chance to participate in a feud with The Hart Foundation to a degree. Maybe a Rick Martel/British Bulldog feud would've happened, with Martel playing the face and Bulldog still a heel like he's been since the second half of 1995. Martel could've joined forces with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Ken Shamrock, Sycho Sid, Vader, Mick Foley, Goldust and The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) in the WWF vs Hart Foundation angle at some point.

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    Senior Member bizil's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    If Rick came back in 1997, I think putting him with the Hart Foundation initially would have been awesome. The group had an Anti-American vibe and Martel being from Canada like the Harts could have been worked in. I think making Pillman more and more of mouthpiece due to his injuries would have been fine with Martel coming in. Once Bret heads to WCW, it would be more interesting to see what u could do with him. His best days in terms of BEING ON TOP of company was as a white meat babyface AWA World Champ. In the Attitude Era, there wasn't really a place for a white meat babyface anymore.

    So I think Martel maybe being an Alberto Del Rio type rich playboy persona could have worked. He certainly had the look and and was a great technician. So he had that in common with Del Rio. BUT I think WWE should have added some more ladies around Del Rio and make that part of his persona. During the Attitude Era, making Martel a Canadian rich playboy with some fine looking women around him could have been the way to go. He could have the Model look, but it would be more geared toward his actual playboy lifestyle.

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quality posts but I don't share either man's enthusiasm over a 1997 Model run. He'd have ended up as Barry Windham. Or Dr. Death. Or the Rock & Roll Express (Which reminds me, Rock & Roll Express finally getting a WWF run during the Attitude Era has to be up there among the biggest 'wtf' runs ever).

    He's definitely not going to be main eventing pay per views with or against the Hart Foundation and I can't see him in high profile feuds with Bulldog....or anybody.

    The Attitude Era, even more than the New Generation (which was very manufactured, if you think about it), was all about the youth movement. I couldn't get into relics from bygone eras. Jake's run was horrible and embarrassing imo. Same with Backlund from the Diesel loss on. Ditto for Piper. And Tenta. And The Quebecers....The Quebecers! One of my favorite teams ever! Yeah, totally didn't care after the initial "Yay! Jacques & Pierre are back!" reaction. And the aforementioned Windham, Doc and Rock & Roll. Yeah, I came around on Bossman in hindsight, and at least he adapted, but it's not like I gave a shit about him either....until maybe the Snow & Show feuds...and even then only because he made me laugh once or twice. And, ok, I suppose I "liked" Owen & Jarrett but it was almost entirely due to residual good will. Those guys didn't really fit in anymore beyond the first few weeks of Owen's "Black Hart" run and Jarrett's woman hater gimmick. How'd that 1998 Regal (another similar "annoying" midcard heel) run work out?

    Kilgore once said the Attitude Era rendered old school "annoying" midcard heels like Model obsolete and, for better or worse, he's right. Those Model types just weren't cutting it anymore during the Attitude Era. And, as bizil said, there's no way he gets over as a white meat babyface. Those were even more out of style than "annoying" midcard heels.

    Best case scenario for Model is he gets a little passing the torch feud with Val Venis. A sort of generational Battle of Playboys. Maybe they team for a few weeks. One costs the other a match. Model sprays Val with Arrogance. Val wins the blowoff....two weeks later...because Attitude Era.

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    Senior Member MV's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker
    Quality posts but I don't share either man's enthusiasm over a 1997 Model run. He'd have ended up as Barry Windham. Or Dr. Death. Or the Rock & Roll Express (Which reminds me, Rock & Roll Express finally getting a WWF run during the Attitude Era has to be up there among the biggest 'wtf' runs ever).

    He's definitely not going to be main eventing pay per views with or against the Hart Foundation and I can't see him in high profile feuds with Bulldog....or anybody.

    The Attitude Era, even more than the New Generation (which was very manufactured, if you think about it), was all about the youth movement. I couldn't get into relics from bygone eras. Jake's run was horrible and embarrassing imo. Same with Backlund from the Diesel loss on. Ditto for Piper. And Tenta. And The Quebecers....The Quebecers! One of my favorite teams ever! Yeah, totally didn't care after the initial "Yay! Jacques & Pierre are back!" reaction. And the aforementioned Windham, Doc and Rock & Roll. Yeah, I came around on Bossman in hindsight, and at least he adapted, but it's not like I gave a shit about him either....until maybe the Snow & Show feuds...and even then only because he made me laugh once or twice. And, ok, I suppose I "liked" Owen & Jarrett but it was almost entirely due to residual good will. Those guys didn't really fit in anymore beyond the first few weeks of Owen's "Black Hart" run and Jarrett's woman hater gimmick. How'd that 1998 Regal (another similar "annoying" midcard heel) run work out?

    Kilgore once said the Attitude Era rendered old school "annoying" midcard heels like Model obsolete and, for better or worse, he's right. Those Model types just weren't cutting it anymore during the Attitude Era. And, as bizil said, there's no way he gets over as a white meat babyface. Those were even more out of style than "annoying" midcard heels.

    Best case scenario for Model is he gets a little passing the torch feud with Val Venis. A sort of generational Battle of Playboys. Maybe they team for a few weeks. One costs the other a match. Model sprays Val with Arrogance. Val wins the blowoff....two weeks later...because Attitude Era.
    I could see that but you're right. The Attitude Era made the old school type gimmicks obsolete. Hell, even by the New Generation Era that was the case. Many of the gimmicks were ones ppl didn't care about. I mean do you really expect for folks to get into a mantaur, pirate or magician. Unfortunately the ones that had promise (e.g. Waylon Mercy) didn't get fleshed out. The reason why I think the Attitude Era characters worked so well is that gimmicks had depth whereas many of the old school gimmicks didn't. Bossman as you mentioned was able to adapt b/c the character could've been given a realistic twist. And dare I say I liked Jarrett more in the Attitude Era than in his first WWE run. Many ppl don't like cops and then being aligned w/ the evil Corporate boss who's going against the everyday man. But am I the only one who thinks the Narcissist gimmick could've worked in '95? How about The Widowmaker in '96 rather than the Stalker?

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    Senior Member bizil's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker View Post
    Quality posts but I don't share either man's enthusiasm over a 1997 Model run. He'd have ended up as Barry Windham. Or Dr. Death. Or the Rock & Roll Express (Which reminds me, Rock & Roll Express finally getting a WWF run during the Attitude Era has to be up there among the biggest 'wtf' runs ever).

    He's definitely not going to be main eventing pay per views with or against the Hart Foundation and I can't see him in high profile feuds with Bulldog....or anybody.

    The Attitude Era, even more than the New Generation (which was very manufactured, if you think about it), was all about the youth movement. I couldn't get into relics from bygone eras. Jake's run was horrible and embarrassing imo. Same with Backlund from the Diesel loss on. Ditto for Piper. And Tenta. And The Quebecers....The Quebecers! One of my favorite teams ever! Yeah, totally didn't care after the initial "Yay! Jacques & Pierre are back!" reaction. And the aforementioned Windham, Doc and Rock & Roll. Yeah, I came around on Bossman in hindsight, and at least he adapted, but it's not like I gave a shit about him either....until maybe the Snow & Show feuds...and even then only because he made me laugh once or twice. And, ok, I suppose I "liked" Owen & Jarrett but it was almost entirely due to residual good will. Those guys didn't really fit in anymore beyond the first few weeks of Owen's "Black Hart" run and Jarrett's woman hater gimmick. How'd that 1998 Regal (another similar "annoying" midcard heel) run work out?

    Kilgore once said the Attitude Era rendered old school "annoying" midcard heels like Model obsolete and, for better or worse, he's right. Those Model types just weren't cutting it anymore during the Attitude Era. And, as bizil said, there's no way he gets over as a white meat babyface. Those were even more out of style than "annoying" midcard heels.

    Best case scenario for Model is he gets a little passing the torch feud with Val Venis. A sort of generational Battle of Playboys. Maybe they team for a few weeks. One costs the other a match. Model sprays Val with Arrogance. Val wins the blowoff....two weeks later...because Attitude Era.
    In terms of my posts, I was just thinking of the best way to use Rick. Unlike Windham and RnR, he WOULDN'T have seemed as dated. He kept himself in phenomenal shape for starters. Secondly, his persona wasn't based around an old school rock gimmick. Or being a country boy. And he wouldn't have made the main event because he didn't have that kind of charisma for that. So I think Martel could have bought something good to the midcard scene. It wasn't about me being overly enthusiastic. My post was more about coming up with the best way to use Rick. It wasn't like I was pushing him to the moon. In my opinion, he was perfectly capable of doing the persona I laid out for him. I never even though about Martel being in the Attitude Era until I saw the OP's post. So if anything, I thought it was neat to come up with something. There's a reason why Vince didn't bring him back in that era. And I totally understand why Vince didn't.

    And age wise, Bret isn't too much younger than Martel. Only like a year. If it wasn't for the money aspects, Vince would have kept Bret around FOR SURE. In a main event role EVEN IF he didn't win the world title again. Terry Funk was in the Attitude Era and was like 7-8 years older than Martel. Plus Rick was in better shape than MANY Of the younger guys on the roster. It's ok to go young FOR SURE! U must look to the future. BUT there's nothing wrong with having some vets around as well. If anything to help get younger guys over and to help them out in all the nuances.

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by MV View Post
    I mean do you really expect for folks to get into a mantaur, pirate or magician.
    I loved the pirate


    Quote Originally Posted by bizil View Post
    Terry Funk was in the Attitude Era and was like 7-8 years older than Martel.
    Terry is the exception to the rule. He's timeless. I meant to mention this in my earlier post but forgot.

    The Road Warriors are another one. Their first few months were alright. Maybe a little long in the tooth but certainly more acceptable than a Jake or a Windham. Things went south in a hurry. LOD 2000 (lol) was a blatantly obvious attempt to edgify them. Not surprisingly it failed.

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    Senior Member bizil's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker View Post
    I loved the pirate




    Terry is the exception to the rule. He's timeless. I meant to mention this in my earlier post but forgot.

    The Road Warriors are another one. Their first few months were alright. Maybe a little long in the tooth but certainly more acceptable than a Jake or a Windham. Things went south in a hurry. LOD 2000 (lol) was a blatantly obvious attempt to edgify them. Not surprisingly it failed.
    Guys like Terry Funk and Flair are timeless indeed. Because they were great in ring and great on the mic. And they didn't lean to heavily on a certain fad or style in an era. Martel isn't in that class at all. But I was coming with creative ways to use Martel in that era. It doesn't mean it would have worked or clicked. But I think Martel had the tools to pull off a Canadian version of the Alberto Del Rio persona. But I agree that MANY of the 80's legends became dated for whatever reason. RnR, LOD, Windham, and the Freebirds are examples of legends in that vein. Others like Funk and Flair are timeless. And the ONLY THING that could stop them was age and injury. I think Buddy Rogers and Bockwinkel were timeless as well.

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    Senior Member MV's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker
    I loved the pirate




    Terry is the exception to the rule. He's timeless. I meant to mention this in my earlier post but forgot.

    The Road Warriors are another one. Their first few months were alright. Maybe a little long in the tooth but certainly more acceptable than a Jake or a Windham. Things went south in a hurry. LOD 2000 (lol) was a blatantly obvious attempt to edgify them. Not surprisingly it failed.
    Well, the pirate was Pierre Oulette so it's forgivable.

    Quote Originally Posted by bizil
    Guys like Terry Funk and Flair are timeless indeed. Because they were great in ring and great on the mic. And they didn't lean to heavily on a certain fad or style in an era. Martel isn't in that class at all. But I was coming with creative ways to use Martel in that era. It doesn't mean it would have worked or clicked. But I think Martel had the tools to pull off a Canadian version of the Alberto Del Rio persona. But I agree that MANY of the 80's legends became dated for whatever reason. RnR, LOD, Windham, and the Freebirds are examples of legends in that vein. Others like Funk and Flair are timeless. And the ONLY THING that could stop them was age and injury. I think Buddy Rogers and Bockwinkel were timeless as well.
    This came to mind while watching a Razor Ramon and Ric Flair promo from '92 last night. Guys who are great in ring and on the mic could fit in any era. Perhaps many of the 80's legends you mentioned became dated due to there being no elements of their gimmicks that were adaptable to the Attitude Era. But I can see the Martel Canadian Alberto Del Rio-esque persona.

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    I can't see Martel making it in WWF 97-98 either, his ceiling would have been a Tom Brandi type of Shotgun Saturday Night guy or in matches that get interrupted by Kane destroying everybody type of segments, backstage pull aparts, etc. Would have been a major jobber, unless maybe they give him some radical character change like a gay male stripper or Val Venis' pornstar manager or something.

    He fit in better with WCW and was actually taken semi-seriously through early 98 in the TV title division as one of the sporty type wrestlers that they were going for in that division, probably a throwback to his AWA days before he became The Model, there were a few hints and nods to AWA in WCW during Bischoff's time.

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    Senior Member bizil's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by MV View Post
    Well, the pirate was Pierre Oulette so it's forgivable.



    This came to mind while watching a Razor Ramon and Ric Flair promo from '92 last night. Guys who are great in ring and on the mic could fit in any era. Perhaps many of the 80's legends you mentioned became dated due to there being no elements of their gimmicks that were adaptable to the Attitude Era. But I can see the Martel Canadian Alberto Del Rio-esque persona.
    I agree! Even Hogan had to change up his persona when the fans got tired of it. Once he went heel and came up with Hollywood, it gave him new life. Hogan had a great look and was great on the mic. So that enabled him to make that change. In the case of guys like Andre and Bruno, I don't think either were timeless kind of legends. They were perfect for the era that they were in. Flair and Funk are the rare exceptions that can stay close to what they are in ANY ERA. They don't have to really tweak much at all. Maybe their in ring style a bit.

    So u either have to have a timeless thing going. OR be able to adapt and make those key changes as time goes on. Which of course is also a timeless quality as well. Jericho is a great example of adapting as time goes on. HBK in ring added the new age aerial moves when he came back to WWE after that long layoff. He was already awesome in ring and could do anything. But to keep up with the current day movesets, he was athletic enough to add new moves. Taker and Sting went to totally different characters. Many of the legends in this past didn't have these elements. So their shelf life on top was much shorter in the major companies.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    I don't see Martel having much success during the Attitude Era either, but what if they booked him in a camp sort of way? "Old" Martel as Mae Young's "boy" toy? Spiritual advisor to Too Cool? First Male Diva? Godfather's Canadian Ho connection? I think the twin Vince's cornball humor would have enjoyed the presence of Rick Martel. Russo and McMahon slapping knees, having a good laugh about Martel having to make out with an old lady.


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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Nothing to do with anything but ...

    WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT MATCH HE HAD WITH SHAWN MICHAELS AT SUMMERSLAM?

    When they were fighting over and passing around Sherri!? The fuck!?

    Like, can anyone explain to me what that was all about?

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
    I don't see Martel having much success during the Attitude Era either, but what if they booked him in a camp sort of way? "Old" Martel as Mae Young's "boy" toy? Spiritual advisor to Too Cool? First Male Diva? Godfather's Canadian Ho connection? I think the twin Vince's cornball humor would have enjoyed the presence of Rick Martel. Russo and McMahon slapping knees, having a good laugh about Martel having to make out with an old lady.
    Am I a bad person for thinking this would have ruled? Probably. But still not caring. ^Best possible use of Martel in the Attitude Era. Would have loved it.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker View Post
    Am I a bad person for thinking this would have ruled? Probably. But still not caring. ^Best possible use of Martel in the Attitude Era. Would have loved it.
    Three words: Val Venis' Dad.


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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
    Three words: Val Venis' Dad.
    I can top that.

    Val Venis: Lovechild of Mae Young and The Model

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker View Post
    I can top that.

    Val Venis: Lovechild of Mae Young and The Model
    The combo! Write it up. I think we should write Martel as the father of every angle. He knocked up Beulah too. No one saw that swerve coming.


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    Senior Member MV's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore
    The combo! Write it up. I think we should write Martel as the father of every angle. He knocked up Beulah too. No one saw that swerve coming.
    I'm chuckling.

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
    I don't see Martel having much success during the Attitude Era either, but what if they booked him in a camp sort of way? "Old" Martel as Mae Young's "boy" toy? Spiritual advisor to Too Cool? First Male Diva? Godfather's Canadian Ho connection? I think the twin Vince's cornball humor would have enjoyed the presence of Rick Martel. Russo and McMahon slapping knees, having a good laugh about Martel having to make out with an old lady.
    Quote Originally Posted by Baker View Post
    Am I a bad person for thinking this would have ruled? Probably. But still not caring. ^Best possible use of Martel in the Attitude Era. Would have loved it.
    Nah, it would have worked.

    It's pretty sad that Kilgore put more thought into booking in one forum post than WWE has all month probably.

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    Senior Member RIH's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if Rick Martel came back to the WWF in 1997 instead of WCW?

    I think Rick Martel was underrated. I always thought that he had pretty much everything and even though he used to consistently have good matches, I thought there could have been more meaningful matches/more of a push for Martel. However, in 1997...Martel was still great, but I think he would have got lost in the shuffle. Wrestling was heavily changing around this time, and I'm not saying that Martel wouldn't have been there to put on great matches and feuds, but as far as a huge push, I think he gets lost in the shuffle.

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