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Thread: Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

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    Senior Member bizil's Avatar

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    Default Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

    Let's say Vince buys out JCP in '88. And wants them to keep most of their edge to be a mainstream Attitude Era type alternative to his mainstream family friendly version WWF. How HUGE would Flair and the Horsemen be in that scenario? It would be two separate brands and Vince would allow the newly bought JCP to be the edgy alternative. On the Turner stations BUT WITH greatly improved marketing, production, etc. How HUGE does Flair become box office wise with Vince's resources?

    Hogan would be the WWF box office king transcending the sport while Flair would be the edgy alternative giant transcending the sport. Without Vince's resources behind a raw uncut peak Flair, the Naitch is still a pop culture icon! The athletes, rappers, etc. quote Flair more than ANY OTHER wrestler of all time! So imagine a peak Flair in the 80's with Vince's power there. WHILE being able to still keep that Horsemen-JCP edge!
    Last edited by bizil; 08-13-2017 at 05:07 AM.

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    Atodaso Strobe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

    If Vince bought JCP, I really don't see him just keeping the promotion and running it in its most successful regions. His ego wouldn't allow it. The WWF was insanely over. Running three shows in different towns on the same day. Sometimes two shows on the same day doing 10k+. They ran another show the same day that they ran the first Rumble as a TV special. Hogan/Andre II on the Main Event did 33m viewers. Nothing from Vince's behaviour over the years suggests to me he would be up for doing this. He wouldn't want to properly crack some of those markets with anything other than his product, his vision.

    But if we are to assume that he did, then he'd be spreading himself crazily thin to make it work. He is a workaholic who spends every waking second thinking about his business and is involved in every aspect - creative, production, marketing, booking. If he is now doing the same for both promotions, then I just see both suffering. JCP would only ever be treated as second-rate to his WWF anyway, the Smackdown to its RAW.

    A very interesting "what if" is Flair going to the WWF in 1988, which apparently was close to happening during the negotiations for Turner buying JCP (a surprise was hyped for the Brother Love Show at SummerSlam 1988). 88-89 seems like an ideal timeframe to do Hogan/Flair. How would Vince have booked Flair? Given him a new WWF-style gimmick? Treated him as a genuine threat to Hogan? I think he would've booked him well, because Flair at that point could've been the key to breaking the WWF into those Crockett areas. Arn/Tully arrived in the October as well, so you could've even gotten a Horsemen as well (4th man could be DiBiase? Hennig? Rude? Taylor?) with manager Heenan. Horsemen vs. Mega-Powers and friends at Survivor Series? Savage dropping the belt to Flair, who then drops it to Hogan at Mania V, with the Savage turn and resulting Hogan feud delayed? Of course this would all mean that we would lose out on Flair's 89 and the Mega-Powers Explode feud as they went down.

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    Eccentric enigma Soulblazed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

    @Strobe is right about Vince's ego realistically not allowing him to keep JCP long-term.Though I'll propose a scenario IF Vince wanted to keep JCP-bizil was mentioning a brand split between JCP and WWF. I'll extrapolate-Strobe already mentions the inevitable Flair vs Hogan megafeud which would easily sell out arenas planetwide in the 80s...I think that a member of the WWF jumping to be the 4th Horseman would be Rick Rude. He has the brash, take no shit personality that would mesh with the group, especially Arn.

    Imagine Rude and Arn in tag matches, just punking their opponents in countless heelish ways. I think that if that Wrestlemania win/loss pattern happened, at Wrestlemania 6, Hogan could drop the WWF Title back to Flair or even to another Horseman such as Rick Rude. That'd be a great angle-Rick Rude the 4th Horseman and WWF Champion.

    Also, think of what Dusty(Not Polka-Dusty) but actually Dusty Rhodes as he was in 1988 except in the WWF..I think a feud against Randy Savage or Jake Roberts would be pretty interesting for Dusty if he were to feud with anyone...It would be a fun contrast of styles, both in promos and wrestling styles if Dusty faced Roberts or Savage..The maniacal intensity of Savage's promos vs Dusty's charismatic black Baptist-sounding preacher promos, along with the Bionic Elbow vs Savage's top rope Elbow Drop. Not to mention Jake's morbid, precise promos counter-acting Dusty's charisma and Jake using Damien against Dusty..IF either of these feuds were booked right they'd damn certainly be big $ feuds.

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    Default Re: Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Strobe View Post
    If Vince bought JCP, I really don't see him just keeping the promotion and running it in its most successful regions. His ego wouldn't allow it. The WWF was insanely over. Running three shows in different towns on the same day. Sometimes two shows on the same day doing 10k+. They ran another show the same day that they ran the first Rumble as a TV special. Hogan/Andre II on the Main Event did 33m viewers. Nothing from Vince's behaviour over the years suggests to me he would be up for doing this. He wouldn't want to properly crack some of those markets with anything other than his product, his vision.

    But if we are to assume that he did, then he'd be spreading himself crazily thin to make it work. He is a workaholic who spends every waking second thinking about his business and is involved in every aspect - creative, production, marketing, booking. If he is now doing the same for both promotions, then I just see both suffering. JCP would only ever be treated as second-rate to his WWF anyway, the Smackdown to its RAW.

    A very interesting "what if" is Flair going to the WWF in 1988, which apparently was close to happening during the negotiations for Turner buying JCP (a surprise was hyped for the Brother Love Show at SummerSlam 1988). 88-89 seems like an ideal timeframe to do Hogan/Flair. How would Vince have booked Flair? Given him a new WWF-style gimmick? Treated him as a genuine threat to Hogan? I think he would've booked him well, because Flair at that point could've been the key to breaking the WWF into those Crockett areas. Arn/Tully arrived in the October as well, so you could've even gotten a Horsemen as well (4th man could be DiBiase? Hennig? Rude? Taylor?) with manager Heenan. Horsemen vs. Mega-Powers and friends at Survivor Series? Savage dropping the belt to Flair, who then drops it to Hogan at Mania V, with the Savage turn and resulting Hogan feud delayed? Of course this would all mean that we would lose out on Flair's 89 and the Mega-Powers Explode feud as they went down.
    Losing out on both the Mega Powers angle and Flair's 1989 is so sad that is actually makes this dream scenario not so dream-like. I don't know how you recreate Flair's '89 without Funk and Steamboat. But would it be possible to bring Flair in, still do Mega Powers, and do a slower burn and build to the eventual Hogan/Flair clash? I'd love to see this more fully hashed out (with a companion what-if scenario for a Flair-less WCW).

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    Default Re: Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

    'Mania IV: Savage defeats DiBiase with Hogan's help to win the vacant title. The Mega Powers are officially formed in the wake of 'Mania.

    Late Spring/Early Summer of 1988: The Mega Powers turn back challenges from the Mega Bucks. Flair debuts.

    SummerSlam '88: Macho Man vs. Nature Boy for the title... Does Flair go over, perhaps via backfiring Hogan involvement? Or maybe Savage is DQ'd because of Hogan involvement, and so retains, but this finish gives both champ and challenger cause for gripe. Meanwhile, Hogan goes over Dibiase in the co-main. DiBiase blames Andre perhaps, and plant the seeds for an Andre face turn to wind out his career earlier than planned?

    Fall '88: Flair brings in backup in the form of the Brain Busters to counteract the Mega Powers. Intertwine some other feuds and lead to the biggest Survivor Series showdown in history, putting the face team of Hogan (who gets top billing as team captain despite Macho being champ), Savage, IC Champ Ultimate Warrior, Jake Roberts and face-turned Andre vs. the heel team of Flair, Arn, Tully, Rude, and DiBiase with Heenan in their corner. Let's say a miscue with Hogan leads to Flair eliminating Macho. Faces win the day though, with Hogan posing and celebrating with Liz to close the show.

    Winter '88/Early '89: Flair leverages eliminating the champ at Survivor Series for a title rematch at the first Royal Rumble PPV. It'll be in a cage though to prevent Hogan-ference again.

    Royal Rumble '89: Flair defeats Savage for the title in a cage after the Horsemen get involved but Hogan does not (perhaps out of respect for Savage?). But Savage is hot now about Hogan not having his back. Tension! Hogan goes on to gain a measure of revenge for the Mega Powers by eliminating Rude and the Brain Busters en route to winning the Rumble match.

    'Mania V: I guess we really have to do Hogan/Flair for the title here. I hate to make Flair a transitional champ, but in the late 80s, how are we not having Hogan win a 'Mania main event to recapture HIS title? I'm not sure what we do with Savage here, but he finally snaps coming out of this 'Mania.

    Late Spring/Early Summer/SummerSlam '89: Build to and do the Mega Powers explosion here with Hogan retaining? This allows us to maintain the course for Hogan/Warrior at 'Mania VI. Not sure what Flair is doing here anymore... Or where to go from here, but with Steamboat coming back in 1991, hopefully we can figure out a reason for them to have their same '89 trilogy two years later, perhaps over the IC belt.


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    Atodaso Strobe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

    Quote Originally Posted by PI View Post
    Losing out on both the Mega Powers angle and Flair's 1989 is so sad that is actually makes this dream scenario not so dream-like. I don't know how you recreate Flair's '89 without Funk and Steamboat. But would it be possible to bring Flair in, still do Mega Powers, and do a slower burn and build to the eventual Hogan/Flair clash? I'd love to see this more fully hashed out (with a companion what-if scenario for a Flair-less WCW).
    This will always be the case though. We always think about the stuff that actually happened that we love and wouldn't want to lose it. It would be exactly the same if Flair had jumped in real life and we got great Hogan/Flair and Savage/Flair programs that we knew and loved and then people threw out the hypothetical "what if Flair never left?". It would've been hard for them to imagine a situation that was so much better. If anyone throw out the suggestions of those 89 feuds you could've easily heard "they feuded all over the place in the early 80s, we've seen it before" about Steamboat and "he had barely wrestled in the past 3 years" about post-Hollywood Funk and "I wouldn't give up the ultimate dream clash of Hogan/Flair in the 80s for that, no matter how good the alternative was in the ring". If Flair had joined the WWF in '88 then maybe Steamboat would've returned there by '89 and we'd have gotten an (almost certainly inferior) WWF installment of their rivalry.

    Quote Originally Posted by PI View Post
    Fall '88: Flair brings in backup in the form of the Brain Busters to counteract the Mega Powers. Intertwine some other feuds and lead to the biggest Survivor Series showdown in history, putting the face team of Hogan (who gets top billing as team captain despite Macho being champ), Savage, IC Champ Ultimate Warrior, Jake Roberts and face-turned Andre vs. the heel team of Flair, Arn, Tully, Rude, and DiBiase with Heenan in their corner. Let's say a miscue with Hogan leads to Flair eliminating Macho. Faces win the day though, with Hogan posing and celebrating with Liz to close the show.
    It was probably too early to turn Andre face again after SummerSlam '88, since he'd only been heel for around 18 months at that point and being a heel probably worked better with what he could do physically by this point. Although on paper this just sounds incredible.

    Quote Originally Posted by PI
    I hate to make Flair a transitional champ, but in the late 80s, how are we not having Hogan win a 'Mania main event to recapture HIS title?
    The WWF is a babyface fed and heel champs are going to be transitional. This is part of what makes Savage's title run so cool. He was his own transitional champion. The standard procedure would've been for face Savage to drop to some heel to then give the belt to Hogan. Instead Macho turned heel during the end of his reign and did it himself.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    I'm still trying to think of a world where Vince buys out Crockett but chooses to keep it going and I can't picture it.

    Flair's legacy is an interesting one though. I would say he is a bigger icon today than he ever was during his pomp. The WWF marketing machine and the rise of modern media and social media has definitely played a big part. This is not to say that he wasn't a big star or a big draw, as he absolutely was (especially in certain markets). But with the WWE-produced DVDs branding him the greatest (not even saying it isn't true) and his promos being so easily accessible online (people that weren't even born in the 80s are able to watch his great lines, his cool look, his catchphrases, his character) and sports media interviewing him and referencing him, he feels like a far bigger part of pop culture in a national and international sense than he ever has. His status has been enhanced in the last few years. Whereas Hogan, who was a bigger pop culture icon in the 80s and 90s and even had his own reality TV series in the 00s, feels like his status is lower than it has ever been. I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel like kids today would get the impression that Hogan and Flair were closer as pop culture icons in their heyday than they actually were.

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    Default Re: Vince buys JCP in '88 and LETS them keep their edge

    I may play along at a later date but for now I'm just going to be a realist.

    Why would Vince do that? It would be stupid. JCP was a money loser. It promoted the very sort of smoke filled arena rasslin' Vince was hellbent on leaving behind. Nor did Vince want anything to do with edginess in the 80s. There is no way 80s Vince would promote something that was basically the antithesis of his vision.

    In reality, what would have happened if Vince bought JCP would have been a slow influx of new talent. There wouldn't have been any sort of brand split or invasion or even mention of the purchase on WWF tv. JCP wrestlers probably trickle in slowly one at a time over the course of a few months rather than all at once. And he likely only brings in a dozen guys at most with the rest picking up work wherever they can.

    But I suppose it's an interesting enough 'what if' so I'll probably be back at some point to fantasy book a true fantasy.

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