Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bret in WCW

Scott - just watched the Bret Hart documentary on the network and it left me with a couple of questions

1.  Obviously WCW dropped the ball with Bret.  What should they have done with Bret???  Could he have been as big of an impact player in WCW as he was in WWE?

2.  Is there a better example of someone "cooling off" as quick as Bret did once he came to WCW?  All year long on 1997 Bret was a red hot main eventer in WWE, and in a short time he meant almost nothing in WCW.  Am I missing someone or does Bret win the prize???

​1.  The logical thing would have been to bring him in and have Bret be all "Yo, I'm the rightful WWF champion who was never really beat" and Hogan be all "Yo, I'm the WCW champion, brother, and this is the real World title" and then Bret could be all "You stole the title from me in 1993!" and Hulk could be "Fuck you, dude" and then they'd fight and probably draw millions.  

2.  CM Punk in 2011 is close.  Punk was in a position to be a real money-drawing babyface star and they shunted him down beneath John Cena pretty much immediately after Summerslam.  I mean, he was still World champion for months afterwards and a top star, but everything from the pipe bomb to his week off after MITB was turning him into a legit mainstream breakthrough tippy top guy and a month later it was done.  ​

146 comments:

  1. Bret should have come in after Starrcade to help Sting fight The Outsiders, then you do the big babyface vs babyface title match.

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  2. God I would have given ted turner all my money...and future earnings if WCW Bret went exactly like you just spelled it out. Including the Yo's and Fuck You Dudes

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  3. This was Bret Hart's first WCW theme:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI2tuRJYHjU

    It was actually very appropriate for the run that would follow.

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  4. I would have had Bret interfere in the Sting vs Hogan match and do a rip off of the Montreal angle but not really, because I'd also have Hogan get a normal pin on Sting, not a fast count or a bell screw job. Then I'd have him aimlessly feud over the US Title with Luger and get hurt. Call me crazy but I think that is where the money is.

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  5. Don't forget jobbing nonsensically to Benoit and Booker.

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  6. The fact that the seriously didn't a run a "who's the real world champ angle" by January of 98 honestly blows my mind.

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  7. good god..you can' hear the guitar trying to say Hit Man

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  8. See this is why I would need a booking team. There would be tons of money getting Bret Hart involved in mid card feuds where he puts over guys that Hogan and Nash never would.

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  9. WCW ends up TNAing every good thing that falls in their laps.

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  10. Like if they set up Hogan vs Hart at Superbrawl or something they wouldn't have had to just watch every casually viewer they gained gradually switch over to Raw because it was so much better in early 98. Plus there is no way that doesn't do at least 500k buys then too.

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  11. Personally, I would have saved Bret/Hogan for Starrcade 98 and in the meantime have Bret go over all the members of the nWo.

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  12. Yeah there are a lot of ways to play out that roster and have it be awesome. I can't believe they ended up doing what whatever the fuck it was that they did.

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  13. Man, I had totally forgotten how bad Punk's run got submarined at SummerSlam 2011. That shit just blows my mind.


    Why, WHY do you take the belt off the hottest guy in the company when you're trying to create a high-profile feud (which didn't even end up happening) with a former big name like Nash? Wouldn't you at least want Nash to come back & say he was going to beat the "vanilla midget" for the title? Fuck...

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  14. Did Hogan and Bret ever work together in WWF? If not, was that a matter of it being too much of a styles clash, or did their primes just not align, or what?

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  15. Owen Hart had a more impactful presence in WCW than Bret did.

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  16. nothing, I believe they did nothing with Hart.


    ...wait, I think he had a really nonsensical feud with Sting

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  17. Hey come on, they had that big tour of Mexico and had to have a Hispanic champ. Plus HHH didn't want the belt. So he had go over Punk first, then he could get it back.

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  18. My personal favourite fuck you to Punk was the PPV where Punk was champion, yet WWE decided it'd be a good idea to have Cena vs R-Truth close the show.

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  19. Yeah the Sting feud was horrible.

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  20. I would have been fine with that....except WWE didn't do anything special with Alberto as champion to draw the Mexican audience.

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  21. I like how he had to job to R Truth and Miz in the tag match with HHH to put them over for the Rock. What a waste of absolutely everything.

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  22. I thought the Sting feud was pretty decent. Sure it could have been better, but you know...WCW.

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  23. Uhh...Cena vs R-truth was for the title and the month before Punk's reign.

    If we're going to bitch, at least pick a real horseshit sabotage like Cena vs Johnny Ace or Cena vs Big Show going on last instead of Punk's title defense.

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  24. yeah, it's as if they thought putting the belt on him would alone be enough to encourage people to come to events. "Look, you guys, he's our champion! Buy tickets NOW" Holy shit...

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  25. Holy shit, you're right. Must have been thinking of a similar situation then.

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  26. you know, I've somehow blocked People Power out of my mind until someone brings it up. I think Big Johnny is one of those things we'd all be better off forgetting

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  27. Unless you're talking about the tag match at "Survivor Series" (Cena-Rock vs. Miz-Truth), then Cena/Truth was actually the month before "MITB 2011".

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  28. Punk tore the house down at that show with Rey actually. I just watched Capitol Punishment on the network a few days ago. Rey puts Punk over like a million bucks and the next night he dropped his pipe bomb. Weird show to see, but some good stuff. Cena vs Truth is fucking boring as hell though and I can see why he never sniffed another main event match (until they needed some goofs to job to the Rock)

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  29. Punk and HHH did wrestle Miz Truth at HITC. Punk did the job because why not job out your hottest act in years to two losers?

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  30. Bret seems to imply that Vince didn't want to do the match for whatever reason, but if the match did happen there'd probably be a lot of politicing involved so it was best for everyone that it didn't happen.

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  31. No problem. I actually liked heel truth and was high on the sumer of punk until HHH ruined it.

    Punk constantly being on the undercarriage for Cena's bullshit AWFUL feuds did a lot to push me away. Once in awhile the special event going on after the title? That's cool. All the time? Then what's the fucking point. If the champion isn't the best and gets the main events then why the fuck are any of these guys even fighting?

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  32. a few months ago someone posted a link to an article which summoned up almost all of those crazy things WCW did wrong with Bret Hart (unfortunately I didn't save that link). the more appropriate regarding his run would be "would did they did right with him?"

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  33. gotta build Awesome Truth for the Rock/Cena connection, brah, and HHH would be hurt by doing the job


    Also it was Vengeance, not HITC. I'm just nitpicking, I know

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  34. Honestly, the only thing I can think of is letting him have that match with Benoit on Nitro after Owen died.

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  35. WCW booked Bret well in his first month in the company with the feud with Flair. It quickly went downhill from there with Bret working with Hennig.

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  36. Bischoff has said the original idea was to build to Bret vs. Hogan at Starrcade '98.

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  37. Undercard. Not the undercarriage.

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  38. No, I think you were talking about a car.

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  39. Bret vs. Hogan at SuperBrawl or The Great American Bash makes more sense than waiting until Starrcade '98. With the rise of Goldberg, Bret going through the nWo would have felt meh.

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  40. The buildup is just as important as the final execution. Sting/Hogan wouldn't have done the business it did if 6 months into it Bischoff went "meh, lets do the match at Road Wild."

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  41. Even if he was booked right in WCW, I still don't think he would have been as big of a success as people thnk he would have there. Even though WCW was national at that point, they still had a huge southern fanbase that were holdovers from the Crockett/NWA days. Bret doesn't appeal to that audience for the most part. There are Bret fans down here, but not like there are up north, in Canada, and in the UK. That's a big reason why we booed Hogan when he first came down here in 94. No offense intended toward Scott or any other Canadians.

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  42. I'd argue that Bret was responsible for Souled Out 98's good buyrate, and had they continued to protect Bret, he would have made the company more money in the long term. I don't believe it would have been enough to counteract whatever WWF was doing at the time, but there's no reason WCW could have been successful in it's own way and continued to draw money even if they were the #2 company.

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  43. In 1997, Sting had the entire nWo to torment. In 1998, Bret only had the guys in nWo Hollywood. Building a year long story for Bret/Hogan would have been tough.

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  44. Giant vs. Nash and Bret vs. Flair were HUGE matches at the time. Even Hall vs. Nabisco was a big deal

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  45. Not really, Nash was still on Team Hogan in early 98. You could have simply held of the nWo split once Bret wins the title and have Nash firing Hogan from the nWo for dropping the ball.

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  46. See I think Bret Hart definitely appealed to that Southern fan base. Those guys fucking love good wrestling. I'm surprised good wrestling caught on with the new York crowds to be honest.

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  47. The funniest Bret's ever been is when he's talking about his time in WCW.

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  48. When would you have Bret win the title?

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  49. Bret/Flair was the main draw. Giant's credibily as a main eventer was mostly gone at that point. And Larry didn't have any credibility to the casual wrestling fan.

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  50. It needed at least a year to develop and needed to be on a big PPV so Starrcade 98 would have been fine.

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  51. Bret wrestles similar to Flair and Steamboat--not a cartoony brawler like Hogan--what's the bias against Bret?

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  52. True, but a lot of that was just to see his WCW ppv debut. It popped the ppv buyrate similar to when they brought in celebrities like Malone, Leno, and Rodman. A lot of people tuned in at that point just to see Bret cut a promo on Vince and HBK, which never really happened.

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  53. All of my friends were pumped for Nash/Giant. They were PISSED when their Starrcade match was canceled. Its weird Flair/Bret was promoted as the main event, while Luger/Savage closed the show.

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  54. I'm surprised they didn't jump right into a Bret vs Hall & Nash feud considering their connection to Shawn Michaels and all

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  55. me too! That was bullshit! They didn't even do Giant vs Hall...just lameness!

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  56. Well, the problem was WCW quickly sent Bret to the midcard after that PPV and they quit promoting him as a special attraction. I don't think Bret could have ushered in a new era for WCW or anything, but he could have been the stable draw like he was for WWF if WCW had protected him.

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  57. R-Truth should be in the opening match at indie shows running a high school gym. I know you like to throw shade at the TNA roster but R-Truth might be one of the most useless pro wrestlers of all time

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  58. Was Bret face or heel? During the entire 98 it was never really clear. Also, why was he hanging with Hogan? No wonder he hated going to work.

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  59. Pretty weird they never ran Bret/Nash in WCW as they did good business in WWF during the time WWF wasn't doing very good business to begin with, plus their matches were always awesome.

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  60. I would have had Bret be the ref for match at Starrcade, prevent another "screw job" by ejecting NWO members, have Sting go over clean, announce Sting vs Bret (Sharpshooter vs Scorpion Death Lock), have Bret go over Flair at Souled Out, have Sting go over Hennig at Souled out, have Bret go over at Superbrawl to win the title because he souled out to Hogan in a mutually beneficial thing (Bret gets title, NWO gets title back), have Bret hold the belt til he drops to Goldberg in July.

    I'm not saying it's the best thing to do, but it's what *I'D* do, dammit.

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  61. debuted as a face, heel by summer. and they did an angle where he fake face-turned to screw someone over.

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  62. Bret started of as a face, and I think Bret started doing the whole Luger thing where he kept switching face to heel from week to week.

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  63. Is it the world title match?

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  64. By the spring I was really confused. Then they had him feuding with Booker over the tv title in the summer. I could tell he had just given up.

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  65. He was a face, then turned heel when he helped Hogan win the world title.

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  66. Yes. You could have easily had Gldberg waiting in the wings still, and built Goldberg up for the Starrcade 99 main event.

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  67. I could watch Bret vs Diesel at the Rumble every week.

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  68. Ok, I'll ask. Why did he help Hogan?

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  69. He's a pretty solid midcarder, but as a main event guy, no buys.

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  70. Face towards El Dandy, heel towards everyone else.

    He was a complex character.

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  71. The feud with Goldberg looked like it was going to make some serious money

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  72. Not to stereotype Southerners (I am one), but there's not a lot of love for "yankees" and foriegners with the old fanbase. They always liked the guys they could identify with. There are exceptions like the Road Warriors, but they got over because they were bad asses. Flair is from Minnesota, but he moved here and embraced the hell out of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia to the point where we accepted and loved him.

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  73. Well, he kinda has a point there....

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  74. I'd have Bret defeat Hogan for the belt at The Great American Bash. Hogan does the celebrity matches in July and August. Build to the return match at Halloween Havoc. Hogan wins via cheating. Goldberg wins World War 3. Build to Hogan vs. Goldberg at Starrcade.

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  75. Oh, for sure he does. It's just that his typical bored, flat speaking tone completely shitting all over Bischoff is hilarious. Plus even guys like Jericho play nicey nice with the guy now, it's good seeing one dude who doesn't care about bygones.

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  76. "BECAUSE BROTHER, HIS TEARS WERE NO MATCH FOR MY CREATIVE CONTROL... I MEAN PYTHONS."

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  77. Survivor Series '95 >

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  78. I agree to an extent. There's truth to that in the Crockett, Georgia, and World Class territories, but then there's Memphis.

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  79. I believe he said he wanted to beat Hogan for the title. The same Hogan he screwed out of the title at Starrcade.

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  80. Nobody holds onto grudges quite like Bret. Every guy in that lockerroom knew that he was the best at it.

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  81. Continuation of face abroad, heel America. Bret was big on shades of gray for sure, haha.

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  82. Hell, you should've seen the tears in the eyes of the McCoy greatgreatgreatgreatgreatgreatgrandkids.

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  83. He's an international ambassador and a friend of the luchadors. Except Hypnosis. Fuck that guy.

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  84. Would have been fine, but it just would have felt too rushed, plus with my booking strategy WCW could have continued to draw for at least 2 years, where your scenario WCW only draws for the one year.

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  85. Yeah, they should have went with Giant vs. Hall as a replacement match.

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  86. I take my other comments back. That would have been a draw. I would have loved to see that!

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  87. Yeah, but Nash got the book, so no matter what we think would have worjked, they would have done the complete opposite.

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  88. Of course both our scenaris would require someone competent to be booking, but it's nice to imagine an alternative universe where Bret got his fair due in WCW.

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  89. It's crazy that by mid-February 1999, nobody thought Nash needed to be replaced as booker.

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  90. Okay good point too lol!

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  91. To be fair, WCW was still doing fairly good business at that point and business only started to tank a month or two later and they never recovered from that as WCW went through one bad booker after another.

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  92. Ratings were beginning to go wane. As a viewer, I thought the product became nearly unwatchable as they closed in on Starrcade. You'd think somebody would have said/done something before the Titanic hit the iceberg.

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  93. Bret's entry into WCW is the most botched potential money drawing angle ever second only to the Invasion. As a kid I thought what would happen was going to be exactly the way Scott had described, of course I was naive to WCW politics as well.

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  94. In some ways I wanted to believe WCW would book Bret right, and even when Bret was treated as a midcarder, I still held out hope that WCW would get it's shit together and by the time Bret got that main event push, it became too little too late and too much damage was done to his character.

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  95. he seemed out of place to me .. im sure this has been echoed by many.. i think wcw was a trainwreck by the point too.. so many big fish there. so it just appeared to me that bret's gimmick was just walking to the ring unmoved by the crowd. he would rassle and that was about it. it just wasnt the same as when he was in the wwf and was a badass. he was US champ OK but i dont think it lit a fuse within me. i remember the match with benoit, and that was great. i think that finally made me greatful for his wcw run. but i mean what more can u say about his run there when at best it makes me contradict myself.

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  96. I always liked WCW more growing up but was always a huge Bret fan so realizing he was never going to be booked like he was in WWF by mid 98 was one major factor I stopped watching WCW altogether.

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  97. Hogan/Bret at Starrcade 98 should have been a no-brainer that would have drawn millions.

    I once had the scenario in my head booked out was that after he beat Flair to start (which did make sense) that he should have gone through the WCW mid-card. Hogan gets the belt back from Sting in the summer and then Bret starts going through the NWO (Hall, Nash, Giant) around then. Bret captains the WCW in War Games where WCW actually beats the NWO, he beats Sting at Halloween Havoc (where Sting ends up giving Bret his blessing to be a "WCW guy") he wins World War 3 and beats Hogan at Starrcade.

    Now, Goldberg is the wildcard in all of that but some version of that where Bret Hart comes in to end the NWO should have happened. But hey, we got him as Hogan's lackey for like 2 years. That was good too, right?

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  98. I would have just had Bret simply beats nWo guys and would have saved the Bret/Sting program once Bret wins the title then WCW could have promoted it as a main event dream match.

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  99. I'm a Bret mark to the highest power and even though I didn't really like WCW, I was excited to see him go there. He had wrestled all the top WWF guys (Shawn, Austin, Taker) a million times so I was excited at the prospect of new matchups for him. Especially against Sting and in particular, Hogan. So to see his first PPV opponent be Flair was very disappointing. To see his second PPV opponent be Henning was very, very disappointing. And when he was Hogan's tag team partner at his third PPV, I gave up on WCW. Amazingly, it only got worse. Here's an interesting write-up on Bret's shitty 1998. It was actually shittier than many might remember: http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/veloza1.htm


    And here's an awkward backstage segment with Hogan, Bret, and Liz. The look on Bret's face says "I'd rather be jobbing to Shawn than be here right now."

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  100. You're kinda right in the fact that Owen's passing led to the only worthwhile match Bret ever had in WCW.

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  101. The Bret thing is two-tiered for me.

    Organizationally -- I like how they started him off -- Starrcade was way too soon for him to have a match, so just involve him in the Hogan/Sting thing to play off Montreal which is fine (if it had been executed well). The warm-up feud with Flair was also a good idea and had some nice mic work and a really solid match.... all down-hill from there, where they booked him a tier below the other WCW/NWO guys that he was hotter than at that point. They could have salvaged it with the Goldberg angle, which was awesome and they really could have gone somewhere from there with him

    Bret himself -- c'mon, it's obvious the guy was barely trying after the Flair match. Some of that is the organizations fault for not using him in a way that energized him, but he had basically three memorable matches in WCW -- one against Flair, two against Benoit. Bad matches with DDP who was having good matches with everyone, bad matches against other good workers. He was just totally out of it for most of his run there, especially once things got really bitter with the WWF over Owen.

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  102. I like it. Sting had to win the title at Starrcade and a Bret vs. Sting feud works better with Bret as the heel.

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  103. That would have made a lot of sense. Run Sting and Hart vs. Hogan, Nash, and Hall in various combinations for a few months. Then you can move to Hart vs. Sting.

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  104. I was talking about Owen's wrestling career in WCW.

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  105. Maybe Bret should have taken some time after Montreal. People talk about that "GUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH WHAT AM I EVEN DOING HERE" look he had after WCW mishandled him, but he had that look from day one there. Dude was clearly not feeling the business after the screwjob and with an attitude like that, he was never going to turn horseshit to applesauce.

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  106. Pretty much anything other than what they did would've been better. The whole hart booking never made sense at all during his tenure. I mean he was red hot going over there and they managed to botch it

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  107. The hair was still there. I think the run could have been salvaged.

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  108. I actually think People Power was fine in that they lucked into the character, they did everything possible with it, and then completely blew it off and ended it right when it was getting terrible to watch. It's actually so rare that they can tell a complete story like that given their limitations that I have to give them props in retrospect.

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  109. I'm not the biggest Bret fan:


    Bret backdoored his way into being the top guy in WWF due to steroids, WCW buying talent, etc... and now he's expected to be at the level of all this old, highly paid talent. But, it didn't work. Even at Starrcade, it didn't feel right that he was deciding the Hogan/Sting match. Bret's not in their league. I don't think Bret/Hogan for example would have gone well at all.



    Plus with the WCW main event scene, match quality obviously meant little. They were big characters with loads of charisma. Then there's Bret who was never that. His promos got better in 96-97, but still. So, where does Bret fit? Try to give him good matches with Benoit, Flair, DDP types... then why did you sign this guy for millions who you know expects to be a constant main title contender?


    Bret in WCW was one of those situations that I think was never going to work out, no matter what.

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  110. Because Nash was being a cunt who didn't want to job, that's why they didn't do that.

    This was around the time Nash no-showed Starcade 97 because they wanted him to lose to the Giant and later, started subbing other people into the Outsiders to eat the pin so Hall and Nash neither had to lose the belt when they dropped the belt.

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  111. After Starrcade, Bischoff and Hogan blame Hart for the nWo's losses to Zbysko and Sting. Give Hall his title shot against Sting at Souled Out and then run Sting/Hogan 2 at SuperBrawl. Meanwhile, Hart runs through some of the nWo guys with pay-per-view matches against Nash at Souled Out and Hall at SuperBrawl.


    Hart defeats Hogan at Uncensored in a number one contender's match and we build to a big Sting vs. Hart match at Spring Stampede. Hart turns heel during his match with Sting, joining the nWo and winning the title. We get the nWo split here, as guys like Nash and Hall aren't happy that Hart (who was beating them earlier in the year) was now leading the faction alongside Hogan. But Hogan and Hart only care about the money and controlling the title.

    Hart gets a couple of PPV title defenses but still loses the championship to Goldberg that summer. We could keep going, but I'd change just about everything the company was doing after that.

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  112. man I'd have to go back and check it out, but at the time I remember thinking it was way overstaying its welcome before it got canned

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  113. biggest cool off ever; Scott Steiner 1993


    Steiners jumping to WCW has to be rated at the biggest mistake of anyone moving between WWF/WCW at the time... and he was TV champion when he left as WCW tried to convince him to stay

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  114. Bless him, he just *really* didn't want to split from his brother did he? That must be the only reason they jumped.

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  115. Oh god, that's probably the worst Nitro of all time. Literally almost 3 hours of Nash hanging out with the Wolfpac cutting promos, and Hogan hanging out with the black and white cutting promos, one after another after another. It's endless. I think there's 30 minutes of wrestling the whole 3 hour show.

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  116. I love Bret, and he was certainly a better performer than Hogan at that
    time, but why would WCW ever put Bret over Hogan? WCW was killing WWF in the
    ratings, and Bret should definitely not have been WCW champion based on drawing
    power. So I’d probably disqualify the notion of Bret going over Hogan without a
    second thought. And I certainly wouldn’t want to see Hogan go over Bret. So to
    me there’s almost no point doing the match if you’re just gonna do a fuck
    finish. The constant heel turns were a drag, but I don’t think he was ever
    going to be more than a second tier main eventer there no matter what.

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  117. Looking back on it given what the entire Hogan run in WCW did to a guy like Ric Flair, nobody should have been surprised when Hart got put on the furthest back burner for his entire run.


    Hell, even Sting really got railroaded after 97

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  118. Id have done the Hogan business non-title after Starrcade, playing off that, and then had Bret vs Sting for the title. Once that was done i'd have put the US title on Bret and feuded him against Booker, Benoit, Raven, Jericho, etc to help "make" the lower card guys.

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  119. I agree WCW screwed this up, but Bret's mindset didn't help. When asked about what they should have done differently, his standard answer seems to be to immediately put him in the main event and revolve the whole company around him and his opponents. When WCW didn't do that, he stopped giving a shit.

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  120. Sting, Goldberg, Hall, Nash, Hogan were all bigger stars than Bret and drawing better ratings, no way Bret deserved a title run.

    I would've had guys like Bret Hart, Sting, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Luger, DDP on the "tradition WCW" team leading to a match with Hogan maybe at BATB 1998 and who knows War Games 1998 a combination vs Hogan, Savage, Hall & Nash..

    Though it was so obvious Bret wasn't interested in being in WCW.

    WCW was a different animal, guys cut promos themselves something Bret never could do. All it showed was Vince made Bret, he was useless without Vince's protective booking just like the majority of ECW guys were useless without Heyman booking them.

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  121. I always thought the best way to bring Bret into WCW would have been as Hogan's replacement as head of the nWo. The original storyline really should have died at Starrcade 97. Have Hogan lose badly to Sting and then Nash and Hall & Co turf Hogan for losing and replace him Hart. It would make sense because the nWo originally was ex-WWF guys taking over WCW and Bret Hart fits right into that.


    You could then have a year of great matches between red-hot Bret Hart and white-hot Sting.

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  122. I disagree with Bret being the guy to endbthe nwo. That absolutely should have been Sting or Goldberg.

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  123. SummerSlam 2011 did the lowest buyrate for a SummerSlam since 1997. Rightfully or wrongly, that probably had something to do with CM Punk being shunted down the card. It didn't help that The Rock came back November-ish and Cena/Rock became the focus of the shows through WrestleMania.

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  124. WCW handled Bret poorly and they really failed to capitalize on Montreal, but I can see why he wasn't pushed to the front of the line. He wasn't as big a draw as others on the roster and he was a career WWF guy. He should have had some title matches and a reign or two put I don't think WCW had to become the Bret Hart show.

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  125. He came in right before the biggest show of the year and they made him a last minute special ref. I don't know what he had to be pumped about. I know Sting-Hogan was set in stone, but he could've done a lot more and atleast started building to a main event in the near future. It's not like WCW saw his lack of passion and was like "Oh, okay. We won't be able to do much with him now." They weren't new to working the shit out of guys that hated being there haha

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  126. I love how Vince talks of how he was sure WCW would be bad for Bret but his tone makes it clear even he can't believe they dropped the ball that badly with such a star.

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  127. The sad part about Bret getting nothing resembling an appropriate push is that he could have been huge for them as a face OR a heel. You could have him come in and, after Hogan drops the belt to Sting, oust Hogan from the nWo to become the new leader. He's bitter over his treatment in Titan and basically says, if you can't beat em, join em. He's tired of being the hero and it's easier to be a part of the powers that be than try to rage against the machine. It's a perfect out as well, because when Bret decides to be the hero again and turn babyface, he can give the fans a legit apology and say how he had become jaded and paranoid and let the fans down. People would buy it because there is an element of reality to it, post-Montreal.


    OR. . . you just bring him in as a babyface to help lead the charge against Bischoff and the nWo, taking his frustrations out on them and trying to be a champion of justice, and such.

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  128. 1. Sting beats Hogan for the title at Starrcade. Bret is signed as a free-agent and Bischoff tries to court him for the nWo.
    2. Hogan fails in his effort to regain the title from Sting at SuperBrawl. Nash & Hall turn on Hogan, kicking him out of the group. Bret beats Savage in a co-main event level match. The Outsiders boot Macho Man too.
    3. Bret & Sting team against Hall & Nash, with Bret turning on Sting and becoming the new nWo leader.
    4. Bret beats Sting for the WCW title with help from the nWo.
    5. Goldberg emerges over the spring/summer as a threat to the nWo. He plows through the jobber types, like Adams, Norton, Vincent, etc. who are all subsequently booted out of the group by Nash, Hall, & Hart.
    5. Bret beats challengers like Luger and DDP, who are out to avenge Sting and the WCW fans.
    6. Goldberg emerges over the spring and summer, then beats Hall at the GeorgiaDome to earn #1 contender rights.
    7. Goldberg beats Bret Hart at Bash at the Beach for the WCW title. Hogan returns as a face to fight off the nWo. He does a "redemption" story line where he wants the fans back. Sting & Goldberg are suspicious, but agree to watch each other's backs with Hogan around.
    8. Goldberg, Sting, & Hogan beat Hart, Nash, & Hall at 'Roadwild' (or Goldberg over Bret in a re-match; with Hogan vs. Nash and Hall vs. DDP)
    9. WCW beats the nWo once and for all in WarGames at 'Fall Brawl'
    10. Goldberg beats Nash at 'Halloween Havoc', finishing off the last nWo member he hasn't beaten one-on-one. Nash can come back later as a "lone wolf" or something, with the nWo blown off.
    11. Hulk Hogan wins 'World War III' and wants one more title shot against the new face of WCW.
    12. Goldberg beats Hogan at 'Starrcade' to retain. The nWo is gone. A new crop of challengers, like Sting, Bigelow, DDP, Savage, Flair, Luger, Sid, et al can carry the spring/summer (or until fans tire of Goldberg as champ).

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  129. I agree. For years I've thought the most logical thing would have been for Bret to come in all bitter and disgruntled and say "fuck it", joining the nWo so that he is in a position of power rather than vulnerable to ever getting fucked over again. It kinda adds depth to his character too. Not just a swerve for the sake of it, but an actual logical character progression. Sting, Luger, DDP, and eventually Goldberg had the babyface side plenty balanced. Hart, Nash, Hall, Savage, and company would have been interesting as a new nWo.

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  130. Yeah, there are several times that Scott could have been in line to be The Guy

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  131. The mishandling of Bret goes hand in hand with the botching of Sting/Hogan at Starrcade '97. It's easy, really. Sting should have gone over at Starrcade and begun the Sting Era in 1998. Hogan should have disappeared for a while with Sting's defeat of him being the natural beginning of the end of the nWo. Hart could have debuted against Flair or someone and then shifted to the #2 babyface role and an ally of Sting with the underlying slow build of Bret wanting a title shot that builds to the middle of the year. Sting/Bret program happens Sting beats him, rematch, Bret turn heel to beat Sting. Hogan comes back red & yellow in the fall, build to Hogan/Bret for the following Starrcade with Hogan going over. Hogan puts over the next big heel in a month or so (Lets say Superbrawl) and disappears for a little while only being tapped for big dream matches. See you got Sting/Hogan, Bret/Flair, Bret/Sting, Hogan/Bret all within a year, all would have drew big money as dream matches and sustained WCW

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  132. Where does the rise of Goldberg play into that scenario though? Maybe run the Bret vs. Hogan match at Halloween Havoc, with Goldberg winning WW3 the next month. Then Bret vs. Goldberg at Starrcade? Hogan vs. Nash underneath?

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  133. Yeah, I agree. They really never were going to switch gears and go all-in on Punk as The Guy at that point, because Rock vs. Cena was set in stone and why would you jeopardize that? I mean, they could have probably come up with something better than the Jericho feud for Mania, but it's not like Punk was ever going to headline WM28 with Rock vs. Cena on the card in Miami. Even a Punk vs. HHH match goes on underneath that.

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  134. Yeah, they had the whole "Scott Hall gets a SuperBrawl title shot" stip from WW3 that they could have stuck with. Run Hogan vs. Hart and Sting vs. Hall (maybe Luger vs. Nash too?) at SuperBrawl, instead of the Sting-Hogan re-match.

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  135. It's a good question. So they started Goldberg's streak in late September '97. He won the US Title from Raven after Spring Stampede in '98 and they rushed his World title win on Nitro in July '98. I probably would keep everything the way I laid it out but after red & yellow Hogan beats Bret at Starrcade '98, Hogan puts over Goldberg at one of those early '99 PPVs (Souled Out, Superbrawl or Spring Stampede) in a face vs face passing of the torch match.

    So how Goldberg is handled in the mean time? I think you build the streak slower. Maybe you delay him winning the US title to Summer of '98 instead of Spring. You present some credible threats to his streak along the way instead of him squashing everyone. For instance Raven & the Flock he just ran through them. They could have gotten a couple PPVs out of that. DDP. Nash or Hall or both. I think you absolutely do the Jericho feud they should have done all along. There's enough there to get him to '99 without the gimmick going stale and he's learning to work better matches as some of these guys maybe push him. Then Hulkamania vs Goldberg. That's money.

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  136. Yeah, I'm totally with you here. Let the Goldberg thing truly reach critical mass. Instead of having him beat Rick Fuller eight times on TV, make his Streak build slowly and more meaningfully. The Jericho thing is perfect. A slower burn with the Flock (maybe a gauntlet match at one PPV, then do the Raven match on PPV after a month of him ducking Goldberg). Plenty of upper-midcard guys too. Like you said, DDP and Hall. Luger was right there doing very little. Steiner, Giant were candidates. They could have easily dragged it out to early '99. And if for some reason the fans turn on him before you get to the payoff? Have Goldberg win the belt with a big heel turn. You just spent over a year building him as an indestructible monster, now you can plow him through the babyface main eventers in '99 instead.

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  137. Even in December 1997 I don't think anybody could have predicted the star Goldberg would have become. Mine line of thinking is that since the original incarnation of the NWO was meant to be a group of WWF guys invading, that it would take a WWF guy to beat a group of them.

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  138. I think this was part of the problem, though. He was originally announced as having signed with the NWO, appeared as an NWO affiliate at first, then was a lukewarm face, then switched between heel and face repeatedly - never being either fully, and not doing the tweener thing successfully.

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  139. To be fair, Flair sabotaged his push and I can understand him wanting to get out.

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  140. Flair didn't sabotage anything since he was out of WCW for a year and a half before Scott left, saying he would only stay if they gave him the world title


    if you're thinking of the Flair/Steiner match from Clash 14, I don't blame Flair for not throwing himself around the ring since at the time the Steiners were proud of their reputation for being stiff and intentionally not protecting opponents


    Rick Steiner should have been "the guy" in 1989, his work at tv champion was really over, and his interviews with Alex are forgotten gems...

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  141. were serious talks about giving Rick Steiner the world title from Lex Luger at their Clash in 1991 after Luger refused to g on their European tour (wasn't contractually obligated to) ... and he would have been way over too... missed opportunity since their didn't thinking Luger/Sting would draw big money but by the time they ran that match at Superbrawl 2 the fanbase had moved on to wanting to see Sting v Rick Rude

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  142. Bret v Hogan in 1993 would have draw millions

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  143. Ill add; Starrcade 88 Steiner asking Magnum about his free tv for winning the tv title still makes me laugh


    building to Chi-Town Rumble Steiner also warns Rotunda that he's been preparing for the title defense by "watching lots of tv"

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