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Wrestlemania 14 alternate universe

Don't know why this popped into my head today, and I'm sure it's been addressed by Its bugging me:
Let's pretend Bret doesn't decide to leave WWE in 97.  All logic throughout from late 96 through 97 seemed to build towards an Austin/Bret rematch at WM 14 where Austin gets his big clean win over Bret to finally become WWE Champion.  Was that the long term plan?  If so, with the Kane angle going, what was Michaels' role supposed to be there?   A feud with HHH over DX?  Owen?



​Yes, Bret putting over Austin was absolutely the long term plan until Montreal fucked it up.  Owen was TOLD that plans were for him to work with Shawn Michaels at that show after Montreal went down, but that's clearly a lie, so I have no idea what the real ​plan for Shawn was going to be.  Shawn's probably done a shoot interview somewhere where he clarifies.  

Comments

  1. Robert WilliamsMay 5, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    Feuding with HHH seemed to be the highest profile match for Michaels at that time. Maybe HHH fucks up and costs Michaels the title at Survivor Series, or his interference keeps backfiring, leading Shawn to snap.

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  2. Shawn/HHH/Outlaws vs Owen/Bret/Neidhart/???

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  3. It seems to me that Vince had wanted Kerry Von Erich in the WWF since he started his national expansion. I think he underestimated the extent of Kerry's drug problems, hoping that Kerry being in a different environment and making the "big time" would alleviate the drug abuse to an extent. When that wasn't case Vince gave up on Kerry.

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  4. Shawn and Triple H were going to team up and lose to the Quebecers, who needed the rub during their return to the company.

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  5. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    Kerry had a great look, but man that was about all there was to him. I always found his offense incredibly boring, and his interview was terrible. He looked like a goof when he spoke, and I'm pretty sure 95% of the time he was high in the ring.

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  6. Maybe Shawn vs Shamrock but they did it early in December because the change in plans?

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  7. After watching the Bret vs Shawn Rivalry blu ray, I imagine an hbk shoot interview would go something like this: "If Bret never left, who were you wrestling at mania 14?" "I don't remember. I was on a lot of drugs." "Let's talk about the hell in a cell match with undertaker." "I don't remember. I was on a lot of drugs."

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  8. Jeremy RinehartMay 5, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    During the early 80s, Vince would mention the Von Erich boys while on commentary

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  9. Plus he would insert "you know" in those two sentences at least 10 times

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  10. I know Austin wouldn't do business here, but...

    I loved the idea of Mr. McMahon having to grovel to Owen in summer '98 to go after Austin once Foley, Taker, and Kane couldn't get the job done. They could've dragged that out for the whole fall. Owen can't trust McMahon given what happened with his brother, but this could finally be the opportunity to get out of his brother's shadow. McMahon can't trust Owen in fear of retribution, but Owen's the only guy that's ever put Austin on the shelf. The slow build for this would've been incredible, and you could finally get the title off Austin with Owen being the benefactor of a Survivor Series screwjob in a neat twist. Have the title held up due to these shenanigans and the winner of the Rumble wins the title, and that's how you get it onto the Rock, with Vince having no use for Owen any longer since he couldn't injure Austin permanently.

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  11. Not running with Owen in late 97 was nuts. He was so over at that point and even doing a transitional champ in say December with hbk winning it back at the rumble to drop to Austin would've done wonders for everyone

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  12. Even if they didn't make him champion, he definitely could have been pushed harder and should have got the main event at the Rumble with HBK instead of Taker.

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  13. I agree that Owen was super hot but I don't think Shawn should have dropped the belt. What made Austin's win extra special was he saying "Fuck You" to Vince and corporate and also he took the belt from the asshole that vehemently claimed he would never lay down.

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  14. It's a good idea and would certainly have produced better matches than the actual Breakdown/Judgement Day main events, but as you say, getting Austin to agree to work with Owen and drop the strap to him would have been nearly impossible.

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  15. There are just so few organically generated moments though where everyone just marks out - and Owen coming back and attacking HBK after Montreal was one of those. They should've capitalized on it. He had to be a face at that time due to sympathy and all, and Austin was going over no matter what, so building him up as face #2 could've been cool. After maybe a year they could've had him turn jealous of Austin, still living in his brother's shadow, etc. but anything would've been better than just forgetting about him. The whole thing was just an asset that fell into their laps and they ignored it

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  16. 11 Mentalities That Are Killing WWE


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B4hPEaVaeE



    It's poorly written (each point isn't clearly numbered and they overuse ellipses WAY too much), but this video raises a lot of good points. Though I know I'm very much preaching to the choir here.

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  17. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    Jeff Jarrett hosting a press conference....HA! Who from the media will be there? Podunk Joe, from Podunk Joe's Wrestling Newsletter that he sends to his cousins from Knoxville?

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  18. GFW needs Entertainment720 something fierce.

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  19. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    hi odds jericho chest sunk in more?

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  20. Episode 2 starts with Karen and Foggy getting drunk and then....they just never stop getting drunk.

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  21. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    Entertainment720 is too big of an operation to deal with GFW.

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  22. It's weird because the next year Rock and Foley played hot potato with the belt and it didn't diminish Austin's victory. But in this case, Austin HAD to be the one to beat Michaels. Should've had one Owen vs Michaels PPV match in there somewhere, though. Maybe that was the plan for the Feb PPV before Michaels injury.

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  23. I don't feel like bringing in Detlef Schrempf to work a match is going to get them on the Tonight Show.

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  24. http://a.pomf.se/cbgbnd.gif



    So this is fun. Last night on the Roman Reigns WM doc, they edited out the curb stomp and Cole's mention of it on commentary.

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  25. If Owen apologises...

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  26. Marv! What are you doing up? Did you hop back over to Europe?

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  27. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 7:59 AM

    Jeff would be lucky to get a name like Detlef f'ing Schrempf.

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  28. In this day, coming back just to do house shows is about as exciting as announcing someone is a special hitting instructor during spring training

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  29. Go Jericho go.

    And I mean away.

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  30. I never left work, went to bed here at 2am, back up at 6 lol

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  31. Seamless edit, barely noticeable! They really should have decided on the finisher change before Wrestlemania. Before!

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  32. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

    It's sad. Jericho was one of the first guy's to embrace the internet, he was great on the mic, and a good worker, but he has wore out his welcome just like Kane and Show. I never thought I'd say something like that about him, but here we are.

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  33. Yeah, some mentioned the Rumble, but I think at minimum he should have jumped Michaels earlier and then main evented the the IYH:DX. That Michaels-Shamrock title match was death. In fact, they could have went Owen-Michaels and then kind of transitioned over to Owen-HHH if they really wanted to.

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  34. Did Edna kick you out? :(

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  35. No, no not at all we're great, they've just fucked up here 3 weeks in a row and I'm tired of paying fees to miss our press window so I'm staying here the whole process to make sure every step gets done.

    Basically I'm at the stage where I feel like, wow I tried the nice guy act and you guys were dicks....so watch me be a dick, you won't enjoy it lol

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  36. Jericho's problem is that he finally figured his shit out in 2008 - 2010 and was one of the best wrestlers in the world. And then he came back and... I understand why he didn't do the serious man gimmick again, but that Punk feud was merely decent and after that it was like he lost a step.

    He's certainly not awful by any stretch, but his prime is long gone. If he wants to be a 'legend' who shows up a few times a year, great. In ring, he's done.

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  37. for someone who never works, you spend a lot of time there.

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  38. If he was a regular, and actively involved in storylines that progressed it'd be fine, but when he's just coming in once a year to put a new guy over, and you know he's just there go along with creative and then will leave again, it's hard to care.

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  39. I've only had to spend two nights here this year so far, that's WAY better than last year

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  40. Yay...Chris Jericho is coming back...yay...


    Yay.

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  41. Problem is no-one gets a rub from beating Jericho.

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  42. Next step is Siamese Dream-era Billy Corgan where you just lock everybody else out of the building and do everything yourself

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  43. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    "Alright Slapnuts....here's the deal.


    We got Shelton Benjamin....mainly cause Vince never realized he released him on accident.


    We got Team 3D because they're old and fat, and no one else wants them.


    We got Chris Masters because all he's been doing for the last two years is working in a Gold's Gym.


    We got this vanilla midget from ROH. I lost him on the way here momentarily, until I figured out he was standing right beside me the entire time.


    Wah-lah, slapnuts."

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  44. I haven't done that twice in my life.

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  45. Ha! I've had to do papers by myself before, it's not pretty.

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  46. In a twisted way I kind of love it.

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  47. You forgot the centerpiece of the promotion: JEFF JARRETT.

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  48. Also: Detlef

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  49. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    How could I forget.

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  50. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    "Also: Detlef.....slapnuts."

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  51. Less surprised than you were at me last night.

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  52. The time to give Owen a title shot would've been at the Rumble. Unfortunately that's not a money match like HBK/Taker so really, in that short window of time before Mania there really wasn't a chance for Owen to get a title shot because you can't have Owen take away from Austins heat before Mania. The Hunter/Owen feud was the way to go and it ended the way it should with Hunter winning.

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  53. To be fair, Team 3D were young and fat, too.

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  54. Pretty sure there was no plan for HBK at Wrestlemania. Not that he wasn't going to do anything, but I don't think it was planned until after the screwjob.

    DX would have been interesting because if the screwjob doesn't happen, then Rick Rude is still around. Maybe they get involved in with some faction like the Nation

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  55. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    Good point.

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  56. Have you heard NotSam's podcast with Corgan? It's really great. Hearing Corgan use phrases like "attitude era" is so weird. Corgan REALLY knows his stuff.

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  57. So guess what asshole left his card in the ATM last night.

    I realized the mistake not even a minute later and when I went back the receipt was still there...really hoping the machine just took it back and it's now somewhere in it's protective bowels.

    Which of course means it will be and I will have cancelled my card for nothing and the bank will probably call in two hours and be like "Come pick this up at your convenience!"

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  58. Replace "jericho" with "y2j", and you have a winner. As it is, I grade it a B.

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  59. I have not, I just caught up on him like a week ago too, I fucking love that podcast I'm glad he gave up the normal weekly show and finally figured out he just needs to talk wrestling.

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  60. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    I will fix that right now, sir.

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  61. Ouch, injured during an entrance and then have to wrestle the most important match of your career to this point.

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  62. I have no idea why he keeps coming back as a face. The deluded obnoxious rock star heel gimmick is right there, he should just act exactly as he does on his podcast.

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  63. On the bright side, somebody probably just got a sweet TV and is watching Parks on it right now.

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  64. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©May 5, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    After rewatching the footage, it looked like Zayn injured his shoulder by doing his usual "come on" gesture to the crowd to get them hyped up.
    That's like a whole new level of a Sin Cara injury.

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  65. Your avatar is hilariously appropriate for this comment. POP! POP!, indeed.

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  66. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMay 5, 2015 at 8:11 AM

    That's what they get for waiting too goddamn long.

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  67. I think it was from January, this episode.

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  68. Besides Anakin turning into Vader, the only reason for the prequels to exist is to show the Clone Wars. So of course we only see the beginning and end of it.

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  69. He's turning into Foley, which is very sad. I just finished reading his latest book, and my takeaway is he's an alcoholic who is far too up his own ass (like Foley) for how great his ideas and angles in wrestling are. And how could Vince possibly get angry at him for stomping on a country's flag, or fighting a woman?

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  70. I will find it today, thanks for the tip man

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  71. At least Sami did the match. The original Sin Cara would have probably not have wrestled and requested for the entire show to be cancelled so fans could grieve his pinky finger injury.

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  72. I like the house show deal. He isn't on TV for a shot-term return and it gives fans that go to the show a fun extra.

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  73. Do I need to look this up, or isn't it very obvious?

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  74. He has turned down a return recently because he didn't like creative, so it isn't like he is coming back just to go along with it.

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  75. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMay 5, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    Poor Sami. I guess the big NXT feud becomes Owens vs. Balor now...prolonging HIS debut even longer.
    WWE: Even when we lose, we still win...and when we do it right, we still don't.

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  76. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©May 5, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    And that's why Zayn is better than Sin Cara.

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  77. In a world where John Cena and Kane are the "wily veterans" I think you guys are underestimating how important Jericho coming back probably is to the guys.

    If he comes back and only does house shows not only is he happier but we don't have to see him ever *and* all those guys get a chance to pick another veterans brain.

    Chris has actually figured out a way to make this a win for everyone.

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  78. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©May 5, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    You can see him shaking and holding his arm the moment he gets into the ring.

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  79. Whoa there, let's not go nuts...

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  80. Plus on house shows he can pop the local crowd, work a passable match and interact with the fans while in the ring and not be sucked into any weak storylines.

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  81. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 5, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Sami Zayn just CREATED SEPARATION with his shoulder.

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  82. Episode 2 was so good, I had to watch it a couple times. I love everything about it. I've also watched like 5 videos comparing the hallway fight to Oldboy.

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  83. He takes no one's spot but gets to have fun...from every angle this idea is brilliant

    Assuming of course he's only coming back for house shows like last time.

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  84. I wouldn't have minded an angle of Daniel Bryan vs. Jericho, the most decorated IC champ ever, over the belt. Jericho has said that he's really wanted to work with DB like he did with Punk.

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  85. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©May 5, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    Now can he BUILD MOMENTUM to a safe recovery?

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  86. The prequels made no damn sense. They didn't show anything that mattered (the Clone Wars) and were mostly a collection of "remember this guy?? ehh??? ehh???"

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  87. And did fans really give a shit about how Luke's dad became Darth Vader? I'm sure what they really wanted were new adventures with Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and the usual gang of nerd icons.

    Nerds.

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  88. Kerry was one of those guys Vince always wanted and even though the Kerry he got was a shadow of his former self, he wanted to give it a go to see if there was anything he had left in the tank. Kerry was one of those guys that had the look and skills and charisma to be a major star, but he stayed in h is dad's promotion too long, took too many drugs and had too many injuries to really make the leap from great prospect to superstar. It's just another case of too much too soon. Seriously when you're booked in the main event from basically day one, you're going to get an attitude on why improve, especially when the fans go gaga over everything you do. If Kerry had gone to WWF or Crockett in '85, he'd have been over for sure from day one, but he would've been in the midcard and been pushed to have to improve on the mic and in the ring to make the jump to the main event.

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  89. I said this in the RAW thread, but I've seen Sami Zayne powerbombed through 4 ladders from 20 feet high and pop up like nothing happened. I've seen that dude in all sorts of insane matches live....it's so weird he'd hurt himself in such a minor way.

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  90. The best part of the prequels is the end of Clones and the beginning of Sith. Why? Because they involve kick ass Clone War battles.

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  91. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONMay 5, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    Those impacts build up over time you know.

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  92. It's kind of the way with these guys sometimes, RVD would jump through a flaming table every night and then was out for a year on a messed up baseball slide.

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  93. A Jericho - New Day run at house shows would be pretty funny.

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  94. That's likely what it is. He would practically kill himself in ROH, so it's likely the years of abuse are catching up to him.

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  95. Yep I believe that Owen was kept out of that match by another Shawn hissyfit at the time about not trusting Owen, which if true is funny because he'd rather face an MMA fighter albeit one without a real beef with him.

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  96. If said timeline doesn't result in his back injury I think Shawn leaves for WCW for bigger money and his kliq friends.

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  97. True, but the real story was still Vince being a dick and keeping Austin away from the belt. Everyone knew that if Austin was in a title match he was going home with it unless there was a mega screwjob. That was the point of the Kane 24-hour title win/loss: major screwjob finish and then the next night Austin rolls through Kane to take the belt back. So Vince knew he had to put a zillion roadblocks in Austin's way, including having the special ref be Big Show. Foley screwed all of them up because Vince kept underestimating him -- it was a perfect storyline with everything intersecting.

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  98. Shawn probably doesn't get his back messed up if he faces Owen...

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  99. Why not Austin vs Hart vs HBK?

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  100. Stuart_ChartockMay 5, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    Would have been an awesome match, but art that point, I think it would have been seen as too gimmicky. Austin had to go over in strong, straight-forward manner, and having Bret and Shawn distracted by each other would have meant that less than 100% of the match/focus would have been on Austin.

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  101. While I'm sure that the long term plan was Bret/Austin (as it made loads of historic sense from Austin's perspective) I have no doubt that it would probably have changed because as mentioned in other threads the rise of DX saw Shawn get white hot as a heel and seemed to instantly relegate Bret and the Harts, rightly or wrongly, to wrestling dinosaurs - despite the fact they had been white hot themselves all summer.

    I think in an ideal world you have Bret lose to Austin at Mania and make a shed load of money from doing Shawn/Austin in the summer but I just can't see DX Shawn not being at the top of the card at Mania as he was on fire in that role and it really worked with the Austin era kicking off by putting Shawn's DX character down.

    If they stick with the plan I doubt Shawn feuds with HHH that early either. Taker's occupied with Kane. Shawn/Shamrock perhaps?

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  102. I think they ideally should have basically done what they did on Raw anyway: use Michaels vs. Owen Hart as a transition for Owen Hart vs. Triple H (just it being the outcome of a long ppv match instead of a short tv match).

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  103. Yeah jim cornette said shawn wouldn't work or put owen overy after vince promised Owen he would be Canada's hero and probably get the belt.I would have liked Owen to have the belt for a month or something

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  104. I like that idea it works

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  105. Exactly I don't know why owen never said sorry

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  106. I was a teenager who wad turned "smark" a few months ago. but I still totally bought into the whole "lays down for absolutely nobody"-thing. I was actually afraid Michaels would somehow weasel out of doing the job for Austin.


    (and, if the often mentioned story with Undertaker waiting at the Gorilla position is true, there were people inside the company worrying about that as well)

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  107. "In fact, they could have went Owen-Michaels and then kind of transitioned over to Owen-HHH if they really wanted to."


    which they ended up doing anyway, only on Raw.

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  108. Wasn't the rest of the kliq trying to get back to the WWF once they realized how hot the company was getting. I believe the only reason Nash stayed was because he was made booker and of course Scott Hall had his issues.

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  109. That still boggles my mind.

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  110. They weren't doomed by wm14 and I doubt Shawn would stay while Bret gets the main event to the guy who would take his spot as the main focus of the WWF.

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  111. Shawn said on JR's podcast recently that he has no idea who he would have faced at Wrestlemania if Bret hadn't left.

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  112. Virgil's Gimmick TableMay 5, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    SAVIO VEGA!

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  113. AverageJoeEverymanMay 5, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    nah it still would have been a casket match

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  114. And in a stunning swerve, they actually end up BEING Mounties.

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  115. Austin vs hart
    Shawn vs tyson.....BOOM all the buys.

    Bret didn't decide to go anywhere. Austin/Shawn was the plan pretty far out. What i want to.know is. How far back McManon knew he was going to ask bret to leave and why put the belt on him at Summerslam?

    Obviously, Montreal was a work....

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  116. I don't remember Shawn ever mentioning an alternate plan. I remember in his book he said when he had his talk with Vince about coming back after the locker-room fight that he was given the impression he'd be getting the belt back, so this would be roughly July. And Vince approached Bret about leaving in September. So I'd guess Shawn/Austin was the long-term plan since July.

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  117. Didn't it take a couple of weeks to talk Owen into staying? If he went home after Montreal and wasn't sure about coming back for a couple of weeks it's hard to book him to main event a month later.

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  118. An Austin/Owen feud for the World title would've been awesome, I'd like to have seen Owen as the guy who first beats Stone Cold for the belt to give him a Benoit-esque lifetime achievement reign with Austin eventually getting it back.

    Austin wouldn't work with Owen after he broke his neck, right? I just realized that makes his tag team with Jeff Jarrett more interesting, since didn't Austin refuse to work with him too? Maybe he later married and beat up Jarrett's valet out of spite.

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  119. Waltman did name-drop Hall/Nash the next night on RAW as wanting to come back. Sure, it was a promo, but weird for him to say something like that about close personal friends for no reason whatsoever or without at least consulting them.

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  120. It's hard not to picture Shawn's goofy smile/shrug combo while reading your post.


    The best part of that DVD is Bret clearly laying out every single moment that he felt wronged by Shawn in a strange, almost itemized list while Shawn laughs, shrugs and says "Don't really remember that in particular, but yup, I probably said/did that"

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  121. Austin. Puts aside his differences with the Harts because he hates DX even more.

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  122. It did take Owen a few weeks to come back, but it's not like you really need more than a few weeks to promote that show. They could've switched Shamrock to a Raw main event and had Owen make the save on the go home show. They had to know a main event with Owen in it after Montreal was going to do better than a show headlined by Shamrock.

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  123. Knuckleberry PinnMay 5, 2015 at 12:32 PM

    Also, though it isn't explicitly made a point, Shawn did not lose (cleanly) in a one on one ppv match going all the way back to Royal Rumble 96. Furthermore, this was the time that JR started working in all those soundbites on how Shawn was the best big match performer and always brought the goods on pay per view. When you couple these things with how cool, new and hot, DX was, it seems more meaningful to have Austin beat Shawn.

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  124. Yeah, i could see Austin facing Bret at the Feb PPV in a #1 contender match with Austin looking to avenge his loss at Mania the year before and Bret trying to get his belt back.

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  125. Austin double stunner to pin both of them.

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  126. Best not think about Bret staying post Montreal. You will blow your mind figuring who would have faced who. Men have suffered heart attacks due to stress of this conundrum. Even worse is figuring out the plans post Mania. Trust me, Bret leaving after Montreal prevented the world from imploding.

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  127. I don't think his contract expires until 2000 or 2001.

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  128. Oh I'm on board with Owen getting a pay per view title shot and December being the best choice, I just don't know if it's a simple case of Shawn refusing it when at the time the Shamrock angle started Owen was a couple of weeks away from agreeing to return.

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  129. He did break the man's neck out of his neck.

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  130. Maybe the Kane feud becomes a monster of the month feud and Shawn gets Undertaker?

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