Sunday, June 21, 2015

3 Superstars, 3 Questions

1.) A few years ago the WWE was pushing William Regal HARD, even having him win King of the Ring. I think there were rumors of him possibly main-eventing something  or even winning the WWE title, even if it was only temporary.  Then his drug suspension derailed everything.  Do you know what the ultimate plans were for him?

2.) Is there any way to turn the late 90s version of Bossman face if you wanted to? It's kind of hard recover from killing and feeding someone their dog.

3.) Supposed you had psychic powers and knew Shawn Michael was gonna get injured and be out for four years after WM XIV. Do you still do the screwjob?  Seems kind of a waste to do in hindsight.

​1.  No idea.  But I seriously doubt there was any serious plans for him in the main event.

2.  I don't know why you'd want to turn him face, but I think fans would have bought a babyface turn for him as much as anyone.  The dog thing wasn't exactly played for high drama. 

3.  Since Vince was apparently dead set on Shawn Michaels being the only person who Bret could drop the title to, I guess you'd have to.  I think it was more of a waste to let Bret Hart go to the opposition in the first place when the company was about to explode in popularity​.

86 comments:

  1. I always heard that Regal rumor too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "YOU'RE EATING YOUR DOG, PAL!!!!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. You absolutely do the screwjob because it was McMahon who got the ultimate rub there, not Shawn. And the new McMahon character gives hot babyface Steve Austin his foil for the next two years. And that angle was hot enough that Vince could take the company public.

    Now the question is whether THAT was the right decision.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember he was supposed to get a push; I don't remember he was going to get the belt. This would have been 2008? Regal beating Punk for the King of the Ring probably set up Regal/Punk for the title, but I doubt they were giving Regal the belt. Especially when the Jericho/Michaels feud got as hot as it did.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The only way for the company to explode in popularity was for Bret to be gone.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What does Bret do the night after WrestleMania XIV? Michaels back injury and retirement just spared everyone the awkard conversation of telling Michaels that his time at the top was done, and it was time for Foley/Kane/HHH/Rock to ascend. I don't see Bret taking to that conversation any better than Michaels. Actually, Michaels probably would have been okay putting HHH over to help make him awesome; I'm not sure Bret would have done the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I always though Regal deserved a title run. If not to carry the company, at least in the Mick Foleyesque lifetime achievement sense.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This was pre-2008. I think 06-08?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bret was all for it. The initial plan laid out to him was for him to drop it to Steve, then turn babyface, retire in a few years and become the new Pat Patterson.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The company was about to get hot in part because of getting rid of Bret. The McMahon character, DX, being able to put trashy adult segments on without having to hear "you cut 15 goddamn minutes off my all time classic match for this!!!!".

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pretty sure you just don't become the new Pat Patterson but are born that way

    ReplyDelete
  12. This. I know Bret's "edgy" character was pretty hot (because of the time), but I can't see where Bret fits in the Attitude Era. Dude's edgy heel promos were "you're a homo and that guy next to you is a homo."

    I know that's pretty par for the course from that era, but at least most guys dressed it up a little and tried to get clever about it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would have had no problem if he had the henry/kane "you were loyal to the company for years and had an awesome career; now here's the belt for a few months" reign

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't forget, you're a dirty rotten stinkin hyena.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think Triple H just wanted to do a program with Regal... so they were building him up.


    Put the early 90s blue uniform on him and go retro. It would have worked.


    I'd hate to say you HAVE to do the screwjob under any circumstances. I'd have let Bret go any way he wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 1. I was under the impression that any big "pushes" Regal got were HHH doing him favors. I don't think Vince hates the guy or anything, but I don't think he really "gets" him either.

    2. Bossman got a HUGE face pop the one week that he teased turning on the Corporation, but I think that was just a "PH HEY SOMEONE IS GONNA KICK VINCE'S ASS" pop.

    3. Kind of a dumb question, because if everything stays the same and you just know what's gonna happen next, you still have to do the screw job to get the belt off the guy who's leaving the company.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What you did there? It was seen.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yup. Bret was the 1992-1996 New Generation Era personified.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Adam "Colorado" CurryJune 21, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    Wrestlers, not Superstars. Fucking Christ I hate that shit.

    Anyway, if I had physic powers and knew that "Shawn Michael" was going to get hurt then my physic powers would have also told me that Austin, Rock, and HHH (and to some extent, Foley) would be taking over and WCW wouldn't do jack shit with Bret, though I'm pretty sure everyone saw that coming. So hell yes, you still do the screwjob.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 06-07 was the KING BOOOOOOOOKAH stuff. Regal was like his knight or jester or something?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well if HHH wanted to run a program with Regal then yeah they're definitely gonna put a world title on him. HHH don't work with no scrubs.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Maybe 05 then? I remember he was GM and he won KOTR or something like that and they did this big angle where Regal cut the power to Raw.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Austin was gonna change the world no matter who he feuded with. The masses were ready for a tweener champ.

    ReplyDelete
  24. That WWE game idea Heyman wrote about Regal leading a stable of McIntyre, Barrett and Sheamus was such a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Bret would've looked as out of place as Vader and Owen did in the Attitude Era. He would've been a younger version of Bob Backlund in his '90s heel run.

    ReplyDelete
  26. If they don't go public, don't do the XFL/WWE Films money-wasters, then splurge on the top WCW guys and actually book the Invasion properly, Vince would still have made a billion dollars.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Regal won KotR in 2008

    ReplyDelete
  28. Bret Hart would have worked in a Kurt Angle style role in the attitude era. He would be the heel goody too shoes who is bringing morality back to WWE, etc. And he already had feuds with people he considered immoral (DX and Austin) so it would probably work. Other than this, I can't think of a single way Hart would have made it in the attitude era.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Was part of the reason the WWF exploded in popularity due to the screwjob? No screwjob, no immediate development of the Mr. McMahon character. Bret dropping the strap to Austin in a ***** classic at Wrestlemania XIV is great story but the Austin vs. Mr. McMahon was great business and I can't see Austin-v-Hart generating the same buzz that Austin-McMahon did.

    The good thing about Shawn's injury was he had to get moved from the main event. It had to be Austin-McMahon which eventually became Austin-Rock. That had to happen. I don't see Hart voluntarily moving himself away from the top of the card to make room for The Rock or Foley. So both of them had to go one way or the other.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Depends...Horrible idea if they called them "The Royal Family" or some stupid shit like that. Good idea if they took Regal's true background as a carny fighter and made them all stiff workers that stretched guys out.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I thought he was headed that way myself.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Bossman could've been babyface easy. A lot of people including myself thought he was hilarious in that heel role.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've heard people talk about that Regal King of the Ring win like it was the beginning of a push to the top. I'm not sure why anyone would think that. Remember the King Sheamus push or the present King Barrett "push"? Even if Regal hadn't screwed up, I don't imagine he would have made it much further than either of those two. I think they just wanted a British guy to be king so he could be all Britishy about it. Probably nothing more than that.

    ReplyDelete
  34. My memories a little foggy, but weren't they trying to push Kennedy hard as the next potential top face at the time? My recollection is that it seemed like they were setting up a rebel vs authority feud between Kennedy and Regal, but of course both guys kind of screwed up their end of that.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You don't need the screwjob to get to Austin/McMahon. Austin stunned Vince for the first time September 22, 1997 and Vince was 'outed' as owner/chairman a year earlier when JR went heel and introduced "Diesel" and "Razor". The screwjob helped paint Vince as a heel, but the foundation had already been laid. Simply going against Austin was gonna make Vince hated, even if it was Hulkamania-era Vince.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 21, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    #2.) Absolutely. Just have him get tired of being the Corporation's henchman and wanting to go back to being the good ol' southern boy babyface. He can still be a badass and doesn't necessarily have to go back to the blue shirt and such. At least bring back "Hard Times" though and have him go it alone against the Corporation mid-carders. Could have been a great last run for him, actually

    ReplyDelete
  37. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 21, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    3.) No way, it was still the right thing for business. If Bret was leaving, then Michaels had to be the guy to put Austin over. Injury or not, he bridged the gap to the next Guy and it paid off a million times over.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 21, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    We will never know for sure, but I feel like the "Screwjob MADE Mr. McMahon" thing is a little overstated these days. It certainly injected real life to the character, but I think Vince was headed down the "evil suit" role anyway and the Austin feud was already in motion.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 21, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Yeah. The "European Union" thing had been booked solidly on this very Blog. Even now, you could take Sheamus, Barrett, Neville, Paige, and Regal and put them in a similar group. None of them have any direction anyway

    ReplyDelete
  40. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 21, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    Watching HuluRAWHulu. . .

    Welp... that Dusty tribute video is the best thing this company has produced in years.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Agreed - everything was heading that way anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Him and Finley, yeah.


    Still don't know why they didn't team Finley and Sheamus up at some point.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Why Barret isn't doing that gimmick right now is such a gigantic mystery to me.

    ReplyDelete
  44. "Hollywood Scum Hogan!"

    "Nasty, stinky, wart-infested Giant!"

    And, of course, Bathturd.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Joey Jo-Jo Junior ShabbadooJune 21, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Dude's edgy heel promos were "you're a homo and that guy next to you is a homo."

    But for someone like Bret, even something like that had to feel like the equivalent of saying "eat shit, motherfucker!" on live TV.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Joey Jo-Jo Junior ShabbadooJune 21, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    What happens during those "few years", though? Does he politic for another run on top or or kill a potentially hot angle because of personal objections or cut the legs out from under some young up-and-comer just because he can? Or does he become Mr. Team Player and go along with whatever plans are laid out? I don't think Bret and Shawn circa 1998 could be trusted not to give in to their egos and throw their weight around.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I remember watching Bret's 97 run and being seriously letdown by how bad his promos were

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh, probably, but when you have The Rock talking about the people's strudel, "YEAH!? YEAH!?!? WELL, YOU'RE... GAY!" doesn't really cut the mustard.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The only time Bret didn't do business is with Shawn. Otherwise, he was fine.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think they were called The United Kingdom. It was a cool angle, game or otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Bret would become the locker room leader that the Undertaker eventually turned into. He never had a problem with anyone but Shawn and was more than willing to put Austin over in their feud. He always said one of his biggest regrets is that he never got to put him over completely. He was also one of the earliest supporters of The Rock and predicted what kind of a monster attraction he'd become before anyone else even imagined it. You can tell Dwayne Johnson appreciates that to this day.

    You keep Bret around and he'd be tearing up the midcard with the likes of a developing Rocky, Foley, Edge, even Triple H, and eventually Angle and The Radicals. He would have been the much-needed match quality provider during an era where there was a noticeable dearth of great in-ring work. You can even keep the Michaels feud brewing when he's back in the commissioner role in '99 and they're still bickering, trying to make life impossible for one another. Maybe they would have patched things up backstage even sooner without all the conspicuous backstabbing that competing for the top spot drove them to.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Austin's moment has to be at Wrestlemania and he's in the middle of the Owen feud. Undertaker's tied up in the Kane feud. Who else? Mankind? Shamrock? Those guys weren't WWF Championship material at the time. Shawn was the most logical choice to drop the belt to and any argument against really comes down to just appeasing Bret.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I really don't think Bret goes along with the Attitude Era. He was too sold school and stubborn and the times he did take part in the edgey stuff you could tell he wasn't into it. He's actually caught on camera telling Owen "this is stupid" during a Nation/DX/Hart's promo on Raw once. And while he may have had the biggest problem with Shawn personally, he wasn't big on not being the champion. I just don't see him happily going along with what 1998 WWF was.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm sure I remember the rumor being that Regal would eventually face Triple H, possibly at Summerslam that year. But HHH was on Smackdown, so I don't know if that's true or I'm remembering it wrong. But Regal was also the Raw GM and they put a lot of focus on him after he won the King of the Ring - I think the King of the Ring was to quickly re-establish him as a threat in the ring because he was about to be put in a big angle.

    ReplyDelete
  55. His last run was when he was randomly a suit wearing bodyguard for Booker T, wasn't it? Anything would've been better than that.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Bret & Shawn being gone within months of each other left a HUGE gap in the Main Event that took them FOREVER to fill. The Rock & Foley were nowhere near ready by the time Austin was Champ. Thankfully, Vince was the most over heel in a decade, so you didn't NEED a big in-ring rival just yet. Foley as "Corporate Stooge" worked just fine.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Regal was on fire as a heel in 2008, with his whole gimmick of being the Raw GM and turning out the lights to irritate the fans. He won the KOTR and adapted it to his gimmick not by dressing like a king (wearing the silly crown and cape like Barrett, Booker and Sheamus) but by suddenly acting like an evil monarch with absolute power --- Regal as Shakespeare's Richard III, essentially. The only kept gimmick-wise was the throne, and made for a great image of Regal opening a RAW by sitting half-slouched in his throne in the middle of the ring, and looking out at the fans with a look of pure disgust on his face.

    Transitioning to a Regal/Punk feud over the world title at Summerslam that year made a lot of sense, or perhaps a Regal/Cena feud.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I don't buy that, at all. Bret was one of the driving forces of the Attitude Era. His lashing out at Vince, the intensity of his promos, the Canadian hero/American heel dichotomy -- a lot of this stuff was refreshing and lay the groundwork for what was about to follow. It wasn't all about dick jokes and Sable's titties. HBK's juvenile tomfoolery never drew squat, which is what Bret was mostly upset with. The star attraction was always Austin, who Bret saw coming from a mile away and suggested to Vince.



    Bret had a knack for adapting his character to all the different eras and he's one of the key figures in setting the bar for much of the mayhem that would engulf wrestling at the time. He brought the table bump to the big stage, made intelligent use of foreign objects in his angles, was capable of bloody brawls without compromising sound psychology, etc. He was always coming up with new ideas, different ways to do things, and it's a shame that he continues to be overlooked creatively.



    He also wasn't a Hogan-type to wanna hog the spotlight into his twilight. Everyone respected him and he always talks about doing the right thing. He would have gladly put Austin and The Rock over. The Attitude Era was far from perfect and they needed someone like him to keep the quality alive in the under card, which is largely forgotten today for how ridiculous so much of it was.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Vince did not dastardly to get stunned at MSG. It happened because he stripped Austin of the I-C title when Owen Hart broke his neck...ooooo what horrible heel thing to do, strip a guy of his title when he is unable to perform.

    The screwjob was the introduction of Mr. McMahon because it was a fucking mean thing to do. He basically stole a title from a guy and it was the thing that really launched the point of fans looking at him as a bad guy.

    ReplyDelete
  60. This business isn't made for 6-7, 275-pound guys with great physiques that can cut promos.

    I wonder if Hogan looks at guys like Barrett and Jack Swagger (another guy that physically looks great) and thinks about how much he could have made with those guys running house show programs in the mid-80s.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm never of the belief he would have GLADLY put anyone over. I mean he was stretching out his pinfall job to Austin for about 18 months so he was very much about the slow burn with the eventual payoff as long as he looked like the boss figure in the program from beginning to end. God knows what the Rock would have had to do to get those honors.


    Did he ever just do the deed, like the way John Cena did it for Kevin Owens a month ago, for someone he wasn't related to by birth or marriage? Whether he liked Shawn or not he really didn't put him over like he should have at Wrestlemania XII. Yokozuna was a screwjob...Bob Backlund was a screwjob...and hell he shouldn't have had to put over Backlund period but was it so he didn't have to lay down for Nash?

    ReplyDelete
  62. None of that matters, really. *Anyone* who opposed Austin at that time was getting booed. Montreal set the groundwork, but it wasn't needed. Regardless, Vince had already developed the "Mr. McMahon" character in Memphis back in '94 or '95 so it was something he had in mind at some point. The screwjob gave him an opening.


    When Austin first stunned Vince, the crowd went nuts. And all Vince was trying to do was protect Austin from further injury. Vince could've continued in that same vein for awhile and nothing changes. Vince didn't need to be uber-evil "Mr. McMahon" until after Austin won the title.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Bret's the type that doesn't mind losing to anyone if it makes sense it just doesn't make sense to him that he'd have to lose to anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  64. When Bossman came out to his original music and they teased a face turn there was a mega pop for it. Might've been a nostalgia kick, I don't know.

    I think Regal was being moved towards a lifetime achievement award run with the WHC around that time, too.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Indeed. The McMahon character/corporation stable really held things together for the year. Can you imagine how weak the feuds vs. Foley etc. that year would've been if it wasn't for McMahon's presence in proceedings? Is it even possible to imagine what would've happened to Austin's first run as champ if they didn't have McMahon as the prime antagonist? What opponents would we have got instead?

    ReplyDelete
  66. Interesting point about Rocky. I think he was lobbying Hart to return in 99 - and McMahon to bring him back.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I think he could've played a brilliant role during that time as the increasingly bitter younger veteran who you stick in feuds with young whippersnappers to get them over.

    ReplyDelete
  68. If Bret Hart was working 6 minute undercard matches with Val Venis while Vince McMahon and Steve Austin were the main event feud you'd need 3 more chapters in his book to contain the complaining about it.


    Bret may have been willing to do more intense, realistic feuds but he was pretty open about thinking the adult themed stuff was stupid and not liking the direction the company was going in. Bret seemed to be aware that there would be a time where he passed to the torch and it wasn't going to be about him anymore, he just wanted to be the one to decide where it was. He did request to work with Austin but he wanted to work with Austin being the pain in his ass heel he disposes of before he regains the WWF Championship, he didn't plan on Steve Austin becoming the face. It's actually kind of ironic that Bret's harping about how much of a good guy he was and how much of a bad guy Austin was is what initially made Austin popular.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Yeah I remember thinking he was probably going to be World Champ at the time. I was pretty bummed about the drug suspension.

    ReplyDelete
  70. "A few years ago the WWE was pushing William Regal HARD, even having him win King of the Ring."



    BWAHAHAHAHA!


    A few months ago the WWE was pushing Wade Barrett HARD, even having him win King of the Ring.


    Now do you see how ridiculous that sentence sounds?

    ReplyDelete
  71. I remember Bret submitting cleanly to HBK in his last match before leaving for WCW ;)

    ReplyDelete
  72. But you have to get him to buy into the idea that the WWF isn't about Bret Hart having all-time classic matches against bad guys trying to take away his WWF Championship belt anymore, and he didn't seem receptive to that at the time. From the time he came back in 1996 he was either champion, complaining he wasn't champion or expecting he soon would be champion - I don't know if a year later he'd be fine with Steve Austin defending the title against Dude Love while he faced X-Pac over Pac pissing on his hockey jersey.

    ReplyDelete
  73. He appeared to be submitting from my vantage point.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Bret went to a house show in 1999 and Rock told him he should come back because he, Austin and Taker were running things now and it was a more fun place to be. But Bret was under contract to WCW so it was just a casual discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  75. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighJune 21, 2015 at 5:28 PM

    Regal in that run was really on fire.... 2008 was an underrated year in general.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Actually there was zero pop for it

    ReplyDelete
  77. That image of him on the throne was definitely great. He had awesome entrance music at that time as well.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hell they could have just moved him into Lawler's spot, or on Smackdown. . . .

    ReplyDelete
  79. I know it's stretching a point, but I'd argue he put Backlund over fairly strongly. The centrepiece of Brets character was his technical skill, but he stayed trapped in the chicken wing for close to ten minutes unable to escape or reverse it, the obvious implication was that it was just a matter of time until he passed out or submitted. The screwjob bit was just the standard protection of a top face.

    ReplyDelete
  80. He adapted well enough in WCW to being mostly an upper midcarder. I think if it had been made clear to him what the ground rules were he could have sucked it up as the price for remaining with WWE.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Nobody planned on Austin becoming face, but they listened to the crowd and what transpired at Wrestlemania 13 was carefully orchestrated and agreed on by all parties.

    Maybe Bret wouldn't have had a blast wrestling Val Venis, but I think most wrestling fans lament that he never got to do a program with Mankind, The Rock, Hunter, and the legion of underappreciated midcard workhorses that would soon follow.

    ReplyDelete
  82. For all the accusations about Bret's ego, I don't believe he was above doing what was best for business apart from a single instance.

    WWF in the 90s was very much about the slow burn and I don't think we can hold it against Bret that he didn't put Austin over immediately, as I doubt that even Vince or Austin himself wanted him to go over The Hitman at Survivor Series '96. I never heard anyone accuse Bret of stretching out his pinfall loss to Steve. Vince was just dead set on Bret jobbing cleanly to Michaels AGAIN.

    I don't know how you put over a guy over more cleanly than at Wrestlemania XII. Maybe Bret didn't give Shawn his vote of confidence afterwards -- which was also part of the scripted storyline they were going for to set up the rematch -- but that was as clean as a job gets. You wanted a hug and a pat on the back in the middle of the ring after Shawn told him to get the fuck out? C'mon.

    Yokozuna was also a screwjob for both Yoko AND Bret.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I remember there was the big main event angle with Regal where he was ticked off the fans and he literally shut the lights off on them and that's how the show ended. That may have been the final thing he did before the suspension as I don't recall much follow-up after that happened.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I think it was. He was suspended during the week and I think Vince announced that he was removed from his position because turning Raw off early was too far.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Oh there's no denying Bret was great at making guys look good during the match itself but he didn't just lose because he lost like Cena will do. In his defense that's how it was back then, top faces didn't just lose clean, but that defense applies to Shawn as well.


    But he didn't exactly go out of his way to put Shawn over at WM12 like he was supposed to. He dragged his heels during the build up, took shots at Shawn for not being tough and mocking him for the Syracuse beating while throwing in a forced "but I respected Shawn, I like Shawn" now and then. And then he took the overtime finish and used it to say Shawn didn't really beat him and set-up the rematch only he seemed to think was set in stone. Bret just always seemed like a guy who'd say he had no problem doing jobs and passing the torch but he always had a reason why he shouldn't do it to that guy at that time.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Didn't he get written off TV via a "loser's fired" match with Kennedy? He made it a no DQ match mid-match, pulled a pair of knuckle dusters, was about to light Ken up, caught a low blow and a Mic Check, bye Regal.

    ReplyDelete