Today’s Question: What’s the best promo you ever saw?
If you want to skip yesterday’s discussion and start right away, scroll to the end or hit “Comments”. Otherwise please stick around to talk about your own personal bizarro world.
I should have known that fantasy booking would draw out the comments en masse, and it did. What match finish would YOU change if you had the power to do so? Of course, this would theoretically set off a chain of events that would change the potential direction of entire companies at times, but that’s part of the fun.
PrimeTimeTen: In the 174th match between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston, I would have had it end in a double-disqualification.
Here we go.
Thebraziliankid: Cena vs Brock at ER 2012. My finish would be like this, Cena hits the AA on the steps and goes for the cover, 1...2..NO! Brock kicks out, that was Cena's last straw of strenght. Brock does that evil smirk, picks him up F-5 put his foot on Cena's chest, 1...2.. Brock takes the foot off, grabs him again does another F-5 and locks the kimura, the referee stops the match when he sees that Cena is out. That would make Brock a even bigger monster than 92 Vader and would still make Cena strong for Surviving that punishment. Brock only became a monster once more because he conquered the streak.
We are off to the races with one of the most heavily debated finishes in recent years (as Brock Lesnar matches are wont to do), starting with his arrival. Cena was right off of losing to The Rock at Wrestlemania, and a fresh Brock Lesnar was waiting in the wings. Brock, armed with a WORLD of credibility after backing up his legitimacy by becoming UFC champion comes back, and sets the stage by bloodying Cena’s nose during the closest thing to a “shoot brawl” you’ll see. Then Cena wins. What the hell? By following your story, Lesnar continues to look like the unbeatable machine we all believe him to be, and Cena’s story of “worst year EVER~!” doesn’t change. I like this.
Brian MacLeod: The first one that pops to mind is the main event of WrestleMania 2000. The Rock clearly should've won there instead of at Backlash. Because Rock won the next month, I suppose it didn't really "damage" anything long term, but I always liked the "face walks out of WrestleMania champion" tradition and it was kind of a bummer to see that broken...
Brian, the only reason I’m going to disagree with you here, is because Wrestlemania 2000 was the last time Wrestlemania didn’t feel like WRESTLEMANIA. It was built like another PPV. It wasn’t in a major stadium, it wasn’t shot any differently, and aside from the 98-hour pre-game show, there wasn’t anything to truly differentiate it from the other shows of the year. They were still another year away from remembering exactly what it was that made Wrestlemania, Wrestlemania. So with that in mind, I don’t hate the decision of Triple H going over; and in fact stacking the deck even further against The Rock just made the crowd even more rabid to see him take home the gold the following month.
LScisco: Luger over Yokozuna at SummerSlam '93 for the title. I think that match would've made Luger's WWF career.
Who needs the gold when you’ve got this:
DJ Sprite: Matt Hardy vs Edge summerslam 2005. Maybe not the fact that edge won, but stopping the match via blood loss? Hardy was one of the hottest acts in wwe and that's the finish in the grudge match? Have Lita-ferance cost Matt the match, leading to the cage match the next month.
Not a bad choice, and it truly doesn’t change much in the grand scheme... except maybe keeping Matt Hardy hot a little longer. He lost so much steam from not being able to come back and avenge himself for having lost his job AND his girl to the guy with the movie-star good looks who was anointed the future. Of course, it’s Vince McMahon we’re talking about. I figure when he gave Matt Hardy the finish to the match, he told him “LIFE SUCKS ... THEN YOU DIE!”
YankeesHoganTripleHFan: Hogan vs Warrior at WM VI. Don't get me wrong it was totally the right booking decision, but I was 11, a Hogan fan, (obviously) and to this day it's the only match that actually made me feel sick to my stomach...I just never thought Hogan would lose
My advice: Avoid all of 2002 through SummerSlam. By King of the Ring you might be in need of CPR.
Ryan Yoder: Maybe Orton vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21. I really liked the Legend Killer gimmick, but I think at the time, Orton was going to have to get surgery after Wrestlemania, so him winning and then having to be out would probably have killed his momentum.
This probably denies us the Shawn Michaels series. You might have to face a lifetime ban from the blog for that stunt.
Stranger in the Alps: John Cena vs. The Miz at Mania 27. First, because it was Wrestlemania and it deserved a better match. Second, sending the fans home on a heel victory at Mania just feels wrong. The ending of the show needs to be the babyface celebrating in victory..........even if it means CenaWinsLOL
What revisionist history forgets, is that the net was FULLY on board with The Miz. For god knows what reason, people saw star power in the guy and were fine with him running with the belt. It wasn’t until he failed to show *anything* new after dropping the belt that he was finally regurgitated. In retrospect, yes, he should have been sent packing sooner, and Wrestlemania would have been a fine time to stop.
VintageECW: No doubt, Taz v Sabu from Barely Legal. I would've had Sabu pin Taz a hundred percent of the time. And I would have murdered whoever came up with that double turn, dumbest move ever.
Great choice. Sabu had the cult following to end all cult followings, and in his first PPV foray, he should have absolutely been built as one of the biggest stars in the company. For hardcore fans, Sabu had been tormented by the bully Taz, and after 18-months, it was time to stand his ground. Instead, he taps like a bitch. Granted, to the toughest guy in the company, but still. Then AFTER losing, he enlists the help of Bill Alphonzo? Why not call on his assistance BEFORE having all your joints ripped apart by a killing machine? They got too cute here, probably feeling the pressure to do something special. They missed.
Johnny Polo: Shawn vs. Bulldog at One Night Only. Looking back, I'm surprised Shawn didn't also go over Owen in their title vs title match on Raw to become IC champion. And then as both IC and Euro champ, he could beat Bret at Survivor Series to hold all three belts by beating all three Harts. Surly Shawn and HHH ran this idea by Vince.
This is one of those spots where it seems more clear that Bret’s departure was premeditated. There was no reason for them to take the European belt off of Bulldog, especially when the title was virtually meaningless. It didn’t add anything to Shawn Michaels’ overall heat, and considering Bulldog dedicated the match (non-kayfabe) to his sister Tracy who would soon lose a battle with cancer, it was a pretty lousy thing to do. All it did was get a belt off a prospective Hart ally who might jump ship a month later if anything “screwy” might occur.
Daniel Lewis: I would have kept the WWF title on Chris Jericho in 2000. Have Rock and HHH wrestle at Backlash in a grudge match, and have Jericho defend against Benoit. Then move Jericho into a feud with either Rock or HHH. Jericho at that time was the 2nd most over man on the active roster.
I’m torn. Triple H still had unfinished business with The Rock; but the chance to run with a surprise champion who DID get the job done could have been a lot of fun. I don’t think Rock’s heat would have suffered in the long run, so this is one bizarro world scenario I’d love to see play out.
Glen4321: Kurt Angle vs HHH Unforgiven 2000 would be the one match ending I'd change Instead of Steph low blowing Angle while still seeming like she cares about Angle (a terrible end to a very hot feud), Steph should have came in the ring, low blowed HHH and then made out intensely with Angle. Then the feud could have concluded at the next PPV in a much better blow off match (hopefully with much blood). Also, if HHH and Steph were broken up on TV this early on, maybe they would have broken up in real life if they weren't together so much. Changing the ending to this match could have prevented HHH's reign of terror from 2002-2005 on Raw.
Now Glen is a man who is into the spirit of the column. We have it all here! A swerve finish! Live gratuitous tongue wrestling! Real life divorce implications! I think we’re overstating the importance of a single match just a little here, but having Angle steal Triple H’s girl would have been the right ending here. In a world where nothing ever turns sour for Lord Hunter, a man with the might of a thousand penises, it would have been great to see him get his comeuppance and lose the girl here. Angle would have had killer momentum going into No Mercy where he’d take the title, and logically he’d drop the belt back to Triple H at Mania in this scenario. Austin still likely turns heel, and sets his eyes on H. I like everything about this.
ts14: Raven going over Jarrett in TNA. The crowd was nuclear for it, it should have happened. I know Raven as a champion would have probably been a disaster but they should have gone with it for a little while.
A forgotten classic from the weekly PPV era. I fully disagree Raven would have been a disaster as champion. Fans were eating up everything he was involved in for months afterwards. This was a bitter disappointment, and moving the belt to AJ Styles weeks later was the inferior move. Raven should have been able to take the belt and run with it. He could have just as easily have carried it into the impending feud with the New Church, done business with Shane Douglas, lost his hair, had his comeuppance, and then ... in the Internet wet dream ... have CM Punk turn on him and recycle their ongoing feud in ROH and MLW. I hope someone who can influence Jeff Jarrett is currently building a DeLorean.
Starscreamlive: Sting winning clean at Starrcade '97. Would have brought closure to that storyline once and for all instead of the debacle it turned into. The nWo could have still hung around afterward, but it's mission would have changed from destroying WCW to just being a stable of four or five core members.
It’s mind boggling how obvious this decision was in 1997. We don’t need retrospect for this. We need Hulk Hogan to do the right thing. And there lies your root cause.
davidbonzaisaldanamontgomery: Easily Booker going over HHH at WMXIX. Not only does it erase the inane "HHH goes racist for five weeks then wins at Mania" angle, but Booker was on the cusp of legit stardom; only HBK was more over on RAW at the time. Instead, back down the card went Booker and it took him three years to get back to the main event scene.
This was heavily debated on the blog today. As we may recall, this was during the “Triple H can’t put over Booker because he needs his heat for Nash ... and he can’t put over Nash because he needs his heat for Goldberg ... and he can’t put over Goldberg, because Goldberg needs more heat ...” era. I like changing the result, I just cringe at the idea of Booker T eating the “Miz” treatment of wrestling in the 3rd match of the card against World Title challengers Bubba Dudley and Jeff Hardy until it comes time to drop the belt to the first “real” main eventer he faces.
BobSacamento: Orton over Triple H at WrestleMania 25. Fuck that shit. Orton was hot as you could be and that loss really did him no favors. Beat Hunter, punt that son of a birch and then move to feud with MVP and then Batista until Triple H returns for Vengeance....and loses again.
You’ve laid out a very well thought out scenario that I would never want to watch in a million years.
ARRRRGH THE BARBARIAN: Del Rio's cash-in on Punk has to be up there. I don't think that did anyone any favors.
Now we’re talking! If we manage to avoid Alberto Del Rio, which for the record I try VERY hard to do, Punk’s title reign now extends to roughly 17 months on top of the promotion which is something that will likely never be topped again. Granted, neither will the 400+ days, but I’m just trying to pile it on at this point.
David: Barrett beating Orton at Survivor Series for the title. He only had 1 real ppv win over those 6 months (making cena join the nexus). Fine they lost at summerslam. However, barrett never got his big title win. He got screwed by cena for the title at the ppv before. He lost to orton that night and the next night on raw after the nexus kicked orton's butt before the match (then the miz cash-in). Next month, he lost a chair's match to cena. Ever since then, he has looked like a chump except as bad news barrett. Who knows where barrett would be if he actually beat orton that night?
He might be as revered as former champion Jack Swagger. In all seriousness, winning that match is not going to overcome the lack of personality he showed up until he became Bad News Barrett.
Devin Harris: The Flair-Hogan double-turn at Uncensored 99. This was supposed to be Flair finally beating Hogan for the title as a babyface and then WCW cheats us, the fans, out of it by doing a double-turn. Of course, the fans cheered it anyway
Devin, let’s recap. Hogan comes back, and steals Goldberg’s title away with the Finger Poke of Doom. Reunites the nWo. Has Flair driven out to the desert, where he is beaten and left for dead. Steals Flair’s son David away with sex (like THAT would ever work on a 19-year old). Flair retaliates by smacking Hogan with a tire iron. And HE’S the bad guy? I’m with you. NO TURN.
Darren X: Thats easy: DDP & David Arquette vs. Jeff Jarrett & Eric Bischoff. More than any one match, killed the business as we know it, and put it in the hands of Vince McMahon.
I really hate to burst your bubble, but WCW was long gone by this point. Still, I am happy to live in a world where David Arquette is NOT a former champion.
Adam Wright: Wrestlemania 4 main event, Dibiase Vs Savage. Have Andre move to attack Elizabeth which distracts Savage allowing Dibiase to roll him up. After the match you can have Andre, Virgil & Dibiase beat on Savage until Elizabeth goes for Hogan for the save to still get the megapowers. Except now you have Dibiase as a hell champ, the first heel champ in 4 years. Suddenly there's a lot of faces who can get a quick run on top as challenger, whilst Megapowers fight Virgil/Andre. You can still have the Megapowers Vs MegaBucks match at Summerslam, and at Wrestlemania 5 you have Savage over Andre & Hogan over Dibiase.
The only heart-breaking part of this is that Savage never gets his proper due until about Wrestlemania 8 in your world. I’m absolutely ok with seeing DiBiase get the run he deserves with all the hard work he put behind his Million Dollar Man character, it’s just unfortunate that Macho winds up on the back seat again.
greaterpower99: Nexus over Team WWE at Summerslam. After taking the beating from Barrett and Young in the final stage of the match, Cena manages a flurry and tags Bryan. Bryan steps in, and flattens him with a roundhouse kick. All three men then finish him off. The Nexus angle was more or less killed off as any sort of serious threat by Supercena, putting them over in that scenario (or something like it) would have given them monster heel heat and kept it going for much longer.
This isn’t just fine fantasy booking, this is EXACTLY how it should have played out. I rarely get excited for pay-per-views any more, but I had a good friend over for this one and we were pretty stoked for what we figured was either a changing of the guard, or a sure-fire Cena heel turn. Then CENAWINSLOL. I am okay with changing this finish of this match to do one of a thousand different things, as long as it leads to the Nexus getting the big win.
Thank you for the quality discussion points today, good stuff from everyone who contributed in the thread – even you Vince Jordan.
Back at it again tomorrow folks, as we kick off my last week of doing the QOTD feature. (For those of you who’ve been waiting for this moment – you can rejoice!) I current work nights, which allows me the free time to do this every single day because no one’s awake at the god awful hours I put this together. However, mirroring my wife’s schedule is gonna make it impossible to run a daily piece.
We’ll address this more next weekend when I wrap this up, but in the meantime, have a great Monday with whatever you’ve got planned.