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Punk main eventing WM... Taker/Rock?

i was reading one your fan-mail q and a's, and you were talking about how Dwayne/Cena 2 was the only logical situation for Wrestlemania 29. However, what if Punk had kept the title 'till Wrestlemania, and defended against two people who weren't Dwayne (or in the case of EC, just won the Chamber match), and went on to defend his title against Cena? Then you could get a definite finale to their matches, and it would be two modern guys rather than one modern guy, and one guy from the 90s who likes to pop up every now and then to have shitty matches.

As for the buyrate, if you must have Dwayne in there why not have him feud with Taker, and put that up as either a co-main event or THE main event? I can't imagine people not wanting to see it, and I'm sure both matches would be pretty well received. Also, there would've been a lot more suspense toward if the streak was actually going to end.

I think these booking decisions would've made WM 29 a lot more tolerable than it ended up being (I was completely bored with the show, minus Punk/Taker). You would end up getting the finale between two guys who've had the most relevant main event feud in recent history, and you would have the buyrate cross promotional bullshit with Dwayne/Taker. IDK, what do you think?

- With hugs, Sebastian

​I just don't see the "Punk headlining Wrestlemania" argument, sorry.  Especially not against Cena, who he'd already had a zillion matches against and didn't draw with.  I love Punk, but there was no dynamic for him where he would fit in as a main event for the show at that point, especially after treating his World title run like a second class citizen for 400 and whatever days.  ​


  1. Even if Punk had kept the belt and defended it on the show, there is no way that it would have main evented unless it was off his opponent's popularity, Punk was a great wrestler and very over with serious wrestling fans, but he had next to no mainstream name value.
    Let's say the top 2 matches are Punk/Cena & Rock/Taker. Which one do you think the casual fan would be more interested I, which would get the most media attention and would therefore deserve to be the main event?
    We say with WM18 what happens when you main event with a title match but have an amazingly popular match as the semi main first.

  2. Two questions: Who is Sebastian, and let's kill him.

  3. If Punk waited, he might have been able to get it next year ironically. Keep Reigns on the boil for another year, have Brock v Punk 2 for the title.
    Otherwise, Wrestlemania 29, have Punk beat Rock at Rumble, beat cena at Elimination chamber, and then have a three way dance at Wrestlemania, where he is eliminated first after 15 minutes and then have Rock/Cena wrestle for the the last 10 mins.

  4. Dammit Hollywood Rock against Taker at WM would have been awesome.

  5. With hugs, I agree.

  6. but who had mainstream name value for WM30? HHH? Orton? New Age Outlaws? WM sells on the WM name. A rematch of Rock/Cena didn't do anymore buys than a typical WM would have. That ship sailed at WM28. In fact while the buys were good, it was a big disappointment to the WWE, who thought Rock/Cena 2 would have added another 200 to 300 thousand buys.

  7. Oh no, no, I meant with a gun or a knife or a dildo.

  8. Mania 28 and 29: there was ZERO room for Punk as main event. He's not bigger than Rock and Cena and never will be. He, however, could have main evented 30 because only an asshole would think Batista/Orton is a good match.

  9. Rock/Cena 2 should never have happened. For 28, you were paying to see who would win. With 29, you were paying literally just to see Cena get his win back. Damn that was a flat end to a bad show.

  10. There's also the risk of Rock/Taker disgracing their previous work by putting on an absolute stinker, since neither guy wrestles frequently anymore and both needed their respective WM opponents to take the lead

  11. He was promised something more important at W30: a win over HHH.

  12. The Women's Flat Track Derby Association would like to have a chat with you concerning you calling derby obscure

  13. No Vince means:

    WWF falls under a Monsoon/Skaaland/Zacko triumvirate, or one of them, after Vince Sr. dies. None of them are going national, and while they might make a move on Hogan, this Hogan would just be another territorial champion at best, and part time movie star.

    Without losing most of his top stars and television, Verne and the AWA are able to keep a steady pace, never threatening to break out (ESPN is unlikely to come calling, and the WWF might actually be their first choice in this world anyway), but never in any real danger of collapse. Wrestlers come, wrestlers go, but the AWA is constant.

    Without Vince's pressure, Crockett never feels the urgent need to expand either. There will be "natural" expansion, especially once he gets onto TBS, but he'll never be able to do what Vince did. His best case is a Southeastern "monopoly", with tendrils along the Mississippi River and into Chicago. But any pushes further west or north will run into established opposition, opposition that has no problems smacking him back into his home base. This MIGHT stop Crockett from going bankrupt and selling to Turner, but I'd call that a 50/50 at best.

    Watts remains a tragic figure, as the oil bust is still going to happen, and the core of Mid-South (never UWF, as he never sees a chance to expand that far) still goes into the tank in the mid-80s. Difference: Crockett and Gagne might get into a bidding war over Mid-South, with interesting consequences...

    Another tragic figure is Fritz and WCCW. The boys' drug problems don't magically disappear with Vince, and neither does Fritz's "small-time" attitude. He still doesn't grow the office/territory with the TV he gets, and has a fairly similar rocket ride both up and back down. He probably outlives Watts, BUT is unlikely to have the ability (or desire) to buy out Mid-South. ALTHOUGH, Verne giving him a little help in order to keep Crockett in check is a possibility... but then what?

    Eventually, there will be a "Big Three/Big Four", between WWF in the Northeast, JCP in the Southeast, AWA in the Midwest/West, and WCCW/Mid-South (Maybe Fritz and Watts merge, but likely not... those two weren't the closest of friends IIRC) in Texas/Southwest. The smaller territories still collapse, just at a somewhat slower pace than reality. The likely holdouts are Jarrett/Lawler in Memphis (as a wildcard, if anything), Graham in Florida (Eddie doesn't commit suicide, and Dusty doesn't get pulled away by a "national" JCP), Owen in the Northwest, and Hart in Stampede.

    What about the 90's promotions? Well, Cornette never sees a chance to open SMW, as the multiple territories still running keeps the talent pool low. However, if Turner never buys JCP, he remains there most likely, possibly moving into booking in his later years. As for ECW? There's always potential, but again the "shallower" talent pool and various territories makes it a hard proposition. His advantage: None of the territories would go into ECW's strengths anyway, and I could see an Eastern Championship Wrestling with some hardcore/cruiserweight hybrid. But no Shane Douglas throwing down the NWA title = no EXTREME World title.

    Do remember, there are ALWAYS possibilities, even if only stumbled upon...

  14. I generally agree with this, except for the Watts part of things. I think talent raids, of Mid-South as well as other territories, really weakened Watts ability to draw. In the period, WWF signed JYD, Jim Duggan, Hercules Hernandez, Kamala, Jake Roberts, and Paul Orndorff. There were others signed by NWA (Magnum TA, Midnights, RnR, Barry Windham), so retention of some of these guys might have allowed for a more compelling product.

    As far as giving them reason to stay around, they might have if the money was there due to TV & expansion. I saw the impact of the oil-bust and, while bad, could have led
    Mid-South to do shows outside of LA/TX/OK/MS and made it more of a
    national brand. Plus, Turner still needed to fill up television on WTBS
    and Watts could definitely make a compelling TV show.

    Without necessity, no WCCW merger is going to happen. Maybe, instead, Turner signs a deal with Mid-South, GCW sells to Watts, and eventually the JCP does as well. If the Von Erich's meet similar demises in this timeline, perhaps Watts buys up their promotion to consolidate Texas.

    AWA has the right connections for a national promotion, but Verne & company didn't seem to be in-touch with their fan base. I think that what's supposedly going on with McMahon looks similar. Eventually

    Pay-per-view expansion happens MUCH more slowly in this timeline than we saw in the 80's. Eventually, someone tries it. If it's Watts, then he probably has trouble at first promoting it but eventually figures it out. If it is Verne, he as a lot of success initially but shits the bed with booking over time. Cable + internet will eventually lead to at least 1 national promotion if not 2 or 3. Wrestling isn't as big as it was during the Attitude Era, but it becomes more resilient with less homogenization of the product.

  15. What VFW parking lot will this meeting be held at?

  16. Without Vince, the WWF stays regional. The top wrestling in the country turns out to be whichever promotion is featured on TBS. More regional territories survive and wrestling is popular across the country, but in a fractured region-by-region manner, at a peak well below the WWF's level of success.

    Then comes The Purge. Not discussed much because the wrestling landscape had changed by then, but there was a huge movement in the early 90's to reduce the amount of violent TV shows. The WWF saw a lot of stations drop their syndicated shows, and both the WWF and WCW were forced to be more family-friendly, cut back on blood, etc. In this world, without the cartoonish example of of the WWF to follow, most wrestling will likely be fairly violent & bloody at this point. And when the world of TV tries to clean itself up, a lot of stations will be pressured to drop their violent wrestling shows, or move them to unfavorable timeslots late at night on weekends. Some companies avoid the axe by becoming tamer, but no one can match the success WWF had with the approach--perhaps save for the wrestling on TBS, which would likely still be airing on Saturday & Sunday mornings and resemble a live-action cartoon.

    By the mid-90's wrestling is seen as an antiquity that had its heyday back in the 70's. It would nearly dead... until the internet comes along to revive it. Somewhat. Online forums would see communities being formed of fans interested in wrestling that differed from the norm. Some group out there would be doing a version of what came to be called hardcore. Japanese & Mexican wrestling would develope followings. And as the internet grew, so would these niche followings.

    As the new millennium dawned, wrestling would be almost totally underground. With wrestling on TBS never hitting the heights it did with WCW it would likely be gone by 2000 as that network evolved. It's doubtful any major cable network would have any wrestling on it. In all likelihood wrestling would probably evolve into some form of shootfighting or MMA. With no WWF to stifle competition, and the internet as a means to promote and flourish, we'd likely see a wide variety of styles--though getting TV exposure would be difficult. Wrestling & MMA would both battle to gain mainstream acceptance, and what would eventually rise to the top would be a version of UFC that drew from both those worlds. Below that we'd see a divergence of indy feds that featured a range of gimmick themes, many drawing on the nostalgia of old southern wrestling; the cartoonish style of the 90's; the hardcore that got phased out as wrestling went mainstream; or the high-flying, fast-paced styles of Japan & Mexico.

    In the end we'd have a wrestling world similar to what we have now, only instead of WWE we'd have a wrestling/MMA hybrid at the top: one that likely never reaches the same level of success wrestling does in the Hulkanania or Attitude Eras; though it might get as big as UFC has.

  17. Without Vince wrestling never reaches the heights in the US it did. Nobody goes national, Mexican lucha wrestling probably becomes much bigger in the US instead with AAA and EMLL being the main wrestling forces in the Western Hemisphere. Eventually the two of them slowly take over the US with bilingual wrestling programs. Japanese wrestling also probably becomes bigger in the US as well, probably during the 90s anime boom and becoming a staple in America as well.

  18. I think WWF doesn't exist by 1990. In fact, it's entirely possible it dies with McMahon Sr in 1984. When owners of companies/sports franchises die and the family is not emotionally invested in the business any longer, the family usually sells it relatively quickly. Without Vince Jr there's no reason to believe what's left of the McMahon family would have kept the business going.

    So I'd say between '85-'90, WWF is sold to Crockett. It's a natural extension of the Mid-Atlantic Territory, and Crockett had an eye for expansion.

    Crockett probably squanders this much in the same way he did the UWF where he just runs his NWA guys over the WWF's top stars killing any momentum.

    So the question becomes does Crockett sell out to Turner or does Crockett survive to become the new figurehead of wrestling. It sounds like Crockett wasn't the sharpest businessman in terms of how he ran his territory, so I'd say he probably still runs into the same money problems, and Turner still comes calling, looking for programming, and buys Crockett out which starts the Ted Turner WCW era.

    I think territory wrestling dies a quick death because of WCW's national presence having more or less the same effect Vince Jr's national push had.

    One tangible change as a result of this is because WCW is the top dog as opposed to #2, I don't think it hemorrhages money as badly as it did in the beginning of its existence and as a result you don't get the run of WCW Presidents that eventually ended with Eric Bischoff cementing himself. You also don't have the influence of Vince Jr and his push to market wrestling to children and teenagers.

    So what you probably end up with is a product that doesn't quite evolve and as a result never connects on the same level as it did with Vince Jr in the 80s. I also don't think it achieves nearly the level of popularity it did in the Northeast specifically. So the audience probably starts a slow fade as WCW enters the 90s. Turner probably dumps it after years of diminishing returns (there's no Bischoff, nWo, Attitude Era to pull the company out a tailspin), and the promotion probably changes hands and leadership many times as the audience continues to disappear as the 90s come to close.

    Eventually, I think it's purchased by some Christian broadcasting company who purchases it to clean it up and use the medium to tell biblically themes good vs. evil stories on their network on Saturday mornings as 'wholesome and spirtually invigorating' programming for the children.

    And that's what wrestling becomes. A kind of heartlandy, regional, quasi-religiously themed product.

    I don't think the Early 80s NWA style survives into the 90s, I don't think anyone quite had the vision Vince Jr did in terms of evolving wrestling into a kids themed product, and I don't think there's a big desire in the country for pro wrestling as we enter the 90s with ESPN, sports on every day, etc.

    I really think it's pretty much dead without Vince Jr.

  19. On Watts, maybe okay without the talent raids but as kbjone noted, the oil crush of 1987 was always going to be a mortal blow, his loyal audience too busy keeping their homes to care about wrestling so he'd probably have gone under anyhow.

  20. Ain't nobody care what no flat women got to say about it anyhow

  21. Love him or hate him, you can't deny, with Vince, the wrestling world we know today wouldn't exist, never the really heights of mainstream popularity and such and maybe not that great anyhow.

  22. Have to agree on World Class, no matter what else, Fritz's turning a blind eye to the rampant drug use and pushing his sons (Mike should NEVER have been allowed near wrestling again after his near death, the guy was clearly broken inside) would have ended him anyway.

  23. I don't think it's mortal if he expands around 1986. I agree that, if Mid-South stays where they are, they are screwed. I was in Houston at the time, and things were really bad. That said, even diversifying to take over Georgia will give him access a big market with different economic drivers.

  24. In this new alternate timeline, Eric Bischoff rises up to lead the mom 'n pop WWF against the evil NWA conglomerate, who has now bought out the territories and conquered the U.S. wrestling market with Ted Turner's backing. Tony Atlas, however, is the only person who knows of our reality, and he implores Bischoff to help him correct the timeline by sending a team of WWF superstars back to 1981 to prevent the assassination from happening. In an ironic twist, it turns out that our reality, where Vince survives and becomes the 'king' of professional wrestling, is actually the real Age of Apocalypse.

  25. The Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Centre

  26. Not enough reverse chokeslams on antelopes into snowbanks.

    And if you get this reference, you are probably old. Like me.

  27. At a gig, so I can't comment extensively, but this is an awesome topic and some great replies. Looking forward to reading more later!

  28. This was really well thought out and intriguing. Kudos to you and good day sir

  29. "And that's what wrestling becomes. A kind of heartlandy, regional, quasi-religiously themed product."

    which btw also at least leaves a little potential for some sort of "backlash" like ECW was to "cartoon wrestling".

  30. how strange (from todays perspective) does AAA and NJPW (for example) competing to be the biggest wrestling promotion sound?

  31. Yeah, it's possible, but I wonder if people would really care enough in that alternate universe. If you really think about it, wrestling was an adult thing. Sure, kids watched it in the 70s and early 80s NWA, but it wasn't really kids programming in the sense that WWF was.

    Vince raised an entire generation of kids on his flashy 'sports entertainers' in the 80s. I don't know that those people ever become wrestling fans without him

    And then those kids grew up and and realized how cheezy the WWF stuff became in the 90s and rejected it and it was desperation more than anything that forced Vince into the Attitude era to turn all those people he lost back on to the product.

    So without those people being created by Vince in the first place, I don't know how big of an alternative there would really be, just because I think there are lot less wrestling fans in general, and specifically kids from the 80s who turned it on and never turned it off, carrying it through their adult life to today.

    I assume most of the ECW fans in the 90s were originally fans of WWF and the NWA in the 80s and became disenchanted as they got older and those products became more about selling merch to children and it spun out of that.

  32. So I took a shot at skimming through that alt-history WWF site, and it reads better than I expected (though I wouldn't quite call it plausible). TL;DR details:

    * The "booking" works around real-life details, so Hall, Nash et al still leave the company when they do, Owen and Eddie still die, and Benoit is still Benoit. But in the latter cases, they are written out of the stories with farewell moments before their respective deaths.
    * One of the overarching stories involved here is a multi-generational Harts/Kliq feud. In this universe, the Bulldogs and Bret/Anvil form the original heel Foundation with Dynamite at the helm. The Clique, as it's known here, becomes a proto-NWO. Over time, Benoit, Jericho, Storm, the Hardys, Edge & Christian, and Miz & Morrison become part of this story, and the younger guys become much bigger players as a result. (For example, this world's WM24 closes with Matt/Edge Hell In A Cell to pay off the feud over Lita.)
    * As a result of that story, Dynamite, Owen, and Jericho also become much bigger stars. Hunter still marries Steph, but doesn't become the overbearing force we know in the real world. Similarly, Hogan and the Rock end up more like special attractions; the Streak never happens, while Rey-Rey becomes the go-to WM guy.
    * There's no Royal Rumble, as we know it, though the January PPV is still referred to by that name in the story for the sake of the readers.
    * Not only is Vince more into workrate in this story, but he and Linda become ridiculously conscientious in their politics.
    * Punk never gets the 434-day reign, but he does spearhead what we know as WWECW, recast in this world as an ROH analogue. The NWA remains the NWA until being acquired by Vince in 2001, and ECW is also folded into the story.
    * One idea I did like: In this world's Montreal, it's Owen who sends Bret packing in a Loser Leaves Town Fatal 4-way. That stip is then referred to as a Montreal Match. The most recent post sets up "Rumble" 2014 as Punk/Danielson/Lesnar/Swagger under those rules.


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