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IIRC, the Higher Power was supposed to be Mankind (who would have fit very well), but someone (whether it's Foley himself not wanting to turn heel, the WWF not wanting to turn him heel after the fans believed in him as a hero, or his book company wanting a "good guy" to be the first WWF autobiography) nixed that heel turn.

 

If it did happen- things would have been FAR more intriguing:

 

Considering the stories of the end of Punk's run (where he apparently was disheartened he'd never overtake Cena and was demanding that he turn heel so at least he could be THE heel in WWE), upon reflection, Foley's career could have been far better if it went that way (the final full-time year of Foley's career has him being a red-hot heel and truly equal to Austin and Rock when all the eyes are on WWF, instead of a step or two behind them, plus giving Foley that one relatively long World Title reign he never had)...

 

...and Triple H's career would have ended up far worse (if Foley's the Higher Power, then it stands to reason that 1999 is all about Mick Foley as the biggest heel in WWF, to the end of his career at Wrestlemania 2000. Combine that with Triple H being a Corporation member who was feuding with the broken up DX at the time- and whether the Corporate Ministry forms or doesn't form without Vince McMahon in charge, it's still a far lower spot than HHH had at the same point. Combine it with the time exactly coinciding, and as a result, Mankind's last big heel run basically eliminates that 1999-2000 time period where Triple H went to a higher level and became the premiere heel in the WWF...which, for Triple H fans, also happened to be the time when Triple H was a bonafide main event-caliber star talent, but was NOT involved with Stephanie McMahon, which means that if it occurred, it's safe to say every single World Title reign Triple H would get would have come after he started dating Stephanie- making him indefensible as a portrait of nepotism instead of a deserving champion.)

 

End result: Mick Foley ends up every bit the legend as The Rock and Steve Austin were, and Triple H is an absolute laughingstock. 

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I think the insistence that HHH be a top heel would've cut the legs from under whoever the Higher Power would've been. Remember that the WWF was gung-ho on pushing Triple H in 1999 and they probably weren't going to abandon that push.

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While the whole storyline you guys laid out with Raven as the Higher Power sounds great on paper, I think the reveal itself would have been a letdown for a lot of people. Sure, he was a (the?) top heel in ECW, but I'm not sure how much of the 1999 WWF fanbase even knew that. Also, Raven was sorta floundering in WCW's midcard around that time which was probably where most people would recognize him and thus, I'm not sure a lot of the fanbase would have bought Raven as someone powerful enough to give orders to Undertaker.

 

I think the only way that would have worked was if they did what Russo and Ferrara did when they first got to WCW and have them giving orders while never being seen on TV. If the WWF did a few months of Raven giving orders to the Ministry, it might have been more believable that he was the Higher Power since he could have gotten over on his promo ability. Everyone would have known it was Raven and the hype for the reveal wouldn't have been as strong as the build for the real Higher Power, but it could have worked better long term.

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I still remember all the old newzboards being certain it was Mike Tyson.

 

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Shawn Michaels as the 3rd or 4th member of the nWo would have been amazing (either an amazing coup for WCW, or an amazing train wreck.  Not sure which.)

 

So many fascinating possibilities:

 

-- Does the nWo angle become even hotter or does it burn itself out quicker? (I'd guess it does even better business)

-- Do you still turn Hogan?  (Probably.  They were willing to turn him because his babyface act was getting tepid crowd responses by that point)

-- Who wins the backstage power struggle?  Can the Kliq and Hogan co-exist backstage?

-- If they can't, is Hogan expendable?  Does he try to go back to Vince?

-- What becomes of Shawn if he doesn't suffer the injury in '98 and retire?  He's said the injury led him to getting clean and being born again.  Does he give up the drugs in WCW?  (Probably not)

-- For that matter, does he wrestle at a high level in WCW?  Or does WCW sign another Davey Boy Smith (drugged out shell of himself)

-- What about Sting?  Do you still go the Crow Sting route?  (probably.  That had at least as little with Sting working more dates than his contract called for and WCW wanting to cut down his appearances to save some money)

 

I wish this had happened.  After Hogan came in, WCW kinda transitioned away from the workrate promotion they were in the early 90's, but there were would have been a lot of fresh matchups.  HBK vs. babyface Flair would probably have been amazing.   Surfer Sting vs, mid-90's heel HBK is one of my personal dream matches.  And, if you still turn Hogan into Hollywood Hogan, you do heel Hollywood vs. face HBK somewhere down the line.

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I think WCW still does the Hogan heel turn, probably in the same or similar manner. Maybe Shawn's the 3rd man at the Bash and then Hogan returns in September and turns on WCW like The Giant did. Or maybe they still have Hogan as the 3rd man at the Bash and then the three guys spend the next month+ hyping a 4th man and it turns out to be Shawn instead of Giant arbitrarily turning on WCW and becoming the 4th man.

 

I think the angle would have been hotter but for political reasons would have fizzled faster. Hogan would still be the center piece and I don't think Shawn would have enjoyed being in the Arn Anderson role for very long. It also would have diminished Hall and Nash a bit which probably wouldn't have sat well with them.

 

Fun fantasy booking: Hogan's still the 3rd man at the Bash. nWo spends the next month+ hyping a 4th man for War Games which will shock the world. WCW suspects it's Sting. They still do the Fake Sting thing which leads to Sting evolving into Crow Sting. However, after real Sting cleans house and leaves... that's when Shawn walks out with an nWo shirt and is the actual 4th man. The nWo used the Fake Sting thing as a way to knock WCW in the meantime.

 

I would keep the nWo to just those four guys until Waltman was available. Don't water it down with anyone else. I love Ted DiBiase as much as the next guy but he didn't really do much as an nWo member (not his fault, there were just so many people). And there was no use for Virgil. The only guy I'd probably add is Bischoff since he really was an awesome heel and the nWo having the WCW h\ead on their side was a neat twist.

 

Sting is teased as being an nWo member like in real life, but joins WCW for good at Uncensored. They do Sting/Hogan at Great American Bash instead of Starrcade. Hogan loses a ridiculously overbooked match where HBK, Waltman, Hall and Nash all interfere but Sting still wins. Hogan blames the rest of the nWo for his loss and recruits three more of his own guys and kicks them out. Kliq turns face, nWo stays heel and you do a Kliq/nWo feud. Kliq vs. nWo at War Games. Hogan/HBK at Starrcade and I'd start to phase Hogan out after that. Politics would probably prevent it but oh well.

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The question about how hard Shawn decides to work is intriguing.  Does his ego make him try to outwork the luchadors?  Or does the money make him get (relatively) lazy and fat like '93 Shawn?

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If Shawn was revealed as the third member of the nWo and not Hogan the nWo slowly but surely becomes just a bunch of guys maing gay jokes for 20 minutes to start Nitro every Monday.

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If Shawn's the third man, the impact is probably largely irrelevant given that its quite possibly the final nail in the WWF coffin.

 

Who was around that Shawn would have been willing to drop the title to? Probably not Vader. Had things escalated with Bret to the point where he wouldn't have done the job for him had he come back? Does he do a Hogan Summerslam like job in putting over Ahmed, Warrior or Sid in a few seconds?

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Well Shawn was feuding with Davey Boy for May and June of '96 before starting his feud with Vader, so I think the timing of when he could leave would have determined who and when he'd drop the title. Vader would probably make the most sense from a WWF perspective, although Sid wouldn't surprise me since he and Shawn worked a lot together.

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If Shawn's the third man, the impact is probably largely irrelevant given that its quite possibly the final nail in the WWF coffin.

 

Who was around that Shawn would have been willing to drop the title to? Probably not Vader. Had things escalated with Bret to the point where he wouldn't have done the job for him had he come back? Does he do a Hogan Summerslam like job in putting over Ahmed, Warrior or Sid in a few seconds?

 

Ron Simmons or Taker. 

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Would have been awesome if Vince had only just gotten around to seeing Rocky 4 in 1996, and decided to try and make Faarooq into Apollo Creed, if only for the mental image of Faarooq making the Living In America entrance complete with Nerf helmet.

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What if Ric Flair had gone along with the Spartacus gimmick?

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What if Shockmaster doesn't trip and fall and they go forward with him as a serious wrestler high on the card?

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They still let him get the win in that War Games match it was building to. That totally boggles my mind.

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They still let him get the win in that War Games match it was building to. That totally boggles my mind.

Well Dusty was still booking right?

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I'm still confused as to how Shockmaster went from guy in a sparkly storm trooper mask to big and bulky...yet loveable construction worker.

 

Okay another what if that just came to my mind.

 

For most of 1998, Shane Douglas was out with a broken arm yet still was ECW World Champion. What if Douglas was stipped of the title and they built it up a World Title Tournament with the winners facing at Heatwave 98. In essance we still get Taz vs. Bam Bam, but instead it's for the ECW World Title. Would it have mattered if Taz won the ECW Championship seven months earlier than he did (he won it in January 99).

 

They could have at least built up that eventual Sabu/Taz third match that was the "unification" between the ECW and FTW Title's as huge World Title match rather than something that seemed run of a the mill even with the angle of Taz trying to break Sabu's neck.

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Not only a more meaningful Taz/Sabu match, but when Shane was healthy and ready to return, he could do the ol', "I'm the REAL World Champion. I was never beaten for the title." And that would have been a better angle heading into Taz/Shane Douglas.

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So was reading the lolTNA wiki and a What if from there is..What if Paul Haymen had taken over TNA around Hard Justice 2010. Heres the part from lolTNA:

 

Paul Heyman was in talks with TNA to join the company. However, he wanted full control of the company aspects, and wanted to get rid of all the veterans aside from one guy to stand out (if you're over 40 I'll rip your fucking head off) while building a younger, talented roster. Spike TV were fine with it, TNA was fine with it, but Dixie Carter was not due to her loyalty to these veterans as well as people who would be fired such as Vince Russo. The deal fell apart and TNA continued to go backwards instead of forwards.

  • Heyman later let slip that he would've tried to steal Daniel Bryan Danielson away from WWE after Tiegate happened and build him up as an unstoppable submission machine for an eventual match with Kurt Angle. Your inner mark is now weeping for what might've been.

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Did Heyman himself ever actually confirm that? I know I heard Gabe Sapolsky say that he had heard from Paul that was the plan. I'm sure Gabe's telling the truth, I'm just curious if Paul ever commented on his plan(s).

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The "build with younger guys" bit is intiguing.  My kneejerk reaction is that it wouldn't work.  But.....  one of my favorite booking jobs ever is 2006-ish Ohio Valley Wrestling, which was booked by Heyman for a year.  Heyman made a lot of guys look like future stars, and only one or two ever really got over after being called up to the main roster (Punk and Beth Phoenix).  You can make a case for a few other guys, like Idol Stevens (who is currently on the main roster under the name "Damien Sandow"), but developmental was petty thin compared to Cornette's run a couple years earlier.  Heyman pushed guys like Brent Albright. Johnny Jeter, and Matt Cappotelli heavily and made them look like big deals, only to see their careers flame out when they were later called up to the main roster.

 

Here's a minor one: does Matt Cappotelli find any success iin the WWE if he doesn't get diagnosed with the brain tumor?  He looked like a star under Heyman's booking, but so did Johnny Jeter and Paul Burchill.

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Maybe if he debuted right around the time Heyman was booking Smackdown, and even then he wouldn't be a singles guy. I could see him and Morrison as an underdog face tag-team on Smackdown, but I don't think he becomes a singles star.

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I doubt he'd make it to the main roster, but he probably would've had a decent run in TNA.

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