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1 hour ago, The Great ML said:

I still contend that if you weren't going to keep the belt on Bret, Razor should have had Luger's push.

Honestly, that's one of the pluses for the Yoko reign...there was no SUREFIRE replacement for Hogan, but a lot of "okay" replacements where you could at least get one big match out of it. Bret having a rematch was valid, Razor was a white hot face turn, Tatanka's undefeated streak was there, Perfect was catching fire as a face, Savage was still wrestling in 1993- heck, you could even take a flier on guys like Crush or the 1-2-3 Kid and get at least a fun Raw main event out of it. 

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In hindsight, Luger winning the Rumble in 93, going on to face Bret at Mania (with or without Hogan shit..which probably works better with him putting Luger over on the way out).

Either Bret retaining and then dropping to Yoko at Summerslam who beats Savage or Hennig at Mania, or Luger feuding with Hennig or Tatanka through the summer works better I think.

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Wait, wasn't Crush failing to beat Yoko what led to his heel turn and feud with Savage?

James

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1 hour ago, J.H. said:

Wait, wasn't Crush failing to beat Yoko what led to his heel turn and feud with Savage?

James

If I remember correctly, it was because Yoko hit Crush with four banzai drops and Savage didn't save him until after the fourth one, but since Savage was a commentator, he wasn't allowed to get involved in matches.

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What if, when Vince first went national in 1984, the USA Network gave him a weekly 3 hour live show every Monday night? And said no to endless squash matches, give the people competitive matches between featured stars every week?

Other than their boast about being the longest running weekly episodic Sports Entertainment interactive media presentation on television being slightly more impressive, I mean. Does the increased exposure lead to some guys who were superstars then (and legends now) instead having less mystique and instead considered boring and overexposed? And are there guys who kind of sunk into the pack at the time, that would have flourished more on the strength of being able to show what great matches they could have on a week in week out basis?

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1 hour ago, AxB said:

What if, when Vince first went national in 1984, the USA Network gave him a weekly 3 hour live show every Monday night? And said no to endless squash matches, give the people competitive matches between featured stars every week?

Other than their boast about being the longest running weekly episodic Sports Entertainment interactive media presentation on television being slightly more impressive, I mean. Does the increased exposure lead to some guys who were superstars then (and legends now) instead having less mystique and instead considered boring and overexposed? And are there guys who kind of sunk into the pack at the time, that would have flourished more on the strength of being able to show what great matches they could have on a week in week out basis?

This is a great hypothetical.

In my opinion, and trying to summarize my answer as much as possible, running a promotion during the pre-cable era was based on live shows being the cash cow. Later, even as PPV dollars supplemented arena tickets sales, the model was "don't give away the big matches on TV". It seemed to worked, as it always had. Stick with what works was the motto, innovation was not a virtue to the people who were putting up the money (i.e. the promoters) Just as the earlier (pre-TV) business model of wrestling was based on boxing, when a new medium came along the business and business model adapted. Mr. McMahon's genius was in capitalizing on this modern media landscape (inspired, aided and abetted by folks like Jim Barnett, Joseph Cohen, Dick Ebersol, even Pat Patterson and Ted Turner) and radically changing the old rassling promoting style (not necessarily the in-ring stuff) to benefit from these new money streams.

The heart of your inquiry: some workers were best displayed in the old (squash-heavy) format, but no one would have lasted long if they couldn't deliver live. Certainly the most talented folks could have thrived in either era - working is working - and there are probably a few "top" guys now that wouldn't have gotten over as well back then. It is about the presentation of the product and the style of the TV shows more than the actual wrestlers. The emphasis these days is about the actual in-ring product and less about the "working"/hype/kay fabe. I hate to maybe misuse an analogy, but if we take movies as a comparison, it is less about the story and cinematography these days and more about the acting and dialogue.

I will mention that the wrestling style of today (and the schedule, travel, etc.) is not as conducive to a long term career. The more working, the less strain on the body. But of course, why would management care about that? These are independent contractors, after all...

- RAF

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What I was thinking was, a lot of Hogan's mystique came from the fact that he didn't wrestle on free TV. He'd do his promos (which would be a couple of minutes long at most) and hype things up, but if you wanted to see him in the ring, you had to buy a ticket (and his house show matches were usually short squashes) or a PPV.

Now take 1985 Hulk Hogan and have him cut a twenty minute in ring promo at the start of the show every week, and then wrestle a 20 minute match in the main event. There's every chance he'd be about as popular as Seth Rollins is today.

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On 11/15/2019 at 4:35 PM, AxB said:

What if, when Vince first went national in 1984, the USA Network gave him a weekly 3 hour live show every Monday night? And said no to endless squash matches, give the people competitive matches between featured stars every week?

Other than their boast about being the longest running weekly episodic Sports Entertainment interactive media presentation on television being slightly more impressive, I mean. Does the increased exposure lead to some guys who were superstars then (and legends now) instead having less mystique and instead considered boring and overexposed? And are there guys who kind of sunk into the pack at the time, that would have flourished more on the strength of being able to show what great matches they could have on a week in week out basis?

USA Network would run house shows from MSG, Cap Center and the Spectrum in 1983 and 1984 so what you’re “What If’ing” kind of happened, sure you’d get over 10 minutes of SD Jones vs. Tiger Chung Lee but you’d also get stuff like the Sgt. Slaughter - Iron Sheik Boot Camp Match. 

The WWF was pretty overexposed in 1984 & 1985, they had All-Star Wrestling and Championship Wrestling in syndication, All-American Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, House Shows(1984), and Prime Time Wrestling(1985) on USA and World Championship Wrestling on WTBS. If you had access to MSG Network, Prism or NESN you could watch house shows from MSG, the Spectrum and Boston Garden.  

Edited by happjack

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On 11/17/2019 at 9:28 PM, happjack said:

The WWF was pretty overexposed in 1984 & 1985, they had All-Star Wrestling and Championship Wrestling in syndication, All-American Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, House Shows(1984), and Prime Time Wrestling(1985) on USA and World Championship Wrestling on WTBS. If you had access to MSG Network, Prism or NESN you could watch house shows from MSG, the Spectrum and Boston Garden.  

But remember that, in many areas, you didn't have access to all of those shows.  So, it's not like today's overexposure.  Also, many of those shows were of little to no consequence.  You could miss them, and not really be missing anything.  

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4 hours ago, Log said:

 Also, many of those shows were of little to no consequence.  You could miss them, and not really be missing anything.  

No different to today. 

At least the shows back then sometimes featured new wrestlers coming into the WWF. And the angles at least were memorable.

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On 11/19/2019 at 11:14 AM, Log said:

But remember that, in many areas, you didn't have access to all of those shows.  So, it's not like today's overexposure.  Also, many of those shows were of little to no consequence.  You could miss them, and not really be missing anything.  

If you had cable or a big dish you most likely had access to the USA and WTBS shows along with both syndicated shows from your local stations, if you didn't have cable and lived in a decent sized market you got both syndicated shows. The WWF was really overexposed if you had cable or a dish but the percentage of homes with cable in 1984 is still kind of low but growing every month. The WWE pushed myth that cable was the driving force of expansion is bit of revision on their part, syndication is the biggest factor tv wise when it came to the national expansion. 

 

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On 11/19/2019 at 3:59 PM, Happ Hazzard said:

No different to today. 

At least the shows back then sometimes featured new wrestlers coming into the WWF. And the angles at least were memorable.

It was a little different to today, because at least in modern times, you get new product. Yeah, it might be "PPV match between Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin, then a rematch of the PPV match on Smackdown, then the week after they're on opposite sides in a tag match with another PPV match, then another Roman/Corbin match"...but at least all four of those matches were different matches.

By contrast, Black Saturday's whole problem (and the related What If? of "what if Vince actually gave Turner a studio show in Atlanta?") was that most of the shows back then were just "make one TV taping, mix up the order of the matches a bit, put different commentators on, then sell it to every different network." 

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What if:

The Bulldogs and the Hart Foundation go the NWA instead of the WWF in 84/85, and the Rock n' Roll Express and the Midnight Express go to the WWF instead of the NWA at the same time? 

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1 minute ago, Happ Hazzard said:

What if:

The Bulldogs and the Hart Foundation go the NWA instead of the WWF in 84/85, and the Rock n' Roll Express and the Midnight Express go to the WWF instead of the NWA at the same time? 

It would have been a lot more believable for the Bulldogs / Hart Foundation to be going up against The Road Warriors than either Express. 

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The Midnight Rockers would have been called the Bulldog Foundation.

In all seriousness, both teams might have remained as teams for slightly longer, Harts vs Andersons would be remembered as the greatest tag feud in history, and (if Dynamite's back holds up a bit longer) Liger vs Dynamite rather than vs Pillman would be the feud that defined Liger in America. Decent trade off for Bulldogs vs Malenkos not happening.

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The Rock N Roll Express would've been heavily pushed in the Rock N Wrestling Era. The Midnight Express would probably be managed by Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation would probably be managed by Jim Cornette. Would've loved to see Flair vs Dynamite in the mid 80s.

Midnight Rockers probably join the NWA because the WWF has the originals. WCW has Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart going into the 1990s but still finds a way to self implode by 2001.

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Also, Ricky and Robert get on the gas at some point.

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Most likely Vince splits the Rock n Rolls at some point and Ricky Morton gets Bret's IC title run, at least. Maybe he gets Bret's first World Title run as well

 

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31 minutes ago, Log said:

Also, Ricky and Robert get on the gas at some point.

And judging by history- sadly both probably be dead.

It wasnt just the gas - but the WWF ring was a hell of a lot harder to bump on than the NWA. Arn in his podcast went ar length about that. So I'd imagine that Ricky & Robert with their small stature and bumping like mad would have been popping more pain meds than anyone.

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Oddly, blade jobs may have arguably less damaging to long term health than the steroids.

Juice > the Juice 

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37 minutes ago, olythegreat89 said:

The Rock N Roll Express would've been heavily pushed in the Rock N Wrestling Era. The Midnight Express would probably be managed by Jimmy Hart and the Hart Foundation would probably be managed by Jim Cornette. Would've loved to see Flair vs Dynamite in the mid 80s.

Cornette and the Midnights were a unit in Mid-South and  World Class before they went to the NWA so I imagine they'd have gone to the WWF together. The Hart Foundation would have needed a manager in the NWA though. 

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Just now, Happ Hazzard said:

Cornette and the Midnights were a unit in Mid-South and  World Class before they went to the NWA so I imagine they'd have gone to the WWF together. The Hart Foundation would have needed a manager in the NWA though. 

Gary Hart Presents...

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If the Midnights are in the WWF in 1987 and Dennis bails, who replaces him?

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4 minutes ago, Happ Hazzard said:

If the Midnights are in the WWF in 1987 and Dennis bails, who replaces him?

Paul Diamond, obviously. 😉

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