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4 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

I don't think Mr. McMahon would have started his master plan without Hogan - he would have had to wait The longer he waited, the longer some other territory would see the potential of nationwide cable and later PPV.

I'm with you, I don't think Vince would've tried to go national without Hogan. Someone brought up Kerry Von Erich and I think that would be a great option BUT I'm not sure his father would have him leave the territory right as WCCW is about to reach their peak.

What is Verne smartened up and actually gave Hogan the title? Hulkamania runs wild in 84 in the AWA. Heenan stays with his stable of guys and Bockwinkel can take a young Curt Hennig under his wing and teach him how to be a true heel champion. Mean Gene and Lord Alfred Hayes stays. The Road Warriors come into the AWA around that same period of time. The wrestling landscape would be totally different.

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Posted (edited)

I still think the WWF manages to go national in such a scenario- maybe with Savage as their ace?

I think the AWA lasts longer- Bischoff never goes South. 

Memphis and World Class might become ECW-esque lands of misfit toys.

 

Edited by alstein

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Curt Hennig only start wrestling a year after Hogan, didn't he? He was good-looking, had charisma, wasn't Southern...

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1 hour ago, olythegreat89 said:

I'm with you, I don't think Vince would've tried to go national without Hogan. Someone brought up Kerry Von Erich and I think that would be a great option BUT I'm not sure his father would have him leave the territory right as WCCW is about to reach their peak.

What is Verne smartened up and actually gave Hogan the title? Hulkamania runs wild in 84 in the AWA. Heenan stays with his stable of guys and Bockwinkel can take a young Curt Hennig under his wing and teach him how to be a true heel champion. Mean Gene and Lord Alfred Hayes stays. The Road Warriors come into the AWA around that same period of time. The wrestling landscape would be totally different.

Vince started the expansion long before he had Hogan locked up, he started running in Los Angeles in the spring of 1983 and Cincinnati/Dayton in the fall of 1983. Without Hogan it's doubtful Vince is able to throw money around to the TV stations in stronger territories like the AWA, but he could have easily taken over "dead" territories like Detroit or ones with a lot of infighting between the ownership groups like St. Louis and Atlanta. Also Crockett would still lose interest in booking talent to Southern Ontario and Vince would have still jumped at the chance to get a foothold up there.

I can't see Fritz getting in Kerry's way if Vince offers up a run with the WWF belt, even without the expansion the top spot in New York is a license to print money and with Vince's plans even Fritz would see that it's something that can't be turned down.

It wasn't just Verne not wanting to give the AWA belt to Hogan there was the issue of Hogan actually wanting it and the politics of Japan since Verne was hooked up with All-Japan and Hogan with New Japan. Hogan was going to end up back in the WWF at some point, he was too much of a star for the McMahon's to pass on and there was too much money for Hogan to pass up with to without the expansion. 

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1 hour ago, kafkonia said:

Curt Hennig only start wrestling a year after Hogan, didn't he? He was good-looking, had charisma, wasn't Southern...

Henning along with Eddie Gilbert were fuzzy cheeked rookies under the watchful eye of Bob Backlund in 1982 and part of 1983, the fans would never buy Hennig as champ or even a mid-carder in 1984 and he hadn't found his charisma yet.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, happjack said:

Vince started the expansion long before he had Hogan locked up, he started running in Los Angeles in the spring of 1983 and Cincinnati/Dayton in the fall of 1983. Without Hogan it's doubtful Vince is able to throw money around to the TV stations in stronger territories like the AWA, but he could have easily taken over "dead" territories like Detroit or ones with a lot of infighting between the ownership groups like St. Louis and Atlanta. Also Crockett would still lose interest in booking talent to Southern Ontario and Vince would have still jumped at the chance to get a foothold up there.

I can't see Fritz getting in Kerry's way if Vince offers up a run with the WWF belt, even without the expansion the top spot in New York is a license to print money and with Vince's plans even Fritz would see that it's something that can't be turned down.

It wasn't just Verne not wanting to give the AWA belt to Hogan there was the issue of Hogan actually wanting it and the politics of Japan since Verne was hooked up with All-Japan and Hogan with New Japan. Hogan was going to end up back in the WWF at some point, he was too much of a star for the McMahon's to pass on and there was too much money for Hogan to pass up with to without the expansion. 

Good points, but Spring '83 is not too far away from December 1983 to imagine a verbal agreement or negotiations to be taking place around then.  I can also surmise a Vince McMahon not wanting a second generation worker, one without a cagey vet dad who has been around the office politics (Fritz, Larry). By this reasoning that would "eliminate" Savage as well as Ted DiBiase, another hungry youth (who had WWWF  experience). VKM had experience with HHogan - maybe he had the VJM stamp of approval? He did name him...

- RAF

Edited by thee Reverend Axl Future

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Looks like Hogan was the right man at the right place at the right time. 

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I'm gonna throw Rick Steamboat's name into the hat.

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13 minutes ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

Good points, but Spring '83 is not too far away from December 1983 to imagine a verbal agreement or negotiations to be taking place around then.  I can also surmise a Vince McMahon not wanting a second generation worker, one without a cagey vet dad who has been around the office politics (Fritz, Larry). By this reasoning that would "eliminate" Savage as well as Ted DiBiase, another hungry youth (who had WWWF  experience). VKM had experience with HHogan - maybe he had the VJM stamp of approval? He did name him...

- RAF

Yes Vince Sr. named him since he wanted someone with an Irish name on the roster plus the names Terry Bollea used prior to Hulk Hogan were all kind of goofy. 

I don't think anyone being a second generation wrestler would have been an issue if Hogan wasn't available, what kind of office politics would someone like Fritz be able to pull off? It's the McMahon's company and Sr's capos(Moonson, Skaaland and Zacko) weren't going to give an outsider like Fritz the time of day. Remember that Vince was trying to make a deal with World Class until 1987 and he always treated the Von Erich's with a respect, he knew Kerry pre motorcycle accident was a license to print money and would have no issue with Fritz showing up once and awhile.

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When VJM renamed his heel challengers he almost always went with Irish names, go figure. 

I was thinking that a second generation guy would know his value more and be a savvier negotiator with more leverage, at least at first. We all see what a master of politicking that Mr. Hogan became....

When did Zacko retire? How close to expansion?

- RAF

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4 hours ago, olythegreat89 said:

What is Verne smartened up and actually gave Hogan the title? Hulkamania runs wild in 84 in the AWA. Heenan stays with his stable of guys and Bockwinkel can take a young Curt Hennig under his wing and teach him how to be a true heel champion. Mean Gene and Lord Alfred Hayes stays. The Road Warriors come into the AWA around that same period of time. The wrestling landscape would be totally different.

Honestly, even that seems like a non-starter. Vince was throwing money around, had the biggest cities in his grasp, and even if someone else got Los Angeles before Vince did (which happened before Hogan was in the picture), Vince would have STILL been in the driver's seat for a national expansion solely because it was the WWF (in addition to New York, the Northeast had three other cities- Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington- that would have been able to be major national territories on them alone...and even just by arenas open in the 1980s, they would still have five other cities which all had big enough arenas that they could likely support a territory in most other parts of the country.

Likewise, in 1983-84, Hogan was just too big a star to stay in the AWA and would have inevitably looked for greener pastures. The second Rocky III came out, nothing Verne Gagne could do was going to keep him in Minneapolis. WWF could offer him New York and Los Angeles for mainstream superstardom in movies, TV, the works. All the AWA could do locally to make Hogan a crossover superstar is...uh...maybe if Verne Gagne knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy, there'd be a chance Gagne could see if Prince needed another session bassist for some of his proteges' albums?  Throw that in place, and then there's the Japan problem as well: AWA had All Japan, Hogan had New Japan and that was a problem...and at the time, WWF had a small relationship with New Japan.

Throw those in place, and it seems pretty clear- WWF and Hulk Hogan coming together was inevitable, and anything done by AWA to stop it would have invariably just given the AWA an extra couple months of Hogan before Hogan went there.

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1 hour ago, SorceressKnight said:

Honestly, even that seems like a non-starter. Vince was throwing money around, had the biggest cities in his grasp, and even if someone else got Los Angeles before Vince did (which happened before Hogan was in the picture), Vince would have STILL been in the driver's seat for a national expansion solely because it was the WWF (in addition to New York, the Northeast had three other cities- Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington- that would have been able to be major national territories on them alone...and even just by arenas open in the 1980s, they would still have five other cities which all had big enough arenas that they could likely support a territory in most other parts of the country.

Yeah Vince had a leg up on everyone else with all the cities he already had control of along with the open cities he was able to slide into before the end of 1983. Pre-expansion they had NYC, Philly, Boston, DC, Baltimore and Pittsburgh along places like Hartford and Nassau County plus all of the towns across the Northeast they ran shows in. In 1982 they added Buffalo to the mix, in the spring of 1983 they took over Los Angeles and San Diego, in the fall of 1983 Cincinnati and Dayton, then St. Louis in December 1983. Vince is still moving into those cities along with Detroit in early 1984 without Hogan, plus he was putting the squeeze on Ole by running shows in Eastern Ohio through out 1983 setting up a showdown for Cleveland.

Having all of those cities gives Vince the option of going with someone like Kerry, Ricky Steamboat or Paul Orndorff for a year or two if Hogan isn't an option(never born, only works Japan or joins Metallica) and he'd have to pick off the competition a lot slower. A WWF without Hogan is going to have a changing of the guard at the top every few years so by 1986 they change to someone like Savage as heel champ for a year or make it about tag teams and bring in the Road Warriors.

 

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Would house show business have improved in 1993 if Lex had won the WWF Title as SummerSlam instead of beating Yokozuna by countout?

 

The two WWF house shows I saw in late 1993 had the smallest crowds ever with Yokozuna on top against Undertaker (first match Yoko pinned Taker after hitting him with a salt bucket, second show was a non-title casket match that Taker won.)

WWF fans were always conditioned to long WWF Championship reigns by the superhero babyface, with short reigns by the heels.  Yoko held the title for NINE FUCKING MONTHS and shitted the bed every night with his slow, lethargic matches.  (Honestly, I think that title reign scarred me, emotionally.)

 

If Lex lad been out there cleanly pinning the heel every night and hoisting the WWF belt, would business have improved at all, even if just by 2-3000 fans? 

 

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Staying on the subject of Yoko, but if he's brought in as the third Headshrinker like originally planned, who wins the '93 Royal Rumble? Would he eventually have been split off from them anyway? Would we possibly have gotten Savage winning the Rumble, then facing Bret at WM9? Maybe Luger debuts by winning the Rumble? Does Hogan still weasel his way into his fifth title reign?

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1 hour ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Staying on the subject of Yoko, but if he's brought in as the third Headshrinker like originally planned, who wins the '93 Royal Rumble? Would he eventually have been split off from them anyway? Would we possibly have gotten Savage winning the Rumble, then facing Bret at WM9? Maybe Luger debuts by winning the Rumble? Does Hogan still weasel his way into his fifth title reign?

At a guess, Bret drops the strap back to Flair, Perfect wins it, and you have the loser leaves town match as the main event. 

....or Giant Gonzales

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Just now, RolandTHTG said:

At a guess, Bret drops the strap back to Flair, Perfect wins it, and you have the loser leaves town match as the main event. 

....or Giant Gonzales

I'll take option A.

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In hindsight, it's strange that canon suggests there were 3 guys in line to go over Flair for the title in 92 - Bret, Tito and ......wait, I can't remember if there was a third (maybe Martel or Hennig?)

But Undertaker isn't one of them. Probably would have been the better move in hindsight, and Bret getting his big win at Mania 10 for his first reign instead.

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1 hour ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Staying on the subject of Yoko, but if he's brought in as the third Headshrinker like originally planned, who wins the '93 Royal Rumble? Would he eventually have been split off from them anyway? Would we possibly have gotten Savage winning the Rumble, then facing Bret at WM9? Maybe Luger debuts by winning the Rumble? Does Hogan still weasel his way into his fifth title reign?

I think we still get Yoko winning here. His size meant Vince was always going to give him a push to see what happened. Yoko and the Islanders vs the Hart Family could have been fun.

I've always wondered what the WWF (and early WCW) look like if Luger keeps his mouth shut and Vince follows through on the title run following the Lex Express. Where does it leave Hart, Nash and Michaels? Shawn and the Kliq trying to get in Vince's ear over the top of super American hero Luger would be a tough marketing sell.

No way Nash gets the run he got. Does that impact his contract with WCW? Maybe he trades the title with Luger a couple of times? Hart/Luger v Shawn/Nash could be a main event scene for a while.

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Posted (edited)

What if Bill Watts becomes booker in 1989?  I've always heard that he was offered but declined because he didn't want to answer to Jim Herd.  I wonder if his run is viewed more like Flair's 1989 or more like Ole Anderson's 1990, who gets pushed, and how long he lasts in power.

Edited by evidence

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Bill wasn’t never going to work very long in any place that he didn’t run from top to bottom. I imagine WCW would have found a way to mess it up like they did every idea they ever had.

Vince goes national no matter what. Whether or not it spawns it’s own unique era of wrestling and entertainment in general is the only question.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, RolandTHTG said:

In hindsight, it's strange that canon suggests there were 3 guys in line to go over Flair for the title in 92 - Bret, Tito and ......wait, I can't remember if there was a third (maybe Martel or Hennig?)

I'll never ever believe the story of Tito Santana being considered for a run with the title. Whoever told him that was just ribbing.

I mean, come on.

Edited by PetrolCB
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15 minutes ago, PetrolCB said:

I'll never ever believe the story of Tito Santana being considered for a run with the title. Whoever told him that was just ribbing.

I mean, come on.

I think it's ridiculous too. I can't remember if Pritchard verified it on his podcast a while back though?

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I like the idea of Perfect beating Flair for the title. 

Which my fantasy booking somehow leads us to Perfect vs Hart at WM for the title. With the two of them bickering like they would later at KOTR '93, but you know, for this show instead.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, L_W_P said:

I think we still get Yoko winning here. His size meant Vince was always going to give him a push to see what happened. Yoko and the Islanders vs the Hart Family could have been fun

Yeah, but the Us Vs. Them xenophobia baiting stuff is what probably enticed Vince more than Yoko’s size if we go by his booking patterns prior, and after. 

I wonder if Vince had another Japanese wrestler in mind if he was willing to sacrifice size for authenticity. You know Tenryu was probably in the running since he had a legit sumo background.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs

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4 hours ago, PetrolCB said:

I'll never ever believe the story of Tito Santana being considered for a run with the title. Whoever told him that was just ribbing.

I mean, come on.

If I remember right it would have been a short term run for a proposed tour of South America. 

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