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Orndorff should've been Sting's first program.  Legit main event draw and would've meshed well with Sting.  Then you move him over to Luger for a body guy program.  The table was set when he walked out of Sting's celebration but he kept walking right out of the promotion instead.

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Dr. Britt Baker should be the one to end Hikaru Shida's AEW World Women's Championship year long reign. Do it at Double or Nothing III.

Edited by The Natural
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Oh gosh, I've probably said most of my big ones before (DDP breaks Goldberg's streak at Halloween Havoc '98, Owen Hart defeats Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship on RAW before dropping it right back at IYH: DX), but I guess that one of the big ones that I'd argue for would be Bret/Savage and Yoko/Hogan as the WM IX co-main event, with Bret and Yoko going over clean in the ring. 

I think IX was a pretty big missed opportunity, and I think that by cleverly re-booking the 1993 Royal Rumble as well as WM IX, they might've had a stew going. 

Major changes to RR '93: 

  • Randy Savage wins the Royal Rumble
  • Yokozuna squashes Bossman instead of Bam Bam and isn't even in the Rumble
  • Bam Bam squashes Hacksaw here instead of having a semi-competitive match with him at KotR in six months
  • Keep everything else the same, except maybe debut Luger as the Narcissist on Superstars instead of taking up valuable PPV time with his debut

Major changes to IX: 

  • Bret defeats Savage
  • Yoko defeats Hogan
  • The Steiners wrestle Money Inc. for the tag titles instead of Hogan/Beefcake
  • Razor defeats Mr. Perfect (love Bob Backlund, but the big push he got in the Rumble and the WM match he got with Razor as a bland face are just confusing. Now, Mr. Backlund is a whole other thing, but that's later)
  • Luger squashes Owen Hart (get Owen bouncing around for your heel you need to get over quickly)

Everything else remains the same; I can't get us out of Undertaker/Gonzalez, unfortunately. Sorry about that. 😞

I do think that's a much better card with a good "passing of the torch" moment between Savage and Bret that further gives the Hitman some legitimacy as the LEADER OF THE NEWWWWW GENERATION and allows Yoko to kill Hulkamania without having to ever drop a fall in sixty seconds to Hogan. It also sets up Bret/Yoko at KotR, which is great since winning KotR didn't do much for Bret, but it could have done something for Luger or Bam Bam (or, if you don't want to have a heel win it, turn Razor early). Razor was REALLY wasted post RR '93 for practically until Waltman comes in and turns him face by upsetting him + he beats Martel for the vacant IC championship. 

Even with a decimated roster, they had the pieces to do compelling TV in 1993, but my God is the booking garbage. The steroid trial looming + the post-boom malaise really fucked things up in that department. 

EDITED: The other big problem with IX is too many inconclusive/fuck finishes. So 'Taker would go over Gonzalez clean, the Steiners would go over Money Inc. clean, and then all the other weird finishes are taken care of by the rebooking except for the HBK/Tatanka finish that was used to protect Tatanka and the Doink finish which, come on, it's heel Doink, I expect fuckery in his matches. 

I might actually just put Crush over because Doink killed this dude DEAD as a face in that feud. Did Crush EVER outsmart Doink? Lost at IX, got his ass beat multiple times because of Doink fuckery, got beat by Shawn Michaels at KotR because of a Doink distraction. What the fuck were they doing with his booking? You gotta protect yourself better than that. A guy like Sid woulda walked out on the company and gone to hit a few softballs if presented with long-term booking like that. 

Edited by Smelly McUgly
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Agree with most of what you said there but I'd keep the Luger and Perfect match. Whole storyline of Lugers debut was Heenan bringing him in as an upgrade on Perfect and to get revenge on him.

Razor beating Owen probably makes more sense given the beat down he put on him prior to the Rumble match. Or if you really have to have Beefcake on the card, could have been cool to have him destroy Beefcake here and build to a Hogan match.

In two minds whether you put the belts on the debuting Steiners straight away or you see money in the chase that sees them win at KOTR or Summerslam instead.

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That's reasonable. I just thought the Luger/Perfect match was so disappointing and dull that I wanted to replace it with something else. Blow off Perfect/Luger on a pre-WM RAW with the not-yet-illegal loaded elbow, I guess is what I'd do.

You have a great point about Razor/Owen having that backstory, though, so I think your alternative booking there is sound, and I'd happily watch that modified card.

EDIT: And I'd have Beefcake second Hogan ostensibly to cancel out Fuji on the outside and then have Yoko destroy him after the bell while he checks on his downed buddy Hogan. Get that extra "monster heel" post-match booking in, I think. 

Edited by Smelly McUgly
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Like @GuerrillaMonsoonindicated, the secret to making Luger/Perfect work is far more heavily involving Heenan. Part of the deal with Heenan unveiling Luger at the Rumble was to get revenge on Perfect for betraying him and Flair. That element sort of falls off in the Mania build and it just becomes another match.

Edited by Matt D
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12 minutes ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

Yeah its a bit odd that Flair and Luger never interacted in that brief period before Flair left. 

Agreed that the final product at Mania blew chunks.

The time they spent together in WWF was so brief, they barely had the time to say "Hi!" to each other, though! Oddly enough, they were both featured on the WWF Royal Rumble for SNES where you could have them interact all you wanted. Which I did, a lot.

Not to rain on the good booking parade of Razor vs Owen, I think Owen hurt his knee at Rumble and later against Bam Bam and was out of action around WMIX, which is why he wasn't on the card in the first place. Well, they might have left him out anyway, but that would have been dumb.

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Yep think you're right. Cagematch has a two month break from March that year.

Was Luger injured in 1992 or just exclusively WBF?

Him in the Razor role helping Flair regain the title and tagging with him at Survivor Series makes a lot more sense, especially as you say Razor just burns out by mid 93 as a major heel. Even Flair helping introduce him at the Rumble, or Luger beating Perfect down after the Loser Leaves Town match would have helped.

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Luger had the motorcycle accident which led to the loaded forearm gimmick. He missed WBF and wrestling basically the entire '92 after his short appearance in WM8 hyping his WBF debut.

Edited by Shartnado
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7 hours ago, Shartnado said:

The time they spent together in WWF was so brief, they barely had the time to say "Hi!" to each other, though! Oddly enough, they were both featured on the WWF Royal Rumble for SNES where you could have them interact all you wanted. Which I did, a lot.

Not to rain on the good booking parade of Razor vs Owen, I think Owen hurt his knee at Rumble and later against Bam Bam and was out of action around WMIX, which is why he wasn't on the card in the first place. Well, they might have left him out anyway, but that would have been dumb.

Oh yeah, now I remember this - he took a wild elimination bump and clearly hyper-extended his knee. 

I figured that I'd be forgetting that someone was injured or had left in the time between RR and WM when I did that post, but I was too lazy to do the research to avoid it. 😄 

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On 4/23/2021 at 9:45 PM, BEN! said:

Orndorff should've been Sting's first program.  Legit main event draw and would've meshed well with Sting.  Then you move him over to Luger for a body guy program.  The table was set when he walked out of Sting's celebration but he kept walking right out of the promotion instead.

Orndorff would've been an acceptable replacement for Hansen. I'll allow it but only if we can build a time machine and he can have this theme music

 

 

Edited by cwoy2j
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Razor should have been Shawn's first challenger.

Outrageous money left on the table not having a tiebreaker ladder match.

Yes he was on his way out the company, but they used Nash fairly well at the time and should have done similar with Hall. I wonder if the NWO has as much impact if Hall invades WCW having just suffered a high profile loss to Shawn, rather than being somewhat off TV for most of 96.

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Luger and Yokozuna's post Mania 10 programs both get screwed over as Hennig bails and Tenta goes to WCW.

Not sure why they didn't give Lex his heat back by winning a nothing match at Summerslam, given Yokozuna didn't have a match and spent the summer in a nothing program with Typhoon instead.

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4 hours ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

Luger and Yokozuna's post Mania 10 programs both get screwed over as Hennig bails and Tenta goes to WCW.

Not sure why they didn't give Lex his heat back by winning a nothing match at Summerslam, given Yokozuna didn't have a match and spent the summer in a nothing program with Typhoon instead.

Not only that. They never gave Luger the win back, as Yoko pinned Luger in a match for the tag titles at In Your House 2 and if I'm not mistaken qualified over him into the King of the Ring '95 tournament. But yeah, that could have been done many times over during the spring and summer of '94.

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Correct weight on both of them.

Instead of Undertaker vs Undertaker just have Yokozuna vs Luger. Cornette and Fuji try to pull similar trick of multiple guys coming out to run interference, stopped by a returning Undertaker. Luger gets the pin, sets up your return casket match at Survivor Series.

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Posted (edited)

I think running Michaels/Diesel was perfect considering their four-year storyline as friends and enemies and friends and finally enemies again. Michaels brought Diesel in and then sent him packing. That's a really good long-term narrative there. 

But running Razor/Michaels Ladder III would have been great, too. No wrong answer there.

Luger was booked incredibly poorly. The abrupt face turn into Hogan-lite that put Luger in a forced patriotic babyface role when he was so much better at arrogant heeling or just being a pure fired-up babyface...

...followed by consistently booking him to choke in big matches in dumb ways (count-out win in a title match, mixing it up with the ref and getting DQ'ed in a title match)...

...before just dumping him into a nothing midcard tag team with Bulldog and forgetting about him to the extent that he basically slipped away and made a huge WCW return in a big spot for them. 

If they would have just accepted that Bret and then tbh Razor were the two biggest faces in the company and turned Luger basically immediately after WM X, they could have salvaged something with him, but misusing Luger in that way is a total failure of imagination. They are so thin on the heel side once they turn Diesel in late 1994 - it's basically Michaels, Mr. Backlund, and a rapidly-deteriorating Yokozuna - that it's wild that they ended up sticking him in a long meandering feud with Tatanka in order to...turn Tatanka instead. 

People don't get on McMahon/Jerry Jarrett (???) for that 1993 - 1995 booking enough. It's down there with post-Starrcade 1997 WCW booking. It's just about as bad, but in a totally different way - misusing their most over stars and having long, pointless feuds instead of late-stage WCW's hotshotting and work-shoot bullshit. 

It's wild that Bret Hart was a five-time WWF Champion and almost all of his five losses were awfully-booked garbage instead of something amazing where a big long-term heel was solidly put over. 

 

EDIT: You can probably argue that the fifth loss was decently booked to get the belt off Bret and onto Sid so that Bret would get Austin and Sid would get the Undertaker, and I can live with that assessment, especially since it was an abrupt switch after Shawn ducked him with that fake knee injury. I can be convinced of that. The fourth loss was to put another face over, which, okay, fine, that's acceptable enough. The first three, though, were not great losses - having Bret struggle in a 20-minute match with Backlund before Diesel beats Backlund in ten seconds or w/e is some bullshit. 

Edited by Smelly McUgly
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1 hour ago, Smelly McUgly said:

It's wild that Bret Hart was a five-time WWF Champion and almost all of his five losses were awfully-booked garbage instead of something amazing where a big long-term heel was solidly put over. 

EDIT: You can probably argue that the fifth loss was decently booked to get the belt off Bret and onto Sid so that Bret would get Austin and Sid would get the Undertaker, and I can live with that assessment, especially since it was an abrupt switch after Shawn ducked him with that fake knee injury. I can be convinced of that. The fourth loss was to put another face over, which, okay, fine, that's acceptable enough. The first three, though, were not great losses - having Bret struggle in a 20-minute match with Backlund before Diesel beats Backlund in ten seconds or w/e is some bullshit. 

Your numbers are off. Bret's fifth title loss was the Montreal Screwjob. Bret to Sid was the fourth loss; the Iron Man match was the third.

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8 minutes ago, tbarrie said:

Your numbers are off. Bret's fifth title loss was the Montreal Screwjob. Bret to Sid was the fourth loss; the Iron Man match was the third.

Yep, my bad. Only losses three and four are defensible in the way they were done. 

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This is copied from the Hot Takes thread about Superbrawl 91. The tag team match should have been the Superbrawl main event. That match was an impossible dream match at the time. The adults wanted to see it and the children just wanted to comprehend it. Neither had seen anything like it except for the rare fans who watched both WCW and WWF and had saw Hogan/Warrior a year ago. Hogan/Warrior went on to overshadow it because it was turned to shit in the last minute of the match like every big match WCW ever promoted but it was that big and has remained that much of a favorite by the smarks and the people who grew up and rewatched all this stuff.

Then when it was over there were so many easy ways to wrap it up and keep right on with the whole Sting/Luger/Steiners friendship story arch. You had the Hardliners messing with the Steiners which was how they originally reestablished the friendship if you remember. Flair could have been a part of it somehow, and it would have been better than that dumb stuff with Fujinami at the time. The NJPW connection could have still been utilized though. Sting was feuding with Muta over there and we all remember what the Steiners were doing over there at the time. So many possibilities.

So that was the hot take. Down to the warm details I would have liked to have seen this. Scott pins Luger during the main event and the show goes off the air as Luger gets up furious, but not violent towards the Steiners. Sting and Ric are down exhausted and Scott is exhausted but still celebrating typical exhausted baby face style. Then as soon as the first TV show hits they announce that the match has been signed for Clash XV. Promote the heck out of it nonstop with Luger and Scott flexing their heel tendencies towards 1 another but never busting lose with them as Sting and Ric hang around but don’t interfere, occasionally commenting on backing their partner, gloves are off in the ring etc type talk. Then 2 weeks before Clash XV Sting and Ric can’t be polite anymore and start fighting on TV, which leads to Scott and Luger to break them up, while the announcers go omg they’ve been trying to keep Luger and Scott from killing each other now Luger and Scott are trying to keep them from killing each other etc etc etc and Luger and Scott manage to break them up and get them to the back.

Next week they say Sting/Ric is signed. Have whoever they want Sting to feud with next attack both of them 10 minutes in. Go ahead and make it Nikita like at Superbrawl, after Luger had beat him clean in a WCWSN main event or Omni show, ending that feud. Nikita’s justification next week on TV could be about the same as it was at Superbrawl, that he was just trying to ruin the party because he was mad lol! But anyway Luger and Scott make the save. Sting and Ric chase Nikita to the back which leaves Scott and Luger in the ring. The bell just rings and they start whaling on each other, and the match is on after this commercialbreak lol!

This could have flew at GAB 91 also IMO. That’schanging alot of history I realize but it’s just a dream lol!

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On 4/3/2021 at 12:08 AM, The Natural said:

Sting beating Hollywood Hogan clean as a sheet at WCW Starrcade 1997 for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. One of the best builds to a wrestling match ever and the worst payoff by far. The beginning of the end for WCW. Fuck Hogan and Eric Bischoff for that and the BS excuse for doing so blaming Sting not getting a tan.

Sting should never have joined the n.W.o either in 1998. Wolfpac Sting is the worst iteration of the Stinger.

I’m all over this thread later. I’m only responding to this because it was Starrcade 97 at the first reply so I just had to. But yeah...seriously this. I could have even lived with the Montreal stuff had Sting already had Hogan beat after a ref knockout by the NWO. Then when Patrick woke up he did a real fast count, real meaning it actually happened as much I mean real fast like the speed lol! To save face for Patrick they could have made it look like he thought Sting had Hogan pinned like he had just before he was knocked out. Then Bret Hart comes in and they do it like they tried to do it to start with from that point on.

And here’s another wrinkle. This all happened like it was supposed to after Hogan tried to weasel out of it and THE BOYS threatened to beat his ass if he didn’t do business. When Eric takes his side they say they’re all walking out if it doesn’t happen. Theoretically Nash then wouldn’t have weaseled out of his job, or Raven, and Dean would have gave a shit for atleast the length of his match before going to his wife and child. 

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17 minutes ago, BloodyChamp said:

 

This is copied from the Hot Takes thread about Superbrawl 91. The tag team match should have been the Superbrawl main event. That match was an impossible dream match at the time. The adults wanted to see it and the children just wanted to comprehend it. Neither had seen anything like it except for the rare fans who watched both WCW and WWF and had saw Hogan/Warrior a year ago. Hogan/Warrior went on to overshadow it because it was turned to shit in the last minute of the match like every big match WCW ever promoted but it was that big and has remained that much of a favorite by the smarks and the people who grew up and rewatched all this stuff.

Then when it was over there were so many easy ways to wrap it up and keep right on with the whole Sting/Luger/Steiners friendship story arch. You had the Hardliners messing with the Steiners which was how they originally reestablished the friendship if you remember. Flair could have been a part of it somehow, and it would have been better than that dumb stuff with Fujinami at the time. The NJPW connection could have still been utilized though. Sting was feuding with Muta over there and we all remember what the Steiners were doing over there at the time. So many possibilities.

So that was the hot take. Down to the warm details I would have liked to have seen this. Scott pins Luger during the main event and the show goes off the air as Luger gets up furious, but not violent towards the Steiners. Sting and Ric are down exhausted and Scott is exhausted but still celebrating typical exhausted baby face style. Then as soon as the first TV show hits they announce that the match has been signed for Clash XV. Promote the heck out of it nonstop with Luger and Scott flexing their heel tendencies towards 1 another but never busting lose with them as Sting and Ric hang around but don’t interfere, occasionally commenting on backing their partner, gloves are off in the ring etc type talk. Then 2 weeks before Clash XV Sting and Ric can’t be polite anymore and start fighting on TV, which leads to Scott and Luger to break them up, while the announcers go omg they’ve been trying to keep Luger and Scott from killing each other now Luger and Scott are trying to keep them from killing each other etc etc etc and Luger and Scott manage to break them up and get them to the back.

Next week they say Sting/Ric is signed. Have whoever they want Sting to feud with next attack both of them 10 minutes in. Go ahead and make it Nikita like at Superbrawl, after Luger had beat him clean in a WCWSN main event or Omni show, ending that feud. Nikita’s justification next week on TV could be about the same as it was at Superbrawl, that he was just trying to ruin the party because he was mad lol! But anyway Luger and Scott make the save. Sting and Ric chase Nikita to the back which leaves Scott and Luger in the ring. The bell just rings and they start whaling on each other, and the match is on after this commercialbreak lol!

This could have flew at GAB 91 also IMO. That’schanging alot of history I realize but it’s just a dream lol!

I know you meant RICK Steiner but as I read RIC I was picturing Flair lol

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4 hours ago, Smelly McUgly said:

EDIT: You can probably argue that the fifth loss was decently booked to get the belt off Bret and onto Sid so that Bret would get Austin and Sid would get the Undertaker, and I can live with that assessment, especially since it was an abrupt switch after Shawn ducked him with that fake knee injury. I can be convinced of that. The fourth loss was to put another face over, which, okay, fine, that's acceptable enough. The first three, though, were not great losses - having Bret struggle in a 20-minute match with Backlund before Diesel beats Backlund in ten seconds or w/e is some bullshit. 

Bret losing to Backlund is fine:  Bret never taps and is protected as having lost in fluke/unrepeatable circumstances due to the stipulation, the Crossface Chickenwing is still protected as a Death Move, and Owen has his ascendant moment of having finally masterminded the downfall of his champion brother (great opportunity to rekindle that feud and get some more classic matches).

the bullshit is Nash beating Backlund A] instantly, B] three days later, and C] in a non-televised match.  The last of those three ensuring that even Nash wasn't really helped by this.  His ascendant moment happened where most of the audience never got to see it, and no opportunity to anticipate and savor the moment even if they had.  To say nothing of how much wind it took out of Bret's sails and cooled off Backlund just when he was at his hottest.

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Sting/Hogan is super obvious and really started the boulder going irreversibly the wrong way (there were lots of problems before this, but WCW was still owning the ratings and the product was fixable), but even beyond that, how in the actual fuck were the nWo around for what felt like 5000 years as the heels and never put over WCW in a meaningful War Games? WCW's whole roster aside from Goldberg, Sting, and DDP looked like absolute geeks for the entire run. At some point (probably fall of 1998)  there really, really should have been a nWo vs WCW war games where they killed the nWo version one. And it's not like you couldn't have still done your Wolfpac split and gone right on selling tshirts after that. Even accounting for Hall's substance problems you could still run Hogan/Nash/Savage/It Honestly Doesn't Matter Which Guy vs. Flair/Sting/Goldberg/DDP and this was absolutely free. Fuck, you could even have had Savage turn on Hogan for the 100th time if you need an easy out to keep the right people "looking good". There's so many easy ways to give the fans *anything* satisfying that it's bonkers they missed on literally all of it.

They put the heels over forever then wondered why the fans decided WCW sucked. WCW was actually good for a long time at starting angles, they just couldn't finish them. Even meaningless stuff in the big picture like the weird Horseman Mongo/Jarrett/Debra in-fighting would go nowhere and drag on for 6 fucking months. They never really finished nearly anything they started. Plus WCW was very weird about treating their own PPVs like they didn't really matter. They're the most frustrating company of all-time if you actually expect to see a storyline pay off, ever.

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