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What If, Austin's career ends in 97?


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#1 JRH

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 01:33 PM

These What If threads are interesting, so here's one I came up with. What if after the Summerslam 97 piledriver incident, Austin was never cleared by the doctors and was pretty much forced to retire? What would happen then? I could see them hastily turning Bret babyface somehow (maybe the rest of the Hart Foundation become more of a gang, which causes Bret to decide to break ties with them (possibly leading to a Bret beatdown), and he can apologize for the whole anti-American stuff) and definitely not getting rid of him (maybe he lets Shawn go, but thats a topic someone else already did). I cant see the WWF overtaking WCW if that happens though, at best they'd be at the level TNA is now.



#2 supersonic

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 07:46 PM

I still believe WCW implodes due to its parasites. Meanwhile in WWF, the battle becomes a bit more uphill, but Bret is kept around which pays off with HBK retiring. Bret truly becomes the Sting of WWF, never leaving.

With Bret around, Rock's rise probably comes a bit sooner, which I believe puts the company ahead of WCW. HHH obviously still benefits. Taker, Foley, and Owen are still around.

I think the biggest change would be Vince turning back to his comfort zone monster heel push. Kane would be busy with Taker and Sid is gone, while Vader is proven and still around.

Let's also remember that Waltman soon afterward gets fired by Bischoff, allowing for a loud jumping ship moment that sends a message to WCW's disgruntled locker room.

#3 Migs

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:02 AM


With Bret around, Rock's rise probably comes a bit sooner, which I believe puts the company ahead of WCW. HHH obviously still benefits. Taker, Foley, and Owen are still around.
 

 

 

But Rock's rise then probably looks a bit more like Roman Reigns', where he's forced up the card too soon (again, after '96). Assuming the same injury happens to Michaels, HHH is also probably pushed more quickly.

 

To me, this really throws off the whole flow and build of the Attitude Era. Without Austin, there's a need to rebuild the momentum that he had gained, which probably delays the WWF catching up to WCW. 



#4 supersonic

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 03:29 PM

Rock's heel turn was 15 days after Austin's neck injury. I believe Bret being around keeps a sensible voice in the locker room and that DX don't succeed in sabotaging him, whether it be a burial or too-soon top push.

#5 JRH

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 07:01 PM

As for Austin, I can't see them just letting him sit at home, the WWF would likely come up with some type of role that doesnt require any physical contact, like a color commentator (he would be GREAT in that role) or even a road agent. Heck, he could even, as he said in his own book, "tie up Pillman and force him into rehab" (though to be fair, if he didnt do that when he had the chance, there's no guarantee that he'd do it in this alternate universe).



#6 Loss

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 07:28 PM

Vince makes a huge play for Hogan or Warrior.

 

He talked to both in late '97-early '98, and I think he would have thrown out even more money to make something happen. If it's Hogan, it works, but only for a short period of time. A WCW without Hogan at that point is interesting, because I suspect Bischoff would have lost his will to live and Nash would have immediately lobbied to get everything centered around him and sabotaged Goldberg before he even got where they were getting him.

 

If it's Warrior, the result is predictable.



#7 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:16 PM

The product waters itself down over the next few years, likely on the insistence of someone like Bret Hart, who's depended on much more. WCW still goes down, but WWF won't be in any position to claim a victory in the Monday Night War about it. Rock still becomes a top guy, maybe gets some decent TV and movie gigs, but doesn't become the biggest movie star in Hollywood. Austin most likely stays in an on-air position, and probably since he isn't working his ass off for the next 5 years, will be less likely to have the meltdown he had in 2002 when he "took his ball and went home". 



#8 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 09:52 PM

And Vince Russo stays a nobody

#9 BrianB

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 11:05 PM

Hogan in WWF would've died a death. I just can't see him fitting in long-term into that creative direction, plus we are talking him coming in right around when Shawn Michaels is at his most ornery. That situation would've exploded. I understand if Austin goes down that changes the equation, but if they went with the plan of Hogan in DX...I can't see that working beyond a short boost. Hogan as a face has a short-shelf life, and HBK wasn't going to be cheered by most fans at that point.

 

Vince probably has to give Hogan creative control to poach him from WCW too at that point. And it's an open question how Hogan would've viewed The Rock at that point.






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