The wrestling business is in the business of change. It’s constantly transforming and reinventing itself over and over again. Along the way different things happen that have a ripple effect on the entire industry. These events shape how we perceive wrestling as fans and stick with you for a long time. But what if some of wrestling’s most memorable moments went differently? What would wrestling be like today if these events never happened?
#5 – What If Bret Hart Didn’t Go To WCW?
Back when Bret Hart was on the top of WWE Vince McMahon signed him to a lengthy and very lucrative contract that he later told Bret he couldn’t honor or afford when the company fell on hard times. This caused Bret to reluctantly sign with WCW which then in turn set forward a chain of events that would lead to the infamous Montreal screwjob.
When Bret Hart left WWE both sides were on the worst of terms with each other. Bret then made his way to WCW where he was never quite able to reach the same heights he had reached in WWE. During a match with Goldberg, Bret suffered a concussion that would force him into retirement. It was a sad way for such a legendary wrestler to go out.
What if Vince McMahon and Bret Hart had been able to re-negotiate Bret’s WWE contract? That would have meant that there was no need for Bret to go to WCW and the Montreal screwjob never would have taken place. What if Bret Hart was never forced to retire? There are so many dream matches involving Bret Hart that fans would have wanted to see. Surely Bret would have retired by now due to his age, but it’s a shame we didn’t get to see him have a longer career.
#4 – What If Brock Lesnar Never Left WWE?
Whether you love him or hate him you have to admit that Brock Lesnar is indeed a beast, and when Brock Lesnar made his WWE debut back in 2002, everyone took notice. The WWE wasted no time pushing him to the top and he became the Undisputed WWE Champion within a matter of months. It was obvious that WWE had big plans for Brock. But nly a few short years into his WWE career Brock Lesnar decided that professional wrestling wasn’t for him anymore and he walked away. What if he had stayed?
Brock Lesnar was quickly positioned as one of the top guys in the company and there’s no doubt that he would have likely been the top guy for many years to come. What would that have meant for the rest of the roster? If Brock Lesnar had stayed would he be the one to win the World Championship 15 times instead of John Cena? Would there even be a John Cena as we know him today?
Brock currently works as a part timer and WWE has no shame in handing him the belt and letting him sit on the couch. Imagine what accolades they would have been willing to give him had he made a bigger commitment to the company during his first run.
#3 – What If The Curtain Call Never Happened?
The ‘Curtain Call’ as it’s known by fans was an incident that took place during a WWE house show at Madison Square Garden. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were leaving for WCW when they broke layfabe by hugging their best friends Shawn Michaels and Triple H in the middle of the ring. This was unheard of in the business at the time as no one was supposed to break character in front of the public but these four men did and someone needed to be punished. Unfortunately for Triple H, that someone was him.
The biggest problem for Triple H is that he was supposed to win King of the Ring that year and elevate his career to a whole new level. Triple H was replaced by Steve Austin as the winner and on that night Stone Cold gave his famous Austin 3:16 speech that was one of the biggest factors in bringing The Attitude Era to life.
If the Madison Square Garden incident didn’t happen and Triple H went on to win King of the Ring, would Austin 3:16 have become the phenomenon that it still is to this day? Would Triple H have made it to main event status much earlier in his career? How different would the lives of Steve Austin and Triple H be today if that one little hug in the middle of the ring never happened?
#2 – What If WCW Won The Monday Night War?
We all know the story of the Monday Night War. WCW went head to head with WWE and for a while, they won. But eventually WWE conquered the industry and WCW went out of business. But what if it were the other way around? What if WCW had won the war and WWE went out of business?
The problems with backstage politics in WCW are no big secret. Top stars with guaranteed contracts that included creative control was a recipe for disaster from the start. WCW was likely going to go out of business at some point whether they won or not. But what if they had won and both WWE and WCW had to close their doors? Where would the wrestling industry be today?
#1 – What If Paul Heyman Had Been Given Full Control Over TNA?
For those that don’t know, a few years ago Dixie Carter had talks with Paul Heyman about Heyman possibly working with TNA. Paul Heyman said in an interview with Ring Rust Radio (which you can listen to HERE) that he wanted a piece of the company, complete control, the option to take the company public and to build the brand around TNA’s up and coming stars. According to Heyman they were willing to meet all of his demands except for one.
Paul wanted to get rid of the older wrestlers in TNA and push the younger guys and the company just wasn’t willing to do that. Heyman says that was the deal breaker for him and that’s where the negotiations came to a screeching halt.
Could you imagine the powerhouse that TNA could have become if they just gave Paul Heyman everything he wanted? TNA has a lot of money to throw around but they just have no direction. TNA’s bank account paired with Paul Heyman’s mind could have produced a very unique and interesting product. What if TNA gave Paul Heyman complete control and let him push the younger stars? Could they have actually become real competition to WWE? It’s possible, but unfortunately we’ll never know.