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Thread: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

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    WWF: Where's the Attitude?




    For those not in the know (well, your on a wrestling forum, so you definitely are), the “Monday Night Wars” was a period in the wrestling industry from the mid-late 90’s, which largely dominated the way we saw the sport (or sports-entertainment, if you want to be THAT guy). Raw is War and Monday Nitro – the two definitive program of 90’s professional wrestling. Aside from ECW, whom only a smaller, more rabid portion of fans were really aware of, professional wrestling WAS the WWF and WCW. Coke and Pepsi, Marvel and DC, the Red Sox and the Yankees, the Ravens and the Steelers, Barcelona and Real Madrid (there was a distinct lack of pig heads being thrown into the ring, mind) – the rivalry was amongst the most heated and personal in the world at the time. But it was almost so different. The gap between the two promotions at one point was Usain Bolt, Beijing 2008 big – the WWF were essentially the Tyson Gay of professional wrestling. Having lost in the Monday night ratings war a staggering 84 weeks in a row they would manage to make up ground in 1998 off the back of the revolutionary “Attitude Era” – on the April 5, 1998 episode of Raw, the WWF finally defeated Nitro to end their drought. But what if the attitude era never occurred?

    -The Montreal Screwjob: For many, this was the catalyst for change in the WWE and the beginning of the attitude era. Without the Montreal screwjob it is my belief that the attitude era would never have been born. The fallout of the screwjob and the backlash not only the company, but Vince McMahon in particular, received helped lay the foundations for the most dastardly, despicable, dishonorable heel in modern professional wrestling history – Mr. McMahon.

    -Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels: The men behind the mayhem. Throughout their time working together in the WWF, it was common knowledge that neither man was the biggest fan of the other behind the scenes. They often straight out refused to do the job for the other man, which is actually what caused the screwjob to occur in the first place. On his way out Bret Hart was asked to drop his WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series but, since that years Survivor Series was taking place in Bret’s homeland of Canada, he refused to do the job. This would conversely lead to Vince and Shawn “screwing” Bret by fixing the finish to the match themselves, taking matters into their own hands.

    -Vince McMahon: Out of the screwjob “Mr. McMahon” was born – the evil, megalomaniac owner of the WWF. Vince had never really been acknowledged on-screen as the owner of the WWF prior to the incident in Montreal, although it was pretty much common knowledge by that point. With Bret gone, Vince proclaimed that “Bret screwed Bret” and that he had “no sympathy whatsoever for Bret” – an evil mastermind was born.

    -Steve Austin: No great villain can exist without a superhero foil and, in the late 90’s, nobody embodied that image more so than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Whilst in the past the general public tended to gravitate more towards the wholesome, larger than life figures the likes of Superman, Joe Montana and Hulk Hogan, by the late 90’s attitude’s had taken a complete U-turn and people were gravitating more towards grittier characters the likes of Batman, Dennis Rodman and, well, Hulk Hogan (but a completely different one to whom we grew to love in the 80’s). The kids eating their vitamins and saying their prayers in the 80’s were now rebellious teenagers and young adults; the wholesome good guy just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. “Stone Cold” embodied what the WWF’s fan base had become; they could relate to his no nonsense, kick ass now, ask questions later, anti-authority badass more so than any other wrestler on the roster.

    -The Rock: Whilst Vince served his role as the number one heel in the company, the boss wasn’t a full time wrestler. He hated Austin more than anything, but in an all out fistfight, Mr. McMahon was going to get a mud hole stomped through him all day long. So, he needed soldiers; he needed guys who he could rely on to deal with Austin for him in the ring, and he’d deal with everything else. He needed himself a corporate champion. The Rock, originally rejected by the fans for his 80’s throwback, Hulk Hogan/Ricky Steamboat brand of good guy, had developed into perhaps the most charismatic wrestler the industry had ever produced. He provided the Frazier to Austin’s Ali. Their clashes defined an entire generation in the WWF and were very much the foundation the attitude era laid upon.

    -Triple H: If Vince McMahon and his Corporation faction dominated the beginning of the attitude era, then the McMahon-Helmsley dynasty certainly dominated the remainder of said era. Having usurped Vince at the end of 1999 when Stephanie turned on her father to side with her husband, Triple H and his new wife would go on to dominate the WWF for the majority of the next year. It added an entirely new dynamic to the era and provided a new top heel for Austin (and now the Rock, too) to battle against.


    _________________________________________________



    There’s a popular theory known as the butterfly effect whereby one small, seemingly insignificant single occurrence such as the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings in Asia could create a tornado halfway across the world in South America. What if this had happened in 1997 WWF? Granted, my instances are going to seem a little bit more significant than the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings would initially, but in the long run could they have just as devastating an effect?

    -Steve Austin: At SummerSlam 1997, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was dropped on his head via a botched piledriver from Owen Hart legitimately breaking the future Hall of Famer’s neck, temporarily paralyzing him. In reality the injury would keep him out until Survivor Series and then subsequently the majority of 2000 when he eventually left to have surgery on his damaged neck. The injury would cut his career short, forcing him into retirement in 2003, but what if he had never been able to return from the initial injury in 1997? In this parallel universe the damage done to his neck is so severe that he is forced to retire following the piledriver.

    -The Rock: Having been rejected by the fans ever since his debut, the chants of “die Rocky, die” would quickly become too much for the future “Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment”. After losing the Intercontinental title to Owen Hart in April, the then Rocky Miavia would be forced to the sidelines with a knee injury, eventually returning in August as “The Rock” and the latest addition to the Nation of Domination, now a fully fledged heel. In this universe, however, things panned out a lot different. When he went down with his injury the Rock decided to retire from the sport that had rejected him so viciously, instead opting to pursue a career in the NFL.

    -Shawn Michaels: Shawn Michaels would play a major role in the development of Austin and the onset of the attitude era until his unfortunate early retirement following WrestleMania XIV in 1998. Bret Hart, on the other hand, would see his career stutter in WCW, never quite reaching the heights he did in the WWF, before too being forced into an early retirement following Starrcade in 1999. In this universe, however, they do an Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Growing tired of his constant backstage struggles with Bret Hart and resenting the fact his buddies were over in WCW getting much more money with all the backstage pull in the world, Shawn Michaels decided to jump ship following Survivor Series 1997, putting WWF Champion Bret Hart over one last time on his way out. Bret, on the other hand, stays put.

    ​-Triple H: Realizing that with Michaels gone and with Bret and his buddies having McMahon’s ear, his chances of receiving any semblance of a push were all but gone. Deciding he didn’t want to take his chances in a Kliq-less WWF, Triple H requested his release and was granted it, leaving the WWF with Michaels following Survivor Series to join Nash, Hall and Waltman over in WCW. The Kliq had officially been eradicated from the WWF.


    Without the Montreal Screwjob, there is no Mr. McMahon. Without Mr. McMahon, there is no Attitude Era. Coming off of Survivor Series 1997 the WWF are currently on the sixty-second week of straight losses in the Monday night war against WCW. Without the Attitude Era on the horizon to turn things around for the WWF, do they stand a chance against the mighty World Championship Wrestling? Is anybody else capable of stepping up to the plate the way Austin would have eventually done? Without it’s “attitude”, was the WWF truly doomed?
    Last edited by Narcotic; 05-07-2017 at 09:17 PM.

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    Definitely interesting read I will surely be reading this! Best of luck to you I'm excited for this!
    Looking for a partner to do a be the booker with.

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    Yep, this could be great. Subbed

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    I truly hope this lives to its potential because I love the premise. Subbed


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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    Absolutely awesome starting point. I'm really intrigued to see what you do with Bret staying put, as well as guys like Shamrock, Owen Hart and The Nation looking towards the future. Oh and push Vader.

    Either way, so much potential in this. I'll be reading.

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    this is a great I with huge potential I'm intrested in seeing where this goes. Good luck
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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    I am very interested in this.

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    It's awesome seeing this start up.

    Many times I thought of starting a BTB with Bret staying, but didn't think readers would be to fond of "The Screwjob" not happening. Glad to see I'm wrong thus far.

    I'll be reading!

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    You certainly have my attention. Been watching old 97 era Raw episodes recently. Best period of weekly television I can recall. I'll be reading this for sure.
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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?



    WWF News and Notes
    November 10, 1997

    With the recent departures of poster boy Shawn Michaels and sure fire future main event superstar Hunter Hearst Helmsley, talk has been rife regarding potentially incomings. One rumour which has picked up a lot of steam recently relates to a certain territory emanating from the Steel City, and could spell devastation for the thriving promotion. The relationship between Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling and Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation has been one of much discussion over the past couple of years. Having allowed the fledgling Philadelphia promotion airtime on their weekly Monday night program Raw to help promote ECW’s upcoming first pay per view event, Barely Legal, the relationship between the two promotions has continued to blossom ever since. Many have claimed that, in order to compensate ECW and Paul Heyman for essentially “stealing” their talent, Vince placed Heyman on his payroll. This is a rumour which has grown in notoriety behind the scenes in both the WWF and ECW, but it remains to be that only Vince and Paul themselves know this to be true or not. Unbeknownst to Paul Heyman, however, things could be about to take a drastic turn for the worst; relations between the two promoters could soon become ugly.

    Back in the mid 80’s when Vince McMahon was manufacturing his global expansion he took a ruthless stance in his pursuit of talent from other territories across the country. Despite warnings from his own father he continued on with his savage raids and, as luck would have it, they paid off with the unmitigated success of the first WrestleMania. Today, with the WWF’s television ratings, live show attendances, merchandise sales, and pay per view buys dropping, as well as with the continued departures of top stars such as Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Lex Luger, Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley to WCW, as well as the losses of Steve Austin to injury and hot prospect Rocky Miavia, amongst several others, the WWF face a dilemma like never before. According to several industry insiders, namely Dave Meltzer of the Wrestler Observer, Vince is planning to raid ECW, which would all but tarnish the working relationship between the two promotions and perhaps result in the WWF essentially being blackballed from Pennsylvania, at least in the minds of ECW’s cult like fan base.

    The names most widely being associated with this potential raid thus far are Terry Funk, Taz, Rob Van Dam, Buh Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley, JC Ice, Wolfie D, Lance Storm and Jerry Lynn. Such a raid, if they were to sign all of the aforementioned names, would absolutely decimate the ECW roster, leaving them on death’s doorstep much like the WWF and Vince had done with so many territories in the 80’s during their initial global expansion. Rob Van Dam and Taz are said to be at the top of Vince’s ECW hit list so, even if he were to miss out on the rest of that list, I think it’s fair to say “The Whole Fucking Show” and “The Human Suplex Machine” could well be a part of the WWF roster by the turn of the new year. There have also been rumblings of interest in Shane Douglas who could perhaps be a lot more interested in a WWF return with the entirety of the Kliq, whom many believe held him down during his ’95 run in the promotion, having hightailed to WCW.

    It’s not just ECW that the WWF are looking at for potential recruits from, though. Sexton Hardcastle and Christian Cage, whom both made names form themselves on the Canadian independent scene, have been training at the Hart Dungeon since the Summer and are reportedly in line to be called up to the main roster. Rhino Richards and Joe E. Legend, whom also wrestled across Canada alongside Hardcastle and Cage, have recently been sent to the Hart Dungeon although it is unknown at this time whether they are officially signed to the WWF or are simply there on a trial basis.

    Speaking of Canadians trained at the fabled Dungeon, there has been a lot of talk lately regarding WCW’s Chris Benoit making the jump to the WWF, even more so on the back of Michaels and Helmsley arriving in WCW. Benoit was already known to be uncomfortable with his position in WCW, having recently entered into an affair with WCW head booker Kevin Sullivan’s wife. With the recent arrivals of Michaels and Helmsley Benoit realises that if his chances of reaching the top weren’t numbered before, then they had totally disintegrated now. Bret Hart is said to be pushing Vince to sign Benoit but the chairman is thought to be sceptical about him, not sure whether he has the charisma or the character to fit into his vision for the WWF heading forward.

    1996 Freestyle Wrestling Olympic Gold Medallist, Kurt Angle, is believed to have signed a contract with the WWF early last month and has been training in Stamford, Connecticut with Tom Prichard since. News on Angle’s signing only came to light recently with the revelation that he would now be moving up to Canada to train at the Hart Dungeon. With all the recent activity at the Hart Dungeon, what with training future WWF superstars and Bret Hart attempting to manoeuvre a move from WCW to the WWF for Chris Benoit, you’ve got to wonder just what the WWF would have done had Bret decided to take WCW up on their offer a few months ago to make the jump. It potentially could have been disastrous for the WWF and their future.

    Another Canadian on the WWF’s radar is Vampiro Canadiense of CMLL fame. Vampiro has become somewhat of an icon in Mexico since debuting there in 1991, thanks in large part to his rock star appearance and natural good looks, making him and instant hit with the young Mexican females. The expectation is that Vampiro would be brought in primarily for a program with the Undertaker, most likely to put him over like so many before him have done, but with the Undertaker currently embroiled in a storyline with his “brother” Kane, this may be something saved for after WrestleMania next year.

    And last, but certainly not least, is the news that the WWF may well be going ahead with their Light Heavyweight division after all. A lot of discussion has been had recently regarding the upstart division and how it is coming across as nothing but a poor imitation of WCW’s booming Cruiserweight division, with many calling for the division to be shut down before tournament to crown the first champion reaches its conclusion. Fortunately for the fans of the division (which I honestly don’t believe there to be many of) the division is to go ahead as planned, although Vince is said to want a further injection of talent into it. Jerry Lynn from ECW, as mentioned earlier, is being considered a strong possibility for the division as are Yoshihiro Tajiri and Super Loco, both of whom have competed for the WWF over the past year in promotion of the division but have yet to be given official contracts. Minoru Tanaka of Michinoku Pro is also being considered a strong possibility for the division, despite relations between the WWF and M-Pro breaking down earlier this year.

    Apologies for taking so long to get anything else posted in this thread, I've been struggling recently with finishing university, graduating and looking for a job. Everything's beginning to calm down now so I should be able to dedicate a lot more time to this BTB. The above news report is a mixture of fact and fiction (it wouldn't be a realistic dirt sheet without some bullshit sprinkled in there, to be honest) in my attempt of adding some authenticity to this BTB, so don't take it as an indication of me just signing all my favourite wrestlers before the project's even got going, because that's far from the plan. Appreciate all the support thus far also, wasn't expecting such a warm response so thank you to everybody so far.
    Last edited by Narcotic; 07-17-2017 at 09:03 PM.

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    I love this idea man! Love the whole "butterfly" effect feeling and the news notes were cool.

    I'll be following along. Good luck!


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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    One note, ECW was based in Philly, not Pittsburgh. There's a rivalry between those two cities big time
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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    Complete oversight on my behalf, I originally intended to link the ECW part of the article into the part relating to Kurt Angle, linking them together through Pennsylvania, the same way I linked together Canadians later in the article. Angle being from Pittsburgh was on my mind while writing that, so apologies for the mistake.

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    This has certainly gotten off to a blistering start (missed the intro for this back in May, my apologies).

    It's a hell of a different angle to leave Austin, Rock, Triple H AND Shawn Michaels out of the Attitude Era. Granted, Michaels wasn't a huge player from 98-01 anyway, but needless to say you've got your hands full. You definitely have some potential stars on your hand (Kane, Owen Hart, Ken Shamrock) along with mainstays in Bret Hart, 'Taker and Foley, whom I'm keeping a sharp eye on in particular here personally. Ahmed Johnson, too. The ECW names are definitely intriguing as well. RVD and Taz would be absolutely MASSIVE in the WWF machine, so I hope that, if they are there, you do 'em justice.

    Nevertheless, you've got my attention for sure. Alternate realities are freaking awesome all the time, and this one looks like it could be a fun ride. Best of luck.

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    Re: WWF: Where's the Attitude?

    The idea is cool. But I'm very unoptimistic that the WWF ever have a chance of toppling WCW in the ratings war without Austin/McMahon and the rise of The Rock. The shows will be good if your previews are the standard but WCW have gotten an even bigger boost by adding Michaels and Helmsley to their ranks, with the obvious NWO/Kliq feud that would likely transpire.

    Bret Hart is a great keep but two of his biggest rivalries and the men that kept him going around this time are out of the picture. Foley, Taker and Kane have their own feuds to continue around Paul Bearer at this time so I'm guessing that Bret's immediate challenge might lie in the shape of his brother Owen. He's the only guy I can picture being high profile enough to help the WWF's ratings.

    The other options are WWF taking in some of WCW's talent like Benoit, who would be further down the pecking line in WCW after the recent additions, and with Kevin Sullivan issues still arising. Kurt Angle isn't ready to be a big player just yet but I'd be happy to see him come in and work his way up.

    Good luck dude, I'll be reading.

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