Ask 411 Wrestling 11.03.10: Changing The Past, Retiring Titles, and Mick Foley In Japan!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 11.03.2010
When did Shawn Michaels go cross-eyed? What did Mick Foley do in IWA Japan? Are the Briscoes related to the Briscos? Did Eddie Guerrero have a three-way? What's the current state of wrestling In Japan? All this and more, only in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Hi there, this is Ask 411 Wrestling! I'm Mathew Sforcina, and if you don't read anything I write this week, read this:
If you don't buy it, at least rent Smackdown Vs Raw 2011 once, if only to play Christian's Road To Wrestlemania. If you were around in the late 90's/early 00's and watched Christian back then, then you'll love it.
And if you weren't, then you'll at least appreciate the shattering of the fourth wall it does.
Go listen to the Tom Tom Club podcast, and hear my dulcet tones. They are Dulcet I say! DULCET!
Crippler Crossface and LeBell Lock: That isn't the same move. It's similar, yes, but it's different enough to not be applicable to the point, that the Cripple Crossface probably won't be used regularly any time soon. It's like saying the Stunner and the Diamond Cutter are the same move. Similar, sure, and a shared origin, but different.
Bret Hart's Ladder Matches: My facts are straight, given that the question specified televised ladder matches. Punk and Jeff Hardy had a few ladder matches on the house shows as well but they don't count since they weren't televised. Any ladder matches Bret may or may not have had at house shows would not count.
Big Boss Man's Ladder Match: I can do better than tell, I can show!
Angle's second ladder match was against Mike Haywood in the build up to Angle/HBK at WM23, Angle beat Haywood without touching the ladder to prove he was better than HBK. It was the week before his match with Jannetty I believe.
Mute/Moot: Damm spell checker.
I mean, that's totally my fault and I made it because I wasn't thinking, but I'm still blaming the spell checker. Yep.
Sweet Chin Music: OK, so apparently most people (not all, but most) say it's from his feud with Jarrett over the IC title, which is plausible enough, thanks for the help. And I'm the first guy to admit that I don't know everything. But at least I cop up to it and don't just delete the questions, I give the comments a chance to prove that they aren't just insults about women and Dennis Stamp jokes.
Stop Using HistoryOfWWE.com! When people stop asking me questions that can be answered by that site, I will.
Your Turn, Smart Guy…
Who am I? I once lost a title to Jeff Hardy. Another title I was involved in two tournament finals to crown a new one due to vacancies, winning one and losing the other. Another title I held just as long as a McMahon held it. I've wrestled for WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA and ROH. Over 40 but still going, I am who?
Jerry Lynn, ladies and gentlemen.
This week, we have a guest questioner. Brian Blottie everyone!
I'm a former World champion, who is more known for his work in Japan. I broke another former World champion's neck. I've worked for WWF, NWA, and AWA in my career. The most infamous thing I ever did was almost end the career of one of the toughest men in pro-wrestling history. Who am I?
Questions, Questions, Who's Got The Questions?
Laszlo gets top billing this week, because…
Back when I was interested in Japanese wrestling (late 80's to mid-90's) it seemed that AJPW and NJPW were pretty neck and neck as far as popularity was concerned. My pereception was taht both appeared on TV regularily and both hosted large shows. UWFi and FMW seemed to be distant 3rd at various times. I'm not entirely sure if this perception is correct.
My real question is what is the landscape like today for Japanese wrestling? Are NJPW and AJPW still 1 and 1b? Are they both featured on regular TV? Is NOAH the 3rd and it on regular TV? Where does Dragon Gate fit in? Is attendance down dramatically from the heyday?
Modern Japanese Wrestling? I know just who to call, the main with the low down on the scene, Ryan ‘Many' Byers!
This is one of those questions that it would probably take a whole book to answer in full, but I'll attempt to give you the "Reader's Digest" version.
Originally there was only one major promotion in Japan, the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance, which was founded in 1953. Eventually, political turmoil in the early 1970's within the company lead to its two top stars at the time - The Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki - departing to form their own companies. Inoki established New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Baba established All Japan Pro Wrestling. For the most part, those two groups could be considered the "big two" of Japan from their formation until roughly 2001. They both had regular television programs, with NJPW airing on TV Asashi and AJPW airing on Nippon Television. As was the case with professional wrestling throughout the world until the Monday Night Wars in the United States put much more focus on wrestling shows being entertainment for entertainment's sake, the TV programs of New Japan and All Japan primarily existed for the sake of convincing fans to buy tickets to major events that would either not be televised in full or would be broadcast as television specials (or, later on, as pay per view events).
At the height of pro wrestling's popularity in Japan during the mid and late 1990's, it would not be uncommon for All Japan to draw around 15,000 to 16,000 fans to monthly big shows in Budokan Hall and, on a couple of occasions, between 50,000 and 60,000 fans to the Tokyo Dome. New Japan would do similar numbers at the same venues, but they ran the Tokyo Dome a bit more often and also had big shows at Sumo Hall in the 1990's (which AJPW did not have) that regularly drew between 10,000 and 12,000 fans.
As noted above, the landscape of Japanese professional wrestling changed drastically in 2000 and 2001. This is because Giant Baba, who was still running All Japan, passed away. Tension between the individuals who ran AJPW after his death and top star Mitsuharu Misawa lead to Misawa breaking away and forming his own company, Pro Wrestling NOAH. (The name was a reference to the Biblical story of Noah, comparing Misawa's exodus from All Japan to Noah saving two of each species from a catastrophic flood.) Misawa took virtually all of AJPW native Japanese talent with him to the newly formed company. Perhaps more importantly, though, Misawa managed to convince executives at Nippon TV to give AJPW's timeslot to NOAH.
The results were drastic. In its first few years of existence, NOAH was doing numbers in Budokan which were comparable to what All Japan had been doing. NOAH also ran two Tokyo Dome shows in the early going and got 50,000 fans for each. All Japan, meanwhile, started to falter. Their 2001 Tokyo dome show was down to 30,000, which was enough of a dip to get them to give up on running the building. They were lucky if they could break 10,000 fans in Sumo Hall. Though some Budokan shows still had strong attendance, there were others that slipped below 10,000 fans and one that hit an embarrassingly low 5,000 fans. Around the same time, New Japan's attendance figures slipped a bit, though not to a problematic level.
As a result, for at least the first half of this decade, New Japan was number one, with NOAH was a close second, and All Japan was checking in at third. Among English speaking fans who only follow Japanese wrestling casually, there seems to be a a perception that NOAH has been number one since its formation, but I attribute that to a bit of bias stemming from the fact that NOAH and ROH have worked closely together, giving the English speaking fans a better perception of NOAH than what they would get if they looked at the numbers.
The last five years have been really hard on wrestling in Japan, with attendance down across the board. New Japan does one annual show at the Tokyo Dome, but it's only drawing an average of around 25,000 fans as opposed to the 60,000 they could pack in during the glory period. They've stopped running at Budokan, and, though an occasional Sumo Hall show can get up to 11,000 fans, there are several more that hover around 6,000. NOAH is regularly under 10,000 in the Budokan now, and they suffered a huge embarrassment in September 2010 when their Budokan show only did 5,000 fans. They don't bother to run the Tokyo Dome these days. All Japan is out of both Budokan and the Tokyo Dome, and they Sumo Hall shows they have been running in recent years have usually had between 6,000 and 8,500 fans. All three companies have shows in much smaller venues on their regular tours where the attendance will sometimes dip below 1,000 fans (with a more realistic average being around 1,5000 fans), which would have been unheard of in the old days.
As far as the television situation is concerned, NJPW is still on TV Asahi, which is the strongest television for any professional wrestling in the country. NOAH got a shock last year, when they were moved off of NTV proper and onto a much less viewed cable channel owned by the same company. All Japan holds down shows on two small cable channels, GAORA and Samurai! TV.
Dragon Gate is an interesting case. They didn't really burst onto the scene until 2004, and they've steadily grown to the point where, currently, they are drawing just as many fans to small shows as NJPW, AJPW, and NOAH are. Dragon Gate's biggest shows aren't quite as big as New Japan's biggest shows, but it's not unheard of for DG to do between 8,000 and 10,000 fans for one of their more heavily promoted cards. This would put them on par with any of the companies that have been thought of as the "big three" for the past decade, and in some cases it would put them ahead of the big three. Dragon Gate's regular television program is also carried through GAORA, and they tend to do quite a bit more with PPV than any of their competitors do.
Thus, as you can probably tell, the "ranking" of the major companies in Japan is really muddied right now. I have a feeling that, due to history if nothing else, most people would probably list them from largest to smallest as New Japan, NOAH, All Japan, and Dragon Gate. However, if the idea is to look purely at business indicators, I would have a hard time telling you that Dragon Gate is not a bigger company than AJPW right now, and there is, at the very least, a plausible argument that it is the same size as NOAH, if not bigger.
The other thing that is interesting about Japanese professional wrestling as compared to pro wrestling in the United States is that wrestling promotions outside of this "big four" can get significantly more exposure than independent promotions in the US do. That is because cable channels in Japan are for some reason a lot more open to airing programs from small wrestling companies than cable channels in our country. This is helped greatly by the existence of the previously mentioned Samurai! TV, which is a network dedicated entirely to showing various pro wrestling, MMA, and kickboxing shows.
Just for the record, your top three independent groups in Japan these days are probably ZERO1, Big Japan Wrestling, and DDT, all of whom have some degree of cable television exposure on a regular basis and all of whom can easily grab between 1,500 and 1,800 fans for a major show. DDT, in a stunt that has really amazed the hell out of me, has managed to have one show this year and one show last year in Sumo Hall, both of which drew upwards of 8,000 fans. Other noteworthy independent groups these days are SMASH, Osaka Pro Wrestling, Michinoku Pro Wrestling, FREEDOMS, and Kaientai Dojo, all of which can get periodic cable television exposure for their biggest shows.
Ryan Byers ladies and gentlemen!
Matty has 3 questions.
Great job as always, a few questions for you.
1. What was the last PPV that Howard Finkel did ring announcing duties?
The last PPV he did actual ring announcing duties (and not just "Here's your Hall Of Fame Class!" at Wrestlemania)… Let's see….
Royal Rumble 2005 he was the Raw announcer, as he was at Wrestlemania 21. And that appears to be the last time. He didn't announce any more PPVs that year, and at WrestleMania 22, he was down to just the ‘Hall Of Fame' induction.
Which is bad and wrong. He should still be doing it, screw how he looks, you cannot tell me that he isn't the voice of the WWE, and that hearing him say "Here is your winner and… NEW!!!" doesn't send a chill up your spine.
2. We all know now that HBK and Bret Hart are friends (or at least on speaking terms); but when HBK returned to the ring full-time back in 2002, did Bret ever comment on it? If he did, what did he have to say?
Well, in early 2003, after Bret was coming back from his stroke, he went on ‘Off The Record'. And at the time. Shawn was just coming back in. And, well-
He basically just said that he thought Shawn was still Shawn. At the time, he still hadn't forgiven Shawn.
3. And finally, I've always wanted to know about Mick Foley's time in IWA Japan. Can you give me a brief overview? When did he join? How long was he with them? Any championships? etc.
IWA Japan was featured in Mick Foley's first book, as the Japanese company he briefly worked for in 1995/1996. Sadly, a full list of IWA Japan cards can not be found, but we can certainly look at what is out there on tape.
Cactus Jack's first match with them was January 8, 1995, when Cactus lost to Terry Funk in a ‘Barbwire Death Match'. Not the one that is most famous, but another, relatively unknown one.
OK, before we begin, a disclaimer:
All video between here and the picture of Tara will be violent as hell. Click at your own discretion, but it will be violent and bloody and not suitable for children, those of a nervous disposition, or people who read this column at work. You HAVE been warned.
This was followed up with a ‘No Rope Barbwire Match' for IWA Champions Forum that showed on Japanese TV (!!!) in February 1995.
Occasionally he'd cut a promo on Terry:
Or team up with Leatherface to lose to Shoji Nakamaki & Hiroshi Ono as part of the same series of TV shows in a ‘Barbwire Thumbtack Deathmatch'. The followed that up with a "No Rope Barbwire Board Thumbtack Death Match" at the IWA Japan's "Misery!! Push-Pins Death Match" event on March 7th, 1995
Did those guys do an Eiffel Tower there?
Both times Cactus lost when Leatherface was pinned.
At the end of that last video is the start of his next major match with IWA Japan, a month later on April 3rd. Clearly upset at Leatherface's stupidity and match losing, he turned on him, and began to team with The Crypt Keeper. He and The Crypt Keeper, on this April night, defeated to beat the elusive Shoji Nakamaki & Leatherface at the ‘Bricks Death Match' event in, what else, a No Rope Barbwire Bricks Death Match.
The next big show IWA Japan had was the big one, the one everyone knows about. IWA Kawasaki Dream, also known as King Of The Deathmatch. At Kawasaki Stadium, August 20th, 1995, Cactus Jack pinned Terry Gordy in a "Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Thumbtack Death Match", then, after failing to help his new best friend Tiger Jeet Singh beat Terry Funk, beat Shoiji Nakamaki in a "Barbed Wire Board Bed Of Nails Death Match."
He then, finally, deep breath, beat Terry Funk in a "No Rope Barbed Wire Explosive Barbed Wire Board Time Bomb Ladder Death Match" to win the IWA "King Of The Death Matches Tournament."
Cactus continued to team with Tiger Jeet Singh on IWA cards, fighting Terry Funk and whoever Terry teamed with, more often than not Keisuke Yamada. He did get an IWA Heavyweight Championship shot after winning the tournament, but failed to defeat Tarzan Goro for the title.
His only tag reign in the company was a tag title win when he and Tracy Smothers defeated The Headhunters in Yokohama, end of September 1995. Two days later, they lost the belts to Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke. This seems to be near the end of his run with IWA Japan.
So, overall, he spent maybe a year there, made some friends, made some enemies, and bled a hell of a lot. So there you go.
The More You Know!
Adam has a whole lot of questions.
Hi i love the work you do, it's my favourite part of 411, i have a few unconnected questions for you, hopefully you can help me.
1) What was the reason (storyline & Reality) for Kama to change to The Godfather? After the change he was in exactly the same spot on the roster, still in the nation.
Storyline: When The Rock gave gifts to The Nation, The Rock gave Kama, as well as D'Lo and Mark Henry, Solid Gold, $15,000 gold watches. And Faarooq got a picture of The Rock.
After receiving this gift, Kama began to go Pimp-like, slowly becoming more like the Pimp we know and love, officaly becoming ‘The Godfather' at King Of The Ring 1998 (although he had been known as ‘The Godfather of the Nation' ever since Rock took over as leader of the Nation).
Reality: Every Nation member needed a discernable personality so that DX could parody them.
Seriously, that was pretty much the reason. Same reason as why D'Lo became a Rock Kiss-Ass. So as DX could then parody them, since they now had personalities to make fun of.
2) During May 2001, Eddie Guerrero was involved in a storyline with Lita & Chyna where he was trying to make peace with them, this was cut short as Chyna stormed out and Eddie was fired for drugs, do you know where the storyline was going?
Towards a Chyna heel turn. Beyond that, no idea. Some sort of love triangle angle, probably.
3) I remember an article in WWF magazine during the invasion where it ranked all the newcomers and it claimed that Tommy Dreamer was the most impressive of them all, at some point WWF must have been high on him,for that to be written, so why did he get completely ignored during the Invasion angle?
OK, I think I'll have to create a new Stock Answer picture here. Some scantily clad diva (since that draws hits) at a whiteboard with ‘It's the InVasion. Nothing Makes Sense' or words to that effect.
Anyway, Tommy's mentions or lack thereof in the Magazine don't really count in the grand scheme of things since this wasn't when Russo was around, the Magazines didn't matter (as long as they kept within guidelines, they could do whatever). And the reasons for Dreamer not being used were the same for why anyone not WWF made wasn't used.
Because they weren't WWF made.
4) What's Maven doing these days?
He does still make the occasional wrestling appearance on the Indy scene (mostly for UWF), but his day to day job is with the Home Shopping Network's weekday morning show, HSN Today, as its exercise and wellness expert.
5) When the European Title was "retired" after Wrestlemania 15, was there any plans at the time for the retirement to be permanent?
I sadly couldn't find concrete info about the move, but I'd say no, on the basis that it was more them booking themselves into a corner, given that they didn't want anyone beating Shane up but couldn't have him going over people, so they had him retire it until they thought up a way to bring it back, which was Mideon finding it in Shane's bag and Shane wanting to just get rid of him.
6) What was the storyline behind The British Bulldog's return in 1999? he seemed to come from nowhere and be placed randomly in the main event at Unforgiven 1999.
Well, not nowhere. He debuted on the first Weekly Smackdown, winning the Hardcore title. His redebut there was to give the show a shocking start, a nice big shock.
He has been mentioned in May at the UK only PPV No Mercy (in May), being wished a speedy recovery from his back injury (and being used for a cheap pop by Mankind), and then his return here was to start Smackdown off with a bang, and then he got a little push to start him off, but then once he got that he was promptly moved down the card, after he served his purpose of providing a shock return and then eating the pinfall in the 6 Pack Challenge match.
7) In 2002, the WWE wen to Australia on tour, where they did a show called Global Warning which has since made in onto DVD, was this an Australia only PPV (Similar to the old UK only ones) or was this just a house show that was taped?
Thanks a lot
Nope, just one giant house show they taped. It was not shown on PPV down here, believe me.
See, occasionally living down here helps with a question!
And Mike of Da F'n Jungle ends this section since he crosses over.
Love the column. It's a great time killer on wednesdays at work! Never miss it! P.S. Remember the forums back in the day? Big Mike Watters, Nemesis, Odd Todd, Penguin, all those guys. Good fun.
Yeah, them saying I was racist all the time, good fun. But then again, I only got here as a writer because of the forums and Smark Superstar, thanks to Egomaniac not really wanting it, although had I been on staff at the time I would have hired Gordi straight up, but then my gimmick was fresh and cool at the time…
I have a few random questions.
1. When did Shawn Michaels go cross eyed? How did it happen? It happened sometime after his return in 2002 right? I don't remember seeing it at WMXX for example.
Strabismus, the inability of a person's eyes to focus on the same point due to the muscles and/or brain being unable to correctly send signals to the eyes, is often called cross-eyedness, or any number of various names. Basically, it means your eyes can't focus on the same point properly.
Now, in WWE canon, Shawn got this thanks to one Chris Jericho sending him face first through the Obscenely Expensive JeriTron 6000 (In HD!).
But it actually became somewhat noticeable during his comeback in 2007, when he began the ‘Beard & Cowboy Hat' look.
He seems to have inherited it from his father, in that his father suffers from the same thing, and it just took a long time to manifest itself. It can develop due to injury to the cornea or other parts of the eye, but in this case it seems to just be Father Time.
2. I don't really watch TNA, ROH, etc. And I keep hearing about this team called the Briscoes. Any relation to Jack and Jerry? Also what's their style? I heard they were high flyers.
That's an example of their work (and one of the few online since most of it's with ROH and thus off-limits).
The duo are in no way related to the original Jack and Jerry Brisco. They debuted in 2000, at 15 and 16 years old in ECWA, named Jay and Mark Briscoe. Those aren't their real names (it's Jamin and Mark Pugh), and they are from Delaware, so it all seems to be some sort of joke, call them the Briscoe Brothers, that's funny.
Like calling a team debuting now as ‘Edgar & Christoff' or something.
As for their style, it's your average US Indy style, which is not really an insult. It's a mash of high flying and power moves, not so much chain wrestling as it is ‘Hit the guy, then hit him again, then hit him off the top' style. Certainly there's high flying elements, compared with a Triple H they are totally high flyers, but they can also just drop you on your head.
My Damm Opinion
And then Mike of the etc. continues.
3. I've been watching wrestling since 95, and I consider myself fairly knowledgable. I can also let certain things slide for the sake of entertainment. However there are a few moves that bug me and I can't understand why they are still used. Mainly the clubbing forearm to the upper back. Just the way it's delivered makes it look really ineffective, and I often see small guys like Mysterio using it on people much bigger. How do they justify that as having any serious effect. Is there something I'm missing? Are there any other maneouvers that make you shake your head as to why they are used?
The clubbing forearm to the back I don't mind usually, in that if a big guy does it you should sell, but if/when Rey does it that's just a ‘here's a move to distract you while I think of what to do next'. It's better than just standing there. Certainly if someone sold a Mysterio forearm like he'd just been shot at point blank range with a high powered sniper rifle with hollow point bullets I'd complain, and likewise if Big Show did one and the guy acted like it actually revived him, I'd complain as well, but in context I don't mind it. It's meant to distract you, to prevent you thinking, and if it hurts your neck a bit, great.
I tend to dislike anything that takes enough time to set up that I begin to wonder why the guy doesn't stop it, or just anything that defies Wrestling Logic. Guys getting drop toe holded into the ropes for a 619 by Mysterio I'm fine with since he's aiming for it and it's justifiable. But when someone kicks a guy on the ropes so that he ends up holding himself up, balanced across the second rope, so that you can then springboard for a leg drop, that sort of stuff just rubs me the wrong way.
I don't go the full bore ‘if you wouldn't use it in a bar fight, don't use it here' logic, but I do have a problem with moves requiring the guy taking it doing things of his own accord without logical reasons.
4. Finally an opinion one. Some fantasy booking. If you could go back, change a major event (the result, participant, story) what would it be? I'm thinking for example of stuff like, instead of Jeff Hardy winning his first WWE title at Armageddon, doing it at WM25. Or maybe making the match between him and matt for the title. It could be Booker going over HHH at WM19.
It could be capitalizing on a wrestler that was hot but never got the full push or anything like that. Personally I think the momentum Matt Hardy back in 06/07 could have carried him to a World Title feud with Edge on Smackdown and the fans would have bought it...Maybe not so much now...
Anyways, thanks again!
Well, you've specified one event, so no just going back and making the InVasion not suck…
If you gave me full bore to change anything, there's no real moment I can hang my hat on here, but had I been able to change one thing, I would have had Bradshaw fired at some point in the early 90's and go to ECW. Seriously. Not so much for what he could do in ring (although he's fit in well) but more I want him backstage, so as he can take over the business side of ECW and thus, with his acumen and money ECW would, in my mind, be around today.
I'll give you two, one abstract, one solid. Abstract, I'd have pushed Steven Richards harder. It might have started as one giant unfunny jab at their detractors, but go back to the tape, and listen to the hatred RTC had. Just put over Stevie's kick as something deadly (Have him eliminate half a dozen or more big name guys from the 2001 Rumble for instance) and you have a legit shot at a main event heel.
For something slightly less risky, I would have gone ahead with Hogan V Flair at Wrestlemania VIII. Screw it not drawing at house shows, that match should have happened at Wrestlemania.
(And as a bonus one, for something to actually help the company involved: I would have gone with someone else for the Hogan 93 push other than Luger, that being Tatanka. Sure, you'd probably end up back with Bret at Wrestlemania X anyway, but the matches would have been better and it might have worked. Maybe.)
Josh talks about the Rhodes boys.
Hey, how's it going? I want to talk about Dustin Rhodes. It seems like every promotion he has been with has pushed him. In WCW, "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes is a former US champion, had feuds with Rick Rude and Barry Windam. In the WWF he came in as Goldust, won a few IC titles, had high profile fueds with The Undertaker, Roddy Piper and Scott Hall. He went back to WCW as Seven, only to trash the character on TV and look to be in line for a nice push. So with all these pushes, how come he never reach the level of success that his father did? What is missing from Dustin Rhodes that companies were willing to push him, but not put the World Title on him? In fact, has he ever been in a main event situation in any promotion?
There has been only one promotion where Dustin has been a main eventer, Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, which was, quite co-incidentally, the promotion owned and run by his father, Dusty Rhodes. He was the TCW Heavyweight Champion for just over a month in 2002.
As for what's missing, Dustin's just… He's a solid hand, has a certain level of overness as himself but vastly more as Goldust, which is the gimmick he's best at, he's just… competent. Not great like his dad was, just… Good. Which is great for the midcard, he's a great guy to have there, over, can put on a decent match, got a solid rep, can work and lead a match, can teach, he's a great workman, but he's just lacking that spark that a main eventer should have. He's just not totally the wrestler his dad was in terms of charisma when he's not covered in paint. And when he is covered in paint, then you don't quite take him seriously.
But then, not every guy can and will be a main eventer. You need talent up and down the card. And Goldust fits very nicely where he is now, a solid hand with a decent name to help build guys.
I know it's probably too early to tell, but do you think that there is a chance for Cody Rhodes? Main Event, World Champion?
I kinda hope not, in that I don't like him. But given his status and how much they have put into him…. They might well give him a go at it, but unless he hits it out of the park when they do, probably not. But then Jack Swagger is a former World Champion, so who knows…
Pete asks a big one.
Im not sure if it has already been done but what PPV matches would you make when WWE bought out WCW and WCW still had its proper roster? They still had Hogan, Flair, Sting, Nash, Macho, Hall, Perfect even Bret Hart had to come back
Well, yes they did, but a lot of them were injured or taking a buy out or unavailable. But all right, let's say it's a magical world of double rainbows and kazoos for all, and the roster of WWF and WCW were up and running at full capacity, Rock stuck around, the works. What would I have done?
Well, just going with the InVasion PPV (and not thinking about long term booking or Wrestlemania or anything…) and assuming that ECW doesn't die at the same time…
Edge & Christian & The Dudley Boys V Sean O'Haire & Chuck Palumbo & Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman
Hardcore Match: Raven V Steven Richards V Norman Smiley V Terry Funk
Lance Storm & Mike Awesome w/Bret Hart V Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy
Goldberg V William Regal
Sting V Triple H
Submission Match: Ric Flair w/Arn Anderson V Kurt Angle
The Rock V Booker T
Trish & Lita V Stacy & Torrie
Inaugural Brawl: The nWo (Hulk Hogan/Kevin Nash/Scott Hall/Randy Savage/Scott Steiner) V Steve Austin/Kane/Undertaker/Chris Jericho/Big Show (so Big Show can turn)
9 matches are a lot, and that still leaves off guys like DDP, Perfect, Piper even. But then they can interfere and stuff, backstage things can be happening (coz Goldberg would win in a few minutes really). And this does actually have some degree of long term booking, as the long term plan is for the WCW Stars to come in, win at first, then get beat down, and then the young guys come up and beat the WWF guys all over again, before WWF wins once and for all… Just in time for ECW to come in and start a new war.