1991 - The What If Year of Wrestling

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1991 - The What If Year of Wrestling Empty 1991 - The What If Year of Wrestling

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:49 am

Of the 25 years I have watched wrestling, 1991 strikes me as the what if year of wrestling and especially in the WWF (I shall use old currency) by where the was a load of talent in the WWE ranks. Hogan came back to save the WWF after the Ultimate Warrior had not gone over as much as the WWF wanted. The Hart Foundation were no more. Sid Justice came to the WWF and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts made an intriguing heel turn at SummerSlam. Ric Flair came to the WWF with the 'Real Champion' angle. Undertaker was nicely coming into his own.

However despite the wealth of talent that they had, there were a few feuds as to which I think 'If Only'

First off Undertaker/Ultimate Warrior. 2 days after Wrestlemania 7, UE was a guest on 'The Funeral Parlour' and Paul Bearer was taunting the UE with a casket made for the UE by the Undertaker. After some chest beating and barking impressions by UE, the Taker appeared behind UE and attacked him and eventually locking him in the casket.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNg95xuwuCs

Later that month at Saturday Night's Main Event Ultimate Warrior was in a match with Sgt Slaughter when Paul Bearer wheeled out the casket and then the Taker appeared again and with the Sarge attacked the Warrior only to be saved by Hogan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNp9vk2fyCc

After that Warrior/Undertaker was no more. Despite Jake Roberts being involved with the storyline with his 3 tests to prepare the Warrior for a Taker showdown and Warrior's crazy pay demands lead to him eventually being written out of WWF storylines. His last appearance being at SummerSlam 1991 before a less than triumphant return at WrestleMania 8.

Bret 'Hitman' Hart/Mr Perfect. This led to one of the great Intercontentinental Championship matches ever at SummerSlam 1991. Bret Hart had just broken away from the Hart Foundation and was carving out a career. I remember UK Rampage 1991 when Jim Niedhart took on the Warlord and thought the break would help both. Needless to say only one would make the grade. Mr Perfect had retired prior to the match and was suffering long term injuries and planned to drop the title to Hart in order to recover. The match is one of my all time favourites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9llXNkA1Ts

After that match Mr Perfect became a color commentator (remember the pen chucking to sign his name thing) and came back in 1992 when on Prime Time Macho Man asked him to come out of retirement to team with him. Bret Hart had then become the WWF Champion and he never rekindled his feud with Mr Perfect which would've been awesome.

Ric Flair/Roddy Piper

At the time for me the 2 best workers on the mic. Flair had just joined the WWF was in an angle with Hogan over the whole 'Real Champion's' deal. However at Survivor Series he crossed paths with a certain Rowdy Roddy Piper. They had a team match up and the scene by where Piper and Flair meet in the ring is gold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku2cd022Iw8

Piper and Flair wrestled a few dark matches afterwards but never had the feud at the time we wanted and deserved. Piper went on to win the Intercontinental Title at the Royal Rumble and Flair became the WWF Champion too. They never wrestled each other again in the WWF.

If only things had been different.........




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Post by Mr H on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:44 am

1998 always strikes me as a 'what if' year.

The start of the Attitude Era and shift in ratings in the WWF's favour could have been so different. What if Shawn Michaels hadnt got injured at the Royal Rumble and 'retired' after losing to Austin at Wrestlemania? Would 'The Kliq' have ever formed? How would Austin's path in 98 looked if Michaels was still around?

Lots of 'what ifs' on the WCW front too, what if they didnt bring in a second show 'WCW Thunder', would fans not have suffered overkill and would their ratings on Nitro have dropped? What if Kevin Nash wasnt in charge of bookings and pushed himself and ended Goldbergs streak.

Lots of bad decisions in WCW in 98, could have been so different.

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Post by Guest on Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:13 am

Very good point there H.

WCW in 96/97 did so many things right and I felt much more attracted to their brand because of the mid-card alone. In a sense it was WCW's forward thinking which forced the hand of the WWE to start the attitude era. I did wonder how the WWE were going to fair after Michaels retired. Austin literally just exploded after WM14. HHH and Rock certainly marked as superstars to come in for Hart and Michaels.

WCW with NWO Hollywood and Wolfpac was interesting to a point, but it was starting to get old. WCW at that time was full to the brim of over the hill talent and not enough attention was paid to the youngsters on the books. Again if anyone but Nash was booking.

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Post by Mr H on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:04 am

I probably despise Kevin Nash more than any other person in the history of professional wrestling. If there was ever anyone out for themselves, anyone so self indulgent and wrapped up in his own hype more so than Nash i'd like to hear about it. He to this day still maintains that he didnt start booking in WCW until early 1999, something that alot of talent at the time disagreed with. Eddie Guerrero said in his autobiography that Nash was behind the booking in 98 and how he basically made it all about himself. I'd definately take Eddie's word over Nash's. Booking himself to end Goldberg's streak at Starcade, i cant believe Bill Goldberg even agreed to that. Nash's master politicking in the WWF in 95 was behind his year long title reign too, and we all know how poorly that drew. Then theres the incident last year when he 'bigfooted' CM Punk and never did let Punk go over him. As usual it Kevin Nash was only looking out for Kevin Nash. Even last week he was quoted as saying Punk should be the leader of a new nWo faction. Yes OK Triple H isnt a saint and is well known for his clout backstage and for pushing himself, but atleast HHH has put plenty of other guys over and has the talent to back it up.

It will be a dark day if Nash is ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. I hope it never happens.

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Post by Kay Fabe on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:12 am

1991 should have been an awesome year, it had all the tools

Firstly, The Ultimate Warrior should never have dropped the belt to Slaughter, it's a common misconception that Warrior being Champion equated to business being down, that wasn't Warrior's fault, it simply was the WWF had reached it's peak in the mid-late 80s and Pro Wrestling in general suffered a dip, many could look at Hogan losing clean at WM6 as an 'ending' to a lot of fans who had already outgrown it, the houses at which Warrior was at though as Champ were doing great, the only reason Warrior dropped the belt to Slaughter is because Vince being a patriotic mark wanted American Hero Hulk Hogan to see off evil Iraqi Sympathiser Sgt Slaughter at WrestleMania while also reclaiming Old Glory's pride and joy (WWF Title)

It was a ridiculous decision which backfired spectacularly when attendances dropped in their droves, much so that they had to switch WrestleMania VII to a venue much smaller in attendance, to their credit they at least came up with a unique explanation in the hope that it'd create more heat for Slaughter, not very logical mind you but at least they tried

Warrior/Savage was the hottest feud of the year and their house matches through Jan-March sold out all over America, that was a no-brainer that this match should have been for the WWF Title and Main Evented WM7, Savage needed time off anyway so could easily have put his career on the line in order to get that elusive Title shot

Hogan/Slaughter I had no real problem with, no-one would have if they didn't go and include the WWF Title into it, so I'd have liked to see this angle for what it truly was, self indulgent America putting the shady foreigners in their place

I would have liked to see a real feud over tlhe Tag Titles between the Legion of Doom and The Hart Foundation, the Harts where the Champions from SummerSlam 90 to WrestleMania VII and the LOD played a major part in them winning the titles, I don't think either had to be heel, simply the two best Tag Teams in the World facing off at the biggest event for the biggest prize they can win

The Warrior/Undertaker/Jake Roberts feud, such a shame that this didn't come to fruition, people might want to blame Warrior for his pay demands, what they seem to forget is that his "demands" where for his pay for the event up front while also being paid his WrestleMania cheque, Hogan, Slaughter and Savage had theirs, Warrior didn't have his, he wanted what he was due and wanted his SummerSlam cheque along with it since he felt he was being messed around, of course, since he doesn't pander to Vince and Co that fact has been bastardised as Warrior just demanding that fee for that nights work...Still, that angle was hot as hell, the acting in the segments where shoddy as hell but the characters where so and to me still are so compelling that you can't help but want to see

Flair/Piper, these two guys where hot as hell, around November time they took Flair/Hogan all over the States and it flopped big time, no-one was really interested in it and word spread and ticket sales fell (that's why they never pushed through with it for WrestleMania VII), after a couple of weeks fans started chanting Piper's name, they all wanted to see Flair/Piper but it never really happened, we got bits and bobs but they never really pushed through with what could and should have been a hot as hell angle

Sid Justice, I loved big Sid, he just looked like an absolute beast, he was absolutely huge, I liked his in to the WWF, the enforcer, it was fitting, but for me the main event should have been a World Title match and Side should have screwed the face and turned heel there and then.

The Savage/Jake feud was brilliant too but the pay-off from it was nowhere near as hot as it should have been

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Post by Guest on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:33 am

Superb summary there gaff.

I am with you on the Warrior not dropping to Sgt Slaughter. Of all the talent on the roster I still to this day have no idea why Slaughter was the one to end it. I don't personally blame the Warrior for the feud with Roberts/Taker not coming off. Officially the WWE for years have towed the line that the Warrior made these pay demands. Warrior/Taker would've been seismic for the industry at the time as you said when Hogan fans had outgrown the product.

Flair and Piper matches were dark matches for events around the states and it should've taken off. After their team matches at Survivor Series I was well buzzing for a singles match for the title. Should've been Flair and Piper for the title at WrestleMania 8. One of the feuds that should've happened and never did.

Hart and Perfect it was literally timing. They had that one epic match at SummerSlam and Perfect was already beaten up physically due to the schedule he had in 1990. Hart was up and coming and while it was re-freshing the Hart Foundation dropping the titles at WrestleMania 7, I would've sooner they dropped them to The Rockers than The Nasty Boys. Bret Hart was pushed way up the card and despite a short feud with The Mountie. He dropped the title to British Bulldog and then became WWF Champion later in the year. It was a shame that Perfect was never given the chance to contest a title match with him. It was a nice touch by Hart last week to mention his match with Perfect.

I so wish they could re-write 1991.

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Post by Guest on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:38 am

I agree with you there H on Nash.

He peed me off in 2000 when WCW was being run into the ground and I recall he was asked what he was going to do and he made a comment like "I am just going to sit in the sandpit with Hall and just play with our ball" his attitude just stunk.

HHH for me has matured a lot. Wasn't a fan of his when he was up and coming due to his backstage pollitcking, but like you say least he puts others over. Especially at Mania with Benoit, Batista, Cena, Orton. HHH was always loved the business and Nash has just always loved himself.

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Post by Mr H on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:40 am

Whenever i think of Flair/Piper the first thing that enters my head is the Rumble with Flair sat in the ring on his own waiting for the next entrant and low and behold its Roddy Piper. Both guys, aswell as Heenan on commentary, gave a glimpse of what might have been.

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Post by bretmeharty on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:44 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:Superb summary there gaff.

I am with you on the Warrior not dropping to Sgt Slaughter. Of all the talent on the roster I still to this day have no idea why Slaughter was the one to end it. I don't personally blame the Warrior for the feud with Roberts/Taker not coming off. Officially the WWE for years have towed the line that the Warrior made these pay demands. Warrior/Taker would've been seismic for the industry at the time as you said when Hogan fans had outgrown the product.

Flair and Piper matches were dark matches for events around the states and it should've taken off. After their team matches at Survivor Series I was well buzzing for a singles match for the title. Should've been Flair and Piper for the title at WrestleMania 8. One of the feuds that should've happened and never did.

Hart and Perfect it was literally timing. They had that one epic match at SummerSlam and Perfect was already beaten up physically due to the schedule he had in 1990. Hart was up and coming and while it was re-freshing the Hart Foundation dropping the titles at WrestleMania 7, I would've sooner they dropped them to The Rockers than The Nasty Boys. Bret Hart was pushed way up the card and despite a short feud with The Mountie. He dropped the title to British Bulldog and then became WWF Champion later in the year. It was a shame that Perfect was never given the chance to contest a title match with him. It was a nice touch by Hart last week to mention his match with Perfect.

I so wish they could re-write 1991.

Who's got a time machine?

91' was slightly before my time, but have watched all events and matches from 85' on wards over time and there are matches that stand out. But I think unless you live through a period you cant really comment imo. 97' on wards for me.

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Post by Mr H on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:46 am

The thing with Triple H is that he's very smart. Very very smart. He puts others over on the Grandest Stage at Wrestlemania to make everyone think he's this saint and that he isnt as self indulgent as he used to be. But its the other victories he picks up at the lesser PPVs which nark me. For example going over CM Punk at Night of Champions last year, how did that benefit him exactly? And how much benefit would it have given Punk if HE won that match? Everyone says he is doing whats good for business, yes most of the time he does, but theres always the odd creative decision which puts Triple H over just to remind everyone that he's still there.

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Post by bretmeharty on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:47 am

What would of been interesting is what if Nash and Hall never would of jumped ship, would Nash's poison riddled wwe within. Who knows wcw may of been the ones left standing.

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Post by Guest on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:52 am

Aye I can't argue there H. Didn't see the benefit in him going over CM Punk last year, but I do wonder though how many people backstage feed his ego. It's been good that he has kept off the screens, but it seems he comes back for the 'big' matches Punk, Taker and Lesnar. Just wonder how long that trend goes on for in the future.

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Post by Kay Fabe on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:16 pm

I was happy he went over Punk the way it transpired as at the time I was sure they wouldn't see each other again until WrestleMania with a Haitch heel turn after being revealed as the guy behind the screwjobs and Punk going over him and the office in a big victory that truly announced his arrival at the top table

The stand alone match and victory to HHH made no sense what so ever, I'm guessing they came to a compromise back in June, "you slate the crap out of me and get propelled to the main event and I'll take a win off you later in the year"

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Post by Brady12 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:19 pm

The year I discovered Wrestling.... What fond memories...

No doubt about it Warrior vs Savage was the Main Event at Mania 7.

I also loved the Jake Roberts, Rick Martel fued which I thought was fantastically executed, even if the match in the end was a complete blow off.

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Post by Kay Fabe on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:08 pm

The match had to be a blow off though didn't it, a blind fold match couldn't go down any other way in my opinion, in the interests of making it seem as real as possible it had to suck

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Post by Brady12 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:31 pm

Fair point.... I guess it had to be

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Post by Crimey on Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:55 am

the-gaffer wrote:I was happy he went over Punk the way it transpired as at the time I was sure they wouldn't see each other again until WrestleMania with a Haitch heel turn after being revealed as the guy behind the screwjobs and Punk going over him and the office in a big victory that truly announced his arrival at the top table

The stand alone match and victory to HHH made no sense what so ever, I'm guessing they came to a compromise back in June, "you slate the crap out of me and get propelled to the main event and I'll take a win off you later in the year"

I imagine it was more because they changed the plans, and the Punk win later was planned at the time but then plans changed as they always seem to these days.

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Post by Mr H on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:31 am

Crimey wrote:
the-gaffer wrote:I was happy he went over Punk the way it transpired as at the time I was sure they wouldn't see each other again until WrestleMania with a Haitch heel turn after being revealed as the guy behind the screwjobs and Punk going over him and the office in a big victory that truly announced his arrival at the top table

The stand alone match and victory to HHH made no sense what so ever, I'm guessing they came to a compromise back in June, "you slate the crap out of me and get propelled to the main event and I'll take a win off you later in the year"

I imagine it was more because they changed the plans, and the Punk win later was planned at the time but then plans changed as they always seem to these days.

Im not convinced. Wouldnt suprise me in the slightest if HHH put himself over Punk knowing full well that Punk wouldnt even the score. It's all about the ego. The 'skinny fat ass' comments to Punk and Nash's comments to Punk about needing to hit the weights. Totally unneccesary. Just a pair of big ego's trying to gain a cheap laugh at a current talent by publicly having a cheap pop.

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Post by liverbnz on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:42 am

I remember Nash responding to tweet asking whether he was going to put Punk over after the Summerslam boot in the face. He replied the he would.

I know he's hardly to be trusted, but if hw wasn't going to put Punk over he simply could have ignored the question like I'm sure he does with most.

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Post by MetalMotty on Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:01 am

With you on your review Gaffer but i would have had sid win the rumble match.
He was on fire at the time and the fact that when he was eliminated by hogan/flair the crowd booed hogan. This shows how over he was as a face.
Flair didnt need the rumble win/title then, but could have won it later.

i think Sid should have won

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Post by Mr H on Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:51 am

The title situation in 91 was very similar to what it was this year.

You had Flair/Savage for the title at Mania 8 in an excellent midcard match, followed by the main event of Sid v Hogan which had to be the main event for Warrior's return. This year you had Punk/Jericho for the title in an excellent match followed by the main event of Cena/Rock.

Motty i agree that Sid winning the Rumble would have been a good option. You could then have had Sid v Hogan for the title at Mania with the same finish of Warrior making the save, so Sid losing via DQ but retaining the title. I would have had Flair v Savage fued over Miss Elizabeth.

At Summerslam i would have had Hogan v Slaughter 1 on 1 and Sid v Warrior for the title with Warrior winning. Although that was never going to happen with the whole pay dispute thing.

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Post by Kay Fabe on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:38 pm

I still don't know how they could even contemplate Hogan not being a heel at the 92 Rumble, by that time the fans where fed up of him, they booed the crap out of him and he was a sore loser and turned on his friend after being eliminated from the Rumble, yet the slant was on dastardly Sid Justice

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