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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

Who do you think was the bigger draw by say mid 96? Lets say Warrior was committed to going full time for a few years, would it have made sense from a business standpoint to give Warrior a run with the belt or to feature him in main event angles? His brief run in 1996 was just mid card feuds but towards the end they began having him interact with HBK/Vader and other main eventers so it would have been interesting to see if it would have eventually built to a face vs face match with HBK or even a main even feud with Vader (Vader vs Warrior seemed like a natural fit).

What do you think?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 11:22 AM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

Shawn Michaels was the #1 guy in 1996. The Warrior was on his last failed run in WWE. He didn't do much memorable except squashing Triple H at WrestleMania 12. Shawn was a way bigger draw at that time.


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 11:40 AM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

There is no comparison - HBK was the biggest star in the WWE during 1996. Pretty much ever since his ladder match with Razor Ramon at 'Mania 10 in 1994, he was built up as one of the companies top stars after they began to focus more on pushing smaller guys (Bret Hart etc) which culminated at the end of 'Mania 12 by winning the WWE Title. There's no doubt that Warrior was still a name but his last stint failed to make much of an impact in regards to any progression that the company made during 1996.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 11:41 AM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

Warrior didn't headline any PPV's, so it's tough to say. Now, if we take HBK out of the Mania event and replace him with Warrior and it's Warrior vs Bret, I think the buyrate would be better. So I'd say Warrior.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 02:03 PM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

The nWo.

The real answer is neither. Warrior wasn't really put in the position to draw like HBK was, and HBK didn't really draw as champ.

This question is also hard to answer, because Warrior and HBK were always packaged together. The highest rating RAW did until they were beating Nitro (4.7) was when Warrior returned to RAW on 4/8/96, but it was also headlined by HBK vs Lawler. They were unopposed, too.


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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 03:22 PM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

i feel like most people don't even really remember warriors 96' stint with the company....or at the very least didn't find it to be memorable.....so i'd say HBK as he was the face of the company sorta.....if warrior wasn't out of his mind(wearing a baseball cap) and so unreliable(wanting time off for his dads funeral despite not caring for the man) i could've seen him surpassing HBK from a drawing stand point....at his peak and even shortly after his peak Warrior was an INFINITELY bigger draw then shawn(don't get it twisted i LOVE HBK depending on what day you ask me he might be my GOAT)....but by 96' unfortunately the wrestling world had passed Warrior by
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 03:54 PM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

What people don't take into account when talking about HBK drawing in '96 if how bad things could've gotten. And this is even before we even touch on the Outsiders leaving to WCW. Why do you guys think they gave Shawn and Bret an hour plus? They just didn't have much else. Then the outsiders left and Bret was gone. I think Shawn deserves a little credit for just keeping some of the fans. If if they were losing fans and not creating new ones I'm sure Shawn and Undertaker were the only reason a lot of fans didn't ditch WWE completely. Overall you're looking at an overall shitty roster.

Thankfully in this year seeds were planted that created the next generation of guys like Mankind debuting, Austin changing character, Hunter's IC title push at the end of the year and Rocky's debut.

I give credit to Shawn for maintaining any bit of viewers they did have, but the roster was just fucked.

Yeah, I think it's obvious who I think drew more in '96. Warrior was there for a cup of coffee.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 04:27 PM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

..Wasn't Warrior only back for like a few months? and in that time he got to face a green relatively unknown HHH, Goldust and Jerry Lawler...it's not fair to compare based on such a short run with relatively low profile matches.

I don't think HBK has ever drawn like Warrior did in 1990-1991 though.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 05:23 PM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

As a kid the first wrestler I was ever a mark for was Sting, I was very much an NWA/WCW fan and everything about Sting from the face paint to his in ring style. So when I began watching WWE regularly around the time The Road Warriors debuted in 1990 I was completely taken in by The Ultimate Warrior although he'd been my favourite WWE wrestler from what I'd seen on PPV videos bought for me by family as a kid.

This being said by the time he'd disappeared in 1992 he'd already lost a lot of his appeal and I don't believe The Ultimate Warrior was a major draw anymore although he may have been the biggest of a bad bunch in name value. From WrestleMania 10 onwards Shawn Michaels was pushed as one of the top stars and by mid 1995 the company was being built around him despite Diesel being WWE champion and Bret Hart being the established top babyface before.

Shawn Michaels was never a major draw but Raw had it's highest ever rating at that point in time the night after WrestleMania 12 and despite not being a major draw Shawn Michaels was still the biggest draw WWE had until Stone Cold Steve Austin began blowing up in latter 1997, even though he wasn't WWE champion Shawn Michaels was main eventing PPV's and being the main focus until 1998 began. I remember Tully Blanchard saying before that it doesn't matter how much management like you if you aren't drawing money you won't main event PPV's and the company being built around Shawn Michaels for a couple of years whilst not a financial success in comparison to others was still drawing money.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 06:21 PM
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Re: Bigger Draw in 96: HBK or Ultimate Warrior?

Warrior lost appeal in 1992? Pops were still as big as anyone in the company. He and Davey Boy were canned to be sacrificial lambs of the "wellness policy" (which according to records, they never failed) to get the feds off Vince's back. It worked.

The 1996 run never got going because of a contract breach. McMahon went ahead and was licensing the Warrior's image and slogans where Warrior did not give permission.


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