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Old 05-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wrestlemania 15: Undertaker vs Steve Austin

Yes, I know that the title of this never happened. This thread is really a question on if the WWE had any long term planning in place for Wrestlemania 15. I'm sure McMahon didn't expect to lose both Bret Hart and Michaels in a span of 6 months, but it's clear that Austin was going to get pushed.

It's obvious Austin was always going to headline Mania 14. He was being pushed since before Mania 13 as the next top guy, getting a title shot as early as Final Four 1997. Michaels caught the back injury at Royal Rumble '98. I'm sure they knew he was gone for a while.

So if I'm McMahon in March 1998, I'm looking at a few guys to Main Event 15.
Undertaker, Mick Foley being the easy front runners. Kane, Owen Hart and HHH being long shots. Faarooq and Ken Shamrock being far, far long shots, but wouldn't been completely out of the question if the Nation kept strong.

Shamrock never moved up the card, Faarooq was replaced by the Rock as the leader of the nation and eventually repackaged completely. So that would've ruled them out.

Owen never screamed main eventer, let alone WM Main eventer, but the backstory of breaking Austin's next could've helped his chances.

HHH was given a leadership role of a stable and in a years time with proper booking could've been a strong option. In reality in only took him two years.

Kane would've been a strong monster, by WM15could've been a serious contender.

Still, the only concrete options by WM14 to look at would've been Mick Foley and Taker. Even Foley hadn't touched a world title until January of the next year.

So Undertaker would've been the closest thing to a lock, if planning a year ahead.

There's no way to think that from WM14 The Rock would've main evented. He was just a midcard heel and not even the head of the Nation yet. Granted, he had a singles match at WM14 and Faarooq didn't.

But instantly after Austin wins the belt at 14, he's put in a program against Foley, and then Undertaker. Pretty much eliminating them from being a WM15 threat.

So does anyone know if there was any long term booking plans? Or did Michaels injury throw them off so much that they didn;t have a clue and The Rock happened to start really getting over.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15; Undertaker vs Steve Austin

Yet in you signature you praise Chris Jericho but do you realize he had no business main eventing anything in the midst of a wrestling boom?
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15; Undertaker vs Steve Austin

There was rumors in the summer of '98 that UT/Austin would main event WM 15 even though the match was happening at SummerSlam 98 too.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15; Undertaker vs Steve Austin

Cablegeddon, can you explain to me how in the fuck that stupid shit you just posted was anywhere relevant to what the fuck I just typed? I never discredited The Rock, and you're an idiot if you interpreted it that way. I asked was there any long term booking put in place for Wrestlemania 15. I didn't say the Rock was undeserving. I said he wouldn't have been on the main event radar around WM14. All I'm asking is if anyone had any ideas what the original Mania main event was and I'm guessing Undertaker would've been that plan.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15: Undertaker vs Steve Austin

It was always gonna end up Rock/Austin. Rock got over huge and was gonna be a big star, so it's hard to believe that match would not have happened.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15: Undertaker vs Steve Austin

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Originally Posted by Dexter Morgan View Post
It was always gonna end up Rock/Austin. Rock got over huge and was gonna be a big star, so it's hard to believe that match would not have happened.
Russo said he originally wanted Austin/Undertaker though. Then there was talk of making it a triple threat too, but HBK helped convince them it was best to make the title match one on one for Manias. Ironic when you consider years later HBK ends up being the guy to have the first triple threat main event at Mania lol.

It is true though Rock got over huge and I believe the SummerSlam 98 match made the company change course with Rock's ladder match.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15: Undertaker vs Steve Austin

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Originally Posted by promoter2003 View Post
Russo said he originally wanted Austin/Undertaker though. Then there was talk of making it a triple threat too, but HBK helped convince them it was best to make the title match one on one for Manias. Ironic when you consider years later HBK ends up being the guy to have the first triple threat main event at Mania lol.

It is true though Rock got over huge and I believe the SummerSlam 98 match made the company change course with Rock's ladder match.
No, Russo wanted it to be Austin-Rock-Foley.

I think they planned Austin-Rock. Both fought against eachother six days before Mania 14. They did a rematch between them few weeks after it, where Rock refered the "Magic" in their first match.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15: Undertaker vs Steve Austin

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Originally Posted by Yosihait View Post
No, Russo wanted it to be Austin-Rock-Foley.

I think they planned Austin-Rock. Both fought against eachother six days before Mania 14. They did a rematch between them few weeks after it, where Rock refered the "Magic" in their first match.
They did plan Rock/Austin after SummerSlam ended. The wwf at least back then would always plan WrestleMania 6 months in advance and said so in the RAW magazine.

Rock/HHH's ladder match convinced the company Rock could be ready for the main event which is why HHH got the IC position and Rock was moved onto the heavyweight title scene.

Before that though as I said during the build to SummerSlam it was talked about having Austin/Undertaker with Undertaker turning heel (the whole darker Taker was slowly getting phased in post SummerSlam) for WM 15 after the face vs. face match with UT/Austin at SummerSlam.

I also remember the talk about Rock/Austin happening the night after Survivor Series on RAW was the seal that made the plan officially changed to Rock/Austin at Mania. Rock/Austin had that "magic" you are referring to and it did a good rating which made the company believe Rock could main event against Austin. Remember Austin/UT was HUGE at SummerSlam.

Then the success of Rock/Foley made talks of there being a triple threat(which wasn't really happening anyways) where it is said HBK said it was wiser to just do a straight up title match of one on one. Rock/Austin was planned after SummerSlam though.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15: Undertaker vs Steve Austin

If we're talking plans immediately after WrestleMania 14, I think the plan was always going to be Austin vs McMahon's Corporate Champion 100%. Now, who McMahon's champion would be was probably not set in stone, but The Rock had to be a clear favorite if he could get over. Which, of course, he did and the rest was history.

EDIT: I also think that Austin/Undertaker was set in stone for SummerSlam pretty early. I remember seeing the ads and hype as early as spring, and I think once Austin started feuding with Kane, Austin/Taker was the clear trajectory of that match, with the Austin/Foley and Taker/Kane feuds intersecting.

They needed a big MSG main event for their second biggest show of the year, and Taker to put Austin over huge anyway, and it all clicked for SummerSlam moreso than for WrestleMania.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wrestlemania 15; Undertaker vs Steve Austin

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Originally Posted by ninealevyn View Post
Cablegeddon, can you explain to me how in the fuck that stupid shit you just posted was anywhere relevant to what the fuck I just typed? I never discredited The Rock, and you're an idiot if you interpreted it that way. I asked was there any long term booking put in place for Wrestlemania 15. I didn't say the Rock was undeserving. I said he wouldn't have been on the main event radar around WM14. All I'm asking is if anyone had any ideas what the original Mania main event was and I'm guessing Undertaker would've been that plan.
You wanted Owen Hart over The Rock for the main event...and this was a guy who was guilty of a horrible botch, a guy who had been demoted to a comedy gimmick right. I'm sorry I can only interpret that one way
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