Originally Posted by ShowStopper '97
Doesn't make any sense to have that build up of HBKs first title win just to lose it in 3 months. Also, in HBK's book he said that Vince told him he was going to have a long title run. And back then, the standard world title run was 5 months. Wouldn't have made sense to have him lose it in almost half that time, especially when they were trying to make a new star. Plus, it's not like Warrior's return overtook WCW in the ratings.
I agree that it wouldn't have been the smartest thing, even from a match quality standpoint alone.
However, Vince telling Shawn anything means nothing, because Vince has been known to lie and pull off last minute bullshit (not last minute to him, mind you).
I Googled this, and it looks like my guess was right, as far as the Warrior defending title against Vader thing, being for a house show program:
I bought the Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD, and when they were showing clips from 1996 when he returned, they showed the front of a WWF House Show program in 1996 that was made ahead of time. It said WWF Championship Match and had the Warrior listed as chamption.
Every once in a while this question gets asked. I don't think there's a clear answer to it, but I believe it has a strong possibility of being true.
There were some advertisements floating around back then with Warrior listed as the WWF champion.
Also, in Kevin Nash's shoot interview, he says that Vince wanted him to put over the Ultimate Warrior on Raw. Sounds to me like Vince was trying boost the Warrior's profile and ready him for the title.
Another possibility is that it had been planned later on in the summer or the year. Warrior missing shows has nothing to do with it, so I don't know why the timeline has to be confined to just that time period.
I mean it's common sense. If they're putting up with his bullshit, and spending a ton of money on him (I remember Warrior got $1 million for simply a one month appearance in WCW...so you could imagine what the WWE was paying for him), that they'd want him to be the face of the company. I'm sure that was in their plans.
I think it's possible that Vince had the plan of Vader winning the title, and then Warrior and Vader duking it out, as battle of the beasts. It makes sense, as Vader was really popular and over in WCW, and Warrior is Warrior.
I've also long had the theory that a large part of Shawn's problems with Vader was because he viewed him as a threat. Understandably so. He and everyone knows Vince's love and obsession with big guys. Here's this big guy coming over, who was hugely over and popular in WCW....I believe that he never had a chance with Michaels, even if he weren't stiff and all of that.
Not that I minded, because Vader never did it for me, anyway. I was annoyed with his push. Especially after the Diesel reign, although Vader is a much more capable worker.
Basically, I think that Vince would have tried anything in 1996, with his panic over WCW, even if they weren't longly-held plans beforehand. Although I do think that he had big plans for Warrior, or else he wouldn't have even gone down that road in the first place.