Wrestling Forum banner

Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWF in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

5669 Views 35 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  The_Kliq
I imagine he would have dropped the title to Austin at WM 14, and then transitioned into a part time role (commissioner or something like that) possibly coming out for "special matches"

but it does make you think.

Bret stays and keeps the belt

HBK doesn't face Taker at RR 98 and doesn't hurt his back
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
11,986 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

Upper card putting on more great matches with Austin, facing the Rock to improve his in-ring, a Shamrock feud, then leading to a final classic series with Angle before retiring.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14,359 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

Shamrock feud for sure.

A feud with Foley would've been awesome.

And assuming Bulldog and Neidhart stay with Bret in the WWF, Hart Foundation feud with DX and The Nation would've been interesting.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
19,744 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

- Finish feud with HBK by early 98

- Drop the title to Austin at WM 14 to pass the torch and put the cap on possibly the greatest feud ever

- Feud with The Rock and eventually Vince McMahon himself before retiring in 1999/2000
 

· Currently booking tonight’s card...
HBK CSRO
Joined
·
2,769 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

The Hart Foundation angle probably would have carried on into early 1998. Maybe with things unraveling by Royal Rumble 1998.

I think we could have seen Shawn and Bret again at the Royal Rumble, with HBK getting the strap there.

I really don't know what would happen with Bret going forward beyond him dropping the strap at the '98 Rumble... The Hart Foundation angle was the one thing helping to keep Bret relevant in a "changing WWE"... If Bret tried going back and playing the hero hitman stuff, I just don't see how that works in a more "edgy WWE" that late 1997 and 1998 was.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
20,587 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

Well, according to Meltzer, Bret's 20 year contract was to see him wrestle for another 3 years, before taking an office job for the remainder.


Kind of tough because, no lie I've spent about an hour trying to come up with something that doesn't significantly alter what already happened (especially in '98) and I can't come up with anything.

If you get Bret/Austin at Wrestlemania, does Tyson fit in?

If Bret feuds with the Nation, how does that effect HHH/Rock?

Does Owen join The Nation and feud with Bret again?


Ultimately, I think there has to be a Bret-Vince match. Even without the screwjob, you still have a backstory of Bret having various issues with Vince's treatment of him, dating back to early '97. Part of me wants to say that's why he should be a continued supporting player in the Austin-McMahon feud (at least until Over The Edge and maybe pick up again after Survivor Series) but what about between that?

This is a tough one.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,816 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

- Finish feud with HBK by early 98

- Drop the title to Austin at WM 14 to pass the torch and put the cap on possibly the greatest feud ever

- Feud with The Rock and eventually Vince McMahon himself before retiring in 1999/2000
This. Also a feud with Angle culminating with a match at Wrestlemania 18. If Bret never had that concussion, he could have gone on all the way till 2005/06 and had plenty of classics along the way.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,816 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

I believe he was only planning to wrestle for 3 more years when he signed his contract in '96, so he was winding down.
Yes his full-time wrestling career would have ended by late 99 or early 2000 but he could have worked on a limited capacity for years. Also him being in a Pat Patterson type role could have really helped wrestlers from the last decade or so put matches together. Psychology and storytelling began to decline steadily over this period and having someone like Bret backstage could have prevented this from happening.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

If Bret had stayed in WWE after the MSJ incident, he would have taken a sabbatical just like after WM XII. He would return later in 1998 to beat Austin for the WWE title at SummerSlam at MSG, just like at Survivor Series 1996. The roles will be reversed here as Bret would be a trashtalking heel and Austin would be babyface. This means no Highway to Hell Taker vs Austin match at SS. Instead, Taker vs Kane would be billed as Highway to Hell - WrestleMania rematch for the no. 1 contendership.

At Breakdown, Bret would then face Austin (championship rematch clause), as well as Taker and Kane (some shenanigans led to both becoming contenders). Bret would get pinned simultaneously by all three - when he gets hit by a stunner, and a double chokeslam - making the title vacant.

At Survivor Series, the Deadly Games Tournament would happen the same way, but instead of Mankind, Bret would be Vince's chosen guy. In the final match for the vacant WWE Championship, Vince would screw Bret again in a déjà vu situation from the year before, when Rock would put Bret in a sharpshooter. Bret turns babyface again. Bret and Austin still kayfabe hate each other but are both against the Corporation.

At Rock Bottom, Bret gets screwed again by Vince and Rock retains his title.

At Royal Rumble, Rock vs Mankind happens like it did. In the rumble match, Bret, Vince and Austin would be final three. Vince would eliminate the other two to win the rumble. This sets up a cage match between the three at Valentine's Day Massacre. During the cage match, Vince would prevent Bret from pinning Austin and result in Austin's win in a screwy finish. This sets up Rock vs Austin as WM 15 main event, while Bret faces Vince in the penultimate match.

Bret would take some time off again, and return at SummerSlam 1999 and would get inserted into the triple threat WWE Championship match vs Austin and HHH. Bret wins (yet again!) and becomes the first 7x WWE Champion. The next night, Triple H beats him for the title, and a long feud ensues.

Bret finally gets his revenge at Survivor Series 1999, where he avenges the screwjobs of last two years and makes Triple H tap out to Sharpshooter to become 8x WWE Champion. He then drops the title to Mankind at Royal Rumble, who loses it back to Triple H in that infamous HIAC match at No Way Out.

At WM 2000, Rock faces Triple H in one on one match in the main event, while Bret Hart faces EuroContinental Champion Kurt Angle in the undercard. Bret semi-retires after that and returns only for Big 4 PPVs till 2005 when he retires for good, and gets inducted into the HOF at the night before WM 22 in 2006.

P.S.: Owen Hart doesn't die.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,347 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

Maybe finish his feud with Shawn then go on to feud with Austin and maybe Mankind.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,290 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

1) program with HBK ending at the Rumble
2) program with Austin, putting him over at Mania
3) Hart Foundation/DX feud, culminating in Bret/HBK ladder match at Summerslam, hair vs hair
4) Bret becomes the corporate champion at the Series and again drops the title to Austin at Mania 15
 

· Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

I seem to remember reading or seeing somewhere that if Bret had stayed he was supposed to have somewhat of a lesser role in the WWF. It might have been in Wrestling With Shadows, he mentioned that he was supposed to lose his next 4 PPV appearances before finally getting a win (against Shawn maybe?).

His next PPV appearance after Survivor Series was supposed to be in a 4 way match, I remember Undertaker and Ken Shamrock were supposed to be part of it, the other person may have been Shawn Michaels or Austin.

From the sounds of things, it seems that if Bret stayed they really would have diminished the Hitman character. That seems to be another thing that forced him to go to WCW that isn’t ever spoken about, and I wouldn’t expect WWE to ever mention it since it paints them in a bad light and goes against a lot of the narrative they have used. In a weird way, it’s almost as if the Screwjob would have been more beneficial for his character since it gave him the ultimate sympathy from fans.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,597 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

Austin vs. Hart with Tyson as enforcer just doesn't work. I don't see where Tyson could fit in a Canadian nationalist storyline. Shawn Michaels is just the better fit there because DX was a rebellious group. People say Hart was penciled in to face Austin but that's before Tyson was in the picture. Cards are subject to change.

There's a lot that could of been done with Bret even if he's not a perfect mesh in the AE. Shamrock, Foley vs. Bret would have been awesome. He still had unfinished business with Austin so once Austin won the belt that should be high on their list.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

I believe he was only planning to wrestle for 3 more years when he signed his contract in '96, so he was winding down.
Sweet idea. Signing a 20 year deal and planning to only wrestle for 3 of them.

Somehow, I think he planned to keep going. Even if it was as an adviser, he would be getting involved, the way Macho man was as an "Announcer", but still having matches here and there

He might say in his book that he was planning on going 3 more years to make just enough money to quit and spend time with his family, but it is a load of crap. He wanted to keep going and keep going and he loved it.

He signed a 3 year deal with WCW for as much money as he would have made in 15 years on that other contract and then signed a multi year extension 2 years into the existing deal before he got hurt
 

· Registered
Joined
·
921 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

Sweet idea. Signing a 20 year deal and planning to only wrestle for 3 of them.

Somehow, I think he planned to keep going. Even if it was as an adviser, he would be getting involved, the way Macho man was as an "Announcer", but still having matches here and there

He might say in his book that he was planning on going 3 more years to make just enough money to quit and spend time with his family, but it is a load of crap. He wanted to keep going and keep going and he loved it.

He signed a 3 year deal with WCW for as much money as he would have made in 15 years on that other contract and then signed a multi year extension 2 years into the existing deal before he got hurt
He would have worked for the company in other ways, being an agent, booking, on air talent, etc.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

I think it's hard to say where Hart would've wound up because WWF as a whole would be way different if Montreal never happened. More interesting to see how they could climb to the top without that happening.
 

· Read Only
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

I think that if Bret stayed, WWF would have gone bankrupt and therefore out of business, and Bret would have ended up in WCW anyways. My reasoning for this is mainly because of Bret’s contract (which was a lot of $ at it time) was a huge stressor for WWF finances at the time (as it was reported) and to a lesser extent, the Hogan-Sting Starrcade ’97 match ending probably doesn’t get botched, which means that WCW’s momentum would have continued unhindered and probably remain that way long enough to get WWF cancelled from the USA Network.

Plus there were limited directions for Bret after his WM14 match with Austin. The only guys he could conceivably feud with would be (at least until WM15):

- Shamrock
- DX
- Austin, on and off
- McMahon (they had a brief tussle at ringside in mid ’97)
- an Owen Hart-led Hart Foundation
- Jeff Jarrett
- maybe, maybe, Cactus Jack

The only other options are to create a legend faction with guys like Vader; join with Cornette’s NWA revival faction; create a shooter faction with guys like Shamrock, Severn, and Blackman; or join forces with a heel-turned Patriot and complain how WWF has lost its morals.

There may be enough ideas here to carry him to his retirement match in 2000/2001, however, WWF was nearing the end of phasing out guys and characters from the New Generation era in late ‘97. The Attitude era never really took off until both Bret and Shawn were out of the company, at least in a wrestling capacity, and since Bret was planning to wrestle another three years, I don’t know if the Attitude era would have reached the same heights it did if he was there. It’s hard to imagine him feuding with guys like The Rock and Kane in this period.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Re: Hypothetically speaking if Bret Hart stayed in WWE in 1997 where do you think he would have went?

I think that if Bret stayed, WWF would have gone bankrupt and therefore out of business, and Bret would have ended up in WCW anyways. My reasoning for this is mainly because of Bret’s contract (which was a lot of $ at it time) was a huge stressor for WWF finances at the time (as it was reported) and to a lesser extent, the Hogan-Sting Starrcade ’97 match ending probably doesn’t get botched, which means that WCW’s momentum would have continued unhindered and probably remain that way long enough to get WWF cancelled from the USA Network.

Plus there were limited directions for Bret after his WM14 match with Austin. The only guys he could conceivably feud with would be (at least until WM15):

- Shamrock
- DX
- Austin, on and off
- McMahon (they had a brief tussle at ringside in mid ’97)
- an Owen Hart-led Hart Foundation
- Jeff Jarrett
- maybe, maybe, Cactus Jack

The only other options are to create a legend faction with guys like Vader; join with Cornette’s NWA revival faction; create a shooter faction with guys like Shamrock, Severn, and Blackman; or join forces with a heel-turned Patriot and complain how WWF has lost its morals.

There may be enough ideas here to carry him to his retirement match in 2000/2001, however, WWF was nearing the end of phasing out guys and characters from the New Generation era in late ‘97. The Attitude era never really took off until both Bret and Shawn were out of the company, at least in a wrestling capacity, and since Bret was planning to wrestle another three years, I don’t know if the Attitude era would have reached the same heights it did if he was there. It’s hard to imagine him feuding with guys like The Rock and Kane in this period.
I have a feeling that his contract was not as much of a stress to Vinny Mac as implied.

1.5 million Dollars a year is a stress when he paid Mike Tyson $3 million for a few appearances?
Sheesh, in 1990, Vince had to pay a 26 million dollar settlement to the guy who broke his neck from the Rocker dropper. Kept on trucking. Blew Millions and Millions on the failed Bodybuilding federation and that ICOPRO BB supplement.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top