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I thought about this with fantasy booking recently, his run in 1997 was awesome, good to great matches, he stepped up 100% with his promo game, the Hart foundation stable is up there with the Dangerous Alliance in my opinion as one of the greatest formed stables in wrestling history.

Anyways, how do you book the Hitman going foward after Survivor Series? Especially if they do the dq ending as planned at Survivor series instead of the screwjob, and there is no WCW deal on the table or Bret turns it down again. Bret Hart made it known he was uncomfortable with the direction the WWF was going by mid to late 97, with the cussing constantly on tv, the racist angles or subtle racist angles, the half nude women, etc. Bret didnt let his lods watch the product any longer. Another problem for The Hitman, was his character as both face, and heel would of been out of place by 98, the anti-American gimmick ran it course and in the Attiude era there is no room for cookie cutter Babyfaces, who want to be role models for children. As far as dropping the strap to Austin at Mania 14, how would the Mike Tyson dynamic play out without DX, and instead Bret Hart interacting with Austin and Tyson. It would of seemed out of place any confrontation between Bret Hart and Iron Mike Tyson. Whatever we like it or not Tyson confrontation with Austin brought eyes to the product, and him acting like he down with DX , only to turn on them got the job done at Wrestlemania 14.

One thing that doesnt also get looked at concerning booking Bret Hart going forward is , from what Bret Hart said as far as booking was after Survivor Series , Bret Hart mentioned that Vince was going to use Bret Hart to put HBK over, according to how Vince told Bret Hart, The Hitman would lose a 4 way in December, lose a ladder match at the Rumble , etc. all to Shawn, would Bret hart be happy in that environment? Would Bret Hart still look legit? it seem Vince didnt want Bret near the top or even in the picture for the Attitude era, and again how do you book Bret Hart in that kind of environment? Also does the Hart Foundation stable stay togther ?or fade away, all in their own direction? in the lead up to Survivor Series outside of the Dx-Hart Foundation confrontations, it seemed like the Hart foundation members were all starting to move in their own direction, Bulldog honestly seem like he would of went to WCW after the whole One Night Only 97 humiliation, Owen Hart was locked in a program with Austin, and I could see jim doing his own thing, Niedhart wasnt barley wrestling, and would proabably be let go again with his issues, Pillman died in October. Bret Hart once again then is on his own.


This is one of the times I think as much as Bret Hart is one of the GOATs, I dont know if there is a path forward for Bret in late 97, especially going into the Attitide Era, honestly he would of hit a wall with the goofy car crash, shoot scripted, jerry Springer like booking of Russo.

The last thing as fun as the anti-American heel character of Bret Hart was , it got stale by the time he squashing the Patriot, and their forced to turn Vader face to fill the gap, and his character was so damaged in rabid American fans eyes (again who moving away from the cookie cutter babyface that Bret was for most of his career), after dropping the strap to Austin at Mania 14 as planned, how do you turn Bret back into a babyface?
 

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Bret only stays if HBK gets released by Vince in June of 97 after the backstage fight. If Vince grants him his release Bret replaces HBK in the Taker fued. He wins the title at Summerslam 97 thanks to Paul Bearer, you get Hart vs Taker at HOTC 97 Kane still debuts. At Survivor Series 97 you do Team Bret vs Team Austin this time in an elimination match and Austin is the sole survivor. Bret faces Shamrock at the Dec 97 PPV and Taker in a casket match at The 98 Rumble before dropping the title to Austin at WM 14. He feuds with Austin until May of 98 before being fired by Vince as his handpicked champion. Bret then puts over Rock at WM 15 in the semi main event while Austin faces corporates Mankind for the title.
 

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Nah, I think Bret wouldn't be allowed to be in the main event picture, even if Austin was left to work with nobody but Undertaker, Kane, Foley and Vince McMahon for most of 1998 while Rock and HHH were in the midcard working their way up to the main event picture. The fact that you're never again gonna be allowed a crack at the main event picture, shorthanded as it is, says a lot more about you that Vince had zero plans to keep Bret in the main event picture.

Bret staying for the Attitude Era would've stunted HHH's growth as far as booking goes.
 

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The only thing I'll add is Shawn ends up in WCW. With all the Kliq gone, HHH asks for his release too. The NWO becomes Shawn, Nash, Hall, HHH and X-Pac.
 

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Too many hypotheticals here, and unfortunately Bret leaving WWF was a foregone conclusion which was an implied encouragement from Vince to Bret months beforehand. The only thing we can entertain is the idea of a screwjob never happening. The other reality is that WCW didn't utilize Bret as well as they should have.
 

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Too many hypotheticals here, and unfortunately Bret leaving WWF was a foregone conclusion which was an implied encouragement from Vince to Bret months beforehand. The only thing we can entertain is the idea of a screwjob never happening. The other reality is that WCW didn't utilize Bret as well as they should have.
Circumstances.

WCW wanted Bret in April 96, if they got him in when they wanted he would have been the 3rd man in the NWO with a clear plan.

By the end of 97, Bret had been in a personal war with Shawn for a good year, he had a massive chip on his shoulder and with the screwjob, had a bad attitude in WCW. He then had to contend with the rise of DDP, Goldberg etc. He was supposed to be the face of Thunder, but with Thunder having funding problems and stars exhausting their dates, it wasn't feasible, then Owen died and it was clear Brets Heart wasn't in it anymore.
 

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Circumstances.

WCW wanted Bret in April 96, if they got him in when they wanted he would have been the 3rd man in the NWO with a clear plan.

By the end of 97, Bret had been in a personal war with Shawn for a good year, he had a massive chip on his shoulder and with the screwjob, had a bad attitude in WCW. He then had to contend with the rise of DDP, Goldberg etc. He was supposed to be the face of Thunder, but with Thunder having funding problems and stars exhausting their dates, it wasn't feasible, then Owen died and it was clear Brets Heart wasn't in it anymore.
Bret himself was not innocent in his personal war with HBK for much of 1997. Neither party was innocent. Only HBK ended up winning the personal war since he was the better fit for Attitude, as Bret was vocally against the raunchy direction that HBK convinced Vince to pursue. Bret did indeed have a bad attitude in WCW, he also had a bad attitude during his final years in the WWF. And it was that same bad backstage attitude that basically spelled the end of his wrestling career.

DDP and Goldberg were seen as WCW's future stars around 1997-98, so Bret being on top would've potentially stunted their growth before they even had a chance to sniff real main event success. Bret being left to rot in the midcards in 1998-99 allowed DDP and Goldberg to grow as potential stars. There was no way WCW Thunder was gonna have its own flagship face of the show, not with most of WCW's main event stars refusing to do extra work nights, as the lucrative contracts gave them all the free time in the world to do whatever they pleased. Most of the weekly show attention was towards Monday Nitro, not Thunder nor Saturday Night.

By the time Bret was finally put back in the main event picture as soon as Vince Russo arrived, he already checked out of wrestling after Owen died. And Bret probably could've taken the sweet WCW money earlier when he had the chance in either 1989 or 1992, or even 1996 around the beginning stages of the nWo angle.
 

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In terms of what would happen:

  • Austins rise is slowed down.
  • Mr McMahon character doesn't happen the way it should.
  • Shawn Michael's doesn't have to retire.
  • Owen Hart doesn't die.

Amongst other things.

But for Bret?

I think he'd get to Mania as Champion and put over Austin at Wrestlemania.

And then he'd slowly move into a mid card role.
 

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In terms of what would happen:

  • Austins rise is slowed down.
  • Mr McMahon character doesn't happen the way it should.
  • Shawn Michael's doesn't have to retire.
  • Owen Hart doesn't die.

Amongst other things.

But for Bret?

I think he'd get to Mania as Champion and put over Austin at Wrestlemania.

And then he'd slowly move into a mid card role.
Not at the exorbitant amount of money in the 20-year-contract that Bret Hart was being paid at since 1996 when he re-upped with the WWF. Vince only re-upped him because the WWF were in desperation mode to have a dozen of superstars still in the WWF picture after having seen Hogan, Savage and Piper, and later Hall and Nash leave for WCW, leaving the WWF with a bare minimum of stars. That would've set the precedent for stars like HBK, Taker and Austin to demand the same exorbitant pay rate that Bret was paid for.
 

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Not at the exorbitant amount of money in the 20-year-contract that Bret Hart was being paid at since 1996 when he re-upped with the WWF. Vince only re-upped him because the WWF were in desperation mode to have a dozen of superstars still in the WWF picture after having seen Hogan, Savage and Piper, and later Hall and Nash leave for WCW, leaving the WWF with a bare minimum of stars. That would've set the precedent for stars like HBK, Taker and Austin to demand the same exorbitant pay rate that Bret was paid for.
Oh trust me, he doesn't stay in the WWF for long.

He'd have still left even after Montreal, probably sometime in 1998.

It’s either in that documentary or another where Bret talks about how he asked Vince “talk me into staying” essentially asking what can we do, and Vince looked at him and went “what would you do with Bret Hart?”

And Bret realised there and then he was in the worst spot possible; he didn’t have creative plans from Vince, he played the Babyface in Canada and Heel in the US card, which he called career suicide for that time period because he lost fans
 

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I'd keep him heel, I enjoyed his pro Canada gimmick. Probably book him upper mid-card, he wasn't much of a draw. Him staying would greatly alter the development of the attitude era. The whole idea of the "Mr. McMahon" character came about because of what he did to Bret.

Also, I wonder if HBK would of stayed with Bret still around?
 

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Too many hypotheticals here, and unfortunately Bret leaving WWF was a foregone conclusion which was an implied encouragement from Vince to Bret months beforehand. The only thing we can entertain is the idea of a screwjob never happening. The other reality is that WCW didn't utilize Bret as well as they should have.
lol made basically the same thread a month ago and got called delusional

Anyways on topic i think its 50/50 if it could work or not. Really up to how Vince looks at Bret. And they were already planting the seed for the Mr. McMahon character through his interactions with Bret and even Austin before Hart had left. So I see it going like this.

Survivor Series '97 - DQ finish, HBK n Hart keep brawling

Royal Rumble '98 - Austin wins the Rumble, Hart/HBK fight to a no contest in a Ladder Match both grab the belt at the same time, both declare themselves the real WWF Champion.

WM14 - Triple Threat Match for the WWF Championship Steve Austin defeats Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, HBK takes time off to heal nagging injuries

Night after Mania - Vince turns heel, makes Hart his corporate champion.

Over the Edge 98 - Austin defeats Foley, McMahon turns on foley

Judgement Day 98 - Steve Austin and Mick Foley defeat Bret Hart and The Brothers of Destruction by DQ

King of the Ring 98 - Bret Hart defeats Steve Austin via Corporation interference.

SummerSlam 98 - Steve Austin defeats Bret Hart in some type of gimmick match.

Then u can have the whole Deadly Games Tournament storyline with Bret and The Rock leading to the Rock n Vince turning on Bret and doing a Bret/Vince Rock/Austin double main event for WM15. After that probably have him be an upper midcarder/main eventer probably give him a babyface tag run with his brother during the first half of 99, then feud with an incoming Jericho for the summer and end off at WM2000 facing Kurt Angle
 

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You'd likely assume that Shawn was released and not Bret. Then slot in Bret for every match Shawn had up to Mania.

Austin would be randomly stunning The Hart Foundation/Canadians on every show.

Mike Tyson arrives, he hates Steve and Bret equally, Bret cozys up to Mike, same result.

Vince McMahon is still commentator in a three man booth with Jim Ross and The King. He bad mouth's Steve Austin from just before the Rumble onwards every chance he gets, while JR kisses Steve's ass, like always.

Before WrestleMania Vince says 'I've had enough of this and leaves the booth', he returns on the RAW after WrestleMania to introduce new WWF Champion Steve Austin.

Steve pisses Vince off, Vince goes nuts and challenges him to a match, but Steve must have one arm tied behind his back..

-And we are back to Jump Street


So, as Shawn played no active part as a wrestler in the Attitude Era obvs, but Bret is there and gets booked accordingly.

If Steve gets largely the same booking and same treatment as the top dog, then Bret is left as the second fiddle.


First Steve Austin/Bret rematch on TV, a brawl through the back and is broke up by Kenny Shamrock.

So now, it's Bret vs Kenny. Kenny wins the matches, Bret wins the final match and feud.
Then Bret vs KANE, another mauling for Bret that feeds into Taker.

The Hart Foundation face the NOD, which adds to the Rocky build. Then Bret takes some time off.

When he comes back he gets Benoit/Y2J/Eddie/Angle/Austin, turns babyface and rarely wrestles again.
 

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Austin/Bret II - WM 14

That's a must, with Austin going over this time.
That's exactly what I would do. Bret beats Michaels at Survivor Series for the title cause Shawn drew jack, was pilled up and couldn't go consistently anymore. I would fire Michaels for sure and build Bret more as a heel so that Austin beats him for the title at WM (Bret guaranteed would have given Austin a much better match at WM than what Shawn did).
 
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