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Vince Not Trusting Bret To Main Event As Champion

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Bret main evented 3 WrestleManias, but many times during Bret's career he did not main event pay per views as champion.

Survivor Series 92
King of the Ring 94
Summer Slam 94
Survivor Series 94
Ground Zero 97
Bad Blood 97


I think this shows how Bret was never Vince's ideal choice to be champion.

And to be fair, Bret did main event a few ppv's when he wasn't champion or wrestling the champion.

What do you think of this? Was Vince wrong for not trusting Bret, or do you agree with Vince?
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Bret main evented 3 WrestleManias, but many times during Bret's career he did not main event pay per views as champion.

Survivor Series 92
King of the Ring 94
Summer Slam 94
Survivor Series 94
Ground Zero 97
Bad Blood 97


I think this shows how Bret was never Vince's ideal choice to be champion.

And to be fair, Bret did main event a few ppv's when he wasn't champion or wrestling the champion.

What do you think of this? Was Vince wrong for not trusting Bret, or do you agree with Vince?
SS 92 he was stuck with a young HBK who had just won the ic title and had been a single's wrestler fir less than a year. KOTR 94 was due to Jim Neidhardt turning heel and so the tournament winner went after the title match which was a DQ featuring Diesel in his first match of any significance in WWF. Summerslam 94 was because it was Taker's first return and appearance since the 94 Rumble, although Bret vs Owen should have closed the show. SS 94 was because he dropped the title to Backlund and Vince wanted the fans to go home happy. Ground Zero and Bad Blood was due to the fact they only have 4 main eventers in Hart, Taker, HBK and Austin and Austin was recovering from a broken neck at Summerslam while HBK and Taker were against each other while Bret was stuck with the Patriot, a new guy who no one bought as a serious threat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SS 92 he was stuck with a young HBK who had just won the ic title and had been a single's wrestler fir less than a year. KOTR 94 was due to Jim Neidhardt turning heel and so the tournament winner went after the title match which was a DQ featuring Diesel in his first match of any significance in WWF. Summerslam 94 was because it was Taker's first return and appearance since the 94 Rumble, although Bret vs Owen should have closed the show. SS 94 was because he dropped the title to Backlund and Vince wanted the fans to go home happy. Ground Zero and Bad Blood was due to the fact they only have 4 main eventers in Hart, Taker, HBK and Austin and Austin was recovering from a broken neck at Summerslam while HBK and Taker were against each other while Bret was stuck with the Patriot, a new guy who no one bought as a serious threat.
That makes sense. Still, it's odd how many times it happened.
 

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To me it appears Vince didn't trust Undertaker, but I get it with his gimmick at the time. In 1991, he was rivaling Hogan and Ultimate Warrior in popularity. He was never seen as someone who could be their heir apparent in terms of being the champion and carrying the company.

He trusted Bret more ironically than Taker, despite Taker being put into the main attraction spot as Andre.
 

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KOTR 94 was due to Jim Neidhardt turning heel and so the tournament winner went after the title match which was a DQ featuring Diesel in his first match of any significance in WWF. Summerslam 94 was because it was Taker's first return and appearance since the 94 Rumble, although Bret vs Owen should have closed the show. SS 94 was because he dropped the title to Backlund and Vince wanted the fans to go home happy.
KOTR 94 was arguably a Bret main event but just booked early because of how the events of the evening were to play out. In the case of both Summer Slam and Survivor Series, The Undertaker match was more prominently featured.
 

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To me it appears Vince didn't trust Undertaker, but I get it with his gimmick at the time. In 1991, he was rivaling Hogan and Ultimate Warrior in popularity. He was never seen as someone who could be their heir apparent in terms of being the champion and carrying the company.

He trusted Bret more ironically than Taker, despite Taker being put into the main attraction spot as Andre.
Are you saying Bret or Undertaker were rivaling Hogan and Warrior in popularity in 1991? The former, I get. The latter, no.

I agree that Vince was reticent to have a gimmick as the champion. It's the same issue that arises with all invulnerable gimmicks: how do you get the belt off them? And, also, no matter how 'cool' it is to see someone who is invulnerable, fan engagement with that diminishes with time because how can a fan really relate to that? So it works as an attraction, but not as the focal point. It's why we saw Undertaker's gimmick develop over the years with him being 'humanised' at various points.
 

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A big factor is Vince always has been and will be a body guy. Bret was small in comparison to the beefcakes before him and Vince was always looking for the next Hulkster. That just continued on and on.
 

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Are you saying Bret or Undertaker were rivaling Hogan and Warrior in popularity in 1991? The former, I get. The latter, no.

I agree that Vince was reticent to have a gimmick as the champion. It's the same issue that arises with all invulnerable gimmicks: how do you get the belt off them? And, also, no matter how 'cool' it is to see someone who is invulnerable, fan engagement with that diminishes with time because how can a fan really relate to that? So it works as an attraction, but not as the focal point. It's why we saw Undertaker's gimmick develop over the years with him being 'humanised' at various points.
I'm talking about Undertaker rivaling Hogan and Warrior in 1991. Within months of his debut he top tier with Warrior and after that shot right into the world title scene a year later.
 

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I dunno. CM Punk was pushing merch as champion and didn't main event as much as he probably could have.

I honestly don't believe it was about Bret as much as it was about his personality. Bret wasn't the most charismatic fella. Put him on a commercial, who knows how well he'd nail that sales pitch. What's weird is that CM Punk was an excellent communicator but I suppose, in Vince's eyes, somebody else was better.
 

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Bret main evented 3 WrestleManias, but many times during Bret's career he did not main event pay per views as champion.

Survivor Series 92
King of the Ring 94
Summer Slam 94
Survivor Series 94
Ground Zero 97
Bad Blood 97


I think this shows how Bret was never Vince's ideal choice to be champion.

And to be fair, Bret did main event a few ppv's when he wasn't champion or wrestling the champion.

What do you think of this? Was Vince wrong for not trusting Bret, or do you agree with Vince?
Bret vs. Shawn was the main event of the 1992 Survivor Series.

There have been other WWF Champions not get main events of PPV events as well. Below are a few examples before the creation of multiple World Championships (where one of them would not be in the main event). Throughout the early-to-late 90s the company would try to have a feel-good moment at the end of the show, oftentimes putting the WWF Championship match earlier on the card. This format seemed to end in the early 2000s.

The Rock
Rock Bottom: In Your House - WWF Championship Match - The Rock vs. Mankind; Main Event - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker
St. Valentine's Day Massacre - WWF Championship Match - Mankind vs. The Rock; Main Event - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon

The Undertaker
In Your House 14: Revenge of the Taker - WWF Championship Match - The Undertaker vs. Mankind; Main Event - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart
In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede - WWF Championship Match - The Undertaker vs. Vader; Main Event - Hart Foundation vs. SCSA, Goldust, Ken Shamrock, & LOD
1999 King of the Ring - WWF Championship Match - The Undertaker vs. The Rock; Main Event - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince and Shane McMahon

Kurt Angle
2000 Survivor Series - WWF Championship Match: Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker; Main Event - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H

Hulk Hogan
1989 Survivor Series - Main Event - Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart, & Rockers vs. Bobby Heenan, Andre the Giant, Haku, & Arn Anderson [WWF Champion Hulk Hogan competed in the undercard]
1991 Survivor Series - WWF Championship Match: Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker; Main Event - Big Bossman & LOD vs. IRS & Natural Disasters
1993 King of the Ring - WWF Championship Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna; Main Event - Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Randy Savage
SummerSlam '92 - WWF Championship Match: Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior; Main Event - Intercontinental Championship Match: Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog

Diesel
WrestleMania 11 - WWF Championship Match: Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels; Main Event - Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
 

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I'm talking about Undertaker rivaling Hogan and Warrior in 1991. Within months of his debut he top tier with Warrior and after that shot right into the world title scene a year later.
Popular how? He was a heel.
 

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Bret really never was the man in Vince's eyes. He was more the fallback guy and would continually go back to him after his experiments failed. When Vince has a guy he's committed to them.
This is sadly the truth. Vince never had a giant boner for Bret like he did later for Diesel and Shawn. Bret was just a dependable guy who would never stink out the joint and had a family friendly image/persona.

However, Bret did get to main event in 97 over the champion Undertaker because Bret's storyline was always way hotter than whoever Taker was involved with.

I don't think it's really that much of a slight on a guy though. Austin and Rock both main-evented over each other when the other was WWF champion. Usually it's about who's storyline they feel has more interest
 

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SS 92 he was stuck with a young HBK who had just won the ic title and had been a single's wrestler fir less than a year. KOTR 94 was due to Jim Neidhardt turning heel and so the tournament winner went after the title match which was a DQ featuring Diesel in his first match of any significance in WWF. Summerslam 94 was because it was Taker's first return and appearance since the 94 Rumble, although Bret vs Owen should have closed the show. SS 94 was because he dropped the title to Backlund and Vince wanted the fans to go home happy. Ground Zero and Bad Blood was due to the fact they only have 4 main eventers in Hart, Taker, HBK and Austin and Austin was recovering from a broken neck at Summerslam while HBK and Taker were against each other while Bret was stuck with the Patriot, a new guy who no one bought as a serious threat.
yeah, id say context is key. not being knowledgeable about the cards, on paper it seemed kind of egregious. but after reading what did main event and the story lines involved, a lot of it make sense.
 

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Bret vs. Shawn was the main event of the 1992 Survivor Series.

There have been other WWF Champions not get main events of PPV events as well. Below are a few examples before the creation of multiple World Championships (where one of them would not be in the main event). Throughout the early-to-late 90s the company would try to have a feel-good moment at the end of the show, oftentimes putting the WWF Championship match earlier on the card. This format seemed to end in the early 2000s.
This new revisionist history of "last match is the main event" is completely false. The main event is the top promoted match, regardless of where it was on the card. You can see older home videos and WWF event programs listing specific matches as main events that were not necessarily last on the card. The Savage/Flair tag match was literally announced as the "main event" on WWF programming, weeks before the fact.








SummerSlam 1992 was Savage vs. Warrior.



Ditto for the 1989/1991 Survivor Series show. The main event matches on each are clearly the Hogan ones.
 

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Popular how? He was a heel.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports in an interview, Undertaker revealed how nervous he was before walking into the match against Hogan. He also spoke about how the fans at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan turned him into a babyface.

"You're nervous, then when you do the walkout that night it threw me off because it was like 60-40 the crowd was behind me. [The fans turned me] and I was the babyface. Here I am trying to be this killer, this scary dude, and you come out and the crowd is leaning toward you. You have to put that out of your mind so you can do business and be what you're supposed to be, but it was amazing."

This very forum talked about it too.

Taker was a heel, but he had some fans liking him since he was basically the bad guy version of Hogan and Warrior being impervious to pain. Right after Mania, the WWE had him against Warrior. For back then that was real quick rising in the ranks to have major feuds with Warrior and Hogan within 6 months. Think of it being similar to Brock Lesnar's first 6 months where he ended up getting cheered against Rock despite being a heel.
 

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Badd Blood was because of Kane's debut. The rest, I'm not really sure. Ground Zero was the same main event but wasn't even a real match between HBK and Taker. However, all of those main events turned out to be more entertaining than what Bret was doing on the undercard.
 

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This new revisionist history of "last match is the main event" is completely false. The main event is the top promoted match, regardless of where it was on the card. You can see older home videos and WWF event programs listing specific matches as main events that were not necessarily last on the card. The Savage/Flair tag match was literally announced as the "main event" on WWF programming, weeks before the fact.

View attachment 152881

View attachment 152883


View attachment 152882

SummerSlam 1992 was Savage vs. Warrior.

View attachment 152885

Ditto for the 1989/1991 Survivor Series show. The main event matches on each are clearly the Hogan ones.
Wow, seeing these makes me want to go on Peacock and start rewatching all the old PPV events starting at the first Wrestlemania. I know I watched all those PPVs you listed, but I really don't remember them. Though I do remember some of the early PPVs, like the first 5 or 6 Wrestlemanias, the first couple of SummerSlams (88 was Megapowers vs Megabucks, and I think 89 was the match made in heaven and the match made in hell) and some of the other older ones. But I'm really surprised at how much I don't remember.

Oh, and there's no revisionist history going on. Back in the 80s, the last match was always the main event. Whether it was Wrestlemania, a house show or even a TV show like Prime Time Wrestling, the last match was always the main event. I don't remember the events you posted very well, but everything I do remember had the main event as the last match.
 
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