Plans Change

Tonight, a pair of e-mails about changed plans…

Hey Scott,
The bookings for Wrestlemania’s 13 & 14 were both changed do to
unexpected events, Shawn’s “injury” in early ’97 and Bret’s departure
later that year.  Do you have any insight on what the main event
matches for Mania’s 13 & 14 would have been if those two events did
not happen?  Bret has stated that at one point he was supposed to main
event 13 with Shawn, if so, what would Austin’s role have been?  What
would the shakedown of Bret/Shawn/Austin have been at 14?

Not sure about Austin’s role, but it was definitely supposed to be Bret getting his win back from Shawn at WM13.  Bret talked in his book about how they even had a rigged prosthetic boot for Shawn to wear, so that Bret could catch the superkick and break Shawn’s ankle for the submission finish.  And WM14 was supposed to be Bret dropping the title to Austin, but of course Montreal happened.  No matter what happened to who, though, the end result was always SOMEONE dropping the title to Steve Austin.  I don’t think there was any specific plans for Shawn at that point, but if I had to guess I’d say it was Ken Shamrock, Mankind or something along those lines.  The thing is that the entire promotion changed so severely after Montreal that it’s impossible to even say. 

Scott,
I’ve always been interested in knowing the WWF’s plans that were interrupted either by injury or an abrupt absence.  Do you have any insight regarding the following:
Post-Wrestlemania XX plans for Brock Lesnar following WWE Title loss to Eddie G and ‘Interpromotional Match’ vs. Goldberg?

I’m pretty sure that WWE knew that Brock was leaving, but it’s just that WE didn’t.  So I don’t think there were any plans for him. 

Plans for Chris Benoit in lieu of the May 2001 injury?

Probably some involvement with the Invasion, but they knew pretty far in advance that he was getting the surgery, so it’s not like he was screwing up anything long-term for them.  My gut feeling is that, had he continued without getting hurt, he would have naturally gravitated into the Austin-Angle feud and ended up winning the World title 3 years earlier than he actually did. 

Plans for 2001 HHH (face) vs. Austin (heel) program before Hunter’s quad injury?  SummerSlam match, or later?

Much later.  It was supposed to lead to a Wrestlemania blowoff. 

Owen Hart as “The Game” rumors have been floated over the years.  Some have implied that, had Owen lived on, he would have been in HHH’s role.  Is the “Game” thing in regards to the nickname itself, or the actual role and main event push?  The Stephanie marriage?  Top heel?  Or just another nickname for Owen?

Never heard that one before, actually.  Although if anyone could have pulled off the The Game muppet on the YouTube show, it was Owen.  He probably would have loved that.