Titles and Injuries

Two questions for you Scott.

1. In a time when the company’s main title rarely changed hands, why is it that twice in the early/mid 90s, the World Heavyweight Championship changed hands at house shows (Bret Hart and Diesel respectively)? I’m not merely asking why those people, more why not on a Raw or PPV?

2. Curious as to what you thought were the most significant injuries in wrestling history in regard to their impact on the company or another wrestling? Austin being out for much of 2000 allowed The Rock to elevate even higher, HHH missing 2001 was odd for the Invasion, but perhaps allowed Angle to get more respect.

 

1.  Generally when they suddenly do World title changes (or title changes in general) at a house show, it’s because they want to boost house show business by making it seem like ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN at a show.

2.  The biggest by far was Steve Austin’s neck injury in 1997.  Not even just because it forced him to reinvent his style, but it forced them to reinvent the entire style of the PROMOTION.  Austin was the one who started the garbagy main event brawling style that defined them for years afterwards.  Further, because he couldn’t work and they wanted him on TV anyway, he had to go out and do 20 minute interviews and crazy backstage stuff to disguise his health problems.  Yeah, Bret and Shawn did monologuing with each other to further their fake/real feud before then, but Austin was the pioneer of the time-filling promo segment where he had no specific feud but just went out and talked trash to get himself over even more.  Again, that’s now part of the accepted template for WWE, and it was something that didn’t even exist until Austin was forced to create it.