Rick Martel plans in 89

Scott,
Was the plan always to turn Rick Martel heel upon his return in 1989 following his time off? When he came back he was in full babyface mode for several months, though he was in singles action instead of going back to teaming with Santana. Was this simply to bide time until they knew what direction to go with him? Or was the plan all along for him to turn on Tito?
​Oh yeah, pretty sure they wanted to have him as a singles heel for a while before the turn, and Wrestlemania was just the optimal place to do it.  ​

Lesnar Plans?

Scott,

 
If it is indeed true that Brock Lesnar is done with WWE after WrestleMania, do you think it is worth having him headline that show as champion?  In the internet era of instant information, everyone is going to know he's done before the show even rolls around.  They ran into that problem at WrestleMania 20 the last time he (and his opponent) left.  The only saving grace for that match was that it was thankfully not the main event or a title match getting shit all over by the crowd.  Personally, I think if WWE knows he is done post-WM31, Brock doesn't go into the show as champ.  I think the way to go is for Cena to take the belt at Rumble and be the guy to put Reigns over at Mania.  As mentioned on the Blog by many, having Cena as champ is the one surefire way to get the fans to support Reigns in that match.  I'm not sure Reigns gets the fans' support against Lesnar and I could see the whole "Brock threatens to retire with the belt tomorrow night" concept blowing up in their faces if the fans aren't all-in on Reigns.  I think Cena vs. Roman is the way to go if Reigns is the next Guy.  I would then have Rusev go over Lesnar to pass the "monster" torch before Brock leaves.  If they are going to put Rusev over the whole world en route to going against Cena (and eventually Reigns), then may as well go all the way and have him beat Brock.  This way you get something lasting out of Lesnar's last match without risking fan backlash against Lesnar vs. Reigns and Cena vs. Rusev. 

​Yeah, you can certainly say that WWE's timing on this Brock contract deal is not working out very well for them, to say the least.  Especially with both UFC and Bellator very publicly in a sort-of bidding war for Brock's services once his deal is up.  Basically Vince has gotten none of the rub or money increases from having Brock around, put his main title in the deep freeze for months with no payoff yet, and then is pretty much guaranteed to lose the guy to his competition the day after the deal is finished.  ​I wasn't really on the "drop the title before Wrestlemania" train before now, but it might be the smarter play at this point. Hell, given hindsight he probably shouldn't have won it in the first place, since the Night of Champions show was such a flop that it negated any of the point of him winning it.  

Anazlying WWE’s Plans Moving Forward and Raw Thoughts

Even though it was far from the greatest Summerslam event ever,
it was still a big success moving forward. It gave the fans enough
content to be satisfied, yet left them wanting more. Ideally, Summerslam should
be a culmination of the feuds from post-Wrestlemania to Summerslam’s go-home
show. But remember: the business model has changed because of the Network. The
PPV was the end of most of the subscriber’s subscriptions. That means Night of
Champions is going to be the “A-PPV”, because they want to get those
subscribers to renew their account. 

 Most importantly, the show diligently built up three wrestlers for the future. Dean Ambrose came out looking like a crazy phene on a mission; Rusev came out looking like a repulsive and despicable heel; and Lesnar came out looking like an immortal juggernaut.
The main event’s objective of Summerslam was not to be a
5-star classic. Its purpose was to get Brock Lesnar extremely over. Given that
he broke Undertaker’s undefeated streak, they needed to make him come off as larger-than-life
as possible, in order to capitalize off it. And they did just that. One of the main
reasons people were against Lesnar conquering the streak was because he was not
a future star – although a future star conquering Lesnar could have just as much
significance if it is booked properly.
Now, the question is: who is going to conquer Lesnar? It has
been rumored that Vince McMahon wants it to be the Rock, and HHH wants it to be
Roman Reigns. Unless Lesnar is going to keep the title until Wrestlemania 32 –
or some big show after Wrestlemania 31 – the Rock would not be a good idea,
though. Sure, it would grab tons of people’s attention and would probably do an
earthshattering buyrate (especially since people can now pay 12.99 to watch the
network for a month), but  it is an idea that would only benefit in a short-term
perspective. Rock beating Lesnar does nothing for the company from a long-term perspective.
For that reason, Roman Reigns winning the title at WM makes
more sense than Rock winning. Nonetheless, he would not be the best choice either
as of right now. Granted, he is more talented than a handful of the wrestlers
WWE pushed down our throats. He is more talented than Batista was in 2005 and
arguably more talented than John Cena was as well. And considering how far Cena and Batista have come since then, it is not that far-fetched to believe he could improve dramatically
given more time to find his strengths. Which means he is not even close to
being a failed commodity just yet. However, jamming a wrestler down our throats
may have worked several years ago, but the more vocal and opinionated crowds
nowadays are not going to accept something they do not want to see (i.e, Dave
Batista’s main event babyface push this year). That is why they should have Reigns work
on his weaknesses and then push him to the moon once he is officially ready.

Even though Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar would put on an
unbelievable, possibly five star classic match, it would be a questionable
decision for Bryan to be the one to end Lesnar’s reckoning. Bryan is already an
established main eventer, receiving his iconic moment in the limelight at
Wrestlemania 30.  But does Bryan really
need another rub? He seemed to be doing quite well for himself up until his
neck injury. Secondly, it is hard to pencil him in for that big spot. It is risky
to invest into someone who is coming off a serious injury. That does not mean
Lesnar vs. Bryan should never happen, though. It, of course, should happen when
the time is right.
WWE would be silly to not to attempt to capitalize on Dean
Ambrose. Just like Daniel Bryan last year, his popularity cannot and should not
be ignored. He is one of the utmost multilayered and unique personas in WWE’s
history. He is awesome in just about every facet. His deliberate, detailed
promos are fantastic. His facial expressions, mannerisms, and body language
make his intentions and emotions crystal-clear. He is true to his character and
develops it well in the ring. His psychology is extremely realistic, and he can
deliver in the ring with just about anyone. He really could be a perfect foil
for Lesnar. Lesnar loves to dish out pain while Ambrose loves to take pain.
Lesnar laughs at pain while Ambrose loves it.  Lesnar is a beast while Ambrose is just flat
out crazy and fearless. It would be a great moment if Ambrose ever walked right
up to Lesnar, who everyone is now afraid of, and brushed him off as if he was
nothing.
The “Cena never puts anyone over” theory has officially been
put to rest. He did what was best for business by making the Beast in Carnage look
like a billion bucks. This is not going to affect Cena either in the slightest
(which is why it can be so irritating when WWE puts someone over a top-tier
main eventer in an inadequate manner). Cena is practically bulletproof and thus
has enough credibility to overcome this one-sided loss. Sometimes, your
opponent is more dominant than you are on a particular day. That does not mar
Cena’s dominance for the past near decade at all. I mean, Anderson Silva did
not lose his status quo of being the greatest UFC fighter of all time, just
because he could not beat Chris Weidman.

If Cena lost to every up-and-comer, or to someone that could
use the rub, it would diminish its significance. Besides, someone can still get
over from facing Cena even if it is in a losing effort. Bray Wyatt did not get
more over, due to how ineffectively he was booked. But, on the other hand,
Cesaro looked better than before when he went to-toe-to with him. Cena has
become a great measuring stick, to see if someone is ready to be propelled into
the main event scene. When CM Punk pinned him, it put Punk on a different
level. When Daniel Bryan beat him clean in the middle of the ring, it made
people recognize that Bryan was a big deal. And when Lesnar to
threw him around as if he was a rag doll and completely dominated him, it made people realize that Lesnar is one dangerous
barbarian.
Cena needs to be established as a top gun for it to mean something
when he loses. All of those matches where he overcomes the “massive odds” that
we laugh at by saying “LOL CENA WINS” sometimes pay off down the road, just like
it did last night. His resilience and heroisms are his two strong
characteristics – as he can absorb an enormous beating and then make a gallant
comeback effort. Which means, Lesnar did something no one has done before: he completely
took away Cena’s fortes away from him.

In sum, Lesnar conquered the invincible mythical god and
then kryptonited Superman with his bare hands. If booked correctly, they can
manufacture a pristine hero from taking down this indestructible bully. 
Some Thoughts On Raw:
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have rejuvenated their feud. Because
of the bait-and-switch and the announcement of a Lumberjack match, the feud
lost some of its edge. Over the last two nights, though, the feud has become
can’t-miss content. In a backstage segment, Ambrose dumped a bucket of ice on Rollins.
Rollins sold it well and then Ambrose nonchalantly said, “It is for charity”,
then threw the bucket at him, and then proceeded to beat him up. This segment
could have easily came off hokey if it was not for the participants being so
good in their roles. Ambrose is so cool and natural at everything he does. The
segment set up a fabulous main event match that was even better than their
Summerslam one. It was a wild, brutal, and vicious brawl – and Ambrose ran
around like a train wreck on legs. It was also an effective way to write
Ambrose off TV to make his movie, as well as to make his pursuit of giving
Rollins his comeuppance even more intrigue. The pay-off has to be at HITC PPV,
where Ambrose viciously rips Rollins apart in the barbaric cage.
The WWE needs to come up with something more creative than
distraction finishes. They have been overused, and they make those who fall for
them look like idiots. Plus, they make no realistic sense. When someone does a
run-in, they are supposed to do it without anyone noticing backstage. Why would
anyone allow someone to ruin a match by playing his or her entrance music?
Also, they need to develop better feuds for the secondary titles. They keep
jobbing out their champions on free TV to set up a PPV match. It is clichéd and
makes the champions look weak. They need to start getting creative in that
sense. They have 5 hours of TV a week to come up with some intriguing stories
for the midcarders.  There are no excuses
of why they are booking it so lazily. 
Rusev feuding with Mark Henry makes perfect sense. To help
promote their match, Henry cut one of his best babyface promos of his career. Rusev
has a promising career, but he should cut down on the selling. He is doing it a
bit too much for a monster heel. That is just a nit-pick, though.
Heyman continues to bring the goods. Due to his timing and delivery
on the microphone, he makes everyone hang on every word he says. Now, people
are going to have to take his words more seriously. After all, he did not just
spew hyperbole by saying Lesnar would beat Taker or that he would give Cena the
beating of his lifetime. His character precisely forecasted both of those
things. Tonight, he did a fine job putting it in perspective just how momentous
The Beast’s walloping on Cena was. He managed to put Cena over by giving him praise
for hanging in against Brock and not quitting, and yet was still getting Lesnar over at the same time. He emphasized that Lesnar’s beatdown on Cena was no easy task.

Heyman is such a unique heel: He does not exaggerate
the facts; he just shoves the facts down the entire
audience’s throat. And he brings it to another level from accentuating them in
a flamboyant and passionate manner.

Even though Raw was far from perfect, the WWE built momentum
heading towards the very important Night of Champions show. They created some
new storylines and moved the continuing ones in the right direction. Hopefully,
they can keep this momentum going all the way to Wrestlemania 31.  

Plans Change

Hey Scott, once again keep up to good work! Been a fan for almost a year and still check your site daily looking for more interesting insights into the business. If you could answer, I have another question for you. Recently I read a rumour that, in 2008, Christian was supposed to be revealed as the guy behind all the attacks and incidents J. Hardy was suffering, but since the rumour was already out, WWE decided to change mid-course and go with M. Hardy, instead. For what you know, is this – by any way, shape or form – close to be true? Did WWE really changed mind mid-course because they thought Christian wouldn't be a surprise anymore ('cause the fans guessed it)?


That is indeed the story, yes. More's the pity because an updated Edge & Christian v. Matt & Jeff Hardy double ladder match at Wrestlemania would have been balls out super-duper awesome, of that I have no doubt.  Matt v. Jeff was less so.  It wasn't even a particularly well-kept secret leading up to the show, and Matt's turn rendered the entire storyline senseless.  And the end result was that Edge got to drop yet another belt to Super Cena at Wrestlemania.  

Another follow-up question. In the same lines of this, I read that the winner for the 2012 royal rumble was supposed to be Jericho, but since the fans were already into it, WWE decided to once again change the plans and go with Sheamus, instead. Again, do you think/know if this is true? Because, honestly, I think it's ridiculous to change the winner of royal rumble of 2012 based on the fact that the fans believe that Jericho is going to win. No one was built as a real potential winner for the rumble more than Jericho, who would've the fans go for? Jericho had all the momentum of his return, of course everyone was going to "buy" his win!

While Jericho winning would have made the most sense and was talked about as a possibility, it turns out that Sheamus was the guy all along, planned out long before the match.  So no, that one was just armchair booking on our part. 

Nash’s Plans Revealed

Hi Scott, This might shed some light on what went wrong last summer.  It’s interesting to note the “Team Johnny” group that appears to be forming now leading to Wrestlemania.  It certainly seems like they’ve been trying to form some super faction of decent heels (Not just The Nexus) for some time.  Anyway, enjoy it and best wishes:  http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_59453.shtml

Nash is really putting Plavix over in that interview.  The idea of Ace leading a faction of heels was certainly a logical one, and during the “unsafe conditions” storyline with Miz and Truth it seemed like a logical path to Nash/Miz/Truth/Del Rio v. Punk/HHH/Cena/Rock or something like it at Survivor Series as the main event.  I don’t think Nash was THAT important to the storyline that it couldn’t have survived without him.  Creative just dropped the ball as usual. 

Nash’s Plans Revealed

Hi Scott, This might shed some light on what went wrong last summer.  It’s interesting to note the “Team Johnny” group that appears to be forming now leading to Wrestlemania.  It certainly seems like they’ve been trying to form some super faction of decent heels (Not just The Nexus) for some time.  Anyway, enjoy it and best wishes:  http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_59453.shtml

Nash is really putting Plavix over in that interview.  The idea of Ace leading a faction of heels was certainly a logical one, and during the “unsafe conditions” storyline with Miz and Truth it seemed like a logical path to Nash/Miz/Truth/Del Rio v. Punk/HHH/Cena/Rock or something like it at Survivor Series as the main event.  I don’t think Nash was THAT important to the storyline that it couldn’t have survived without him.  Creative just dropped the ball as usual. 

Nash’s Plans Revealed

Hi Scott, This might shed some light on what went wrong last summer.  It’s interesting to note the “Team Johnny” group that appears to be forming now leading to Wrestlemania.  It certainly seems like they’ve been trying to form some super faction of decent heels (Not just The Nexus) for some time.  Anyway, enjoy it and best wishes:  http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_59453.shtml

Nash is really putting Plavix over in that interview.  The idea of Ace leading a faction of heels was certainly a logical one, and during the “unsafe conditions” storyline with Miz and Truth it seemed like a logical path to Nash/Miz/Truth/Del Rio v. Punk/HHH/Cena/Rock or something like it at Survivor Series as the main event.  I don’t think Nash was THAT important to the storyline that it couldn’t have survived without him.  Creative just dropped the ball as usual. 

Nash’s Plans Revealed

Hi Scott, This might shed some light on what went wrong last summer.  It’s interesting to note the “Team Johnny” group that appears to be forming now leading to Wrestlemania.  It certainly seems like they’ve been trying to form some super faction of decent heels (Not just The Nexus) for some time.  Anyway, enjoy it and best wishes:  http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_59453.shtml

Nash is really putting Plavix over in that interview.  The idea of Ace leading a faction of heels was certainly a logical one, and during the “unsafe conditions” storyline with Miz and Truth it seemed like a logical path to Nash/Miz/Truth/Del Rio v. Punk/HHH/Cena/Rock or something like it at Survivor Series as the main event.  I don’t think Nash was THAT important to the storyline that it couldn’t have survived without him.  Creative just dropped the ball as usual. 

Nash’s Plans Revealed

Hi Scott, This might shed some light on what went wrong last summer.  It’s interesting to note the “Team Johnny” group that appears to be forming now leading to Wrestlemania.  It certainly seems like they’ve been trying to form some super faction of decent heels (Not just The Nexus) for some time.  Anyway, enjoy it and best wishes:  http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_59453.shtml

Nash is really putting Plavix over in that interview.  The idea of Ace leading a faction of heels was certainly a logical one, and during the “unsafe conditions” storyline with Miz and Truth it seemed like a logical path to Nash/Miz/Truth/Del Rio v. Punk/HHH/Cena/Rock or something like it at Survivor Series as the main event.  I don’t think Nash was THAT important to the storyline that it couldn’t have survived without him.  Creative just dropped the ball as usual. 

Nash’s Plans Revealed

Hi Scott, This might shed some light on what went wrong last summer.  It’s interesting to note the “Team Johnny” group that appears to be forming now leading to Wrestlemania.  It certainly seems like they’ve been trying to form some super faction of decent heels (Not just The Nexus) for some time.  Anyway, enjoy it and best wishes:  http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_59453.shtml

Nash is really putting Plavix over in that interview.  The idea of Ace leading a faction of heels was certainly a logical one, and during the “unsafe conditions” storyline with Miz and Truth it seemed like a logical path to Nash/Miz/Truth/Del Rio v. Punk/HHH/Cena/Rock or something like it at Survivor Series as the main event.  I don’t think Nash was THAT important to the storyline that it couldn’t have survived without him.  Creative just dropped the ball as usual. 

Nash’s Plans Revealed

Hi Scott, This might shed some light on what went wrong last summer.  It’s interesting to note the “Team Johnny” group that appears to be forming now leading to Wrestlemania.  It certainly seems like they’ve been trying to form some super faction of decent heels (Not just The Nexus) for some time.  Anyway, enjoy it and best wishes:  http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_59453.shtml

Nash is really putting Plavix over in that interview.  The idea of Ace leading a faction of heels was certainly a logical one, and during the “unsafe conditions” storyline with Miz and Truth it seemed like a logical path to Nash/Miz/Truth/Del Rio v. Punk/HHH/Cena/Rock or something like it at Survivor Series as the main event.  I don’t think Nash was THAT important to the storyline that it couldn’t have survived without him.  Creative just dropped the ball as usual. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Plans For Austin?

Scott —
I was reading something from one of your books about Steve Austin and it got me thinking. Were there any plans for Austin after WrestleMania XIX? He put the Rock over to set up Rock/Goldberg, then he was written out of the storyline the following night on Raw due to his messed up neck and apparent panic attack the night before the show. Or whatever it was. If he had been healthy enough to keep going, was there a plan for Austin? A move to Smackdown or a feud with HHH or Flair or Michaels on Raw or something? I seem to recall from your review of Raw the night after WrestleMania where Bischoff "fired" him you wrote something like, "See you on Smackdown!"

At the time I thought that the injury thing was a work, but in hindsight it’s pretty clear they were phasing him out in favor of Brock and Angle.  Plus given that Austin’s neck had been known to be shot since the Owen injury in 1997, he had been living on borrowed time anyway.  So unless Austin really dropped a bomb on them just before Wrestlemania, I’m sure they were prepared to let go of him and they had no plans following the Rock match. 

Plans For Austin?

Scott —
I was reading something from one of your books about Steve Austin and it got me thinking. Were there any plans for Austin after WrestleMania XIX? He put the Rock over to set up Rock/Goldberg, then he was written out of the storyline the following night on Raw due to his messed up neck and apparent panic attack the night before the show. Or whatever it was. If he had been healthy enough to keep going, was there a plan for Austin? A move to Smackdown or a feud with HHH or Flair or Michaels on Raw or something? I seem to recall from your review of Raw the night after WrestleMania where Bischoff "fired" him you wrote something like, "See you on Smackdown!"

At the time I thought that the injury thing was a work, but in hindsight it’s pretty clear they were phasing him out in favor of Brock and Angle.  Plus given that Austin’s neck had been known to be shot since the Owen injury in 1997, he had been living on borrowed time anyway.  So unless Austin really dropped a bomb on them just before Wrestlemania, I’m sure they were prepared to let go of him and they had no plans following the Rock match.