Top 10 What If? Moments in Professional Wrestling Part 1 Submitted by David J Díaz on 01/17/2019 at 04:56 PM
MY TOP 10 “WHAT IF?” MOMENTS IN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING
Before I dig deep and write on what has been one of my passions since the age of three, I think it is only fair that I introduce myself. My name is David J Díaz, I am thirty years old and I am from The Rock of Gibraltar. Many wonder about where Gibraltar is, Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
Okay so before this all turns into a geography lesson I will just get on with it. Here is part one of my Top 10 “What if?” moments in the history of professional wrestling. I will probably miss a few but these are the ones I feel are worthy of being honoured for what they stand for.
10. What if Vince Russo hadn't gone to WCW?
On September 16th 1999, Vince Russo left the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to sign with World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Now let's be honest, WCW were already a shadow of their former selves and maybe signing Russo was an attempt for use him and perhaps to revive them to their former glory. Since losing to Monday Night RAW in the ratings on the January 4th episode, WCW never regained their magic, they still had some good matches on their shows but it was nothing compared to what it used to be.
Now with Russo, what could go wrong, right? Wel the answer is EVERYTHING went wrong. Too many title changes and worked shoots just made the product worse, in my opinion.
I genuinely believe that perhaps if Russo hadn't come in and all the drama it caused them, WCW would have continued, maybe for a little while longer. Eric Bischoff's deal to buy out the company should have been approved but hey, let's not dwell, it was eighteen years ago and WCW's legacy forever lives on the WWE Network.
9. What if André The Giant hadn't turned heel on Piper's Pit?
This one is a big deal, at least to me it is. The very first time that I got to witness this spectacular moment was when I was eight years old in 1996! Readers you may ask why in 1996 and here is the answer. That weekend WWF Superstars was preempted so instead Sky Sports aired a special titled Best of WWF Superstars 1986-1996 hosted by WWE Hall of Famers Gorilla Monsoon and Mr Perfect. One of the moments shown was this fond moment and what it stands for.
If André hadn't turned, how would have Hulk Hogan's WrestleMania III looked? Whatever plans they had or if this was their only plan, it certainly worked! I still stand by saying it is probably one if not the most pivotal moment of André's career. The promo alone and the confused look in Hulk's eyes when he sees André walking in with Bobby 'The Brain’ Heenan is great and never gets old. Definitely up there with some of my favourite moments.
8. What if ECW hadn't taken off the way it did?
Make no mistake about it, ECW was the absolute bomb and definitely one of the greatest things to ever happen to professional wrestling. From its crazy fans and extreme matches ECW just worked and under the direction of Paul Heyman, they certainly knew what they wanted to achieve.
When you read or watch all the great stars ECW created and how many made their presence felt in the promotion, it reads like a great who's who of wrestling. Stars were definitely created and some who ended up moving to the WWF and WCW. I think about it this way.. If Paul Heyman hadn't given Steve Austin a microphone to vent his frustrations about being fired by WCW, Lord knows if Steve would have even gone to the WWF although rumours say they were interested in him for a while.
I can speak of many others who benefited from being members of the ECW roster but perhaps that is a future list?
7. What if Hulk Hogan hadn't left the AWA?
NOW I was going to place this higher especially for what the move turned out to be, but still it is still a big what if? moment.
If Hulk had stayed in the AWA then perhaps Vince McMahon would have had to try and find another potential mega star but of course Hulk was Vince's first choice. Wrestling might not be what it is today if Hulk hadn't gone to the WWF, that's for sure. I genuinely can't imagine what wrestling would have been like without Hulkamania and more so, I can't imagine Hulk staying in the AWA for any longer than he did, rumour has it, he was due to be a part of the inaugural Starrcade too so maybe he would have ended up in the NWA?
6. What if WCW hadn't discovered Bill Goldberg?
WCW get a lot of slack and admittedly I am one of those people but prior to 1999-2001, I would watch WCW programming too. They get a lot of slack for barely creating any stars post 1994 but one star they created, morphed and turned into one of the hottest things in wrestling at the time was Bill Goldberg. Now Bill was a former NFL football player and it seems he was given the brass ring and ran with it as far away as possible, truthfully he did just that.
Goldberg was a nice taste of fresh air to WCW and once the opportunity arose, he would not only become the WCW United States Champion but end up winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan in a packed Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. From the music, the look and being an overall badass, Goldberg was simply one of WCW's saving graces and Lord knows where he would have ended up if WCW hadn't discovered him.
5. What if Vince McMahon wasn't revealed as The Greater Power?
Vince McMahon has done a lot of amazing things both in and out of the ring but one moment that stands out to me is this..
For weeks we had heard all about The Greater Power and truthfully even at ten years old, I would have never imagined it would be Vince! I mean he was a babyface and it just didn't dawn on me that he would but definitely a moment worth mentioning. JR's reaction on commentary is also great!
Who would have been a better choice? I can think of many but someone unpredictable of course would have been ideal but at the time someone like Bret Hart would have been an excellent choice especially giving the nature that the Montreal Screwjob was still relevant and would have been a good way for Bret to get his revenge on Vince.
I will be posting part two sometime next week but for now you can all follow me on Twitter; @DJDiaz_NODQ