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Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

It begins

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hi.

This, to my knowledge, is a unique undertaking. Fan fiction is certainly not unique; within a handful of minutes, you could find multiple stories involving Buffy getting horizontal with Mr. Spock. Go ahead and look. I'll wait.

Fantasy wrestling booking is not new; some of it is good; some of it is bad; none of it involves former referees committing suicide in Providence, so clearly it's all off the mark somehow.

This is a WWF Counterfactual, one that will span hundreds of pages and two decades of altered history. If the term counterfactual is unfamiliar to you, then you've already learned something from this blog, and your day is complete. A counterfactual is a term used in historical scholarship (although, admittedly more for popular works than academic ones) to describe concepts like "What if the South had won the Civil War?" or "What if Kennedy hadn't been killed?" or "What if Gore had been elected President?"

Well, I guess that's actual history as opposed to a counterfactual.

With a nod to Quantum Leap, the goal here is to "put right what once went wrong." I've watched the World Wrestling Federation (I don't have the energy to call it WWE) for the past quarter century. Some of it's been great; some of it maddening. For better or worse, in 2005, it appears that the vision of sports entertainment held by Vince McMahon has defined what American wrestling is. And with an increasing portion of its revenue coming from international business, it seems that the sun never sets on the WWF Empire.

But what if....what if instead of spectacle, Vincent Kennedy McMahon grew up loving workrate?

With that simple premise, it begins.

The structure of what you're about to read requires some explanation; there are some groundrules to which I've tied myself

1. I'll be breaking down the last 22 years of wrestling history, with the focus on the four traditional WWF PPVs: Wrestlemania, Summer Slam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble. Further, the focus will be on the actual card - so, while the degree of narrative will greatly expand as we move further along, it will always be focused on the specific quarterly cards.

2. I'm limiting my options as to who can wrestle on those cards to those who actually worked those shows. This means, not only won't you see Misawa v. Kobashi headlining Wrestlemania XII, but even contracted WWF workers who were not given matches won't be available to wrestle for me. The thought process is that, while it might seem like Dynamite Kid should have worked the first Wrestlemania, for example, it could be that for some reason he was unavailable. So, I'm limiting myself to reshaping the cards that I was actually given. The exception - wrestlers who worked dark, or worked the televised pre-show are available to me, as clearly their not being used was a choice.

3. Each card will have 8 matches. 6 singles, including the two title matches (Heavyweight and IC) and two tags (the tag title and the opening tag). The strictness of the structures require a level of creativity (what, for example, will I do with the Ultimate Warrior?) that otherwise would be absent. So, when I'm short talent, I can't just run 4 matches, I have to find a way to fill the cards. On the rare occasion when I break format, it will be for a reason and it will have impact.


4. This means that the Royal Rumble won't have a Royal Rumble. I recognize that.

5. I'll also provide cards, although not commentary, for NWA/WCW and ECW. This is largely for context.

6. The first few years of the Counterfactual move briskly, without much in the way of narrative storyline buildup. Eventually, this will change. Really, really change. Eventually, there will be programming in between the quarterly PPVs - but another restriction that I'm placing on myself is that title changes only occur at the PPVs, meaning that if, for example, Randy Savage worked at Summer Slam but not Survivor Series, he can't leave Summer Slam with a strap. The result of that: sometimes lesser workers get pushed, even win titles, as I'm limited to title changes at the big four shows. Like the haiku: sometimes great art requires structure.

7. I claim no intellectual property rights in any of the characters herein. I am not creating this blog for financial gain. This is a parody and therefore constitutionally protected speech. Vince, please don't sue me.

Ready for Wrestlemania?



6 comments

Anonymous said...

No disrespect but none of this makes sense.

Jim said...

Now you tell me.

Christopher Hopper said...

Hey Jim,

I have always enjoyed this and always try restarting from the beginning. I usually peter out in 2000. I need to not wait so long.

I like your premise, always have.

Jim said...

I don't even do that; I go back fairly frequently to aid in those compilation posts like I'm publishing now, but don't remember the last time I tried to read the whole thing straight through. It's almost 15 years, man. It's a haul.

Unknown said...

Why do you hate Women's Wrestling? I know IRL that Fabulous Moolah controlled it until she left the WWF, but outside WWF (World Wrestling Federation) I would rather watch the late 80s-90s Joshi wrestling than anywhere else. If I were you I should bring the Women's title around 1993-94 with Madusa as champ while she doesn't dump the championship in a trash can. The Attitude Era wasn't a good one for the females, but Lita, Trish Stratus, Chyna, any woman with a lot of talent with some beauty were worthy as legends and Hall of Famers despite over-sexualization of the division as it was similar in the Ruthless Aggression era. Don't get me started with the PG Era, so I only focus on the roster who can be beautiful and skillful enough to be worthy as Women's Champion while the Divas title belonged to Maria, Cherry, Rosa Mendes, etc. Thank goodness for AJ Lee, Paige, Beth Phoenix, Eve, the Four Horsewomen of NXT, Emma, Shimmer/Shine, Asuka, Joshi wrestling legends who ended up in the United States, Sara Del Rey (Amato), Gail Kim, Awesome Kong and any woman who are slowly becoming legends and eventually Hall of Famers who deserved a lot of credit to made female pro wrestling great as it is.

Jim said...

It's a challenge with a comment responding to a post from 2005 to know how much the reader has read, but there's been a Counterfactual Women's title for many years now, and many of the wrestlers referenced in this comment have held it. Further, I've identified in multiple places my view that the treatment of women for a couple of decades of Counterfactual history was significant error (I'm guessing if you asked Gabe Sapolsky about some of the ROH treatment of women in that era, he'd feel similarly). I'd rather I'd made different choices. In fact, that's referenced in the most recent Road to Summer Slam '19 post.

I started writing this story in 2004; having watched then 20 years of WWF women's wrestling, I was not a fan and especially not a fan of the Divas era in which the promotion was situated at the time of my starting this. Largely, I thought of as akin to the musclehead matches, at their best, WWF women's matches were fine, but novelty acts in which I just didn't have much interest (I don't share a belief, for example, that Chyna was a good professional wrestler; hers was not an act I enjoyed; in the prior generation, Madusa was pretty good, however, and there were PPVs I could have used the Jumping Bomb Angels, for Chrissakes, and they pretty easily cleared my workrate bar. Again, it was error.)

Largely, that's changed as the promotion has changed its use of their talent; I don't want to overstate that - I don't have Becky Lynch at the top of the card for the same reason I don't have John Cena at the top of the card; I don't think they're bad workers, but I'm probably consistently half a star lower on the better women's matches in contemporary WWE than would be critical consensus (in the same way I was half a star lower on the top Cena matches or Batista matches or Orton matches or most HHH matches) than would be consensus. I think the women's division is a solid element of contemporary WWE that consistently produces solid matches and occasionally one that is really good and that's the way the Counterfactual women's division has been positioned now for several years.

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