What if Chris Benoit had somehow been signed by Vince in the mid 90s... would he have become a big star (ala Bret Hart) or would he have been in the same position he was in WCW?
I've gotta say that he would have been pushed right alongside Bret, just not to the degree that Bret was. He would have held the WWF Title at least a couple of times, and probably would have had a looong IC Title reign. But I dont think he could have lasted through the Austin era.
Also, what about other guys like Eddie Guerrero, Sting, Jericho, and others who were never in WWF in the mid 90s. Jericho seems to be a no-brainer, he would have been huge, but I don't think Eddie would have done very well, they would probably have stuck him with Savio Vega or something stupid like that.
Wasn't Benoit actually in WWF for a very short period of time? Teamed with the Million Dollar Man? Anyway, its hard to say "What if" cause back then WWF had a bunch of "Wacky" gimmicks going intothe "Attitude Era". So they most likely would have stuck him with a weird gimmick which would have hurt his chances climbing to the top by now.
It's like a koala bear crapped a rainbow in my brain!
None of the people you named would have the cult following they have today, first off.
Every single guy you mentioned built his rep by WRESTLING in other feds and overseas. In mid-90s WWF, the business was down, and unless we assume the nWo angle never happens, it doesn't pick up until the Outsiders show up in Atlanta. PERHAPS if Chris Benoit was given Brian Pillman's spot in the Hart Foundation, and he was being groomed as another Hitman, he would've found his niche. PERHAPS if Sting was in the WWF and received the pushes meant for Ultimate Warrior or Lex Luger, lightning may have struck twice and the Next Generation would've gelled with the Hulkamania Era.
But I believe that WWF's more SE-driven business plan wasn't necessarily conducive to the younger wrestlers' development as top-tier wrestlers, which was crucial in each overcoming the obstacles to WWF/E stardom.
Originally posted by XPacArmyWasn't Benoit actually in WWF for a very short period of time? Teamed with the Million Dollar Man?
I think I read that in PWI one time, but all he wrestled were a couple dark matches and house shows (I think).
This is merely speculation on my part, but you guys don't think Benoit may have been one of the guys they had in mind for the Ringmaster gimmick, do you? I only ask because a) it would have fit only TOO well and b) the timeline seems right.
Bear in mind this is not only a rhetorical question but a SPECULATIVE rhetorical question. :)
I'd more guess that creative sort of has/had a list of generic gimmicks on hand for when they'd pick up a new wrestler and then tailor it to them. I think they've got the same thing going with stock entrance music for new guys until they come up with something more appropriate.
Benoit was with Stampede for a while until the early 90s when he wrestled on a Clash or two for NWA/WCW. He had a couple try-out matches with WWF, but then went back to WCW for a while. Then, he headed to ECW where he really began to show some promise...so WCW brought him back.
I think Benoit probably would've been at around the same level Owen Hart was, albeit without the charisma the King of Harts had.
I'm thinking they brought Benoit in for the tryout dates in late 94 right before he started doing the series with Sabu in ECW. So over a year til the Ringmaster gimmick hit.
I'd agree with the person who said he would be at Owen Hart's level, maybe a slight bit less. Politcally, I imagine he would have had been in Bret's clique, so that would have shielded him from being totally buried by THE clique. He would be thrown into the Canada vs U.S. storyline later on, get a run with Austin there, but like Owen he would face reprucussions if he stayed behind.
Along, with his lack of charisma I think he would have been shifted down to midcard during the war years. As, I don't think WWF would have taken a chance of doing Austin/Benoit in July of 1998 when things were close, as they did when they took the chance of going Rock/Benoit July 2000, when WCW was pretty much dead. Again, due to lack of attitude, in an attitude driven era, where one mistake might kill you.
So yeah, a mainstay in the IC division, having some great matches with Owen, Jarrett, Venus. But I don't really see that it would make much of a differance long term. Except, he would have the losers stigma by now.
Well, had Benoit actually been around since 1994, he'd be getting the Undertaker/Gunn/Bradshaw/Holly seniority push right now. The difference is that Benoit actually has the ability to win over a crowd in the ring, unlike the rest of those guys.
I've always thought that the ideal gimmick for Benoit would be to just have him never speak. His facial expressions are pretty decent, so just cast him as the silent assassin-type who never speaks unless he has to. Of course, had Benoit been in the WWF in 1995, this would've translated into some kind of stupid Wrestling Mime gimmick.
Wait…if it’s MLK Jr. Day AND Pat Patterson’s Birthday…who gets the token win here?-- Matt "Excalibur05" Hocking on a match between Mark Henry and Rico
MH: What’s a clever way to say that I have a penis? CJ: Uh…Mark, nobody’s going to buy that shirt. MH: How about if I say that I’ve got…a…uh…? CJ: Coming up with T-Shirt ideas is hard Mark, why not leave it to the WWE marketing department. MH: I know! I’ve got it! CJ: Got what? MH: Stank! That’s Mah Stank! I’m gonna make a fortune!! CJ: “That’s Mah Stank”? MH: On the front it’ll say “Can You Smell It?” and on the back it’ll say “That’s Mah Stank”. Everybody’ll buy it because they’ll think it’s a Rock shirt. CJ: You know…you might be on to something there, sad to say. MH: I can’t wait to show mah stank to Trish.
You know, I have a feeling that Spanky didn’t quit, he was fired. Why? So they could repackage Mark Henry as “Stanky.” Think about THAT! --Matt "Excalibur05" Hocking, 1/19/04 Raw Satire
he did the dark matches/house shows around summer '95. I remember with dibase in his corner he wrestle adam bomb. the other match escapes me but i rememeber reading it in the PWI road reports or whatever they were back then.
so he would debut back in wcw about 2-3 months later, hence ringmaster gimmick would debut in wwf roughly 5 months later
Fuckin' rights, I already got half a fuckin' buzz on
Managers were a good thing because you could have a guy with no mic skills get over on the managers back. You don't see that as much nowadays, people reach a certain level but never pass it, often due to their mic skills (I'm thinking Benoit here).