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Old 07-31-2020, 07:08 PM   #1
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What should have happened in 1998 WCW?

I'm too lazy to post my opinions right now, but I'm curious to see what other people say. Bret Hart had just come in, Sting had just won the WCW World Title in a match with a "fast count" fall for Hogan (not really), Goldberg was building steam and the WWF was just about to get hot with the rise of Austin.

Where do you think WCW really went wrong, if at all, in 1998?
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:19 PM   #2
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Failure to create new stars with multiple opportunities


Example: The decision to keep Buff Bagwell as a heel coming back from his near career ending neck injury. Buff could have been a HUGE babyface instead of getting lost in the NWO shuffle. WCW was a giant nostalgia act. You can only see the old names so much before you want to see something else. Even guys like Wrath who had built quite the winning streak and was getting over. Nash killed him dead.

The WWF though hit on a winning formula big time. I think the WWF would have passed them regardless.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:53 PM   #3
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I’ve never been a big fan of Buff, but that lack of him coming to anything is probably a big contributor to that. A lot of “Hmm, would it have worked?” is possibly because they didn’t even try.

Didn’t Bagwell nearly die due to complications from that injury?
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:38 AM   #4
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I’ve never been a big fan of Buff, but that lack of him coming to anything is probably a big contributor to that. A lot of “Hmm, would it have worked?” is possibly because they didn’t even try.

Didn’t Bagwell nearly die due to complications from that injury?
Yeah he did. They had a built in story and a ready made sympathetic babyface.....and did zero with it. Lol Buff Bagwell was my favourite wrestler in WCW.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:01 PM   #5
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There is one match in 1998 they absolutely SHOULD have done:

Goldberg vs. Jericho.

Jericho didn't even have to go over. The crowd would have paid all of the money to see him getting murdered. He eats a spear, and gets blasted to the outside. Jerichoholic Ninja and Ralphus drag him out for the countout. Even though it's not a clean win, he's definitely beaten. And he can come back with that, saying that he was the only man Goldberg couldn't pin. From there, you start inserting him into the US title picture.

Last edited by Vastardikai; 07-31-2020 at 10:44 PM. Reason: My concept of time is so fucked that I thought Goldberg won the title in 99.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:43 PM   #6
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There is one match in 1999 they absolutely SHOULD have done:

Goldberg vs. Jericho.

Jericho didn't even have to go over. The crowd would have paid all of the money to see him getting murdered. He eats a spear, and gets blasted to the outside. Jerichoholic Ninja and Ralphus drag him out for the countout. Even though it's not a clean win, he's definitely beaten. And he can come back with that, saying that he was the only man Goldberg couldn't pin. From there, you start inserting him into the US title picture.
That's a good way of doing Goldberg vs. Jericho, although I don't think you really needed to protect Jericho. Having him go onto other things was something they missed the boat on. It was fairly obvious from the start of 1999 that he was a guy that the WWF had their sights on and WCW basically chased away.

A program with Ric Flair would have been excellent. He could have done stuff with Bret Hart too. They'd be great gateway programs if they were treated as well as they could have been by WCW, but even as they weren't you could justify using them to enhance guys like Jericho.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:34 PM   #7
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The only mistep in 98 was in december. Goldberg v Nash starrcade. Product was red hot. The wwfs rise in 98 wasnt because wcw was making mistakes. Wwf was killing it.



...now 99...
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:41 PM   #8
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The only mistep in 98 was in december. Goldberg v Nash starrcade. Product was red hot. The wwfs rise in 98 wasnt because wcw was making mistakes. Wwf was killing it.



...now 99...
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that WCW making mistakes was why the WWF got hot. I only brought it up as extra background.

I've heard you talk about Starrcade '97 as a crunch point for the company and it being when things really went off the ledge. Or maybe I've crossed wires somewhere? But what are your thoughts on that?
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:06 AM   #9
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Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that WCW making mistakes was why the WWF got hot. I only brought it up as extra background.

I've heard you talk about Starrcade '97 as a crunch point for the company and it being when things really went off the ledge. Or maybe I've crossed wires somewhere? But what are your thoughts on that?
97 was a big moment. Had they got Starrcade 97 right...man. The ripples of that cards failure cant be understated. They go into 98 with a huge portion of the fanbase disgruntled. The year starts rocky but not BECAUSE of 98. But they do good work throughout the year of 98. Ratings have slipped (and yes i fully contend starrcade is the catalysts) but the moves they make in 98 are good.



Namely goldberg and the wolfpack. Both generate merch sales and tickets. Logically nash v goldberg is a money match. And then 1 year later after their unprecedented failure they shit the bed again and it was all over from there. The fall was unaviodable. Had they got it right at starrcade 98 it might have gone very different. But 2 years straight of failed super cards...it was all over.



But 98 on its own. Good year. The argument could be made that DDP at havok was a failure and they shoulda pulled the trigger on him then but thats hard to say. Personally if i rebooked that year ddp/goldberg would have been the money match at starrcade 98 with ddp ending the streak clean.


But it is what is.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:14 AM   #10
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97 was a big moment. Had they got Starrcade 97 right...man. The ripples of that cards failure cant be understated. They go into 98 with a huge portion of the fanbase disgruntled. The year starts rocky but not BECAUSE of 98. But they do good work throughout the year of 98. Ratings have slipped (and yes i fully contend starrcade is the catalysts) but the moves they make in 98 are good.



Namely goldberg and the wolfpack. Both generate merch sales and tickets. Logically nash v goldberg is a money match. And then 1 year later after their unprecedented failure they shit the bed again and it was all over from there. The fall was unaviodable. Had they got it right at starrcade 98 it might have gone very different. But 2 years straight of failed super cards...it was all over.



But 98 on its own. Good year. The argument could be made that DDP at havok was a failure and they shoulda pulled the trigger on him then but thats hard to say. Personally if i rebooked that year ddp/goldberg would have been the money match at starrcade 98 with ddp ending the streak clean.


But it is what is.
There's not much to disagree with here. 1998 was certainly a hot year for the company. It does seem to be a "Where do you go from here?" problem they've got towards the end.

I've never been a big DDP fan, but I can't deny he was huge. I remember kids at school referencing the Diamond Cutter all the time. I've never really entertained the idea of DDP beating Goldberg clean, but it would almost definitely be more satisfying than Nash ending the streak and doing the Fingerpoke.

What would you have done with Bret Hart in 1998? Does he come over as hot as I imagine, or is it just retroactively that perceived missed opportunities with him are recognized as such? With Sting as the champ and Goldberg on the rise, it doesn't feel like there is much room for Bret as a babyface.

Is it too low to put him in the US Title scene? Or is that an effective way of jabbing the WWF and presenting a guy who could claim to be the rightful WWF Champion in that light in your company?
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:22 AM   #11
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There's not much to disagree with here. 1998 was certainly a hot year for the company. It does seem to be a "Where do you go from here?" problem they've got towards the end.

I've never been a big DDP fan, but I can't deny he was huge. I remember kids at school referencing the Diamond Cutter all the time. I've never really entertained the idea of DDP beating Goldberg clean, but it would almost definitely be more satisfying than Nash ending the streak and doing the Fingerpoke.

What would you have done with Bret Hart in 1998? Does he come over as hot as I imagine, or is it just retroactively that perceived missed opportunities with him are recognized as such? With Sting as the champ and Goldberg on the rise, it doesn't feel like there is much room for Bret as a babyface.

Is it too low to put him in the US Title scene? Or is that an effective way of jabbing the WWF and presenting a guy who could claim to be the rightful WWF Champion in that light in your company?
bret wasnt a draw for vince. Without the belt bret doesnt have any worth. Id have paid him to sit at home until his contract ran up. Theres nothing for him. Cards too stacked.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:09 PM   #12
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Benoit should have been made champion. They moved too slow.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:06 AM   #13
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Benoit should have been made champion. They moved too slow.
98? Nah. 99 maybe tho.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:17 AM   #14
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For me personally, it was the long con of 2 nWo's that never actually fought, just to swerve everybody with the finger like of doom, combine them, then still having a 2nd nWo, but a B team version with all the jobbers.

The finger poke and follow-up happened in 1999, but wasting months and monthgs of buildup and ending Goldberg's run all to just reset back a year with nWo and Hogan, it was just a let down.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:23 AM   #15
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Now if bret had brought the belt...well id have figured something out lol
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:25 AM   #16
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Heres a hypothetical: Bret brings the belt. Comes in hot. Top baby.


Do you create Goldberg? Are you looking for new top babies at this point? If you do how much room for Goldberg is there?
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:35 AM   #17
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Heres a hypothetical: Bret brings the belt. Comes in hot. Top baby.


Do you create Goldberg? Are you looking for new top babies at this point? If you do how much room for Goldberg is there?
This has always been the problem for me. Sting is there, then you've got Bret, then you've got Flair. In addition to this, you do have Benoit bubbling around. And The Giant and Lex Luger were still around. You've got lots of babyfaces. My timeline might be all wrong, but Goldberg was starting to get there at this point, wasn't he? Nowhere near over to the point you'd be expecting him to win the belt by June, or even to the point that you are factoring him in, so I don't know if it's "fair" to think about him in that main event mix here, but it kind of changes everything.

Doing Bret vs. Flair does not seem like a bad idea all things considered. Putting them together and just letting them "do their thing" for the NWA fans and hoping they don't get in the way of what you really want to focus on. But it does feel uninspired. I'm yet to really hear an inspired idea as to what to do with Bret in 1998.

If you can't use the WWF Title, which is probably a safe assumption at that point -- could you have Bret introduce his own belt and call it the "Real World Championship?" Is that too cartoony and forced? And what benefit does it ultimately serve when he can just say that in his promos anyway?

Eh, someone come up with something good for Bret and I'll verbally blow you.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:26 AM   #18
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Don't disagree with Bret not being a draw. But couldn't the change of environment help? Nash wasn't exactly a draw for Vince either. Did he have some use for international markets?

I suppose if you're not going to put the emphasis on him you have to question that value, and then you have to decide whether or not you want to put that emphasis on him versus the other options available to you.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:30 AM   #19
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Don't disagree with Bret not being a draw. But couldn't the change of environment help? Nash wasn't exactly a draw for Vince either. Did he have some use for international markets?

I suppose if you're not going to put the emphasis on him you have to question that value, and then you have to decide whether or not you want to put that emphasis on him versus the other options available to you.
i mean yeah hbk became a draw after 02 so maybe bret could have got over later in life with enough hot acts around him. He was talented obviously. You can make the argument that without bret the company would have folded...but thats hypothetical... the hard facts are he wasnt over in new york...and he wasnt over in atlanta. Thems the facts. With the power of hindsight id never push bret.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:28 AM   #20
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I feel like someone made this exact thread recently.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:36 AM   #21
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I feel like someone made this exact thread recently.
Wasn't it HB2K for his podcast?
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:05 AM   #22
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Lets say bret comes in as "the real" champ in late 97. Sting over hogan at starrcade 97. From there you could build 3-6 months on baby v baby/champ v champ. I dunno if bret would have caught fire but if he had you might even build it until starrcade 98. Midsummer clash of champions would be my bet tho.


Still its a lot of work to create a scenario for him. Undo the screw job. Fix starrcade 97. Undo goldberg completely. Is it worth it? Doubtful.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:05 AM   #23
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Sting v Goldberg is a bigger money match.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:29 AM   #24
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Have Bret come in and continue playing the same face character he was playing in WWF, and have him start recruiting all the Canadian talent in WCW into the cWo.

He doesn't go for the world title right away, because he says there is a disgrace of a title he wants to go for, and goes for the US title and does the Lance Storm "stick a Canadian sticker on it and call it the Canadian Title" gimmick years early and proclaims it the most prestigious title because of the country it represents and who holds it.

WCW would hire up promising young Canadian talent to supplement the cWo ranks, including Edge, Christian, and Val Venis.

Eventually Val Venis would become the early breakout star of the group, challenge Bret and be the one to take him down. Venis would then have a lengthy title run before he would go on to unify all the titles in WCW. Threw this last bit in there for Noid.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:51 AM   #25
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:45 AM   #26
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I'd prefer it if you gave it to Christian.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:47 AM   #27
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How should the heel side have worked? Hogan was still a major factor heading into 1998, but steam was going to run out soon. Hall and Nash -- and maybe I'm underselling them a bit -- don't feel like "enough" there.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:30 PM   #28
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How should the heel side have worked? Hogan was still a major factor heading into 1998, but steam was going to run out soon. Hall and Nash -- and maybe I'm underselling them a bit -- don't feel like "enough" there.
hogan should have been building to him v nash. maybe a wolf pack v nwo war games along the way
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:39 AM   #29
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Their developmental system was fucking awful which didn't help matters.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:59 AM   #30
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Well I can't give you like great detailed booking as to what should have happened because there was so much bad in 98 that set up the horrible bad to come. I was 11 in 1998. A very dedicated pro wrestling fan at the time. Researching everything I could and renting every Wrestling tape I could at all the stores in my home town. I also was already becoming a smart mark and had a phone line dirt sheet number. So I knew a bit of the drama that we all follow daily now on the internet.

WCW in 98 was overwhelming as a viewer and like WWE now, followed story lines with unimportant pay off's that exposed the business and never really mattered. I'm always reminded of WCW Uncensored 98. They had the most insane bullshit tag team match as the main event that to this day makes no f'n sense.

98 should have been a total change for WCW, as a brand. Sting should have gone through the rest of the NWO top dogs. Bret and Hogan should have had a feud that laste all year. With Hogan using the NWO to match up with Bret on Nitro's and a few PPV's. And they could've done 3 singles match on PPV's over the course of the year.
Have Hogan retain the title at Halloween Havoc, be forced to defend against undefeated and WW3 Battle Royal winner Bill Goldberg at Starrcade 98, Goldberg wins. Nash takes over NWO booting out Hogan, forcing him away for 4-5 months before returning babyface trying to mend fences with the good guys by saving them when the NWO is a danger. Eventually build to Wargames team WCW vs team NWO and finally disband the NWO from WCW in fall of 99. And never hire Jeff Jarrett.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:54 PM   #31
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Besides failing to create a strong crop of new and younger big stars for the future, WCW's biggest failure was doing nothing to really combat the huge sums of money they were burning through that managed to quickly wipe away their most profitable year ever.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:08 PM   #32
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Guy Evans Nitro Book goes into detail the massive sums if mo eyes they used to waste. Especially on projects just abandoned halfway through or even fully complete.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:28 PM   #33
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in 98 wcw built goldberg in the face of the company and ddp into a clear star as well as establishing booker t and steiner as key players.


this argument they werent building talent in 98 is fucking stupid
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:29 PM   #34
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Guy Evans Nitro Book goes into detail the massive sums if mo eyes they used to waste. Especially on projects just abandoned halfway through or even fully complete.
The money they wasted just on Glacier's elaborate entrances for a while was a bit insane looking back. Only way they were ever going to recoup that money was if Glacier had turned out to be a massive star for them which he came nowhere close to ever being.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:58 PM   #35
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There's a story in the book about them spending like 30-40 grand on this elaborate opening for the WCW Latino show they were going to do and the company just up and scrapping the opening when it was done.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:32 PM   #36
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The way Ted Turner used to be soo chill with the amount of money WCW was burning though was amazing and something your probably never going to see again in wrestling in terms of laid back owners.

Prior to the AOL merger, he used to get bugged from time to time about WCW not raking in the dough like his other businesses and being a money pit but he didn't really care since he was that passionate towards wrestling.

Also helped that he was several magnitudes more wealthier than Vince at the time so he could easily support a big money losing habit. Vince has yet to match what Turner was worth back in the 90s and only managed to match his current wealth recently. For some comparison, Tony Khan's father is even more wealthier and could easily buy out WWE in terms of net worth and still have several billions left over to run his other businesses.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:57 PM   #37
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If you haven't checked out the book Smeat I highly recommend. It'd be right up your alley
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:30 PM   #38
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Will do.

Only book I've ever read before on WCW's rise and fall was the one from Bryan Alvarez called The Death of WCW.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:40 PM   #39
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Will do.

Only book I've ever read before on WCW's rise and fall was the one from Bryan Alvarez called The Death of WCW.
Love that book

I can send you my copy for free if you want it. I have no more use for it.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:09 PM   #40
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You all are nuts. Bret was a big draw. Vince probably made $20 million just on those damn sunglasses.

He also might be the only top guy that was even more over outside of America, and not just Canada.

He was certainly not at the level of mega draws, but the dude certainly was not a nondraw.
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