Come gather round take a seat adjust your lighting on your IPad, Phone or Computer and grab a cold glass of milk while I rewrite the past for you. In this series I’ll be taking a look back into past storylines or “what if” moments and writing them differently from how they happened. The first story I’m looking to tell is the one I find to be most fascinating and it is “What If Bret Hart never left the WWF”. In this I’ll be taking you from that infamous night in Montreal all the way through WrestleMania and tell you how I would have liked to see it play out.
If you all remember Bret Hart was a staple for the WWF and the main event picture throughout the nineties. He was arguably the most popular superstar of the post Hogan pre Austin era. One fourth of the face of the new generation along with The Undertaker, Diesel and Shawn Michaels. In 1996 Hart signed a mega contract, a twenty year deal with the WWF that would have seen him retire with the company. Then things changed in 1997 the business was changing. People no longer cheered the good guy and booed the bad guy as Vince McMahon put it in an on screen promo. No longer was the WWF going to insult your intelligence. So with that Vince McMahon told Hart that he could no longer pay him what his contract required and Hart had a substantial offer from WCW. So in the fall of 1997 Hart would decide to leave the WWF and on his last night he would face Shawn Michaels. At the end of Survivor Series 1997 we got the most infamous moment in all of wrestling and a moment we would never forget. However what if Bret Hart didn’t take that contract with WCW and he worked out a new deal with Vince McMahon what would have happened at Survivor Series 1997 and beyond?
Going into Survivor Series 1997 Bret Hart had entered a feud with the returning Shawn Michaels, a feud that some people thought would happen earlier that year at WrestleMania. Instead Michaels lost his smile went away and Hart had a fantastic match with Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIII. At Summerslam 1997 the Undertaker defended his WWF Title against Bret Hart in a match where Shawn Michaels was guest referee. Hart wins the title after Michaels smashes Undertaker in the face with a chair leading to a reluctant count and victory for Bret Hart. I describe this back story to explain why I still believe Bret Hart against Shawn Michaels would have still been the match at Survivor Series.
Michaels and Hart were both red hot and were arguably, still the two biggest names in the company but close behind them was Steve Austin and would soon be overtaking both of them. However we aren’t there yet and we are in November where Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart would headline in Montreal, Canada. In order for this to work Bret Hart likely would have had to redo his deal with Vince McMahon and Vince traditionally is someone who looks out for you if you lookout for the company. However with that said the way I would do this in order to make sense is have Bret Hart get screwed out of the title only not by Vince McMahon but by HHH. This would have gotten immense heat on the Degeneration X faction especially in Canada against Bret Hart.
This leads us into the In Your House: Degeneration X PPV. At this PPV we would have Bret Hart and The Hart Foundation take on Degeneration X and the New Age Outlaws. The New Age Outlaws who weren’t apart of Degeneration X at this time were certainly being groomed for a spot with the group. The eight guys in this match would all benefit from the amount of heat that this feud was carrying all the way from Summerslam. This match would see HHH score a pin fall victory for the Degeneration X team by pinning Bret Hart after Chyna hits him with a low blow. Afterwards and for weeks to come HHH brags about having pinned Bret Hart on a PPV and how the “old man” needs to get out of the business. Bret Hart would move away from the WWF title picture at this time and The Hart Foundation would be feuding the HHH and The Outlaws portion of Degeneration X while Michaels has his casket match with The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble.
In the Royal Rumble both HHH and Bret Hart would enter extremely early. I would have both of these guys enter in the top five with Bret Hart beating the hell out of HHH throughout the night during the rumble match. Both men would be in the final five along with Steve Austin, The Rock, and Farooq. During this Bret Hart would eliminate HHH and be in the final 4 of the Rumble. Chyna would get on the apron while the officials are holding HHH back which would allow Farooq to eliminate Hart and end his chances of having a rematch with Michaels at Wrestlemania XIV.
Up next is the little talked about No Way Out: Of Texas PPV event. At this event I would have had Bret Hart and Steve Austin actually team up together to take on Shawn Michaels and HHH. This match would have seen Steve Austin pin HHH. The show would have gone off the air with the winners in the ring and Austin turns to Hart after the match gives him the finger and drops him with the stunner. For weeks after we would resume with HHH and his Degeneration X antics messing with Bret Hart and his age and how he should retire. Hart on a Monday Night Raw leading up to WrestleMania would offer up his career for a match against HHH at WrestleMania. HHH would arrogantly agree and we would have HHH in his first major WrestleMania feud and match taking on Bret Hart.
Which brings us to Wrestlemania XIV and while the main event is still the same Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin. The hottest match on the show may have been HHH vs. Bret Hart. This feud would have been building for almost six months from when HHH screwed Hart out of the title and Hart never being able to get his full revenge on HHH. Hart’s career is on the line in this match and the crowd is an attitude era type crowd with it being a split reaction and possibly even more cheers for HHH. During the match Chyna gets thrown out from ringside and the two men go at it for fifteen to twenty minutes. Towards the conclusion of the match the referee gets knocked down. Vince McMahon then comes from the back and as HHH is about to pedigree Hart, he gets a chair shot to the head from McMahon. Hart puts HHH in the sharpshooter however HHH is unconscious and McMahon asks for the bell. McMahon and Hart stand tall in the ring with McMahon raising his hand.
This of course would have led to Bret Hart being the leader of the corporation and the ongoing number one contender to Steve Austin post WrestleMania. Hart would have been the perfect person to validate Austin’s first title reign and they would have made a lot of money in the process. McMahon and Hart could have run with the angle that both men are sick of the people cheering distasteful segments and not appreciating the true wrestling talent of Hart. Watching Austin torment both McMahon and Hart over the next few months would have been fantastic and you could have easily flipped Hart back to a face in the Summer when he wasn’t able to “get the job done”.
This ends chapter one of “Re-Writing the Book” if you have any ideas of what you would you like to see next let me know. Let me know your thoughts and what you would like to see in this series on Twitter @awesomephinatic. Also please listen to my weekly podcast RawViews on Podbean and here on WrestlingNewsWorld.