What Could Have Been / Professional Wrestling
A lot of these are just fan guesses because Wrestling storylines are constantly changing and original storylines rarely are acknowledged by the creative staff, but what the hell...
- After watching a tape of Ultimo Dragon, Paul Heyman wanted to bring him into ECW. While he was unable to get Ultimo Dragon, he did look into bringing over Dragon's opponent from the tape, Lion Heart. Of course, Lion Heart would adopt the name Chris Jericho, and his performance in ECW eventually caught the eye of WCW, who was happy to sign him when he left ECW, and when he became even more credible as a WCW star, WWF took notice as well, and when he went to WWF, he became one of its biggest stars.
- After Shane Douglas turned face in ECW in early 1999, Paul Heyman booked an angle to have Douglas form a face version of the Triple Threat. Tommy Dreamer's acceptance of Douglas's offer of alliance was the first part of the formation. The second part would've been Jerry Lynn allying with Dreamer and Douglas. But Shane ended up having a contract dispute with Paul Heyman, and ended up leaving ECW, thus stopping the angle cold.
- EC-F'n-W. A new interview revealed that ECW would have taken the WWE's place on USA after the latter left for TNN/Spike TV in the year 2000 with on Vince's blessing and Universal Music as a minority owner. However, after losing WWE, the #1 brand in wrestling to Spike, USA head Barry Diller felt that ECW would be a step down and nixed the deal.
- Shane McMahon also planned on having WWF buying ECW in the summer of 2000 and keep it alive as separate business. However, Vince declined.
- Spike TV briefly considered giving TNA a timeslot for an all-knockouts show. This was at a time when the Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong feud was drawing the highest quarter-hour ratings on Impact, so who knows what might have happened with a weekly program dedicated completely to the knockouts?
- With each passing interview, Paul Heyman makes TNA fans (and even WWE fans who want the company to have competition, feeling like its current monopoly has caused them to become complacent) more and more wistful every time an interviewer asks him what it would be like if he did sign and book for TNA back in 2010. His goal: take the company public in two years by cutting everyone over 40 save one for name value, book around the newer talent, plus outright STEAL Daniel Bryan after his firing and make him an unstoppable submission machine with an eventual showdown with Kurt Angle. Every time a plan is mentioned, thousands of wrestling fans weep.
- Jim Ross was also rumored to run to TNA when his contract expired in April 2010.
- Injuries kept Hogan from entering TNA in 2004, which would have had him feuding with Jeff Jarrett for the NWA Championship at the inaugural Victory Road.
- Shortly before his death, Curt Hennig was considered as a possible contender for Jeff Jarrett's NWA World title.
- "Macho Man" Randy Savage's surprise appearance at TNA's first Sunday pay-per-view was going to lead to a feud with Jeff Jarrett. However, Hulk Hogan (not knowing that Savage was scheduled to appear) decided to visit backstage since he lives nearby. As soon as Savage saw Hogan, he immediately cancelled all future appearances, save for a tag-team match at the next PPV, and TNA had to scramble to even salvage that.
- Around the time Jeff Jarrett left TNA in 2013, he and Toby Keith attempted to buy back the company from the Carters. Keith almost got the deal through, but Bob Carter then demanded that they keep Dixie on as president, allow her to keep some power in the company, and allow her to remain an on-screen character. Keith backed away after hearing that and the deal fell through.
- In an interview from January 2009, Drake Younger mentions optimistically that Jon Moxley had a tryout with TNA. Moxley instead signed to WWE, and a couple years later showed up on TV as the mouthpiece of The Shield, along the way scoring the US Championship. After the Shield broke up, he became one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster (arguably the most popular after Daniel Bryan), winning the Intercontinental Championship, working numerous main event-level programs and then winning the Money in the Bank ladder match and cashing in the briefcase the same night to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. One wonders what would've become of him had he been hired by TNA instead. Strangely enough, as of 2014, both Younger and Moxley are signed to WWE.
- Similar to Moxley, Tyler Black was offered a deal from TNA but Matt Sydal convinced him to sign with WWE instead. Black would also end up as a member of said stable, became a Tag Team Champion, and, after breaking up said stable by repeating his Sell-Out history, would win the 2014 Money in the Bank Ladder Match, cash it in during the main event of WrestleMania 31 and become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It was probably the best move of his career, especially considering how TNA is now a sinking ship. For added irony, he and the aforementioned Moxley would become each other's primary Arch-Enemy for their WWE careers, both in developmental and on the main roster. In fact, Black was the one Moxley cashed in on to win his first world title.
- In 2016, TNA was in talks with Jeff Jarrett that would have resulted in the debut of MASADA and the return of Teddy Hart. But MASADA getting drunk and Hart letting one of his cats out lead to arrests that killed the deal.
- Ring of Honor may have never existed, as RF Video's original plan was to simply sell tapes of CZW, rather than go through the trouble of creating their own promotion. However, the CZW deal was so hard that All Pro Wrestling had already done two King Of Indies events and after seeing one of them Feinstein decided he wanted something like that instead.
- ROH would have likely remained an invitational super indie the way its offshoot SHIMMER did if not for two incidents. Ric Flair no showing an event, leading to adoption of formal contracts, and more importantly, the Rob Feinstein scandal that lead to them cutting ties with RF Video and having to drastically change their business model to 1) make up for the lack of a media distributor, 2) regain the goodwill of all the other wrestling companies they would have been inviting talent from.
- In CHIKARA, the angle involving the Bruderschaft de Kreuzes had to be rebooked when BDK leader Claudio Castagnoli was signed by WWE as Antonio Cesaro. To a lesser extent, there was the abrupt removal of Lince Dorado and Daizee Haze from the BDK (Lince was fired, Daizee had an undisclosed health issue that caused her to quit), and whatever it was that caused Pinkie Sanchez to go from upper-midcarder to rarely-utilized jobber.
- During the CHIKARA angle where the promotion was closed for a calendar year, a few of the wrestlers ended up leaving the promotion. The most notable of these was Tim Donst. Donst was last seen in one of the "Ashes Of" videos, where he was working at a Furnishing/Remodeling store and heavily implied to be either drugged, brainwashed, or both. Based on things he had said before the shutdown, fans were guessing that he'd somehow figured out, or at least gotten a lot of information on, the situation with Titor Conglomerate. Almost everything in Chikara builds up to something and Donst was a main eventer, so it's likely that Chikara had plans for Donst that will never come to fruition.
- Broken!Matt Hardy and Brother Nero's "expedition for gold", which would have seen them Walking the Earth in search of Tag Team Title belts, was cut short at Ring of Honor when the when Fight Network owners Anthem threatened any network running any ROH pay per views with Broken Matt(though only Dish caved). The whole thing was supposed to attract more attention to and regain good will for Impact Wrestling but Matt Hardy wasn't willing to let Anthem trademark his work.
- WrestleCrap's "Rewriting the Book" is an entire section of Fan Fiction devoted to What Could Have Been. With the notable difference from Real Life that, in those stories, the booking is actually quite good, though stretching of credulity considering the egos and competence of many of the people involved. Among the most noteable, and likely, examples can be mentioned "What If Barry Windham didnt join The Four Horsemen?" (A continued face run for Windham, the Horsemen inducting a returning Eddie Gilbert until the group falls apart later that year, and Gilbert forming his own heel stable based on the old UWF, including "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Ron Simmons and Rick Steiner), and "What If Randy Savage Had Won His Retirement Match?" (Savage's heel run continues, he recaptures the world title, only to find himself facing Ric Flair with the roles reversed, with Flair as the good guy).
- Dwayne Johnson, better known as "The Rock", considered running for President as a Republican in the 2008 election.
- What if Magnum T.A. (who was arguably the biggest babyface in Jim Crockett Promotions at the time of his career ending car accident) not had his career cut so short? Magnum was apparently booked to win the NWA World Title from Ric Flair at the 1986 Starrcade (NWA/WCW's WrestleMania). Would Sting still have gotten to where he got in the same time span with a healthy Magnum still around? Also, would Jim Crockett still had been forced to sell out to Ted Turner in the same time span despite Magnum still being a top draw?
- At the time of his accident, Magnum was feuding with Nikita Koloff. Like Magnum, Koloff's career is an example of What Could Have Been. In 1988, he took a year off from the ring to care for his dying wife. In 1992, a neck injury would result in Nikita's premature retirement.
- Hulk Hogan was trained by wrestler Hiro Matsuda, and was apparently possessed of actual skill in the ring if his matches in Japan are any indication, especially one 1993 match which saw Hogan pull an Enzugiri on the Great Muta of all people. Hogan states in his first autobiography Hollywood Hulk Hogan that in the US under Vince Sr. he was told to wrestle like a generic power wrestler, and this followed him throughout his in-ring career for the rest of his days in the US, to the point that when he got to WCW, it was so ingrained into wrestling fans to assume Hogan got by only on "mediocre" wrestling skills and an assload of charisma that he never bothered to show off what he could really do this side of the Pacific. One has to wonder how things would have been different if Hogan had been able to use his in ring skills AND the charisma he was so well known for in the US. Interestingly, shortly before his return to the WWF under Vince Jr. he came within a hair's breadth of becoming NWA world champion by going to a draw with Harley Race for the belt just a month, give or take, before the first Starrcade. More questions to haunt the fans on what could have been.
- The Xcitement Wrestling Federation was a company founded to be the PG alternative to the WWF near the end of the Invasion. The fed would have predated TNA as the new challenger to the WWE's monopoly with a mix of WWF, WCW & ECW stars including Hulk Hogan and had Sable as the heel CEO, Roddy Piper as the babyface commissioner, Gene Okerlund as the interviewer and commentary by Tony Schiavone and Jerry Lawler. Networks were excited about the mix of the roster...that is until many of talents were poached by WWE, notably Lawler's return to commentary after the divorcing the wife who's firing caused him to leave the first time in Feburary 2001 and Hogan who returned for the first time since August 1993 as part of the short-lived revival of the nWo.