Top 10 What Ifs in Wrestling History.

The world of pro-wrestling is full of what if moments that could’ve changed history for better or worse in some scenarios. Let’s see the top 10 What Ifs in Wrestling History.

10. What if the formation of AAA never takes place?

In 1992, the booker at the time of CMLL Antonio Peña, left the promotion with Konnan to start his own promotion (AAA) with Televisa (Mexico’s biggest station) as an investor and owner of the new promotion. Peña left CMLL also with some of the promotion’s most promising young talent at the time. What followed was a golden era for AAA and lucha libre, but what if this never takes place?

Without AAA, CMLL would most likely have a monopoly over the lucha libre business, even to this day, ala WWE. A few new promotions would rise and try to oppose CMLL’s monopoly, but to no success. Another big consequence of these changes, is that CMLL would not have the pressure to push young talent like they did during that time and lead to a golden era.

Without competition, lucha libre in Mexico would’ve taken a hit eventually on popularity due to the monopoly of CMLL. Also, it would be more difficult to make good money for luchadores outside of CMLL. This would also have ramification of the US and what luchadores would arrive.

9. What If NJPW went out of business?

The early 2000 were not a great period for NJPW. Even the promotion itself calls it the “Dark Ages”. During this period of time, 2 out of the 3 musketeers left NJPW and with the rise of MMA in Japan, Inoki had the idea of implementing MMA into NJPW. What followed was one bad decision after another and a lot of bad luck for NJPW.

If NJPW had gone out of business, the landscape of pro-wrestling changes A LOT. Without NJPW, NOAH would probably take the number #1 spot in Japan. From here, it follows a lot of changes for better or worse, but one thing is for sure, the popularity of Japanese pro-wrestling worldwide doesn’t take place and factors like the rise and formation of AEW don’t take place.

Thankfully, this didn’t take place and we have to be thankful to Hiroshi Tanahashi and his beautiful hair.

8. What if Vince McMahon kept his promise?

Vince J. McMahon, father of Vinny Mac, is mentioned by many wrestlers from back of the day. When he sold his shares of the WWWF at the time to Vinny Mac, he told him not to raid other territories and not seek a national expansion.

One thing is for sure, some of the territories were going out of business, even without Vinny Mac’s involvement. Some of the territories had outdated booking ideas and they were going out of business either way of this what if scenario.

If Vinny Mac kept his promise, AWA in this scenario would’ve been safe form the raids and keep wrestlers and talent like Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, Dr. D, Wendi Ritcher and Gene Okerlund. AWA still would’ve seen some trouble down the line, considering Verne Gagne’s booking and nepotism.

At the end of the day, some of the wrestlers from the territories would’ve ended up going to the WWF sooner rather than later, but the demise of some territories would’ve been slower and even see some of those promotion alive nowadays.

Without the raids for Vinny Mac, there’s no boom of the 80s for the WWF. The NWA territories that were still on business would probably still work together, but WrestleMania never takes places and the modern concept of PPVs and other changes.

7. What if NXT UK doesn’t Happen?

The UK and European scene were on average of a boom period with a lot of talented wrestlers leading the way. WWE and Paul Levesque saw this and paid close attention to the situation. When the rumors of World of Sport making a return were finally confirmed and tapings were about to take place, WWE announced the creation of the NXT UK brand and the NXT UK championship. This was just the initial part of Paul Levesque and his NXT worldwide expansion.

WWE saw in WOS as a potential competitor and went straight ahead and signed most of the big names of the UK and European scene. This didn’t also affect WOS, but in a larger scale, it affected European wrestling and this day we are seeing the consequences of that.

With or Without NXT, WOS would still not be a success, but the scene in Europe would’ve still been protected and maybe less promotions would’ve gone under due to the rise of NXT UK. One of the biggest changes is that with the rise of AEW and NJPW, both promotions would probably sign talents of territory with intensions for down the line shows in the UK. The careers of British Strong Style, Toni Storm, WALTER, A-Kid and many more would change a lot.

6. What if Inoki and Baba never left JWA?

Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki left JWA to form the two biggest promotions in Japan in AJPW and NJPW respectively back in 1972. To represent their vision of pro-wrestling. If both had stayed, JWA would been alive a bit longer, but both would left anyway and form their own promotions due to their clashing styles (King’s Road & Strong Style) and personalities.

The only big change Is that the formations of NJPW and AJPW would’ve taken place a few years later than we saw in our timeline.

5.  What if ROH made the big jump?

ROH on several points of their lifetime, had the roster to make that next big step as a promotion. They never did and we are starting to see the ramifications of not going all the way and Sinclair’s lack of investment on the promotion.

If Sinclair had invested big money on ROH and getting them on a good station, the present of ROH would’ve changed. First of all, ROH would’ve been able to retain wrestlers like Kevin Steen, Generico, The Bucks, Adam Cole, ReDragon and more in the promotion.

ROH would’ve been able to eventually draw big crowds and sign exciting young talent and be a solid number #2 in the US and keep wrestling competitive in the US under the WWE monopoly.

At the end of the day, AEW is what ROH could’ve been with more investment.

4. What If Vince McMahon had stepdown as a Booker?

The booking of Vince McMahon this last decade has been questionable at best. Paul Levesque has always been seen as the eventual successor of Vinny Mac as booker of the fed. Modern wrestling could’ve changed if Vince had given the reigns of his territory to Levesque a few years ago.

One of the first things that could happen is more indie talent in the main roster of WWE. Guys like Adam Cole would’ve been seen like the face of the promotion. Another consequence would’ve been the implementation of Levesque plans of world domination… sorry, I mean NXT’s worldwide expansion on places like Mexico, Japan and Canada would’ve taken place earlier than expected.

Under Levesque, WWE would sign more talent from Japan and Mexico for their main brands. The joshi scene in particular would be heavily raided by Levesque.

The rise of the indies and AEW would not take place under Levesque and that would be a major blow for US wrestling.

3. What if the Attitude Era never takes place in the WWF?

The Attitude era is one of the most important eras for WWE and for the business. Thanks to this era, WWE was able to win the Monday Night Wars and have the monopoly they have on the wrestling business to this day.

The answer to this one is short and simple; the WWF would’ve been out of business. The WWF during the New generation era had a lot of financial troubles and the product overall was bad. WWF had lost a lot talent to WCW and with them about to do the nWo angle, things would’ve gotten worse if things didn’t change for the WWF. WCW would’ve won the war and change the landscape forever.

2. What if the formation of AEW never takes place?

The formation of AEW remains one of the most interesting subjects in the last 10 years for US wrestling. It’s formation gave Vinny Mac and WWE a direct competitor for the first time in 20 years and pro-wrestling overall has changed with the creation of more jobs on all sides of pro-wrestling.

Harold Meij, former president of NJPW, was not a fan of The Elite, he was one of the leading factors of them leaving NJP. Without Tony Khan’s offer to form AEW, The Elite would’ve most likely gone to WWE and continue their careers there. The Bucks would’ve been tag team champions several times, with Cody and Omega probably having world title runs down the tile too.

With this massive landscape change without AEW, CM Punk’s return would’ve never taken place and one if the biggest things is WWE monopoly over US and worldwide wrestling would still be unchallenged. NJPW would still take a hit on the US market after losing their biggest draws in the US with The Elite.

I guess we should be grateful this didn’t take place.

1. What if WCW Won the Monday Night Wars?

The most talked about subject in what if scenario in wrestling is WCW winning the Wednesday night wars. There’s two ways to look at this scenario. One is the realistic way and the other is the fantastical one.

On the realistic scenario, WCW still goes under. You see, WCW’s only plan was nWo or bust and never had a real long-term plan for the faction. For Eric Bischoff, winning the war was running WWF out of business and they probably would’ve followed to due to their massive expending and the AOL-Time Warner merger.

This realistic scenario leaves a big spot left in pro-wrestling in the US with both WWF and WCW out of the game. Maybe TNA takes up the spot, but that’s a hard to tell.

On the fantastical scenario, WCW still runs today as the biggest promotion in wrestling, but if we keep the spirit of the promotion, nWo and Hulk Hogan would still be on top.