Happy Easter! Many would figure that I'd take this day off. Well, usually with all holidays, you can find an hour or two of downtime in between the houses you see, which is where I am today. Anyway, I hope everyone is having an wonderful Easter, and if you do not celebrate Easter, then I hope you are enjoying the day off.

A couple of extra things for the Rick Martel history that the readers pointed out... His comeback, apparently, started in Canada with Don Callis or Cyrus as his partner. Plans were to go to the WWF as a team, somewhere in 1997. However, Rick Martel saw a great opportunity in WCW, and jumped without him. I was very unsure about this situation, so I left it out. Also, someone sent word that Martel did in fact try a comeback attempt after his injury at Superbrawl 1998, but blew out the same knee again. Damn, that just totally sucks.

Today's column will be about the dreaded Clique, once again. I don't know what it is, but readers are just so fascinated with the group of Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Triple H, and Sean Waltman. Well, actually, it's about an incident that the Clique pulled, and what if it never happened.

Let's "hop" to it. On to the PDC!

WHAT IF Triple H was never Depushed after the "Curtain Call" incident?

Triple H? What the?

The incident you see in the pictures impacted the WWF in a big way. Here's what happened for the 100th time:

In 1996, before Scott Hall and Kevin Nash could jump over to WCW, they had their last houseshow event, which was at Madison Square Garden. The first "Clique" match was Triple H vs. Scott Hall (Razor Ramon), which was sort of early on in the card. The main event, however, was Shawn Michaels vs. Kevin Nash (Diesel) in the steel cage. Both Hall and Nash lost their final matches in the WWF to their Clique pals, but the really important thing happened after the HBK vs. Diesel match.

As you can see from the pictures, Triple H and Scott Hall ran down to the ring, and 4 Clique members embraced each other in front of a packed New York crowd. An incident like this was unheard of back then, since Vince wanted to keep a quiet ship backstage. The crowd absolutely loved this, since they were shocked to see two Heels and two faces, who have fought each other many times, hugging in the ring and saluting everyone together. It wasn't supposed to happen, for Triple H and Scott Hall broke the rules and ran down without authority.

So as the story goes.... who would get punished? Scott Hall or Kevin Nash? No. They were on their way to WCW, so you couldn't tough them with a 10 foot pole now. Shawn Michaels? He was your world champion and probably your best superstar in the company. He was really, the only GOOD remaining wrestler with namepower. Ah yes, so it's Triple H who gets the shaft here. Triple H went from a promising star (besides the Warrior loss) to a jobber in an instant, for Vince McMahon depushed him hard. Triple H was scheduled to win the King of the Ring 1996, and to immediately win the Intercontinental Title afterward. And if that went well, he'd be the NEW heel opponent for Shawn Michaels. Just think about it... the Pretty Boy face against the biggest Snob in the WWF.

However, the reality is that Triple H's depushing paved the way for Stone Cold Steve Austin to really become a hit in the WWF. It all started at the King of the Ring 1996, where Austin was now booked to win Triple H's crown. After Austin won it, he delivered his famous "Austin 3:16" message, which slowly put the fans into a new frenzy and changed the way the WWF handled business. It's hard to understand where the WWF would be if Austin's beginning didn't start there.... which is what I'll look at right now. Triple H would later get his promised Intercontinental Title, but months later. He would win the King of the Ring a year later, but it would take him much longer than Austin to reach the top of the WWF.

Here are some of the possibilities that could have occurred if Triple H wasn't depushed back then, at least from my view:

  • It would have taken Stone Cold Steve Austin much longer to "get over" with the fans, even with a badass attitude. The "Austin 3:16" speech got the fans making signs for him, and that helped surge his popularity for a feud with Bret Hart. I remember, back then, thinking that Austin would eventually reteam up with Brian Pillman, which could have been a good fit back then. But if Austin was going to become big, it would take much longer than it originally took.
  • The WWF's new attitude system might not have been started. Why? Austin was one of the key factors in it's early stages, since he would curse and swear with just a raw attitude. Austin was the fuel the "new" WWF lived on back then, and some of the DX things wouldn't have been allowed if Austin was that big. Even worse, the WWF might have wanted to keep Bret Hart around, instead of letting him talk to WCW. So maybe, the big Montreal Incident for Survivor Series 1997, where Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart in the match with HBK, wouldn't have happened. Maybe at least.
  • If Triple H was going to get the push, would it have worked? Well, the real story was that two Clique members would still rule the WWF, and manipulate other wrestlers like Shawn Michaels was doing by himself after Kevin Nash/Scott Hall left. Triple H was really, just a flunky of the Clique back then, but if he got the push, it's hard to say how powerful he would have became backstage.
  • What about WCW? I believe they would have went down, but it would have taken much longer to bring them down than before. WCW was still a powerhouse when the "new" WWF took them down after Wrestlemania 14, but without the proper time to develop Stone Cold Steve Austin, the WWF wouldn't have been as strong of a competitor as they were. With that being said, I'd see a big downturn in the wrestling industry as a whole because the WWF wouldn't be as interesting (at least yet), and WCW was totally sucking at that point, since they were insisting on pushing Hollywood Hogan, who everyone was sick of anyway.
  • The Rock says..... it's hard to really say where the Rock would be. The feud with the booming Austin in late 1997 was VERY big back then, for it developed the Rock into such an asshole of a heel, and it gave Austin more cheers than before. The Rock's future as a wrestler could be impacted as well, especially with Triple H as the possible #1 heel back then.
  • Who would rather be in Chyna? With Triple H now receiving the big push, would Chyna have been given the chance in the WWF? Triple H actually lost the Intercontinental Title to Rocky Miavia just to have Chyna as a manager, and it's very hard to say if he'd give up a big push to let her in back then. She may have been brought in, but it's doubtful she'd have her presence felt. With Triple H, she became a lethal bodyguard, but if Triple H was getting the big push, what could you do with her?
  • How about a Vince McMahon financial crisis? Actually, the "Austin 3:16" finally gave Vince McMahon some advertising dollars, since the many shitty HBK shirts or other merchandise wasn't that strong. I'm not sure if HBK vs. Triple H would have been a money feud, either, but you never know. But what is known is that Vince McMahon was in a financial crunch in 1997, and if he had no marketable possibilities like a Stone Cold, then he would have been in REAL trouble.
  • The whole irony of this situation is that Triple H and Steve Austin are now partners, when back then, one's misfortune helped the other become a star. It's quite funny actually. In my opinion, this simple little incident caused a great change in the WWF, which would cause an interesting chain events to make the WWF #1 again. It crippled the Clique's power, allowed for Stone Cold to be created, brought in Chyna later, and strengthened the locker room when it needed it back then.

    -- I've got an interesting poll on my Column Archives page, if you want to check it out. Click Here to check it out.

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    @That's all for this lovely Easter edition of the PDC. I'll be back tomorrow to hype RAW and review Heat, or something... so just chill till the next episode!

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    Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.

    Mr. Tito 1998 - 2001 Exclusive to Lordsofpain.net


    XFL

    San Francisco Demons beat the Orlando Rage, last night, 26-25, in the Playoffs last night. Tonight, we have Chicago Enforcers vs. Los Angeles Xtreme for another Playoff game.

    No ratings are in yet. It should take a while