In May 1998, the WWF signed one of the toughest men in the wrestling world at the behest of Jim Ross. Prior to the upcoming Brawl for All tournament the WWF signed "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to compete in the tournament. Williams had debuted in wresting in 1982 for "Cowboy" Bill Watts in Mid-South Wrestling. Prior to training to wrestle, "Doc" played Football both in college at Oklahoma University and for the New Jersey Generals in the USFL. Williams was actually the teammate of NFL Hall of Famer Herschel Walker.
It didn't take "Doc" long to develop a reputation in wrestling as a tough guy and a legitimate athlete. From the very beginning Bill Watts presented Williams as a local hero in Oklahoma which wasn't hard remember how much people love their college football. Williams would carve out a solid career in Mid South and later UWF, but would also start touring in All Japan Pro-Wrestling where he would team with Terry Gordy. In Japan, Williams would become not only a main event star, but in some cases a legend on the same level of his Miracle Violence Connection tag partner Gordy.
However, as everyone knows it doesn't matter what you do outside WWE it matter what you can accomplish inside WWE. Even with his reputation and seemingly being someone who fit perfectly in "Attitude Era" WWE, but we'd be wrong. It seems that for the most part a poorly timed injury and never really being able to regain his momentum was the culprit in this case. The main reason "Doc" was booked so differently in Japan to WWE is in my book the miles on his body caught up to him and couldn't be the tough guy anymore.
Overall had "Doc" come to WWE right after Universal Wrestling was sold to Crockett then he would've still been in his prime instead of in decline when he was on the big stage. I don't doubt that "Doc" could've still fought hard when he was in WWE, but I also think he had lost a step or two by the time he found his way into Vince's playground. It is fun to think though about what could've happened had somethings change a little bit.
The biggest takeaway from Elimination Chamber is that main roster newbie Shayna Baszler saw herself take the spotlight in the closing moments of the PPV. Baszler is now the #1 contender to fight Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania for Raw Women's Championship. Baszler had debuted about a month or so ago and from the very beginning has had her eyes on Becky Lynch, and now they are on a collision course. Baszler was once the leader of NXT and even though very few talent have succeed on the main roster, but it seems like it's so far so good for the Queen of Spades.
Another slick surprise was the ending of the handicap match between Sami, Nakamura, Cesaro, and Strowman. To this point Sami Zayn has never held championship gold on the main roster, but in a surprise Zayn was the one to score the pin on Braun to capture the championship. After all this time it is rewarding to finally see Sami win gold in WWE. Let's hope they let him have a decent run with the former workhorse championship.
The last takeaway would be the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match for the tag team gold. I always question when the tag team champions retain the titles in a match like this, because they defeated every team in the division. Even though Miz and Morrison may not have defeated everyone in the match it seems more likely that Ziggler/Roode and Heavy Machinery will have a match at Wrestlemania then Miz & Morrison through the ongoing feud the teams have developing. The only thing I see happening is Miz and Morrison being added to the feud and setting up a Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Smackdown Tag Titles at Mania to include the champions in the ongoing rivalry and the reward for whoever wins the match.
None of us know what the future holds or when Vince will finally be able to step back and let someone else take the reigns of WWE, even on a trail run. I know that George Barrios and Michelle Wilson leaving was a big story on the business side, but it didn't effect the wrestling side of things. Barrios and Wilson were both well respected executives, and them leaving was a shock. In my opinion, saying that WWE doesn't have a plan once Vince steps back would be true to a point, but not completely true.
As I mentioned in Part 2 the WWE has plenty of people within the four walls to handle the wrestling portion of the promotion when the time comes. I believe that Stephanie can remain in her position and Shane takes control leaving Triple H in the position he already has in talent development. I know that Wall Street may have an issue with Shane, Stephanie, or Triple H taking power when Vince steps away, but they have the proven track record in the wrestling industry and that's the part that should matter not having a background in business.
I know that it might not make a ton of sense, but the wrestling business isn't like most other industries and having a background in business might help in the board room, handle stock holders, and business agreements, but it doesn't teach you how to run a wrestling company. The only way to do that is to be in wrestling and learn from your mistakes, and having been able to learn from some of the greatest minds in history gives said person a great starting point. This is the opportunity that was afforded to Shane, Stephanie and Triple H as they've been able to learn from Vince, Pat Patterson, Dusty Rhodes, Paul Heyman, Jim Ross, and various others.
Overall the best choice for WWE is to keep with what has worked in the past and that Vince passing the company down to the next generation and continuing the McMahon legacy, because they can handle it. Triple H, Shane, and Stephanie deserve a chance to prove the critics wrong and their supporters right by taking control of WWE and making all the more successful. The best decision is to move them up and allow them to surround themselves with business minded people that would help handle the non wrestling part of the business to allow the McMahon's to focus on the wrestling side of things. Seems simple in my mind, but the only that is clear is that any change will not be taking place until Vince McMahon decides it's time to step back and be a mentor or retire.
Sharing my thoughts, opinion, and historical facts on everything WWE both past and present