It was three days later and apparently, that phonecall with Vince was not a dream.
The wheels were put in motion and there I was, speaking to Owen Hart. Now, I didn't need to be face to face to tell, Owen wasn't quite as thrilled to be speaking to me as I was to be speaking to him. By this point, I had my sales pitch all planned out though. And pissed off or not, I was determined Owen was going to like it.
Apparently, Vince wanted to capitalise on the bad blood. The idea was to bring Owen back and feud him with Michaels. They'd do a big run-in at the December PPV to kick the angle off and it was 'off to the races'. Except, Owen had gotten wind that that would pretty much be that. Let's face it, Michaels obviously wasn't dropping the title to Owen. Owen wasn't winning the Rumble. And even if either of those things had happened, I didn't get the impression Owen was that invested in being involved in them anyway. I could see his point. Why would Michaels treat him any better than the rest of the Harts? He was better off out of the whole thing. Not that it was in my best interests to back up that opinion too
strongly right now.
The conversation was pretty frosty at first, but letting Owen vent seemed to help. As I suspected. I'd be lying if I said Owen jumped at the chance to come to Philadelphia and join the rest of the misfit toys. He probably would have loved to have hung up on me and put this business to one side. Who could blame him? But as time wore on and he vented some of his anger, I at least had his ear. And an offer on the table.
I told him to talk to Mick. I told him to talk to Steve too, but apparently, they're not on speaking terms right now, which is too damn bad. Hey, nobody ever accused me of be tactful, so no damage done.
I don't know if Owen did talk to Mick. I like to think he did. I told Owen, there'd be no shackles on him. All he had to do was come in, cut a few promos, get whatever it was he wanted to get off his chest out there to the world. The same thing I said to Steve when Bischoff fired his ass. Via FedEx. What a class act. "Look where that got him", I said. I don't think Owen really cares about becoming the biggest star in the industry. I don't think that was Steve's sole motivation at that point either. But a chance to vent your soul? That's what I was banking on him being interested in.
Mick got the same chance and I like to think it helped him get past all the BS he was dealing with at that point in time. Hey, if nothing else, we can advertise ECW as the most cathaertic way to call your old boss an asshole that money can buy. We'll even pay you to do it! Who'd turn that deal down?
Not Owen, apparently.
So, here goes. Doing RW games, I tend to find myself sticking with history early on, so I wanted some kind of 'butterfly effect' moment that at least explains why Paul Heyman suddenly changes his booking up, a bit. This seems remotely feasible and hey that's good enough for me.
It might take a few shows to find my voice and hit my rhythm, since ECW's model is a bit different from your typical 2 Hr TV and monthy PPV format sports entertainment fed. I won't be radically changing the company overnight either. The one thing I really altered besides Owen was giving Al Snow a short written deal, since WWF signed him straight away first go-around and I at least want some time with him on the roster. The rest? We shall see.
I'll be jumping in and booking Starrcade, Rumble and Wrestlemania, since there's some obvious, important match results on those shows and the AI didn't seem keen on co-operating (close to 50 attempts and Hogan dropped the belt once, to DDP, lesson learnt). Aside from that, it's AI for WWF and WCW for the time being, although I'm still 'making sure' a couple of key people are protected, for now. No Goldberg losing random 4 ways on Saturday Night, for instance.