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  #1  
Old 05-01-2016, 04:26 AM
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Default What if Bart Gunn Had Knocked Out Butterbean?

We all know what happened. Butterbean destroyed Bart Gunn in roughly 30 seconds and effectively ended Bart's WWF career. I never really gave the what if question much thought due to the lopsided and emphatic outcome, but reading Bob Holly's book for the second time made me ponder. I think everyone is well aware that the Brawl For All tournament was a set up to allow them to debut Dr. Death Steve Williams as a major player. He'd been given the prize money in advance and the judges were "generous" in the scoring of his fights. All their plans were thrown for a wrench when Bart Gunn knocked him out. Gunn went on to win the final two matches of the tournament, both via knockout, and be crowned Brawl For All champion. This pissed off the WWF office, as Gunn not only ruined their plans for Dr. Death, he also cost them money by winning. The Butterbean fight at Wrestlemania was designed to humiliate and punish Bart and it worked.

My question is: what if he'd won? A fluke punch, whatever. It doesn't matter. Let's just pretend the impossible happened. Would he have received the push that was earmarked for Dr. Death? Would it have just pissed off the office more and caused them to schedule him in more special attractions with the goal of having him finally getting his comeuppance for destroying their plans with one swing of his left hand? One thing is for sure: he wouldn't have just disappeared, never to be seen again. They would have been forced to do SOMETHING.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2016, 09:05 AM
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It's a good question. The easy answer is that Butterbean doesn't take that fight if he's not absolutely sure he's going to win. A loss like that could have derailed his career. I honestly believe that Bean probably would have demanded a sanctioned rematch had he lost. And Bart probably would have accepted

If WWE wasn't willing to push Bart after demolishing all the wrestlers, I doubt they would have pushed him after beating Butterbean. It would've been smarter for him to go do some real boxing or even jump into some UFC events with the guidance of Severn and Shamrock (both of whom dropped out of that tournament and should have been prohibitive favorites).

To your point that they would have HAD to do something, why not feed him to Austin? That's what they wanted to do with Dr. Death so why not just go that route with Gunn? Give him a one off match where Austin beats the absolute piss out of him and then write him off.

Bart was boring and the talent pool was too big for a small fish like that to rise to the top of the food chain. One of the reasons that tournament even happened was just to get the Midcard (and lower) guys to do something. Bart was nothing more than a mid-card tough guy
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:42 PM
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MTL nailed it. That fight was never going to have any other outcome than it had. Butterbean losing that match would have been devastating for him. If you haven't seen it check it out. Brutal knockout indeed. The whole tournament was a disaster. They should have just given Bart Gunn the spot they were going to give Dr. Death. Even after the knockout, it really isn't to destructive for a wrestler to get knocked out by a pro boxer in a boxing match so Bart could have easily been fed to Austin before fading into obscurity like he did. Knocking out Butterbean really wouldn't have made too much difference to Bart's wrestling career honestly. He may have gotten a few jobber to the stars matches, but honestly nothing more.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:08 PM
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Since a couple of Negative Nonces have failed to indulge the basic premise of this topic, I will pick up from where the OP left the discussion.

Let's posit for a moment that all pre-match conditions had been satisfied. Butterbean accepts the deal with the understanding that he will beat Bart in the match, and Bart agrees to these terms. Perhaps they even accept a legitimate fight with the understanding that Bart will take the fall. Whatever the case, the match goes forward as we first witnessed.

At some point in the match, perhaps after Bart has already sustained a few critical blows, he fires up for a comeback sequence that will quickly escalate into Butterbean's victory finish. However, due to in-match circumstances (fatigue, blurred vision, lost balance), Bart attempts a desperate wild swing (think Hansen's lariat), and it connects. Butterbean collapses, and the referee is left with no other choice but to declare Bart the victor after Butterbean is unable to respond. Maybe this scenario would find more acceptance among the armchair quarterbacks.

Regardless, say Bart wins. What next? I can see the likelihood of management forcing him into additional Brawl-for-All or similarly stipulated "tough man real fight" contests, though the steam would have probably run out shortly after Wrestlemania. General fans, myself included, were not taken in by the Brawl-for-All concept, and its passing was met with silent apathy. Few were sad to see it go.

A more likely scenario might have involved a brief win streak and even a short Euro/IC title run for Bart before he got decisively trounced by a rising superstar. Since his win in this proposal was unexpected, management would probably want to reap some sort of business from that before shuffling Bart to the back of the deck.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:44 AM
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Bart lacked the necessary verbal skills that was key to getting a wrestler over in the Attitdue era.
Even if he proved himself as the toughest wrestle of the lower midcarders (in the Brawl for All) and even had he miraculously beaten Butterbean as his own game- Bart was too dull for fans to buy into.
Look at Dan Severn- legit tough guy who would have destroyed anyone in the WWE lockeroom- but if the fans didn't find him entertaining- there was little they could do with him
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:58 AM
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Just want to point out that Bart GUnn was only "never heard from again" by WWF fans. He ended up making good money in Japan as Mike Barton, working tours there for years.

Now, to indulge the topic at hand, had he actually beat Butterbean the WWF likely would have given him a brief push and then had him demolished on another PPV by someone they wanted to look strong. There was never going to be a sustained push for Mike Barton in the WWF as a singles star, no matter what he did or didn't do at Wrestlemania.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2016, 03:52 PM
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Even though he won Brawl for All Austin was still the toughest SOB, Shamrock was still the worlds most dangerous man and Bart Gunn was, Billy's less charismatic brother.
If he'd knocked out Butterbean then there's a chance that Vince Russo could've ended up using him in some ass-backwards storyline somewhere that would've destroyed his chances of making money in Japan or, even worse, having him in some sort of clearly staged tough-man "shoot" series against Steve Blackman and Dan Severn and Shamrock himself.

God bless Bart Gunn though, him being a legit tough mother fucker actually made Russo's twattish idea have a modicum of buzz about it
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2016, 09:27 AM
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If it's true that this pissed off WWE officials, then it's just further proof that they shouldn't have gone through with this tournament in the first place. You can't book legit fights as if they're wrestling matches, so it's idiotic for officials to be pissed at Gunn for winning fights. Steve Williams, at that time, wasn't in his prime, he was about 38 or so at the time, and he was fighting against a younger, better conditioned fighter. I remember watching it and, like most fans, it bored the crap out of me. When you think about it, the Brawl for All was disastrous in the sense that it made the wrestlers who competed in it look bad; I mean, Bart Gunn won those fights and then loses in 30 seconds to Butterbean? It made the guys he beat look like pussies when you think about it. Plus, all the wrestlers were put at risk as they hadn't been trained to be in legit fights so they didn't have the necessary skill.

Had Bart Gunn beaten Butterbean, I don't think it would've meant much to his career in WWE. He'd been WWF Tag Team Champions 3 times with Billy Gunn and their last run had ended almost 2 years before the Brawl for All tournament began, so Gunn was just sort of drifting anyway.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2016, 08:05 PM
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I think the WWF management would have been pissed and found a way to humiliate Bart, as others had pointed out. Butterbean's career would have also suffered due to being knocked out by a "fake" wrestler. But there was no denying that Gunn had a pretty good punch, and if i'm not mistaken, he had done some boxing before beginning his wrestling career. But as MTL722 said, there is no way that Bean takes that fight unless he is sure that he will win. I will go as far to say that it may even have been "rigged" in the sense that everyone knew that there was no way Gunn would win.

I say that because most people don't remember that Marc Mero "fought' Butterbean in a gimmick boxing match that ended in DQ with Bean getting a gimmick stool smashed over his back. This was during the buildup to the wrestlemania match, IIRC. Now, bean agreed to do the worked match because in all honesty, Marc Mero should have beaten him handily. I say that because Marc Mero was a professionally trained boxer who won three straight golden gloves, and Ray Rinaldi (well known boxing trainer) was his trainer throughout his amateur career. In fact Mero was so good that he basically turned down turning professional to go and begin his wrestling career.

However, Bart Gunn was no Marc Mero, in the sense that Mero was legit a trained fighter and Gunn was not. Butterbean should win that fight against Gunn 9/10 times because #1, he is much bigger and stronger, and #2 he actually is a pro fighter who is used to going some rounds, albeit against limited opposition.

As it has been pointed out, should Bean somehow get flash KO'd (which was really, REALLY, unlikely because Bean really does have a pretty good chin), he would demand a rematch that was under full boxing rules, where he would annihilate Gunn.
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2016, 02:34 AM
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It really wouldn't have made a difference. Bart Gunn was dull as hell and he was buried by JR going into that fight anyway. At that time you couldn't get over unless you could talk and Bart certainly couldn't. Even if they built him up as a badass people wouldn't have cared. Shamrock was a legit badass around that time period and was built up as "The World's most dangerous man" and people didn't care. That's why the whole Brawl for All thing was stupid.

Even if Dr. Death won like they were hoping for, it wouldn't have mattered. People wouldn't have cared. If you couldn't talk then it didn't mean shit.
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