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  #1  
Old 01-29-2017, 04:16 AM
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TEIWCSCSAATBHPHASP TEIWCSCSAATBHPHASP is offline
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Default Yokozuna in the 1997 Hart Foundation stable?

So I remember back when the Hart Foundation was one of the hottest things going during the summer of 1997 there was an article in either WWF or RAW magazine (not sure which) about Yokozuna becoming the next member of the Hart Foundation. I think it was probably one of those "Vic Venom" aka Vince Russo articles.

Do you guys think there were ever any real plans for this? Was Yokozuna still under contract? I know they sent him to fat farms but after several failed attempts to get him to lose weight the WWF gave up and released him.

Either way, how would you feel about Yokozuna joining the Hart Foundation? Good or bad? I guess his biggest connection would be his tag title run with Owen... He could have been the monster of the group, and he does have a connection with Owen and Bulldog as he was with them in Camp Cornette.

What do you guys think? How ironic would it be if Bret (kayfabe) embraced his former big-time nemesis from 1993-94 as fellow heels? Since Bret gave a monologue in his epic heel promo the night after WrestleMania XIII (13) apologizing to Canada, Japan, Europe and the Middle East except for the United States, likely hinted at Yokozuna possibly coming back to the main roster for WWF assuming he lost a significant amount of weight.

Last edited by TEIWCSCSAATBHPHASP : 01-29-2017 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:08 AM
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By then Yoko was pretty much a spent force in the ring - there wouldn't have been much good to come from him joining the group.

To many people, it was tenuous that even Pillman was part of the group so Yoko might have been a stretch too far. What might have been more interesting using Vader... he had the link too through Camp Cornette.

Ultimately, Davey and Jim together were the "powerhouses", having a bigger guy in there would have made Jim certainly redundant in the group (more so than he was by that point)
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Old 01-29-2017, 08:30 AM
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This would never have happened. Remember -Russo as "Vic Venom" would often attend booking meetings and be aware of things in advance and his job was to create rumour and speculation- some true but some not true (I will go further on this in a moment). Yoko was a spent force by early 1996 completely! I know Yoko was sent to a health farm to lose weight in 1996 but never did and he was never proposed to come back until his health had recovered which sadly never happened. Plus having Yoko join the 97 HF would have not made sense.

A lot of the speculation created in Magazines in those days were done to encourage WWF fans to go to the Premium Rate hotlines and call up for the latest news which was a large revenue maker for many businesses back in them days.
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:27 AM
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You most likely read this in the year predictions in January WWF magazines. It was Vic Venom (Russo) predicting the year to come. I always enjoyed this article. I think he did it 3 of 4 years. Some of it came true and some of it was ridiculous.

I agree the history or Yoko/Bret could have made an interesting dynamic of those two being in a stable. Unfortunately Yoko ballooned up to an insane weight where he couldn't move anymore and would have been more harm then good in the stable. I think the 5 guys they had for the Hart Foundation were the perfect fit.
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:35 AM
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I would have rather seen Yoko as a leader of a stable of Samoans and Pacific Islanders. Obviously you would have the Headshrinkers Samu and Fatu Matt Anoai aka Rosey Tonga Kid aka Samoan Savage and a young Umaga. Yoko was a natural born leader. He was a leader in the WWF lockers room of the mid-'90's when it was referred to as the "Shark Tank" when you had to earn your respect. Yoko was an instrumental force in the locker room along with fellow BSK member Undertaker and Clique leader Kevin Nash.

I can't see Yokozuna (whose name means "grand champion) relegated to second or even third or fourth fiddle behind the likes of Bulldog and Owen. Maybe a return to the top might have even motivated him to lose weight. I think in the era of "reality TV" where superstars were encouraged to act more like themselves and less as comic book characters a factions like the "Samoans" would have worked alongside other side other backstage factions like DX (HBK and HHH), the Hart Foundation, Los Boricuas with Savio and DOA with Crush and Chainz.

That would be my choice.
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:32 AM
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Everyone knows Yokozuna was too obese to compete in 1997, and would sadly succumb to that condition. That's not the point of this thread though. Let's assume when Yoko was sent home in 1996 that he managed to drop enough weight and pass WWF's physical.

Yoko would have been interesting in the Hart Foundation for sure. Before anyone says he's not Canadian, neither was Bulldog. He fits the foreign heel mould used by that incarnation of the Foundation.

What would be the angle that brings him back? We have to assume that in order to lose as much weight as he would have needed that it would have been a mid to late 97 return for Yoko.

Yokozuna was a former WWF champion, so you can't have him play third of fourth fiddle. He would have needed his own push within the Foundation. That's the biggest flaw with including him.

Owen was feuding with Austin for most of the 97 Foundation run. Bret mainly feuded with Undertaker and hovered around the title before capturing it in the summer.

You could have replaced Owen with Yoko, had Austin and the sumo Samoan go at it, but then you push Owen Hart down the card. Owen and Bulldog could have stayed focused on their tag team in that scenario.

Yokozuna could have feuded with Mick Foley or The Rock. Foley was doing the faces of Foley in 97 and Rock was still Rocky Maivia until the late summer. Those would have been lower card feuds though (despite Foley hovering around the WWF title for parts of 97).

If Yokozuna had lost the weight a better use for him would have been feuding with The Hart Foundation. Pillman was feuding with Goldust, Neidhart was just kind of lost as the fourth guy, I don't remember Bulldog doing much with his European title during this time. Hart had that forgettable match against the Patriot at one point. Why not return to a former WrestleMania main event but with rolls reversed?

I would have returned a leaner Yokozuna with the same sumo ring attire, but change the character and have him reveal his Samoan heritage. Yoko could play up the Samoan American thing (he was born in the USA) and have him start waving the American flag. Yokozuna would have been a proven former champion for Hart to feud with as opposed to the forgettable Patriot.

There really wasn't room or a need to have Yokozuna in the Hart Foundation. It would have been neat to see Yoko in a great big leather jacket, but he would have been third string guy in the faction. WWF could have used a main event competitor at that time and Yokozuna may have been better off as a babyface. Unfortunately he ate himself to death and we never found out.
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