Sunday, January 31, 2016

Booking WrestleMania 32

As wrestling fans in general, and the internet wrestling community in particular, we are usually second guessing booking decisions of the current product, and retro booking big shows from the past.    With that said, this year's coming Wrestlemania is shaping up to be a disappointment compared to efforts in year's past.  A lot of it has to do with the staleness of the current product, injuries to some of the bigger stars of the roster, and my favorite current meme, "Vince is gonna Vince".

As I'm sure a lot of other people are already doing, I've been thinking of ways to make the show more entertaining than it's currently shaping up to be.  Now before I go much further, let me stress that I'm working with the knowledge that Daniel Bryan won't be cleared to go, and the rest of the injured won't be healthy either.
Here is what part of the card is expected to be:

WWE Championship - Triple H vs. Roman Reigns

Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt

Undertaker vs. Braun Strowman

WWE Diva's Championship - Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Now let's get to the meat of this, and take a look and a few of the things I would do to shake it up....



WWE Championship
Triple H w/ Vince McMahon vs. Roman Reigns w/ The Rock

Even though not many people are high on the thoughts of Roman Reigns continuing to be pushed to the moon, I don't think much else for the main event makes sense.  Over a year of storylines have led to this point, and it would be hard to go in a totally different direction all of a sudden.  But to kick up the entertainment value, I think having Vince McMahon announce that he'll be in Triple H's corner, and then to counter that, Reigns brings The Rock in to be in his corner to counteract Vince could be fun.  The only thing though with this decision, is that The Rock will eclipse ANYBODY, let alone Roman Reigns.  But for our entertainment benefit, The Rock needs to be a part of this.

Mixed Tag Match
Charlotte & Ric Flair vs. Sasha Banks & Sting

This one would not be much of a stretch to get to from where we currently are.  Ric can keep interfering in Charlotte's matches, and at Fast Lane, he helps Charlotte keep the belt against Sasha.  Sasha knows that she has to neutralize the Nature Boy, so she asks the one man she knows can do that...Sting... to help her.  A couple of (probably great) promos later, a challenge thrown out, and you have the mixed tag match set up for Wrestlemania.  This would be a good way to fill the nostalgia quotient for the show with Flair and Sting in the ring together one more time, and I think that with their trademark spots and history to draw from, the Ric-Sting portions could be fun, while Charlotte and Sasha carry the workrate in this one.

Gauntlet Match
Brock Lesnar vs. The Wyatt Family

Brock vs. Bray straight up has a chance at being good, but I just feel that Bray's character is way out of his league against The Beast.  So what better way  to even the odds than if Lesnar has to go through Harper, Rowan, and Strowman in succession before getting to Bray.  Unfortunately in this scenario, one man going through all four members of the Wyatt Family could finish killing off their credibility once and for all.  I also think that the promos from both Wyatt and Paul Heyman leading up to the show could be even better than the eventual match itself.  

Another possibility for this one would be to add the Undertaker as Brock's partner to keep it from being so lopsided.  But I have a different idea for Undertaker.

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

The years of back story, AND recent history is already well established in this one, and it's a no brainer for this one to take place on the biggest stage of the year.  And it would likely steal the show too.

Intercontinental Title:
Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles

AJ needs a showcase at this Wrestlemania.  Ambrose needs an opponent.  The two of them together could be a really good match, so I'm booking it.  It's not a hard match to get to either.  Give AJ some wins on Raw and Smackdown and let him start making his mark.  Once Fastlane is in the rearview, he can lay out the challenge to Ambrose for the title match at 'Mania and Ambrose being one who don't back down from anybody, has no problem accepting.

United States Championship:
Kalisto vs. Rusev

After his series of matches with Del Rio, Kalisto should be moved away from him soon and on to other opponents.  An easy story to tell, is for King Barret to go after him next since his stable mate Del Rio may be injured.  Do that match at Fastlane, and then move Kalisto on to face Rusev at Wrestlemania.  After defeating two other members of The League of Nations, it's time for the heavy hitter Rusev to take a shot...and you can throw in the back story of Rusev and his run as United States Champion to give the match a little more depth.  Kalisto could be better suited for a really good match with an opponent who can fly with him, but this should make for a really good big man/little man match.

An alternative to this match would be for Kalisto to defend the title in a multi-man ladder match, ala the Money in the Bank matches they used to do.  Kalisto, Rusev, Neville, Ziggler, Jericho, and maybe Tyler Breeze could make for a decent spot fest.  But I feel that with TLC just past us, it's too soon to do this type of match again, so I'm all for keeping it as a one on one match.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Usually, this is a type of match that is used to get a lot of guys a place on the card for a payday, but on my 'Mania card, it needs to be a showcase match, and a big deal made out of it.  Each and every Raw and Smackdown from now until Wrestlemania should have some mention of it.  Every one competing in it should put it over in interviews.  Make it seem like a big deal, and we the fans will treat it like a big deal.  The biggest star attraction in this one should be The Undertaker.  After the loss of the streak, and knowing this could be his last match at 'Mania, put him over everyone else in this thing to win it.  Throw in Mark Henry, who can talk up his pending retirement and how this is the one big win he wants before hanging up his boots.  This would also be a good time to call up Enzo and Cass as reps of NXT.  Big Cass and his 7 foot height bring legiticamy to them, and Enzo's prematch spiell would have the whole Stadium chanting along.  Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Social Outcasts, Dudleys, NXT Champion Finn Balor and his amazing entrance, Tyler Breeze and others can fill out the 20-25 man roster and make this one fun.  If there is anyone who has been gone for a while and will be returning, this is the match to use them as a surprise.  Give this one 20-25 minutes so you can tell a few stories, and I think you have an entertaining match.  It could also be used to set up various programs for the months after Wrestlemania.  

WWE Tag Team Championship: Fatal Fourway
The New Day vs. The Usos vs.  Goldust & R-Truth vs. Ascention (or any other team they would rather throw in.)

The New Day can make any WWE Instafeud happen quickly, as their brashness, and their ability to just walk out to the ring and claim they are the best and throw out open challenges makes this one easy.  Along with this, you've got all the team trading wins like they've been doing for years now, and you set up the four way which we seem to get at most Wrestlemanias anyhow.  But as for booking the match, I'd put the New Day over, and the next night on Raw, Gable and Jordan debut and take the belts their first night on the main roster.

Well, that looks like it.  It's not a show that would be remembered as one of the best I don't think, but with the current storylines and all of the current injuries, I think it makes the most of what they have available...and in a logical way.   That logic being what Vince will and will not allow to happen.  He's not going to have Bryan cleared and push Reigns out of the way and put Bryan in the main event to win the belt....so I didn't even try to think like that.

I'm sure I'll watch the show, whatever it turns out to be....just like most all other fans.  I just hope they give us something we can at least enjoy in the moment of watching, even if we don't really remember it years down the road.

As for the Hall of Fame, Sting is already announced as being inducted this year.  There are some other names that have been leaked that are speculated to be going in, and they are:

Sting
JBL
The Fabulous Freebirds
Jacqueline 
Charles Wright (Godfather, Papa Shango)
Regis Philbin (celebrity Wing)

I don't really have a problem with anyone on this list, as Sting and the Freebirds are long overdue in my opinion, and JBL is a company man who is from Texas, so why not.  But to round out the class, in my booking of this event, I would most certainly add Wahoo McDaniel and Dick Murdoch to the list since this one takes place in Texas.  I think they deserve to go in in any year, but this year especially given the location.

What do you see that you like?  What don't you like?  What matches would you book for the Wrestlemania card?  Let me know in the comments.

Follow me on twitter @yesterdayville, and visit me at my retro site www.howispentmychildhood.com

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