Another Royal Rumble has come and gone, which means that we are
officially "On The Road To Wrestlemania!" If you don't believe me, you
will hear that phrase 834384838483 times in between camera shots of
two guys facing off with the Wrestlemania banner in the background.
For the last several years, I've stepped out of the indy realm to talk
WWE, because after all, Wrestlemania is the pinnacle of our
sport(entertainment). I've tried to fantasy book previous Mania's in
the past, which got some decent reaction. So since I got some time,
and I'm sure everyone has seen enough WSU ads on the DOI for a day,
here's an original material piece for the DOI.
Wrestlemania 27's line-up is basically all set in stone. At least the
top matches are. Quite frankly, this does not feel like a Wrestlemania
card at all. I've seen Cena-Miz. I can care less about Punk-Orton. Del
Rio vs Edge doesn't do anything for me. The three top matches feel
like Raw TV matches. There is no magic with this card at all. There's
nothing that screams Wrestlemania moment on this. Last year's Mania I
was hyped for because of Shawn/Taker and Bret/Vince. You knew those
would be interesting matches, even if Vince/Bret wound up sucking. The
fact was, going into it, you wanted to see it. Call me cynical, but
there is nothing that is must-see this year. There is nothing this
year that even remotely has my interest.
What hurt Wrestlemania this year was WWE losing tons of star power.
HBK retired. Jericho & Batista took time off to pursue other
interests. Vince McMahon took himself off TV. HHH has been off for a
while. With the exception of Vince, that's four main event level
workers. However, despite being forced to create stars and fill those
slots, WWE did not take that approach. WWE did crown new guys as
champions, like Jack Swagger & The Miz, but championships are
meaningless since they change so frequently. For a period of time, up
until the brand split, I was such a mark and had a good memory that I
could recite every WWF Champion in order and how they won it. Now, I
can't tell you who did or didn't have the title last year. There is no
prestige in titles anymore.
For Swagger & Miz, their title reigns were booked as lame as possible.
Swagger looked like a fluke, and his title reign was mercifully ended.
The Miz, since being champ for 3-4 months, has only one clean win on
TV in that time, and you can debate if that match was even clean,
since Alex Riley was out there. Plus, he beat John Morrison, who we've
been conditioned to accept that he's not a main eventer.
When you think about it, in the past few months, the only "new" star
WWE has gotten over to a main event level, is that feisty young 61
year old Jerry Lawler. I'm not hating on the King and I think he
deserves one last run and a chance to finally wrestle on Wrestlemania,
but are you telling me they couldn't get someone else over as well?
Even in the case of John Cena & Randy Orton, the two top WWE
babyfaces, they are no where near the level of The Rock or Steve
Austin. Rock vs Austin did great business on PPV, even headlining two
Manias, and having a B-match on another, but for Cena vs Orton, no one
wants to see it anymore. Cena vs Orton has happened a million times
and no one wants to see it again. Even at the Royal Rumble, the WWE
tried testing the audience by having Cena and Orton face-off, all
while having the Mania banner being shown in the background, but no
one popped. With WWE doing gimmick PPV's up the wazoo, WWE blew their
load with Cena vs Orton. What can they do that they haven't done
before? They've also main evented together several recent Raws, so who
will want to buy this on PPV? We've seen it. Been there. Done that a
million times. It is going to take YEARS, before anyone wants to see
that again, and perhaps the only way people will want to see it is if
John Cena is a heel. And don't expect that to happen anytime soon,
because only retards, like TNA would turn their top babyface
merchandiser into a heel.
In theory, having two rosters should lead to dream matches on PPV,
except WWE crosses over the brands to the point it doesn't really
matter. Seeing Edge wrestle John Cena, or Randy Orton wrestle Kane
isn't really exciting. It's been done a million times and plus, when
guys criss-cross brands all the time, it's hard to put labels on
things. Everyone is in the WWE universe, the brand stuff doesn't mean
anything. It is time to kill the branding, it hasn't worked. Ever
since WWE did the brand split, business has been down from the peak
numbers of the late 90's and early 00's. How long is it going to take
to accept that the brand split has not worked? End this already.
The argument for the brand split is that it allows WWE to book two
sets of house show tours. The problem is that Smackdown is so depleted
that no one cares when Smackdown is on tour. Plus, in the 80's, the
WWF used to run three house show tours. You don't need two brands to
run two tours. All you need to do is split up your main eventers. Let
John Cena hit New York, Boston and Chicago in January, while Orton
hits Los Angeles, Seattle & Dallas in January. Then when you return to
those markets, switch it up so Orton is hitting the east coast while
Cena is on the West coast. This is simple stuff here, and all stuff
that has been done before.
So going back to the original topic, when talking Wrestlemania 27, WWE
is screwed. I don't see this card producing a high PPV number at all.
Sure it might be the top number on the WWE calendar, but I bet it
doesn't even crack the top 10 grossing PPVs of 2011, as I bet UFC and
2 boxing cards will do better box office business. And that's sad,
because UFC is just doing what wrestling should be doing, building up
stars and letting them duke it out. Instead, when someone starts to
get over on their own, the legs are cut out. UFC titles mean
something. WWE titles do not. Fans are inclined to buy a UFC fight
knowing a title is on the line. The same can not be said for WWE.
Moving on, when trying to put together a Mania card, the other 2
problems is that HHH and Taker, two proven stars, have been injured.
The rumor is that HHH is going to return against Sheamus. In theory,
that's the right match, but damn what are they booking there? Sheamus
was a 2-time champion, but a champion booked to be weak. He won the
title by fluke on 2 occasions. His defenses were a fluke. Thus,
Sheamus is a fluke. As a two-time world champ, Sheamus went on to win
King of the Ring, a tournament designed to a get a mid-card guy over
to the next level, but how does that help Sheamus, who was already
main eventing PPVs? Now, Sheamus is no more than a mid-carder after
doing job after job to John Morrison and even doing a job to Santino.
I'm surprised in HHH. You figure Sheamus would be an unbeatable
monster right now. Instead he's Barry Horowitz with red hair. What is
HHH coming back for? To beat a mid-carder? I can't believe Sheamus
wasn't protected better for HHH's return. KEY RULE IN WRESTLING: IF
THE PERSON YOU BEAT AINT WORTH IT, THEN YOU'RE NOT WORTH IT EITHER.
I mean really, if a guy is built up strong, like Sheamus and HHH comes
back and beats him, HHH looks like a stud. Instead HHH is coming back
to beat someone on the Bodydonnas level. How does that make HHH look
like a conqueror? I'm really confused with the booking of Sheamus as
With the Undertaker, he's been hurt, but Mania means too much to him
and to the WWE. Several ideas have been thrown around for him, with
some suggesting a tag team match. The worst Taker match in the streak
era has been Taker vs Albert/Big Show. No build for this match, a
problem with Nathan Jones and just a plodding match. Taker's matches
need to mean something. It is the one draw that Wrestlemania still has
left. A tag match with a B-group like Nexus or The Corre will suck,
because these are guys that John Cena beats up all by himself every
week. Why would I want to pay to see Taker do it on PPV? More on Taker
As we stand right now, here is the proposed card for Mania:
Cena vs Miz for the spinner title
Edge vs Del Rios for the world title
Orton vs Punk
Taker vs Barrett, or Taker/Kane vs Corre
HHH vs Sheamus
Misterio vs Cody Rhodes
Corre Jobbers vs Nexus Jobbers
Money in the Bank
Random get all the divas on the show battle royal or lumberjill match
Something with Lawler & Cole
When trying to come up with a proposed Wrestlemania card at this point
in time, it is tough, from a fantasy booker standpoint because WWE has
already put the wheels in motion. However, with what's available to
me, this is what I would've done to make it feel more like a
First things first - It's time to merge all the titles. Too many
champions is confusing and that's what hurt boxing. Fans need to be
conditioned to think that belts mean something again. People will pay
for title defenses if it's built up properly. Right now, no one is
paying for title defenses and all these gimmick PPVs make no sense.
Why are guys starting off their feud in a Hell in a Cell. That sucks.
It's time to turn it around.
Here's my proposed card for Mania:
For the WWE World & Spinner Titles
Undertaker vs John Cena
CM Punk vs Sting
HHH vs Sheamus
For the US & IC Titles
Bryan Danielson vs Kofi Kingston vs Rey Misterio vs Alberto Del Rio
Womens Battle Royal for the Divas Title
Entire roster, debut Kong
Edge vs Randy Orton
Big Show vs Diesel
MITB Match with your Kane's, Christian's, Dibiase's, Swagger's of the
Jerry Lawler & John Morrison vs The Miz w/Alex Riley & Dolph Ziggler w/
Vickie Guerrero, Special Ref Michael Cole (Lead to HBK/Austin Run-In
Corre Jobbers vs Nexus Jobbers (Jericho return?)
Pre-Show battle royal to get the rest of the roster on the show, but
with a stipulation, where the winner gets a title shot on Raw or
Commentators: Jim Ross, Booker T. & Josh Matthews (Let Striker do the
above battle royal.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- I would've had Taker come out at 40 at the Rumble and win it. Even if The story with Cena vs Taker should write itself. They may have fought Everyone is talking Taker vs Sting, and I hope thats what we get this If Sting does go to the WWE (10 years too late by the way), he's going Since we're uniting the World belts, I'd also go back to just one mid- Sheamus vs HHH is a match that's going to happen. Storyline wise HHH All the women need to get on the show somehow. This is where I would MITB is a match that needs to happen as it gets everyone a payday and Edge vs Orton I would set-up with Edge going back to a heel role Based off Diesel's Rumble reaction and the audible staredown with The sad thing about WWE right now, is that the top 2 heels aren't You don't want to do the same story twice on one show, so I would I would do an injury angle in this match, where Morrison gets hurt I'd have Cole freak out and immediately dart down the aisle, only to The Corre jobbers vs Nexus jobbers looks to be an unavoidable showdown Anyway, that's what I would've done. Mania is the one show I go out of
I think the card above is more appealing than what we are getting,
although I don't feel like it's a true Wrestlemania card on paper.
There is a lot lost this year with the lack of stars due to WWE's
Here's how I would push these matches:
hurt, he wouldn't have to do much to win a battle royal. Let him do a
series of segments to sell that he's going after a title. At the
Elimination Chamber, get the spinner belt back onto Cena. Have Barrett
take the Smackdown title, only for Taker to make his first appearance
since the Rumble after Barrett wins the belt. Have Taker cash in his
Rumble title shot right there and then and take the belt from Barrett,
ending that feud. Sure it makes Barrett look weak, but you can look
weak to the Undertaker and not have your stock hurt. Also, I know
you're flip flopping the belt, but it's ok here , because the plan
long term is to build up one *** world champion and this is the
last time you will be doing something like this for a while.
once when Cena just started in the WWE in 2002-2003, but as far as big
time matches, Taker vs Cena has not been done. The streak vs the face
of the WWE should be a draw. It's the one program WWE has avoided, but
it's Mania time, it's time to pull out all the stops. Have Taker go
over, have a solid run, then either switch the belt down the line to
the next big heel you want to create, whether it be Barrett, The Miz
or Del Rio. However, whoever gets it, needs to have a real run and not
be booked like garbage.
year. That is a match that feels "Wrestlemania-ish". It is a first
time ever match and even if the match blows, the entrances, the story
and the dramatics should be enough to carry it. I'm hoping Taker is
the surprise on 2/21, only for Sting to be the real surprise right
afterwards. That's a good swerve, not a Russo swerve. Taker vs Sting
is something special, despite both guys combined being nearly 100
years old. Sting needs to have one match in the WWE before he's done
for good, and businesswise, signing with the WWE is something Sting
needs to do to make more bank. WWE owns all of his best work, so just
signing with WWE opens the door for figures, best of DVDs,
documentaries, perhaps a bad straight-to-DVD movie; whatever. Business-
wise WWE is where it's at.
to be wrestling The Undertaker. However in my dream-land, I'd have him
against CM Punk. Punk is doing all these promos about being a higher
power, talking about faith, doing all the brainwash stuff, and biting
some religious principles, so who better than Sting to shed light into
Punk's seedy ways? Plus, Punk would be able to carry it. Sting is 52.
Sting vs Taker will be good because of everything behind it, but Punk
vs Sting would be a match that could be 3-4 star level due to Punk's
ability. Plus, the promo work would be awesome. Plus if Sting/Taker
happens, Sting has no history in WWE. Taker beating Sting does what?
Who did he beat? A 52 year old Sting. With Punk, you can give the fans
a feel good moment with Sting winning, and set-up a rematch with Punk
taking the win and moving forwards from there.
card title, and that's the IC title. I'd do Raw & Smackdown's champ,
and add the number 1 contenders to those titles into this match. I
think the best possible match would be Danielson (US Champ) vs Kofi
(IC Champ) vs Misterio vs Del Rio. I would do it as an elimination
match and let Del Rio go over everyone to build him up as a future
star. I'd then give Del Rio a long reign before putting over an up and
coming babyface (not Jerry Lawler). Then from there, push Del Rio to
main event level. Let the IC belt be the workrate title again and get
over future stars to the world title. It was a formula that always
worked in the past and I don't know why the WWE deviated from it.
should win, but to reignite the career of Sheamus, Sheamus needs this
win badly. HHH beat him at last year's Mania, it's time to return the
favor and help your albino buddy out.
do the battle royal, with the last woman coming to the ring being the
debuting Awesome Kong. Going into this match, I'd do a weird finish at
the Elimination Chamber, where Lay-Cool double pin Eve Torres for the
belt. The title gets held up, and the anonymous RAW GM says since
these two can't decide who will be champion, he'll take manners into
his own hands, by allowing everyone to challenge for the belt in a
battle royal. I'd have Kong dominate and put her over for the belt. On
her next TV, I'd have Kong destroy that lame butterfly belt, and bill
her as the WWE womens champion.
fun to watch. As far as who goes over this year, I think the fans
would pull for Christian, although it won't happen. I would probably
put over Wade Barrett, because he is someone who needs a big win
because he's better as a heel. With a babyface champion at the end of
this show, I'd have Edge go over here. This would just be a good match
on the show, and the other matches perhaps would overshadow this.
Diesel/Show, why not give the fans this match? You could play off
their history. Plus it gives something for someone loyal like Show to
do and it gives Mania that "anything can happen" feeling. Let Show go
over clean, Diesel gets his ring time, fans give him a thank you pop
and Diesel moves on to bad straight to DVD movies, WWE 24/7 legend
roundtables and perhaps commentary.
wrestlers. The top 2 heels are Cole & Guerrero. These two need to get
their asses kicked and give the fans a big pop. Ideally, you'd like
them to get over someone who can use it, but the fact of the matter
is, what's Evan Bourne gonna say, "I outsmarted Michael Cole?" This is
where I'd use nostalgia.
combine Cole/Guerrero's feuds & team them up. I would do Lawler &
Morrison vs Miz & Ziggler. To throw in a screwball, Cole is the
special ref, and if Team Lawler wins, Lawler's ban on hitting Michael
Cole is over. If Team Miz wins, Lawler must quit the WWE. I'd have
Cole announce on the go-home Raw show that he's making the match a NO
DQ match, because he wants Lawler to get hurt so bad that he'll never
have to see him again.
after 10 minutes or so, so it's Lawler vs Team Miz w/the seconds on
the outside. I'd let them all interfere, but the glass shatters, and
Austin runs out (he's there to promote Tough Enough) and stuns A-Riley
& Ziggler. Lawler can piledriver the Miz and Austin threatens Cole
into counting the 1-2-3.
be cut off by Shawn Michaels. Michaels grabs Cole and throws him into
the ring. Michaels can say that all Hall of Famers look out for each
other, meaning Austin & Lawler. Vickie Guerrero can be mad and say you
can't do this and slap Austin in the face. Austin can stun her for a
pop, because you know Shawn Michael's won't hit a woman. Then the big
pop will be Lawler piledriving Cole, with Cole being off WWE TV for at
least 2 weeks. Maybe Nash can be his replacement.
of mediocrity. Nexus looks stronger than the Corre right now. Just
like Punk gave Nexus new legs, I'd have Jericho do the same thing for
the Corre, and join Corre here and become their new leader, while
Barrett just does his own thing singles. Punk vs Jericho would be good
matches and they could help elevate the talent beneath them.
my way to watch every year and try to feel young again, but there's
nothing on the current Mania card that has my interest piqued at all.
Is wrestling dying? Is it too hard to care anymore? Like a good mark,
I'll be watching Mania, but I don't see the magic this year.
I would've had Taker come out at 40 at the Rumble and win it. Even if
The story with Cena vs Taker should write itself. They may have fought
Everyone is talking Taker vs Sting, and I hope thats what we get this
If Sting does go to the WWE (10 years too late by the way), he's going
Since we're uniting the World belts, I'd also go back to just one mid-
Sheamus vs HHH is a match that's going to happen. Storyline wise HHH
All the women need to get on the show somehow. This is where I would
MITB is a match that needs to happen as it gets everyone a payday and
Edge vs Orton I would set-up with Edge going back to a heel role
Based off Diesel's Rumble reaction and the audible staredown with
The sad thing about WWE right now, is that the top 2 heels aren't
You don't want to do the same story twice on one show, so I would
I would do an injury angle in this match, where Morrison gets hurt
I'd have Cole freak out and immediately dart down the aisle, only to
The Corre jobbers vs Nexus jobbers looks to be an unavoidable showdown
Anyway, that's what I would've done. Mania is the one show I go out of