Important Booking Decisions for WrestleMania
The Show of Shows, the Grandaddy of Them All, the Showcase of the Immortals, the Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania 33 is but a few days away. I hope none of us have other plans on Sunday, because it’s going to be a long one. And last year’s incarnation of the event was… not so hot, let’s say. And between the growing appeal of New Japan, WWE needs to knock it out of the park this year in the most decisive way possible. Looking at the card, I’m a little worried about their ability to do so. Let’s take a look at the card to see what’s on the horizon:
Alexa Bliss (c) vs Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Mickie James vs Carmella vs Naomi
Neville (c) vs Austin Aires
The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Bray Wyatt (c) vs Randy Orton
Goldberg (c) vs Brock Lesnar
The Undertaker vs Roman Reigns
Seth Rollins vs Triple H
Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles
Bayley (c) vs Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax
Chris Jericho (c) vs Kevin Owens
John Cena and Nikki Bella vs The Miz and Maryse
Dean Ambrose (c) vs Baron Corbin
The Club (c) vs Enzo and Cass vs Sheamus and Cesaro
There are some matches that I have no worries about whatsoever (Aires vs Neville, for instance). But there are others that I think need some help to really make them feel important. So, here’s a list of booking decisions I think need to be made at WrestleMania.
A Double Turn in the Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton Match
We’ve hopefully all seen the reports about Randy wanting to turn heel, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, we want that too. He’s infinitely better at being a heel than a face, so let’s just let him do that. Alternatively, Bray Wyatt has been one of the most under-utilized talents on the roster ever since he joined it. We’ve all been on this journey with him, begging the company to see what we all did and just let him win the occasional match. And now, he’s finally on top, after all these years, and it feels great. I (and presumably, many others) would appreciate the chance to cheer for the guy now.
Finn Balor Returns… As A Heel
Here’s how this happens: Anderson and Gallows are getting beat up. The other two teams are playing the numbers game, and keeping The Club away from the titles. Finally, Cass clears the ring, and Enzo is climbing the ladder to grab the belts. As he’s about halfway up, The Demon King returns, kicking Big Cass in the head and knocking Enzo off the ladder. Anderson and Gallows jump in the ring. They all do the “Too Sweet” hand thing together, and they go to town on the other teams. Balor hits a dropkick on Enzo and a sling blade on Cesaro, Anderson does the Gun Stun on Sheamus, Gallows roundhouse kicks Cesaro in the head. Anderson climbs up the ladder and pulls down the titles. They all get thrown Balor Club shirts, which they wear while celebrating together.
Anderson and Gallows need some teeth, in the most desperate way. They’re the tag team champions, but hardly feel like it. They lose all the time, and come off as idiots when they don’t. They’ve spent a year jobbing to Roman Reigns, then The New Day, then the whole tag team division since they won the titles, and they’re one of the least convincing champions in the company right now. So, let’s change that, yeah? This works especially well if the rumors about AJ Styles being traded to RAW end up being true, and you could have a heel stable for the ages right there. And there are no stables right now, which makes me sad. You can read more about that rumor, if you haven’t already, right here: http://www.popculturepipebomb.com/we-look-at-aj-styles-being-traded-to-raw/
Roman Reigns Beating The Undertaker… In a Short Match
I’m talking like, five minutes or less. I can see your frustrated furrowing of the brow, trust me. That’s the point.
Roman has been acting more and more heelish lately. and it seems increasingly likely that they’re finally going to pull the trigger on it. So, why not grab that heat and make it nuclear?
Have Roman come right out of the gate and blindside Taker. Roman knocks him into the corner and does his ten clotheslines spot. Taker tries to roll to the outside, but gets a drive-by dropkick for his troubles. Roman chases him back into the ring, and is stalking, setting up for the sit-out crucifix powerbomb. Undertaker reverses and hits a desperation chokeslam, which Roman kicks out of. Roman gets up quickly, and nails a superman punch for 2. Roman hits the Spear, but Taker again kicks out. Roman sets up for another Spear, and hits it. 1, 2, 3.
I’m entirely serious about this. Have the commentators just stunned, speechless. “Undertaker barely got in any offense at all…” they stutter, dumbfounded. Roman can then be the most hated heel in all of pro wrestling, while also looking like an absolute destroyer. Boom, top heel on RAW with legitimate, white hot heel heat.
Meanwhile, Undertaker is just as stunned as everybody else. He decides to take a hiatus, and reassess his ability to hang. Next year, he comes back for one last match.
Baron Corbin Defeating Dean Ambrose Clean
Ambrose works best when he’s an unhinged, unpredictable, murderous psychopath. And that is not how he’s been during this rivalry. So, I’m going to use this to set up a big character change for him. Have Ambrose stroll to the ring, cocky as can be. He’s laughing, swaggering, pointing to the crowd. Then the match starts, and Ambrose is in trouble. Corbin is bigger, stronger than Ambrose realized. Dean is reeling, just making it by. By the end, he’s worn down and exhausted, beaten and mangled. Corbin pins him with the End of Days (just one), clean.
On Tuesday, Ambrose comes to the ring dejected. He says “I admit, I lost on Sunday. I thought I was invincible, I thought I was on top of the world. I took my challenger lightly, and WrestleMania ended in disappointment for me two years in a row as a result, and I don’t even have my title to show for it.” He looks straight down the lens, dead serious, murder in his eyes, and says “Baron Corbin, I underestimated you, and overestimated myself. I didn’t take you seriously. You can bet your ass I won’t make that mistake again.” And he storms off.
I know WrestleMania is supposed to be kinda climatic for most of the storylines going in, but this feud is between one really good worker and one who’s rapidly becoming a really good worker, and it’s not really utilized either man to their full potential. I would let this go one more month, and have the official wrap-up at whatever SDL’s next Pay-Per-View event will be.
An Awesome, 45 Minute Match
I love long matches. WWE does not. I’m not sure which match this should go to, but somebody should put on a long, drawn out story that has all the time in the world. I think every Mania should try to have one long match, actually. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t in part due to… well, that match that took place in January of this year, in the Tokyo Dome. WWE needs to look at that 45 minute epic work of art and say “We can do that too, you know”. Maybe it’s Randy and Bray, maybe it’s Jericho and Owens, maybe it’s Shane and AJ. I don’t know, but I want to see WWE find two guys with the cardio and the skill to make a long masterpiece of a match, and encourage them to put it on.
And that about does it for me. What do you guys want to see this Sunday? Let me know in the comments, or come tell me on twitter @ejdupras_VVV. Subscribe to the website to get notified about all our new articles. And unless something catastrophic happens, I’ll see you all Monday night for the (Almost) Live Reactions series, where I have a feeling a certain Japanese wrestler might just get the call. Take it easy, everybody!
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