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Fantasy Booking WrestleMania 31

January 22, 2015

The most common trait of being a wrestling fan is complaining about what the show you’re watching is giving you, despite how good it actually is. I could find ways to complain about my favorite wrestling shows (Lucha Underground and NXT, for future reference) if I wanted to, but that would just be labeled nitpicking. But today, I’m gonna complain about WWE’s main show, Monday Night Raw.

I have a lot of problems with what is rumored to happen this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, and I have my own ideas of what I’d like to see. This is a list of what I want and why, not what I think will go down between Sunday night and March 29.

The two main event matches at the Royal Rumble are the Triple Threat match for the world title between Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, and John Cena, and the other is the actual Royal Rumble match. I want to see Lesnar retain and Bryan win the Rumble for two reason: 1) DB gets his Rumble win that he should’ve had last year and 2) that classic babyface underdog vs unstoppable heel story. Everything else at the Rumble, who really cares? Well, I’ll care later on, but not at the Rumble.

At Fast Lane (the Feb. PPV) I don’t really expect anything major to happen, but what I’d here’s what I’d like to see:

  • the conclusion of the Ryback/Rusev angle/beginning of Rusev vs Roman Reigns
  • Ryback joining John Cena in his fight against The Authority.
  • hopefully Rollins vs Orton is a feud going into this show

This card is listed in the order of which I would want to see it as if it were to actually be broadcast. This is everything that I want and why I want it like this. I’m never gonna get it unless I’m on 2K15 or something. My fantasy card is:

WrestleMania 31

1) Sami Zayn vs Finn Bálor
for the NXT Championship

2) Divas Championship Battle Royal

3) Roman Reigns vs Rusev
for the United States Championship

4) Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

5) The Usos vs Dust Bros vs Ascension vs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro
for the WWE Tag Team Championship

6) Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton

7) Dolph Ziggler vs Bad News Barrett
for the Intercontinental Championship

8) John Cena and Ryback vs Kane and Big Show

9) Sting vs Triple H

10) Bray Wyatt vs The Undertaker

11) Daniel Bryan vs Brock Lesnar
for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

11 matches. That’s what I call a Supercard. And before you say “Holy shit, that’s a lot of matches! Can that fit on a PPV?” Yes it can. New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 had 11 matches too. Anyway, here’s why I want this card.

1) Sami Zayn vs Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship
On this past episode of NXT (01/21/15), General Manager William Regal announced a #1 contenders tournament for the NXT Championship and I assume that the final match of the tournament will take place at the next Takeover special (Live on February 11!) because Regal also booked Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn on that night. As of today, January 22, 2015, the only matches that have happened in that tournament are Finn Bálor winning over Curtis Axel and Hideo Itami over Tyler Breeze. The former tag team partners are set to face each other probably 2 weeks from now in the semifinal, and I fully expect Bálor to go over on Itami and whoever he’d face in the final (my guess is Bálor over Adrian Neville at Takeover), making him the #1 contender.

As for the NXT Champ Sami Zayn, he’s in a blood feud against Kevin Owens, not unlike the Kevin Steen vs El Generico feud from Ring of Honor (because El Generico retired and is taking care of orphans in Mexico), and they’re set to battle at Takeover as well. I expect they’ll make this a title match next week when they sign the contract on TV, and I expect Zayn to retain.

This leads to a Finn Bálor vs Sami Zayn match that has no planned live event to happen at. This match should not take place at a taping, it should happen at WrestleMania. Sami Zayn is THE most over guy in the business, and Finn Bálor is probably #2 on that list and will probably pass up Zayn in popularity before it’s all said and done. These two are the future of pro wrestling, period. It doesn’t matter who wins this match. If Zayn retains, we get another match. If Bálor wins, we get his title reign AND Zayn goes to the main roster. The real winner is wrestling fans.

2) Divas Championship Battle Royal
Not a whole of people (Creative included) care about the Divas division. But I do. They work hard with what they’re given, which isn’t a whole lot to begin with anyway. As bad as that Nikki and Brie Bella angle was back in the summer, they worked hard to make it as watchable as possible and I respect that. The Women of NXT are why I began to care about the Divas again, because down in NXT, they’re given the TV time that the main roster women don’t get. It’s mind boggling that a one hour show can devote meaningful airtime to their women but a three hour show can’t. So they deserve a pay day at this show for putting up with assholes who don’t believe hot women can be wrestlers like Kevin Dunn. Also, I got Paige winning this because I love her.

3) Roman Reigns vs Rusev for the United States Championship
To paraphrase CM Punk, “I don’t hate you, Roman. I don’t even dislike you. I do like you, Roman, I like you a hell of a lot more than most people. I hate this idea that you’re ready for the main event. Because you’re not.” Roman Reigns is not ready for what he’s gonna be given, plain and simple. He can’t talk, his matches need improvement, but he does have a presence and natural charisma. His future is bright, but his future is not now. That’s why he needs a big year on the undercard this year after a hernia took him out of a year of development in 2014.

He can start with a cool feud with Rusev. Firstly, Big Show sucks. Secondly, Rusev is a monster heel that has yet to be beaten, can work his ass off, and holds a title that desperately needs legitimacy. I want this to start at the Fast Lane PPV and end at Payback, with Rusev’s first pinfall loss happening at WrestleMania. Roman hasn’t won a singles title yet, and getting this win will be huge for his career, his character, and most importantly, his future at WrestleMania. John Cena’s first title win was the US Title at WrestleMania and look what happened to him. Also, they gotta stop scripting his promos. I prefer he doesn’t talk, but if he has to, he shouldn’t be reading lines from Looney Tunes cartoons.

4) Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
I hope this is really is a yearly thing because then everybody can get paid. But it’s gotta be a real launching pad for a guy because Cesaro was wasted after his win. I’d want Dean Ambrose winning this and then having a nice, Non-Cesaro like summer.

5) The Usos vs Dust Bros vs The Ascension vs Kidd and Cesaro for the WWE Tag Team Championship
I’m just a mark for Fatal Four Way Tag Team matches. After the triple threat tag team match way back at Survivor Series 2002, I just love these multiple team matches. I figure Miz and Mizdow will be split by this time and they’ll open WrestleMania as the dark match. I want The Masters of the Universe, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro to win the tag titles at this event, and I expect The Ascension to be the champs heading in to Mania. I want to believe that what happened at Raw this past Monday (01/19/15) with the nWo, APA, and New Age Outlaws was just a rub and not a full on burial.

6) Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton
I have an idea with Seth Rollins for later on, but first he’s gotta settle all the beef with Randy Orton. Rollins took Orton out way back when and is obviously gonna come for him when he gets back at the Rumble. If it happens the way I want it to, Orton would get a DQ win over Rollins, leaving this feud unresolved for a match at WrestleMania. I wouldn’t be shocked if this happened with a No DQ/Street Fight stipulation. I’d like Orton to win as the babyface, finishing his feud with Rollins here and leaving Mr. Money in the Bank open for the following night.

7) Dolph Ziggler vs Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship
If Dolph’s not allowed to be a main eventer yet, then he might as well be the face of the midcard. Barrett and Ziggler have great chemistry in the ring together and if Zayn and Bálor haven’t stole the show yet, Ziggler damn sure will. He’d win the title here only to drop it sometime before Money in the Bank, where I’d have him win the briefcase in June.

8) John Cena and Ryback vs Kane and Big Show
I almost wrote this whole thing without including a John Cena match. But I gotta include him because he’s the man. This is where the Authority angle ends with the babyface team going over, because LOL CENA WINS. But I also want a Ryback heel turn after the match so that John Cena doesn’t steal anyone’s spotlight.

9) Sting vs Triple H
The most predictable booking that-was-also-exciting match in the history of ever. There’s no way in hell that Sting jobs to Triple H. As far as the story for this match goes, Rollins took a loss, Kane and Big Show took a loss, and now Sting will kill The Authority for good. This will end a storyline that started in 2013. I hope the heel authority figure gimmick ends with this match too because the only good one was Austin vs McMahon and it can never be replicated. It wasn’t replicated with General Managers, it wasn’t replicated with CM Punk vs Johnny Ace, and it wasn’t replicated with Triple H and Steph over the past two years.

10) Bray Wyatt vs The Undertaker
I wanted to put this match before Sting/HHH, but I imagined that match going the way Hogan vs Rock did, and we need a match that will calm down the 75,000+ smarks in attendance before the main event. The rumor going around right now is Wyatt was booked to beat Ambrose and Bryan on Raw to look strong enough so he can work with The Deadman. There’s also a rumor that Taker may not even work this WrestleMania, but I think he does because Wyatt isn’t Lesnar. This match will go slow and methodical, and by the end of the night, Bray Wyatt will have the Deadman’s second Mania loss in his hands.

11) Daniel Bryan vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
When I first thought about the classic babyface underdog going over on Brock Lesnar, I imagined it being Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler can work, he can sell, and he’s over. But then Daniel Bryan said he was coming back. And then I thought about it more. I still wanted Ziggler, because he’s bigger than Bryan. Started thinking more and more about it, and then I rewatched Brock Lesnar vs Eddie Guerrero from No Way Out 2004. If Eddie could believably go over clean on Brock Lesnar for the title, then Daniel Bryan can too. The buildup would be everything I imagined it being with Dolph – super over, smaller build babyface going against a monster that’s being hyped up by the greatest hype man in the history of pro wrestling sports entertainment. Daniel Bryan would regain the title he never lost on this night after several Strong Style kicks and a Busaiku Knee.

My idea for Rollins is to cash in on Daniel Bryan, but I’m kind of torn between doing it on WrestleMania or the night after on Raw. On one hand, Seth Rollins would be the most hated heel in wrestling today if he does it at Levi’s Stadium. But he would also get that nuclear heat if he did on Raw, where more people would be watching. Let’s face it, the WWE Network doesn’t have the subscribers WWE wants, and more and more providers are dropping WWE PPVs from their regular PPV rotation because of the Network. That leaves Raw open for the cash in, where more eyes would be glued to this happening. Either situation frees Brock Lesnar from WWE programming to go on to MMA, and it will set up what will become (if properly booked) Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s 2015 Feud of the Year.


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