So I’m going to try something new here. In addition to being a huge fan of comic books and music, I also love professional wrestling. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a fan, and now my own kids are into it. This weekend is the biggest wrestling weekend of the year – the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony is on Friday, NXT Takeover is on Saturday, and Wrestlemania 34 is on Sunday.
Here’s how Wrestlemania would look if I could book it.
Universal Title match – Brock Lesnar (champion) vs Roman Reigns
Can Reigns actually beat Lesnar? Lesnar has been presented as unstoppable for so long, even with the fluke defeats by Goldberg, that it seems unlikely that Reigns could beat him – see their previous Mania match, Wrestlemania 31 – Lesnar manhandled Reigns the entire time, Reigns had very little offense.
How I would book it – Rumor has it that former ECW Champion Bobby Lashley is on his way back to WWE, and is set for a feud with Lesnar. What better way to start that feud than for Lashley to get involved in the Universal Title match and cost Lesnar the belt, giving the win to Reigns. It sets up the feud between Lesnar and Lashley, and gives Reigns the belt, while also putting together the storyline that Reigns is a hollow champion, he couldn’t get it done by himself. There’s plenty of storylines that can spin out of that.
Option 2 is an interesting idea as well – on the go-home episode of Raw, Paul Heyman said if Brock loses, you’ll never see Lesnar and Heyman again in the WWE. But if Heyman sees that Brock is going to lose, and he switches allegiance to Reigns, helping Roman win the match and aligning himself with Reigns, making Reigns an official “Paul Heyman guy”, and completing the heel turn that many have felt he would have benefitted from over the past year or so. (Also, there’s the “never see Lesnar and Heyman together” stipulation – they wouldn’t be associated any more.)
WWE Title match – AJ Styles (champion) vs Shinsuke Nakamura
How I would book it – Nakamura wins. He has to, at this point – they gave him the Royal Rumble win, they’ve hyped the hell out of this “dream match”, so there’s no logical reason for Styles to go over. Nakamura has to pull out the victory. The issue here is the “face vs face” setup of this match, which is easily rectified by an AJ Styles heel turn during the match – he realizes he can’t beat Nakamura, so he resorts to some cowardly heel tactics to try and save his title. Nakamura is able to withstand Styles’ assault and prove why he’s the King of Strong Style. Plus, Styles is boring and bland as a babyface, so reverting him to a heel makes for some more interesting stories after Mania.
Ronda Rousey/Kurt Angle vs Triple H/Stephanie McMahon
How I would book it – In theory, Rousey and Angle have to win, right? Her first match, on such a huge stage, how can she lose? But she should. Triple H and Stephanie are cold and calculating and will have plans for this match. Triple H has shown time and again he always has a plan B. In this case, the plan B could be Samoa Joe, who is conspicuously absent from the event. Have the Destroyer take out Angle, have Rousey take out Stephanie, but then have Triple H hit a pedigree on Rousey and throw Stephanie on top of her for the pin. This makes Rousey a vengeful underdog, and can also set up the eventual one-on-one between Triple H and Angle, maybe for Summerslam.
Daniel Bryan/Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn
How I would book it – Daniel Bryan can’t lose in his return match, right? After three years he has to come out on top, especially at Wrestlemania. BUT, Owens and Zayn are vicious heels, they will do anything to win, they will cheat and cheat and cheat again. This is a match for their jobs, they will pull out any underhanded tactics to win. Now, the other option is for Bryan and McMahon to win, for Owens and Zayn to lose the match and their jobs at Smackdown, and have them show up on Raw the following week, aligning themselves with Triple H and Samoa Joe. Triple H LOVES factions, so this could be the basis of a pretty great group. He could pull in NXT’s Pete Dunne to round it out nicely: The New Authority.
Smackdown Women’s Title match – Charlotte Flair (champion) vs Asuka
How I would book it – After a hard-fought match, Asuka wins. There’s no other option here. Flair has been the standard-bearer for this title for a long time, and she will fight valiantly, but Asuka is a force of nature. Her undefeated streak is not going to end at Wrestlemania. This one’s simple, there’s no other way to play it, unless you turn Charlotte heel again and have her cheat to win (she could stun Asuka with a cattle prod, the same way they eventually killed Goldberg’s streak). Or get the Nature Boy involved somehow?
Raw Women’s Title match – Alexa Bliss (champion) vs Nia Jax
How I would book it – it’s been weeks that Bliss has been humiliating Jax on TV, this should be a legit squash match, Jax goes in like a house of fire and just decimates Bliss. With the number of matches on this card, making this one a quick match makes sense. Jax can get beat down afterwards by Bliss and Mickie James and maybe the returning Alicia Fox – set up a new heel faction, the Bliss-fits. Or something.
Intercontinental Title match – The Miz (champion) vs Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins
How I would book it – The Miz plays Balor and Rollins against each other the whole match, weaseling himself out of harm for as long as possible, letting the other two beat each other senseless (look at the match they just had on Raw, these guys can go). If Balor is “Demon” Balor, maybe he ends up going to a dark place to pull out the victory. However, Rollins also deserves the win. So does the Miz, in fact, but I think Miz will be taking a bit of time off to spend with his new baby, so it’s down to Rollins or Balor. Balor deserves a title run, after his aborted Universal title reign, so give the victory (incredibly hard-fought) to Balor – he stacks Rollins and the Miz up and hits the double stomp on both of them, pinning them both to win the match.
US Title match – Randy Orton (champion) vs Jinder Mahal vs Bobby Roode vs Rusev
How I would book it – Rusev wins. The other three guys in this match are boring as all hell, and Rusev needs a title run right now, a good push to capitalize on the Rusev Day hype. Just have him wipe out the other three in a huge show of physical brutality. Have Aiden English lend a heel-ish hand on the outside, but ultimately, Rusev just dominates this match and takes the title home once again. Also, the fact that Wrestlemania is actually ON Rusev Day makes it even more meaningful.
Smackdown Tag Team Title match – Usos (champion) vs The New Day vs Bludgeon Brothers
How I would book it – The New Day are too over with the crowd to not walk away with the titles here. The Bludgeon Brothers are too new as a team to take the belts home. The Usos should score the win, but after the flukey Fastlane ending, I think they end up losing the belts to the New Day. Maybe the Authors of Pain, rumored to be coming up to Smackdown after Mania, interfere and wipe out the Bludgeon Brothers, letting the New Day pull off the victory.
Raw Tag Team Title match – The Bar (champion) vs Braun Strowman/TBD
How I would book it – I am a huge Bar mark, so I would love to see them retain here, but I expect Strowman and his mystery partner will triumph. Now that they’ve stated specifically that Strowman can only compete if he has a partner, he will have to bring someone in. Rumors have been swirling about guys like Elias (I love the idea of the team being called Symphony of Destruction), or even Rey Mysterio (WWE really loves really big guys paired with really small guys), but I’d like to see Strowman bring up someone from NXT – think about the devastation he could cause with a guy like Lars Sullivan at his side? Anyway, regardless, Strowman has been built up way too much to lose this match, even if he does end up going it alone.
Cruiserweight Title finals match – Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali
How I would book it – this one’s kind of bland for me. Have Alexander turn heel, let Ali pull out the gutsy victory. I’m not all that invested in this, to be honest. Neither of these guys does it for me, unfortunately. I think there’s lots of guys who should be the champ. Maybe Neville returns and inserts himself into the mix somehow and wins.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
How I would book it – I read somewhere that Goldberg is supposed to be part of this match, and that they really want to drive attention to the battle royal due to the Andre the Giant documentary that just came out. So why are they putting it on the kickoff show? This match doesn’t matter, it hasn’t mattered since the first one when Cesaro took out the Big Show. I don’t even know who’s in this match. Maybe give a wild card the win, like Tyler Breeze or someone. Much like the Cruiserweight belt, I can’t bring myself to care about this too much.
Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal
How I would book it – same as the Andre the Giant match, this doesn’t really do anything for me, it’s clearly an excuse to put as many superstars on the card as possible. So I don’t know, maybe Bayley? Maybe Sasha? Maybe Bayley is about to win, and Sasha does her dirty again and wins? I dunno.
John Cena vs The Undertaker
How I would book it – Taker hasn’t made so much as a peep this whole time that Cena has been calling him out, but there’s no way this match ISN’T happening, they can’t tease it for over a month with no payoff. We saw last year the Undertaker lay his gloves, jacket, and hat in the middle of the ring and walk away. The Deadman is retired, right? You know who’s not? The American Badass, that’s who. Have Cena stand in the ring to address the crowd at Mania, just to say “hey, it’s me, huge star John Cena, I have no match tonight” and then the Kid Rock music hits (let’s not forget that Kid Rock is getting inducted into the HOF on Friday night, so he’ll actually be there), and out comes Biker-Taker on his motorcycle, coming down to the ring with his newly repaired hip to answer Cena’s challenge. Lots of kicking-out of finishers, lots of back and forth with Hells’ Gate and the STF until Undertaker finally drops Cena with a Tombstone and pins him. Taker needs to close out his career, and legacy, with a victory. Cena can take the loss, it won’t affect him, but Undertaker needs a final victory to ride off (with the bike, literally) into the sunset.
There you have it. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment!
See you on the other side (of Wrestlemania, that is), where I’ll compare my booking to how the show actually plays out.