How I Would Book… The Rock vs Dean Ambrose

The Rock has encountered some strange characters over the years in WWE. From throwing Shawn Stasiak over the top rope over and over again to losing to the Hurricane on Raw, a lot has happened in the career of the Great One. Wacky and unique characters bring out the best out of The Rock, so how about a lunatic fringe for a future program for the Brahma Bull? How about The Rock… vs Dean Ambrose?


This is actually a very unique clash of styles. We’ve got the big hollywood movie star with an incredible physique against a lunatic with a hardcore mindset. There’s quite a difference in the two styles, although you could argue that Dean Ambrose would be very similar to Rock’s former tag team partner Mick Foley. However, Dean is much leaner than Mick but not as well built as The Rock.

In past How I Would Books, I’ve usually put Rock up against big men like John Cena and Roman Reigns. Dean Ambrose is not like them. Much like The Rock however, he is charismatic and talented in the ring. If The Rock wanted to throw down verbally and physically, Dean would be more than up for the challenge.

How to get to Dean Ambrose vs The Rock from this point on is very tricky. How do you give The Rock or Dean a reason to want to beat the tar out of each other? Do you have The Rock challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that Dean currently holds as of August 2016? Do you have Dean call out The Rock, feeling the need to face a megastar of the past to see if he’s as good as he thinks he is? No. What’s the one factor that could draw both these two into battle? Family.


The one person that connects both Dean Ambrose and The Rock is Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns is related by blood to The Rock, with the People’s Champion saving the Big Dog on WWE television before. However, according to the storyline, Dean is probably closer to Roman than anyone else on the roster. They both refer to each other as brothers. It’s the connection between both men which could draw these two charismatic superstars together.

The bigger issue at the moment, when it comes to these two and Roman Reigns, is the WWE Draft. Roman Reigns is on RAW, Dean Ambrose is on SmackDown! and The Rock is currently undrafted. How are we going to develop a storyline involving all three men, while trying to preserve the idea of separate brands? I always preferred the idea of keeping RAW and SmackDown! as distant as possible. Therefore, with this in mind, let’s see if we can write a storyline without breaking those barriers TOO MUCH.

With that being said, we need to plant the seeds for a confrontation between Dean and Rock with Roman. Where’s the best place to start? The one pay-per-view coming up that will see the integration of the rosters… Survivor Series 2016.


The whole idea behind this pay-per-view is to allow these rosters to interact after months away from each other. The whole idea behind the brand split is for these brands to compete with one another. My idea is after several months of taking shots at each other and the rise in competition, Stephanie and Foley would flat out call out Shane and Bryan for a inter-promotional five-on-five elimination match for Survivor Series. Team RAW would be consisted of Roman Reigns, Rusev, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Team SmackDown! would be consisted of Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. These teams are interchangeable so it’s up to you who you want in the match. The two essentials for this storyline though are Dean and Roman.

Due to the competitive nature of the brand split, it would be difficult for the commissioners and general managers to agree on a referee to call it down the middle. Remember what happened when RAW and SmackDown! feuded in 2005. In a couple of matches (notably at Taboo Tuesday and Survivor Series), the RAW and SmackDown! referees would officiate the same match and prevent each other from making decisions. If WWE want to acknowledge the previous brand split, then this could make way for a special referee that would supposedly be impartial. Enter The Rock.

While I’m currently unaware of what The Rock’s filming schedule will be like in November, surely it’s possible for The Rock to appear as a referee. Not to mention that his inclusion will give the WWE the mainstream boost they need for one of the biggest pay-per-views involving both brands.


The match comes down to Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins for RAW and Dean Ambrose for SmackDown!. Seth and Dean are the legal men. Roman accidentally clocks Seth with a spear when going for Dean. Dean hits Dirty Deeds on Roman as Seth comes to. Seth gets frustrated at his point, grabbing a chair. Seth goes to hit Roman but Rock stops him. He pushes Seth into Dean, who hits Dirty Deeds and eliminates him. Dean and Roman battle until Dean hits Dirty Deeds once again. As this happens, Seth gets to his feet on the outside and re-arms himself with the chair. The Rock sees this and goes after Seth, with Dean waiting in the ring for Rock to count Roman down. Rock eventually makes his way back into the ring but Roman kicks out at the last minute. Believing that Rock screwed him, Dean gets in his face. Rock hits a Rock Bottom on Dean, with Roman still out and oblivious to this. Roman gets to his feet, hits one more spear on Dean and pins him. Team RAW wins.

Now the seeds are starting to be planted. Rock screwed Dean but Dean can’t do anything about it… at least contractually. The Rock does make one more appearance on the night after Survivor Series, congratulating Roman and giving him his endorsement. This obviously gets boos as the fans didn’t like Roman and Rock screwing Dean. The Rock and Roman are cut off by Byron Saxton, who is told to go backstage as there are reports of wrestlers being taken out. He goes to the back but is launched right back onto the entrance ramp. Dean comes out and stares right at Rock. Dean comes down to the ring but Roman steps in between his “brother” and his blood. Roman tries to push Dean away but Dean retaliates with Dirty Deeds. Dean and Rock come to blows, drawing the attention of the security. Stephanie and Foley can’t afford for one of SmackDown!’s stars to cause havoc on RAW. Dean and Rock are pulled apart by security but Dean gets out. As he’s about to charge The Rock, Roman spears Dean out of his boots. This isn’t exactly a heel turn, but this does get negative reactions from the crowd.


On SmackDown!, Dean makes weekly challenges to The Rock to fight him on Dean’s home turf in the blue brand. He says that he’ll forgive Roman for the spear from RAW, provided that he gets to fight Rock. Nothing happens up until the week before SmackDown!’s PPV in December. Let’s just say for now that this pay-per-view is TLC. Dean gets no word but Foley confronts him. Foley tells Dean that The Rock is a lot more dangerous than he lets on. He tells him to drop it but Dean is unwilling to listen. Dean tells Foley that HE has no idea how dangerous DEAN is, claiming to be just as extreme as any of your “ECW boys” from back in the day. Mick tells Dean to prove it and makes a challenge. While Foley can’t force The Rock to come out of hiding, he can organise a match with Dean and Roman for Royal Rumble. He will only do this if Dean defeats a free agent that is willing to make a one-off appearance in a tables match on SmackDown!’s pay-per-view. Dean agrees when the lights go out. The lights come back on and it’s Rob Van Dam. He takes out Dean with a chair and hits the frog splash. It’s ON now.

The reason I went with the lights out for RVD’s appearance is that it’s a callback to Jerry Lawler’s invasion of ECW at Wrestleaplooza 1997, when the lights went out and Jerry appeared with an alliance INVOLVING Rob Van Dam of all people. RVD might seem a random choice for an opponent for Dean, but he works with the hardcore style of the lunatic fringe. Dean wins the match, allowing him to fight Roman at the next inter-promotional pay-per-view in the Royal Rumble.


What’s in it for Roman Reigns to  wrestle this match? How can Foley bargain with Roman? Simple. The promise of a Universal Championship match at FAST LANE if he wins. Him winning the title at Fast Lane means that Roman can main-event WrestleMania for a third year in a row… assuming a RAW wrestler wins the Royal Rumble that is. Dean is hungry for revenge but Roman is not exactly blood-thirsty himself. He only speared Dean on RAW as Dean attacked him first. He’s interested in winning the title and that’s that. Dean and Roman have choice words, with Roman having very LIMITED choice words. Dean’s deal is telling Roman that he should want to stop living in the Rock’s show. Rock bailed him out at Survivor Series, but he won’t be able to do it at Royal Rumble. Roman simply states that Dean is in his way for a title shot and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to beat his brother and main event WrestleMania again, something Dean’s never done.

At the Royal Rumble, it’s a close encounter. As Dean has Roman beat with Dirty Deeds, the lights go out. Trust me, there’s a purpose behind this one too! The lights come back on and there’s a jacked man in all-black, wearing a black mask. He lights up Dean with a huge clothesline. He takes the mask off and reveals himself to be… The Rock. He hits Dean with a Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow. Roman comes to and hits a spear to beat Dean again. The Rock officially accepts Dean Ambrose’s challenge and tells him to meet him at WrestleMania.

The finish can be what you desire, although a victory for Dean over The Rock would definitely get him super stardom.


Roman could have some confrontation with The Rock, getting involved in his matches twice now but ultimately, there’s some sort of idea about how The Rock and Dean could come together. This was a very difficult one to write and maybe it seems like a simple storyline. However, on Rock’s side, not a lot is needed and not a lot can be done. His scheduling does provide issues but Dean can surely help spice things up on television for SmackDown! every week.

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!




How I Would Book… Batista vs Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker

Previously on How I Would Book, we’ve covered a dream match that would truly be a money-maker for WWE if it were to ever go down. We discussed the possibility of “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar battling “The Animal” Batista. However, let’s think bigger. A straight up one on one match would be a lot of fun but as the old saying goes, the more the merrier. Let’s add someone else into the mix and make it a triple threat match. But who? Who could join these two monsters for a triple threat clash of titans? I believe the man that could join Batista and Brock is someone that has had great matches with both men in the past. It’s someone that would fit right in and help deliver a tremendous triple threat bout which could take things even further. How would I book Batista vs Brock Lesnar…. vs the Undertaker?


The Beast, The Animal and The Deadman. Those three big men could provide a monsters battle of epic proportions. We know from Summerslam 2015 that Brock and Undertaker can have incredible matches together. Undertaker has also had a great feud with Batista in the past, which featured some great matches. With Batista and Brock Lesnar never squaring off before in a big match situation, this triple threat has the ingredients for a quality main event. Let’s see how we’d book…

Well, the first step towards getting this triple threat together would be to slightly change the finish to the Hell in a Cell match between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. As much as this would be a sour way for the Lesnar/Taker feud to end, Brock would because of interference by the returning Batista who targets the Undertaker. However, Brock would be displeased at Batista “stealing his kill” and would F5 Brock for good measure.


Undertaker is promoted for Survivor Series, so let’s put that to our advantage. It’s likely that Brock will not be used for the event but Batista should be fair game. We’re going off assumptions here but Batista might be able to come back full-time for a few months like he did in 2014. If that’s the case, then we can use him a lot more than Taker and Brock. Therefore, Batista will go up against the Undertaker in our Survivor Series main event. The match ends with a case of deja vu. The finish is caused by interference as Brock F5s Batista when the ref is down. Undertaker picks up the scraps and hits the Tombstone for the win.

Don’t worry. Batista will get a big win himself during this feud and he won’t be brought back just to lose all of his matches. He goes up against Brock at TLC in a tables match. There’s no interference in this match. Batista and Brock have a straight up match. The finish would be Brock locking on the Kimura on the ring apron with a table on the outside. This is a standing Kimura with Brock’s back turned against the table. Batista goes for a low blow to force Brock to let go of the hold for a while. Brock suddenly locks the Kimura in again and repeatedly headbuts him while he does it. Batista ends up tapping but then goes low again and the two of them fall through the table on the outside with Batista falling on top. Batista wins the match but it’s a very tainted victory.


The Authority eventually settles the issues with Brock and Batista, with one more match set for the Royal Rumble. To make things interesting, it will also include the man Batista initially targeted… the Undertaker. A triple threat match is made with the winner getting a shot at the WWE World title at WWE Fast Lane. With Batista wanting the title shot he earned two years ago and Brock being robbed out of the title at Battleground, the stipulation does make a lot of sense. In this match, Brock goes over by pinning the Undertaker to earn his title shot and win this feud.

That about does it for this edition. I know it’s a bit short but there’s not a lot that needs to be said to get these three monsters to battle it out. I for one would love to see it go down.

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

How I Would Book… The nWo 19th Anniversary Special [2002] [Part One]

The New World Order will go down as one of the most revolutionary and biggest factions in wrestling history. A number of wrestling stables have come and gone. And long before the nWo was formed at Bash at the Beach 1996, there had been a number of stables in the wrestling industry. The Four Horsemen, the Million Dollar Corporation, The Dungeon of Doom, just to name a few. But none of them were as dominant, as risky and as impactful as the nWo. These guys ran the show in WCW, had their own PPVs and proved to be WCW’s biggest gun in the Monday Night Wars. So it’s quite astonishing how disappointing the WWE’s incarnation of the stable was when the group were brought onto WWF television in February 2002.

However, the majority of the failures for this story wasn’t actually down to the writers. There were a number of reasons for the storyline going south including injuries, messy divorces, personality conflicts and a number of wrestlers leaving the company. Had all the members involved been healthy and here to stay, then who knows how WWE would have booked it…

However, it’s time to see how I would book it. Had Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall been fit and here for the long-haul, how would I have booked the nWo’s arrival at the WWE in 2002….


Before getting on with the storyline, I first want to bring up the YouTube video which led to me to doing this particular storyline. It comes from a website I actually used to write for as a wrestling columnist… WhatCulture. WhatCulture have been expanding their output regarding wrestling content and began a YouTube channel with wrestling videos galore. Like a lot of WhatCulture content, most of them are list videos. For example, “10 Shocking Moments in WWE”. Things like that. However, they’ve recently began a fantasy booking series themselves called “How WWE Should Have Booked…”.

The host of this video series, WhatCulture writer Adam Blampied, talks about how he would have booked a certain WWE Storyline himself. A video of his recently caught my attention though. It was a video of how WWE should have booked the nWo storyline in 2002. The video’s down below for you guys to watch and I suggest you do.

As much as I appreciate Adam’s attempt at this storyline, I felt obligated to do my own version of the storyline in a “How I Would Book…” installment. Obligated because 2002 in WWE always felt to me like the Family Guy TV series… a lot of noise but not a lot of development in storylines. That’s not to say that it was a bad year or that Family Guy is bad. Hell, a lot of wrestling fans don’t really care about long-term storylines just as long as they get the action. And it’s not like the WWE were in competition with anyone at the time.

However, I always felt that the nWo should have been immune to this as the stable was of such importance that the program should have been revolved around it. If you’re going to do a storyline with the nWo coming to the WWE, IT HAS TO BE LONG TERM. And that was really the issue with the nWo after Wrestlemania. They had the idea of Hollywood Hogan turning face at Mania and had little idea what to do next, other than add in a few new members. If we’re coming up with an alternative storyline, let’s hopefully have one that has a lot of substance to it and last quite a while…

Like Adam does, let’s run down how the original nWo storyline went down and the state of the WWE around that time…

vince nwo

That picture is pretty badass isn’t it?

The storyline really began when Ric Flair became Vince McMahon’s business partner when he bought the stocks of the Alliance’s Shane and Stephanie McMahon after the conclusion of the 2001 Survivor Series PPV. Vince had so many problems with having to work with Flair, largely due to him having to share power with somebody else. He wanted to destroy Ric Flair as destroying lives turned on him… I’m not joking. He actually said that! Skip to 1 minute 53 seconds into this video if you don’t believe me!

Ric Flair and Vince McMahon would meet in a street fight at the 2002 Royal Rumble, with Flair picking up the win. Vince McMahon cut an epic promo on a later episode of SmackDown!, stating that Ric Flair was trying to destroy the WWF. Vince said if anyone was going to do it, it would be him. He said he was going to inject the WWF with a lethal dose of poison. He announced he was going to kill the WWF… with the nWo.

The nWo arrived at the No Way Out pay-per-view, with Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall arriving on the scene. On their first night, they would cost Steve Austin the Undisputed Championship. On RAW, Hogan was challenged to a classic match-up against The Rock at Wrestlemania, which he immediately accepted. Hogan and the nWo would try whatever it took to injure The Rock before the big match but The Rock would still make it to the PPV at Montreal. In a match which saw the fans side with Hogan, The Rock scored the victory. Following this, Hogan shook the Rock’s hand and would turn face once more….

Oh yeah and Stone Cold Steve Austin beat Scott Hall, in case you were wondering what that Austin beat down led to….

The nWo would then be drafted to RAW in the brand extension and the group brought in a number of new members, including The Big Show, X-Pac, Booker T and even Shawn Michaels. However, with injuries and wrestlers leaving the company, the angle was eventually scrapped in July 2002.


Needless to say, the nWo didn’t QUITE go as well as we hoped. To be fair, a lot of it was out of the writers’ hands. Kevin Nash getting injured and Scott Hall leaving the company were things they just had to work with. However, there was ONE slight thing which I think we need to re-write. In some ways, it’s a very pivotal moment in the storyline as well as one of the great Wrestlemania moments. It is… Hollywood Hogan turning face once more at Wrestlemania 18. In fact, Hogan wouldn’t have been the loser if I’d booked it – he should have won it.

When looking at this in hindsight, what were the long-term implications of The Rock pinning Hogan at Wrestlemania that night? What exactly happened to The Rock AFTER that night? He left for a few months, came back to win the Undisputed Title and then left once again. At the end of the day, Hogan was going to be there the next month while The Rock wasn’t. So why not give the nWo storyline the added umph by having Hogan going over?… well obviously by shenanigans. But it can’t just be Hall or Nash coming out to help Hogan. It has to be someone special, someone that could give the nWo that added shizzle to their group. In step the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels…


Shawn superkicking Rock would be the perfect way for Michaels to return to the company. Also, I think Shawn being in the nWo was one of the better decisions with regards to that storyline. Shawn could have been the Deputy Leader of the group, acting as the adviser to Hogan. Hogan’s the King and Michaels is Hand of the King. Hogan can rest easy knowing Shawn is working to make sure his group falls in line. The Chief Whip, whatever you want to call him. And bring him into the fold by helping Hogan beat The Rock.

Now I know what that would do to The Rock’s Wrestlemania record if Hogan went over. He lost to Austin at Wrestlemania 15. He lost the fatal four way at Wrestlemania 2000. He lost to Austin AGAIN at Wrestlemania 17. And now he’s losing again. Worst of all, it’s the third time that The Rock has lost due to shenanigans and outside interference at a Wrestlemania. Well at least he’ll win at Wrestlemania 19…

But I outweigh Hogan’s importance in the nWo storyline as being more of a relevancy to The Rock’s. If Hogan loses, the stable loses credibility. Kevin Nash wasn’t even on the card and Scott Hall lost to Austin. Hogan needed to win this match and in doing that, him and his group are stronger because of it.

So what happens next?


The next night on RAW, Shawn Michaels cuts a promo about targeting all of the so-called “all time greats” of the WWF. He says that all the so-called greats of the WWF are nothing but frauds compared to the likes of himself and the Immortal Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and needed to be punished by the nWo. Shawn says it takes an all-time great to know one and he knows that the “Great One” The Rock could never hold a candle to himself or Hulk Hogan. Shawn says it’s up to the nWo decide who truly is worthy of being considered a star in the WWF. Stone Cold Steve Austin interrupts the nWo and challenges Hogan to a match on RAW that night. However, Hogan says there’s a better time and place for him to put the rattlesnake in his place. Vince McMahon comes out to make the tag team main event of The Rock and Steve Austin vs The Outsiders, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.

The Rock and Austin take over in that main event when Hogan comes out for the DQ. Hogan and the rest of the nWo batter Austin. Michaels delivers Sweet Chin Music to The Rock and tells Nash to get him a chair. He takes out The Rock with chair shots to the leg and Hogan drops the leg to end RAW standing tall. This little beat down writes The Rock off of television as he takes his sabbatical. I’ve decided to input the real-life absence of The Rock into this storyline as it still works as he is initially taken out by the nWo. When he returns in June, he’ll be looking for revenge for Michaels, Hogan and the rest of the nWo.


That wraps up part one. I’ll admit, we haven’t covered a lot of time yet with the nWo storyline. However, check out the Armbar Express and follow @TomRobinson5199 for part two of this storyline where things get interesting.

We look at the draft lottery and how that will affects things and what will eventually lead to the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Hollywood Hogan match we’ve all wanted to see.

Happy 19th anniversary to the New World Order!


How I Would Book… Rey Mysterio vs AJ Styles


In an interview earlier on this month, AJ Styles spoke to SLAM magazine and he gave the magazine a nice indictiation as to a possible dream match if he were to wrestle any opponent of his choosing. He said…

“Seriously, some (dream matches) for me are with guys that I may never get the opportunity to wrestle. I’d like to wrestle Rey Mysterio, I think he and I could really tear things up. There are definitely some guys in the Fed (WWE) that I think I could have good matches with, that would also be dream matches for the fans as well. But who knows if that ever comes or not.”

AJ Styles vs Rey Mysterio is defiently probably one of the most talked about dream matches in wrestling history. I certaintly would’ve like to seen these two mix it up. I remember in 2006 when Rey Mysterio was the World Champion at the peak of his career and I just started watching TNA and AJ Styles, I’ve paid some serious cash to see these two at the time compete. The quickness of Rey Mysterio, the athletic abillity of AJ Styles. In my mind, this sort of match would have been the greatest match of all time. However, years later I’ve matured. The likelihood of this actually happening is very low considering Rey’s physical well-being and AJ’s stance on joining the WWE. Rey could himself theoretically join TNA, but I just don’t see it. But if a match between these two was somewhat possible… how would you book it?

I mean these are two characters with very different personalities that how would a feud manifest between these two, particularly in this day and age? I personally have one idea about how to book it. I’m not sure if you’re going to like it, but I would like for you guys to send me ideas about how you would book it and hopefully I can actually do a post on it comparing peoples ideas and we can generate a lot of thoughts together. This is a forum for public debate after all. XD So tweet them @ArmbarExpress, send me an e-mail Whatever , I’d love to start building relationships with you guys. Anyway, here’s how I’d do it.

It starts off on the RAW after Elimination Chamber. I know that’s already happened (and you can read my review about it on this link) but that’s where I’m starting it in this scenario. Assuming that Rey was healthy, Rey Mysterio is in the ring teasing retirement. He’s saying stuff like “I don’t know if I can do this anymore” and “I’ve done all I can and wrestled everyone there is to wrestle” etc. He’s saying that there’s nothing for him in WWE anymore and he’s about to leave but then Evil Ways by Blues Saraceno hits! Again, this is assuming that WWE is allowed to use the theme! They might actually because they used it for a Undertaker/CM Punk promo before! Anyway, AJ makes his way onto the stage. He has the lone wolf gimmick (which I personally love). He enters the ring and does his hand pose. It’s still dark from his entrance when he and Rey have a little staredown. AJ stares at him and then walks towards the Wrestlemania sign and points at it. He goes back to Rey and offers his hand. Rey accepts the handshake and the match is on… but then AJ delivers the STYLES CLASH!

AJ cuts a promo the next week stating that its his time to take what is his at WWE. AJ says the first step into gaining wrestling immortality is by “putting down old yeller” and cutting Rey’s throat for good. AJ delivers an ultimate heat-generator by saying that he’s going to make sure he sends Rey down to where his buddy Eddie is. This pisses of Rey. This brings out the intensity of the feuding and gets people more involved. It’s now more than just a match. It’s a legit feud that has fuel added to the fire. This eventually leads to Wrestlemania XXX, where Rey beats AJ. AJ offers his hand to Rey and says that he’s sorry. The handshake is accepted but Rey leaves the ring saying I’m finally ready to move on…