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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

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How I Would Book… Who Ran Over Stone Cold?

SPOILER ALERT from fifteen years ago, but I think it’s a safe bet to assume that nearly every wrestling fan on earth knows that Rikishi ran over Stone Cold with a car. Even if you were not watching wrestling during the attitude era, the WWE have referenced the storyline several times on WWE YouTube videos, the WWE Network and even on episodes of RAW and SmackDown! Many fans and wrestling experts over the years have criticised the WWF’s decision to have Rikishi be behind the attempted murder of the top wrestler in the company. With that said, are there many other solutions that would have been better than Rikishi? Could I have booked the “Who Ran Over Stone Cold” storyline better than WWE? Well, let’s find out!

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Before we dive into the analysis of Rikishi as the culprit, let’s run down the storyline itself from Survivor Series 1999 to Survivor Series 2000.

Stone Cold Steve Austin had been embroiled in a triple threat WWF Championship feud with the champion Triple H and The Rock. A triple threat match was promoted for Survivor Series 1999 and a triple threat match was ended up what we got. Unfortunately, it did not include the Texas Rattlesnake. Triple H provoked Austin during a backstage interview before the match. This led Austin towards the parking lot, where he was ran down by an unidentified assailant.

Austin was sidelined for nearly a year, to take care of actually injuries that he was working with at the time. He returned at Backlash 2000 for a one-off appearance to help The Rock against Triple H and made his full return to the WWF at Unforgiven 2000. He was on a quest to track down the man who had ran him over, even not pressing charges as a means to lure the man out. Austin’s methods of tracking down the attempted killer included interfering in several matches, getting on the bad side of Commissioner Mick Foley. Foley suspended Austin, conducting his own investigation into the crime.

After major suspects like Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kurt Angle and The Rock were called out, Foley eventually got to the bottom of the case. Stone Cold Steve Austin was actually ran over… by Rikishi.

Rikishi, who had not appeared on WWF television yet when Austin was ran down, admitted to the crime. He claimed that he did it for The Rock, as the WWF had been keeping down Samoans like himself and The Rock for years. Austin was getting in the way of The Rock’s success, leading to Rikishi doing what he did. This led to Austin getting his revenge on Rikishi, destroying the big man in a No Holds Barred match and then trying to hit RIKISHI with a truck.

The plot thickened for the Austin mystery, as it would later be revealed that Triple H was secretly the one that had orchestrated the hit-and-run and put Rikishi up to do it.

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The biggest problem with the official solution is that it almost seemed like the culprit was too random to be a legitimate suspect. Mick Foley even mentioned it during the reveal that Rikishi wasn’t even in the WWF at the time of the hit-and-run. Therefore, it’s likely to assume that the WWF had no idea who the suspect would end up being when they shot the angle. Rikishi’s initial reasoning  for running down Austin seemed very out-of-place, as it didn’t seem enough of a justification to explain Rikishi going after Austin. Rikishi wanting to help out The Rock could be viable but the whole Samoans being held down story had nothing to do with Austin. Yeah, Austin is one of the most successful wrestlers of all time and is a 100% American. However, it’d still seem odd that Rikishi would resort to murder because of this.

Now obviously, Triple H being thrown in as the mastermind behind of the whole thing did sort of write out this explanation a little. Rikishi still could have theoretically felt how he did about The Rock and the Samoan lineage, but Triple H does give Rikishi more of a valid reason for running down Austin. After all, Triple H was the one that led Austin out into the parking lot and hated his guts. Him getting Rikishi to run down Austin makes a lot more sense than Rikishi doing it for his Samoan lineage.

While Triple H being the mastermind does involve someone that was a big part of the story at the time of the attack, Rikishi played no part in the story at all. Rikishi was a joyful babyface that got over with his dance moves more than his ruthless aggression. There seemed to be no hint of Rikishi possibly having a dark side to him, so him all of a sudden being an attempted murder does seem a bit unfathomable. It’s actually funny when watching back Rikishi’s run ins with Triple H and the McMahon-Helmsley regime in 2000. Rikishi feuded with Triple H, and even faced him for the WWF Championship one time, while secretly having conspired with him to commit attempted murder! Then again, Rikishi running down Austin would explain why Triple H would give Rikishi a title shot in the first place. I guess that was Rikishi’s grand reward.

In a way, Rikishi being the culprit was good for attempting to get over the next big star in WWE. Rikishi did get elevated as a main-event heel but ultimately ended up flopping in that role. Sticking your backside in people’s faces doesn’t exactly come off as an evil thing to do. Considering it’s Rikishi’s rear end though, I guess it kind of is! Rikishi really didn’t work as a badass, monster heel and quickly turned back into a babyface just before the Invasion angle kicked off.

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When coming up with an alternative solution, we need to think of people that not only were relevant to the story but were also strong enough to be able to work as a top heel. As much as someone like Kurt Angle being the culprit would make sense, as he would have been someone that would gain from Austin being out of the picture, he would have no real motivation other than that. It’s not like he would have met Austin at the time, as he made his in-ring debut at Survivor Series 1999 itself. As much as fans would believe this to be a fitting irony-pleasing solution, Angle doesn’t work in this role for me.

Then you’ve got to think about the other big culprits that were highlighted as the two prime suspects by Mick Foley. Triple H would have been too obvious of a culprit, even though he wounded up being written into the official solution anyway. Right after Austin was ran down, Vince McMahon immediately accused Triple H and D-Generation X of committing the crime. Him being the culprit would be rather anti-climatic.

The Rock, on the other hand, became the top babyface when Austin wasn’t around. As outlined by Mick Foley, The Rock (as well as Triple H) had the most to gain from Austin being out of the picture. At the time of Austin’s return, The Rock was the WWF Champion. Being the top babyface, his popularity rose to new heights. With The Rock being suspected so heavily leading into the official solution, him also being the suspect would be another anti-climatic reveal. Another reason for the Brahma Bull not being culprit is that the WWF would be passing up on some serious merch sales with The Rock now being viewed as a villain.

Really, we’re looking for someone that you’d least suspect. Someone that had been shown to be sinister enough to pull off devious acts like this in the past. We’re looking for someone that would do something as a means to fulfil a much grander master plan. Who would fill this role? Why it is someone that did feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1999. It is someone that wasn’t actually there at Survivor Series 1999 and was unaccounted for. It was someone that has a history for making his foes rest in peace. The man that should have been the culprit was… the Undertaker.

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This may be a tough pill to swallow. The Undertaker did only come back as a babyface American Badass in May 2000. It would be somewhat of a letdown to see this new babyface run down our beloved Stone Cold. Then again, considering Undertaker would turn heel just a year later anyway, I think we can work a turn into this angle without hurting the Undertaker.

If you think about it, Undertaker is one of the rare people in the Attitude Era that would actually resort to murder so casually. He’s set his brother on fire repeatedly and even hanged Big Boss Man following their WrestleMania 15 Hell in a Cell match. Heck, he’s even faced Steve Austin in a Buried Alive match. I think it’s safe to say that he’d be willing to run over Austin with a corner.

The biggest issue with this is simple, and it’s actually what Kurt Angle mentioned on an edition of SmackDown! when HE was accused of running over Austin. One of the biggest parts of a murder mystery is motive. What’s the Undertaker’s motive? Why would he turn his attentions to Steve Austin? Well I have a question for you in response… why does the culprit’s motivation have to necessarily be focused at the victim? Obviously, some sort of disdain has to be present in order to consider attempting murder and Taker did feud with Austin that same year. However, what if Undertaker’s motivation was not to solely eliminate AUSTIN from the equation. While taking out Steve Austin was an added bonus, Undertaker’s real end-game was to mess with the man that had forced him to leave the WWF. Undertaker’s real end-game was in fact to remove Mr McMahon from power.

In September 1999, Undertaker “left” the WWF after refusing to take part in a Casket match with Triple H. Mr McMahon threatened to take away Undertaker’s spot in the WWF title match at Unforgiven, leading to the Undertaker walking out of the company. Jim Ross specifically stated when Undertaker made his return at Judgement Day 2000 that he was “going after McMahon” when challenging the Faction. Clearly, some hostility still exists between the two men. After all, McMahon losing power in the WWF in 1999 led to the Undertaker losing the WWF Championship and never gaining an opportunity to get it back. This could have been Undertaker’s ultimate revenge, especially after blindly following Vince’s orders when he was the “higher power” of the Corporate Ministry.

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Picture it like this. Mr McMahon was the first one shown to be outraged after Austin was run over… other than Jim Ross I guess. McMahon lashes out at DX following the incident. Knowing how much McMahon hated Triple H at the time and with Triple H’s title match with two other men coming up later that night, obviously Vince would come to the conclusion that DX was behind it. This is the Undertaker being the puppet-master, pulling McMahon’s strings by taking out one of the competitors in the running to dethrone Triple H as WWF Champion. In response, McMahon inserts the Big Show into the WWF Championship match and Big Show wins the title because of Vince. Just prior to his departure from the WWF, Undertaker had been teaming with the Big Show as part of an unholy alliance. It makes perfect sense that Taker would reward Big Show by manipulating events in order to get the title on the big man.

From behind the scenes, Undertaker is causing dysfunction within the McMahon family. Let’s start of with Stephanie, who turned on her dad and aligned with Triple H at Armageddon. Undertaker was the one that had abducted Stephanie, following the orders of Mr McMahon. Little work needed to be done on Taker’s end, with Mr McMahon having pushed Triple H’s buttons by costing him the championship at Survivor Series. McMahon made things personal with Triple H, so Triple H retaliated. Of course, Triple H hatches a master plan with Stephanie. Stephanie wanted to get revenge at her father for the abduction plan from before so she went with the man that Mr McMahon hated the most. Vince is being torn apart as daddy’s little girl has been taken away from him by the enemy.

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Shane and Linda would also get involved, leading to the WrestleMania 2000 fatal four way match with the McMahons in every corner. McMahon would be emotionally torn by having to compete with three members of his family. Not a lot can be said about the Undertaker during this period as he really can’t do much else to mess with McMahon until he comes back. Why not have McMahon regain control with Triple H and Stephanie? If he’s in charge by the time Undertaker comes back, Undertaker can be there to personally remove him from power again. At Judgement Day, his crusade with McMahon begins. He attacks him and the McMahon-Helmsley regime during the big Triple H/Rock Iron Man match. His main intentions when he comes back is to fight the regime, oust McMahon from power and win the WWF Championship. At King Of The Ring, The Rock wins the WWF Championship instead of him during a big six man tag team match but it’s not too much of a loss as at least the regime didn’t win. Undertaker will get back at The Rock, which I will get to later.

Following King Of The Ring, Vince left to become a “genetic jackhammer” while Mick Foley took over. It would have been better to say that the beatings from Undertaker, Rock etc. would force him to leave but as long as McMahon is gone. Now Undertaker can try to win back some gold. He does this initially by going after the tag team titles with Kane and then feuding with his brother. Not a lot happens for the Undertaker at this point, but he does get involved in the WWF title picture at Unforgiven 2000. How ironic, considering that he was initially barred by Mr McMahon from getting a title shot at Unforgiven last year. Here’s where I would change things up. Instead of Undertaker failing to win the championship, he wins the title in a fatal four way match also involving the champion Rock, Kane and Chris Benoit. On the very same night that Taker wins the title, Austin makes his return to WWF.

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Austin coming back is an unexpected and unwanted situation for the Undertaker. With his title reign only just getting started, Mick Foley and Austin beginning their investigations, and The Rock getting his rematch at No Mercy, how does the Undertaker turn the attention and suspicion away from himself? Why simple. Turn The Rock and Austin against each other. It is suddenly played up by Undertaker and a number of other wrestlers about how The Rock had to most to gain from Austin being ran over. This builds up all the way to No Mercy, where The Rock challenges Undertaker for the WWF Championship. Austin was initially suspended by Mick Foley, but Foley reinstates Austin after getting an anonymous tip that the culprit would reveal himself at the pay-per-view.

Up until the main event, we get no word from the culprit. Nobody comes clean. Ausitn doesn’t hear anything. Then the main-event comes around, with Austin coming down and going crazy. He pulls the referee out of the ring and grabs a chair. He sees and targets Taker, going for a chair shot but accidentally nailing The Rock. Undertaker then hits Austin with a chokeslam. Undertaker takes advantages and retains the title when the referee awakes. Undertaker then picks up a chair and unleashes hell on Austin and The Rock. Undertaker grabs the mic and laughs. He then asks the question of who had the most to gain from Austin being run over. He simply replies by saying “me” and that Austin’s search was over. Undertaker was the one that ran over Austin.

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Austin initially challenges Taker for the title at Survivor Series 2000, with it ending in a no contest after Austin takes out Taker in a similar fashion to Triple H in real life. Undertaker retains the title at Armageddon 2000. Then Mick Foley resigns as Commissioner which changes everything. Undertaker would have mentioned in an explanation that he did what he did to remove Austin and McMahon out of the equation and win the WWF title. Now Vince is back and in charge. Therefore, McMahon is going to make Undertaker pay. Undertaker vs The Rock is booked for Royal Rumble, with Vince’s reasoning being to make amends with The Rock after Vince turned on him at WrestleMania 2000. Sure. Whatever works. Undertaker loses the championship following interference from Stone Cold. Stone Cold wins the Royal Rumble itself, leading to No Way Out. Instead of Triple H, Undertaker is the one that faces and beats Stone Cold in a three stages of hell match.

That effectively is when the storyline ends. However, with Steve Austin and Mr McMahon’s alliance after WrestleMania 17, there is a lot more potential with the dynamic of Undertaker, McMahon and Austin. Imagine Stone Cold Steve Austin working with the boss to take out the man that tried to kill him. You could do the Power Trip angle if you’d like, having Undertaker and Kane battle Austin and Triple H. This could also add a lot to the Invasion angle, especially when it comes to Austin and Taker. You could have Austin and Taker initially not trust each and then eventually bury the hatchet (well bury the hatchet as much as you could, considering Taker tried to kill the man). Alternatively, you could have Austin join the Alliance and led the group against the WWF led by the Undertaker. The possibilities are endless.

Or if you’d prefer for the storyline to finish at WrestleMania 17, simply have Undertaker hold the championship all the way to WrestleMania. Austin wins the Rumble and Undertaker is the WWF Champion. This leads to the ultimate showdown in Texas between Austin and the man that ran him over more than a year ago. In the ultimate act of revenge for Undertaker running him over, Austin makes a deal with the devil himself Vince McMahon. McMahon was manipulated by Undertaker for so long, so Vince helped Austin DEFEAT the Undertaker at WrestleMania. The streak and Undertaker’s title reign is ended by Stone Cold Steve Austin.

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That about wraps up this edition of How I Would Book. I have to admit, this one was rather fun to write. I’d seen many different solutions but after thinking of a number of different options, Undertaker being the mastermind actually fits in with the storyline well. I’d love to hear of any other alternative solutions from fans so feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @TomRobinson5199. Don’t just do it for me. Do it… for The Rock. Thanks for reading everyone.

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… WrestleMania 32

WrestleMania is the most important wrestling event of the year and this year is no exception. At a place like Dallas, the pressure is on for WWE to perform. With the WWE talent pool reduced significantly due to injuries and other circumstances, WWE have been pushed into a corner with this year’s event. A lot of people have actually given WWE a lot of credit with how they’ve handled it. I’m actually one of those people. However, things can always get better in WWE and here’s my thoughts on how WWE Should Book… WrestleMania 32.

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Let me just state that what we are doing is putting together our own “fantasy card” without going over the top. I must be able to put a show together with the same conditions that WWE have to deal with. We’re not going to throw around absurd ideas like Goldberg vs Undertaker or Sting vs Undertaker for this show. We deal with the stars we’ve got at the moment and use the people that we know for a fact will be able to show up. Therefore, the likes of John Cena and Seth Rollins are ruled out of the equation. We can’t be assuming that certain stars will be able to turn up.

This is merely just a fun way at looking at how we would tackle the event and how we would have planned out WrestleMania. Anyone with “dream cards” of there own should post in the comments. However, here’s how I’m booking it.

 

The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

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We might as well keep up this tradition as it is a great way to use the stars that’ll just miss the cut for the big matches. With that being said, there should also be a winner that could actually get a lot out of winning the thing. Cesaro and Big Show never really amounted to much after winning the battle royal but hopefully we’ll pick someone that should be able to use this win to their advantage. I have two names in mind for the winner of this one. The first name is Sheamus, who can build himself right back up with a win in the battle royal. The second name is Samoa Joe, who is actually rumoured to be appearing on the main roster some time after Wrestlemania. However, there is always the possibility of having the NXT star debuting on the main roster in a big way. WWE will want to have an NXT star in the battle royal, so the best way to do it is to feature someone that would genuinely get something out of being in it. Nothing against Hideo Itami, but he was never really able to stand out when he was in the battle royal last year.

Winner: Either Sheamus or Samoa Joe

 

The Wyatt Family (Braun Strowman, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper vs The League Of Nations (Rusev, Alberto Del Rio and Wade Barrett)

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I enjoy six man tag team matches greatly and it’d make sense to give these two stables a much great purpose at WrestleMania. Why can’t these two teams just battle each other? A part of me really didn’t want to reduce Alberto Del Rio to a multi-man match but at least he can stand out as the stand-out of his team. If he takes it to these three giants and fights his ass off, he can get over tremendously. We’ve seen it time after time. If you’re up against the odds and you fight and fight and fight, you can get over big time. Look at Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13. Del Rio would get the hot tag and run wild but in the end, the Wyatts would overwhelm him. Braun Strowman could also choke out Del Rio in the end if you really wanted to get Braun over. At least Del Rio wouldn’t have tapped out.

Winners: The Wyatt Family

 

Kalisto (c) vs Neville vs Sami Zayn for the United States Championship

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Zayn, Neville and Kalisto could put on a tremendous display in a match for the US title. If Sami does get hurt a bit the night before (wrestling Shinesuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Dallas), at least Kalisto and Neville can do some of the heavy lifting during the bulk of the match. Kalisto would be my winner of this match and this could be a very fun Wrestlemania match that would see Kalisto get over. If Sami is too much of an issue, then there’s always Sin Cara.

Winner: Kalisto

 

Dean Ambrose (c) vs AJ Styles for the Intercontinental Championship

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I’ve actually already covered this match before in a past “How I Would Book”, so there’s not much that needs to be said about how this one. This would have been a great way for AJ to break out on his own as a singles star. The stuff they’re doing with Chris Jericho just doesn’t sit right with me and I feel facing Dean Ambrose would be a much better fit for AJ than facing Jericho once again. AJ wins in what would be one corker of a match.

Winner: AJ Styles

 

“The New Day” Big E (c) and Kofi Kingston (c) w/Xaiver Woods vs Enzo Amore and Big Cass for the WWE Tag Team Championship

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The way I see it, WWE Roadblock is WWE’s way of testing how over Enzo and Big Cass can get on a WWE main roster show. It’s all well and good when they get over in NXT but they want to test and see how they do on the main roster and that’s fine. However, I have no doubt that Enzo and Big Cass winning the tag titles would get an incredible pop in Texas. If anyone should beat the New Day for the tag titles, it should probably be these guys.

Winners: Enzo Amore and Big Cass

 

Charlotte (c) vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch for the Divas Championship

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I’m actually very happy with WWE doing this match as it actually makes the whole “divas revolution” angle seem worthwhile. The three women that were brought up from NXT are now fighting for the Divas title at WrestleMania 32. It’s the perfect way for this whole storyline to come full circle. The only winner of this should really be Sasha Banks as she is the most over out of the three women.

Winner: Sasha Banks

 

Chris Jericho vs Dolph Ziggler

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To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t thought of an ideal match for either of these gentlemen. However, it would still be a very decent match to watch. The storyline could revolve around Jericho mocking Ziggler for not living up to his full potential since the last time they feuded. Dolph Ziggler would win this one with Jericho being the heel. Might as well give Ziggler a big WrestleMania win.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

 

Triple H vs Bray Wyatt

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Of course, you’d have to re-work some of the events of the last few months in order for this match to happen. Unless you were to have Bray Wyatt cost Triple H the title at Roadblock, it’d be difficult to get this match to happen this far into the Road to WrestleMania. The funny thing about this one is that it does tie into the events of the Royal Rumble. At that event, Bray went after Triple H after an intense stare down which saw Triple H eliminate Bray. Bray feuding with Triple H would be an exhilarating feud for him and something different for Triple H to work with. There’s a lot of potential to be had with this one. I would personally put Bray over as it’s about time that Bray gets a big win over a top star.

Winner: Bray Wyatt

 

Undertaker w/Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens w/Mr McMahon. If Undertaker wins, Shane McMahon wins control. If Kevin Owens wins, Shane will be banned from the WWE forever

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I feel that the idea of Shane McMahon battling the Undertaker for control of WWE is quite bonkers! I do want to involve that stipulation in a match but the idea of Shane fighting himself doesn’t sound very appealing to me. Also, it would make a lot more sense for Undertaker to fight for Shane rather than for Vince. He should be up against a top heel, who’d be given the chance to be involved in a match with huge implications for WWE programming. Enter Kevin Owens. Owens has often mentioned his desire to wrestle the Undertaker at WrestleMania so why not let him do it? Kevin Owens’ motivation to get involved would be a guaranteed WWE World Title shot in the near future. This is not like Money In The Bank. It’d be more like “Gift of the Gods” from Lucha Underground, with Owens having to announce it beforehand. I feel that prize would be enough to entice Owens to fight Vince’s battles.

Winner: Undertaker

 

Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

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I believe that this is the only way WrestleMania this year should have ended, with Roman Reigns challenging Brock Lesnar once again in a rematch from last year’s fantastic main event. Lesnar vs Reigns II is easy enough promotion for this match and it would be a main event that the fans would more invested in then Triple H vs Reigns. No matter who the winner is, this would be a fantastic way to end the show.

Winner: Either Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns

 

That’s about it. A lot of the storylines would need tweaking in order to make this work but at the end of the day, I feel that this could be a great way for WWE to prepare itself for the remainder of the year. In my opinion, that should really be the point of WrestleMania.

Have any suggestions for a future 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 gameExtreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

Analysing The Potential Wrestlemania 32 Opponents For Brock Lesnar

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The announcement that the third installment of the Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar rivalry would take place at Hell in a Cell caught many of us off-guard. Many of us were expecting the third match to take place at Wrestlemania 32. No better way for this rivalry to come to an then at the PPV that is responsible for this feud in the first place. Many experts predicted that the third match would take place at Wrestlemania 32 in Texas. However, Night of Champions gave us quite a shock with the announcement. The question is now, what are the Wrestlemania 32 plans for Brock Lesnar and Undertaker if they’re not facing each other? Just WHO will they be facing?

Four names have come out in reports that are linked to a potential clash with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. With this article, I’m going to run down each candidate and see which of these match-ups I’d like to see for Wrestlemania.

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The first name I noticed was Roman Reigns. The reasoning for this match is pretty simple. It’s basically a rematch from Roman and Brock’s match from Wrestlemania 31. There’s a lot of good reasons for this rematch to take place. Firstly, there was never truly a winner between the two of them at Wrestlemania 31 due to Seth Rollins. This match will determine who is the toughest of the two and just who truly is the better man. Roman Reigns will have something to prove and so would Brock. Brock never did beat Roman Reigns. Brock’s a prizefighter but is a vengeful beast if he’s not truly conquered his past foes. He was never able to put away Roman Reigns.

I also think the timing couldn’t be better for the two of them to collide again. If WWE decide to go with Roman vs Lesnar non-title, then there’s little pressure on the two of them. There’s also no real pressure on WWE when deciding a winner. A lot of hardcore fans would probably be upset if Roman beat Brock, but it won’t backfire on them nearly as badly as if they actually did have Roman BEAT Brock last year.

Roman’s a strong contender but let’s look at candidate #2… Seth Rollins.

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Reports suggest that this match between Seth and Brock would probably be for the WWE World Heavyweight title (assuming Seth makes it all the way to Mania as champion). One year after stealing the title from Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31, Seth must now defend his championship against the same man. I always like a bit of continuity being utilized, especially at a special event like Wrestlemania.

Much like the Roman Reigns match, both Seth and Brock would have something to prove. Seth would need to prove that he is the man in WWE and Brock needs to win back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Brock also was never able to beat Seth Rollins the first time, due to the Undertaker. Both men are heavily motivated going into this match. Their first match wasn’t that bad but this second, with a lot more time, could prove to be a classic Wrestlemania main event.

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The third choice is someone that has been speculated to fight Brock Lesnar a few times before, ever since Brock returned in 2012. His name… is The Rock.

WWE have had plans for Rock vs Brock II at Wrestlemania 30. However, several issues caused WWE to switch plans. From a business standpoint, Rock vs Brock II is a gold mine. The two biggest WWE stars in the mainstream media colliding in the main event of Wrestlemania would gain TRUE mainstream media buzz for the WWE. I would probably accept this as a good match for Brock… as long as he won. No disrespect to The Rock, but a Hollywood Star that hasn’t wrestled in two years shouldn’t really be beating a dominant fighter like Brock Lesnar. WWE would have to be very careful if this is their plan for Wrestlemania.

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Speaking of being careful, this last candidate can raise all kinds of hell for with a big match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32. This man… is Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Paul Heyman teased the idea of the showdown during an appearance on Austin’s podcast. WWE really got on Heyman’s case for doing that. The WWE might not be a fan of the match and neither is Austin from the sounds of things. In fact, this was the tweet Austin sent out about these reports.

Austin getting back to the ring is obviously a big deal. However, there’s one VERY VERY MAJOR problem which should rule out the idea of this match happening. Austin’s been out of action since 2003. The main reason for his career ending in the first place was because of his neck. If you want Austin to come back, then he’s obviously got to work with a safe wrestler. He certainly shouldn’t be locking up with someone with a whole moveset that’s based around German Suplexes! Nothing against Brock Lesnar, but it’s not worth throwing Austin in the ring with Brock Lesnar. It also doesn’t help the case when Brock and Austin have very LITTLE history in WWE together. At least Roman, Seth and Rock have some sort of claim that could make a match at Wrestlemania seem like a logical match for Lesnar.

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If I had to pick an opponent for Brock right now, I think it’d be Roman Reigns. However, there’s a lot of reason to go with any of the options. However, you know Brock and Roman can deliver in a main event scenario. Therefore, it’s a safe bet when deciding the ultimate match for the Beast Incarnate…

How I Would Book… The Rock vs John Cena III

The Rock and John Cena squared off in the main events of two Wrestlemanias in a row. The Rock won the first match at Wrestlemania 28 and John Cena won the rematch AND the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 29. Many will argue whether WWE should bother settling the score between John Cena and The Rock with a third match. However, the financial potential of a third match might make WWE consider it. If WWE were to do a third match, how would you do it? How would book The Rock vs John Cena… Part Three?

I know this fantasy match-up is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. The first match took a year-long build and led to an alright main event which saw The Rock pick up the victory. To many, the wrong man won the first round. However, John Cena would get redemption. After winning the 2013 Royal Rumble, Cena beat The Rock in a rematch at Wrestlemania 29 to win the WWE Championship. As discussed before in the How I Would Book series, Rock vs Cena probably shouldn’t have been the actual main event. To be fair, it made sense to have the Wrestlemania 29 main event being one of the biggest rematches of all time. However, the execution and generally build were a little disappointing. There’s never been any real plans for The Rock and John Cena to have the rubber match. The Rock has not actually wrestled in WWE since Wrestlemania 29. Although there were plans for him to go up against the likes of Brock Lesnar and Triple H, Cena’s name was never thrown into the mix.

However, let’s say that WWE decided to go down that route for Wrestlemania 32. Previously on the How I Would Book series, we threw The Rock into a program with Roman Reigns. In that scenario, I turned Rock heel to help elevate the babyface Roman Reigns. With Rock vs Cena III, I’d go down the same avenue. Let me explain how and why this would go down.

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If this match were to happen, it’s important that there are hints towards it and foreshadowed in some way. In this scenario, I’d have The Rock make surprise appearances like he’s done before in the past few years. In all of these appearances, the heel teases The Rock about losing his last match in WWE. His last match… was with John Cena. The Rock would shrug these off with some witty comeback like only The Rock can. In one appearance, Cena himself would tease The Rock and hint at a third match to settle the score. Not a HEAVY build considering that The Rock’s WWE appearances are limited. However, it has to be teased to the viewers that The Rock has to win his last match before riding off into the sunset.

We go into the Royal Rumble with Cena himself being an entrant. The Authority targets John Cena as the biggest threat in the Royal Rumble and puts a $1,000,000 bounty on Cena, going to the one that eliminates him. Cena enters the match and everyone targets him. Cena makes it into the final five alongside Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens and Sheamus. You can really pick and choose who you want in this final five, but the biggest thing to note is that the heels outnumber the faces. Roman Reigns is put through the announce table by a powerbomb from Kevin Owens. This leaves Cena alone. They all hit their finishers on Cena but then bicker about the bounty. This is interrupted by The Rock’s music.

In shades of Royal Rumble 2015, The Rock makes a return to save the babyface. He lays out all the heels. He doesn’t eliminate anyone. He just takes them out. He lifts up John Cena… and drops him with a Rock Bottom! The crowd is stunned as The Rock throws Cena over the top rope to eliminate him. The crowd would obviously lose their marbles no matter what they do, but this would begin The Rock’s turn to the dark side.

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Since it’s The Rock, he’s not going to be taken seriously as a heel whenever WWE would decide to pull the trigger. That’s also true considering the face he targeted… is John Cena. You need to cement his heel turn the next night on RAW, where he hugs Triple H and Stephanie and confirms his partnership with the Authority. He’s not a member, but he’s a “friend” to the Authority. The Rock can be shown to be friends with Triple H and Steph, annoying the crowd. The Rock explains that he’s motivated by two things in life… money and success.

He attacked John Cena for two reasons… money and success. He attacked Cena to get the money (you’re probably wondering why someone as wealthy as The Rock would care about a bounty but just play along!) and he attacked Cena to achieve some success. The money part of it isn’t really the biggest reason for his turn anyway. He attacked Cena because he wanted to achieve his own redemption for Cena beating him at Wrestlemania 29. The Rock says that he will not allow the record books to show that The Rock lost in his last WWE match. He says that he especially does not want his match to be a loss against someone like John Cena. The Rock throws his usual insults at Cena, reigniting the feud between them. He challenges Cena to a match at Wrestlemania 32 to settle the score. Cena’s response is to run down to the ring and get into a brawl with The Rock. Cena accepts and the match is made.

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The match itself would happen at Wrestlemania and the winner… would be John Cena. I know the whole idea of the feud was for The Rock to try and end his WWE career as a winner. However, the chances are that this wouldn’t be The Rock’s last match in a WWE ring. So there’s plenty of opportunities for The Rock to complete his goals. If this was Rock’s last match, The Rock would go over. However, Cena would have to go over for me in this scenario considering that he needs the win the most. Rock doesn’t have as much to lose as Cena by losing this match. This is a short-term program so if you want Rock to turn face again, simply have him shake hands with Cena and cut a promo about his love for the WWE. It doesn’t take much for The Rock to be loved!

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] [Final Part]

WARNING: Please read the first five parts of this series first if you haven’t already. They will clue you up on the storyline for this particular “How I Would Book…”.

Here it is. The FINAL chapter in this nWo saga. We’ve seen the nWo shake the foundations of the WWE. With Hollywood Hogan at the helm, they’ve gone toe to toe with the WWE’s top stars. Hogan’s beaten the likes of Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and Shawn Michaels as part of his group’s domination of the company. He currently reigns as RAW’s World Heavyweight Champion while Big Show reigns as SmackDown!’s WWE Championship. Vince McMahon, who had brought in the nWo to “kill” the WWE, suddenly realizes just how dangerous the group has become. They’ve took over RAW and now they’re taking over SmackDown! Vince’s response was to bring back the Undertaker as the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble to win the match and earn a title shot. The road to Wrestlemania 19 has begun…

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The war between Vince McMahon and Hollywood Hogan is now well and truly under way. Vince McMahon is the owner of the company but Eric Bischoff still holds a considerable amount of power as RAW General Manager and as a leading member of the nWo. Bischoff reveals that the WWE would have to pay him a HUGE amount of money in order to fire him. Even if they did fire him, that wouldn’t stop Bischoff and the nWo from running rough shot over the entire company. They have the two top titles in the WWE. It really has turned into such a power struggle for Vince.

First, Vince has to find someone on the SmackDown! roster to face WWE Champion Big Show at No Way Out. There’s a lot of wrestlers to choose from but Vince feels that he needs to bring a true star back into the fold. He feels that he needs to bring back the “Great One”… The Rock. With a promise of a WWE Championship match at No Way Out, The Rock returns to the WWE as a part of the SmackDown! brand. Upon his return, The Rock’s commitment to the WWE has come into question. When he makes his big return on the SmackDown! before No Way Out, The Rock is back as a cocky Hollywood star. The Rock doesn’t really grasp the importance of his match with Big Show at No Way Out, but The Rock reassures Vince that he’ll get the job done at No Way Out.

Brock Lesnar was screwed out of the WWE Championship at No Way Out. He has a rematch clause, but Brock insists on challenging Hollywood Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship instead. Eric Bischoff decrees that Brock must beat the Outsiders in a handicap match at No Way Out in order to get his title shot at Wrestlemania. In the World Heavyweight Championship match, Shawn gets his rematch for the title against Hogan in one final encounter at No Way Out.

Brock is able to beat the Outsiders following interference from Triple H, who delivers a cross chop to both Nash and Hall after Brock pins one of them. The Rock challenges the Big Show for the WWE Championship, but the Brahama Bull is not putting any effort in. He’s constantly mocking Big Show and not taking it seriously at all. The Rock hits his finishers but does not pin Big Show and instead just gets on the mic and talks about himself. The commentators can’t believe how foolish The Rock is being and are telling The Rock to just pin him. In the end, The Rock hits a Rock Bottom and goes up to the top. He signals for an elbow drop from the top but is caught in mid-air by Big Show who pins him. The Rock is scratching his head over what’s happened but then just laughs and walks away. Hogan retains the title against Michaels with the Outsiders delivering another beatdown to the Show Stopper. Triple H makes the save, signalling the return of DX as the DX music hits to end the show.

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With No Way Out in the books, here’s all the confirmed Wrestlemania 19 matches so far…

  • Hollywood Hogan (c) vs Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Big Show (c) vs Undertaker for the WWE Championship
  • “D-Generation X” Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs “The Outsiders” Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in a hardcore tag team match (This would be announced on the RAW after No Way Out)

The Rock appears on RAW on the night after No Way Out, claiming that a clause in his contract stated that he could choose which brand he wanted to be on after his match at No Way Out. The Rock claimed that he wanted to be on RAW and demands to be added to the World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania. He is interrupted by the return of the “Texas Rattlesnake” Stone Cold Steve Austin, who gives him the Stunner.

Austin cuts a promo the next week on RAW. He says that while he’s been away from the WWE, he watched his own matches back and realized that he wasn’t himself when he was going up against Hollywood Hogan at King of the Ring. He said he wanted vengeance against the nWo but he was not motivated enough to get the job done. That was another part of the reason why he lost to Hogan at the main event. However, he  re-played the match back and one moment stood out. It was the return of The Rock. The Rock came back at King of the Ring with the passion and the desire needed to achieve his goals. Austin talks about how he watched Big Show vs The Rock at No Way Out. Austin talked about how The Rock was pathetic in that match and that The Rock needed to remember just how important wrestling is. He challenges The Rock to a match at Wrestlemania 19. After a few declines, The Rock finally agrees to the match. The Rock states that there’s one thing that he hadn’t done… beat Austin at Wrestlemania 19. He says that he’ll get the job done at Wrestlemania and will be known as the greatest of all time.

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That takes care of Austin and Rock. Now we’ve got to look at one last thing. Eric Bischoff would cut a promo on RAW taking about Vince McMahon. He calls Vince a coward and desperate for bringing back all of his big guns to take on the nWo. He tells Vince that now is the time to man up. Eric tells the story about how he challenged Vince to a fight when he was running WCW but the fight never took place. Eric now challenges Vince to a sanctioned MATCH at Wrestlemania. Eric asks Vince for a tag team match with Eric and a partner of his choosing going up against Vince and a partner of his choosing. If Eric won, he and the nWo would win 100% control of the company. If the nWo lose, they’re done. Bischoff would be fired. All the power they had would be gone and they would disband. Vince accepts. Almost immediately after Vince agrees, Eric introduces his partner… Scott Steiner.

Vince thinks that in order to fight with Bischoff, he has to fight dirty. In order to fight dirty, Vince believes he needs the dirtiest player in the game. Vince believes he needs Ric Flair. There’s still hostilities between Flair and McMahon after THEY battled for control in 2002. Ric says that he doesn’t trust Vince but will fight alongside him because he knows from his time at WCW just how dangerous the nWo are. Ric says he’ll do it with one other added stipulation… if Ric and Vince win, Ric regains control of RAW. Vince agrees and the match is set.

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So the major matches are pretty much set. Other matches on Wrestlemania would includes Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit taking on the Guerreros for the WWE Tag Team Championship from SmackDown! We’d also have Chris Jericho jump to RAW to take part in a fatal four way match for the Intercontinental Championship alongside Kane, Booker T and Rob Van Dam. Let’s just run down the card one last time..

  • Hollywood Hogan (c) vs Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Big Show (c) vs Undertaker for the WWE Championship
  • “D-Generation X” Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs “The Outsiders” Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in a hardcore tag team match
  • Eric Bischoff and Scott Steiner vs Vince McMahon and Ric Flair for 100% control of the WWE
  • The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Eddie Guerrero (c) and Chavo Guerrero (c) vs Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit for the WWE Tag Team Championship
  • Kane (c) vs Rob Van Dam vs Booker T vs Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship

So… WRESTLEMANIA 19!

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Before we get started, I would like to state that Hogan vs Lesnar would be the main event of the show. I’m usually a supporter of the claim that the Rumble winner should always be in the main event. However, I’m sure I’m right in saying that majority of wrestling fans would be more interested in Hogan vs Lesnar than Show vs Undertaker. Hogan vs Lesnar seems like the perfect ending to this storyline. No disrespect to Big Show and Undertaker, but surely they’d understand the importance of finale of the nWo storyline ending the show.

For the WWE Tag Team title match, the Guerreros would retain after Kurt would turn on Chris Benoit. This would spark a feud between Benoit and Angle to take place following Wrestlemania. Chris Jericho would win the Intercontinental Championship. I know this feels a bit of a step down for Jericho, considering he had his classic with Shawn Michaels in real life at the event. However, at least he’s still a champion coming out of Wrestlemania. Him and Shawn could feud later on in 2003 anyway. The Rock would beat Stone Cold Steve Austin, putting an end to one of the greatest feuds of all time. But now, let’s get to the nWo stuff.

DX would beat the Outsiders in their hardcore tag team match. I feel that DX standing tall would be the best way to end the Outsiders’ role in this storyline. The Outsiders would seem to have the advantage when former nWo member X-Pac would get involved to get revenge on the Outsiders, who turned on him at Armageddon. He would hit both Hall and Nash with chairs and depart. Hall and Nash would be throwing up the Kliq signs, begging Shawn and Triple H for forgiveness. However, DX wouldn’t be too forgiving and a super kick and sledgehammer onto Nash would give DX the victory. On RAW the next night, I’d have Triple H turn on Shawn in similar fashion to how he turned on him in real life.

Undertaker would beat Big Show to win the WWE Championship. This would be a great moment for Undertaker and for Big Show too. In title matches at Wrestlemania, Big Show usually just acts as the third wheel. It’s good to actually give him a legitimate one-on-one match between him and Undertaker. Plus, Undertaker’s streak goes on and it’s cool to see him leave Wrestlemania with the title.

Now for the tag team match with Bischoff and Steiner going up against Vince and Ric. I’d like to see a cameo with Rowdy Roddy Piper, since he did make a cameo during Hogan’s match with Vince at Wrestlemania 19 in real life! His appearance could lead to the finish. In the finish, Flair makes Bischoff tap out to the figure four leg lock. The WWE is saved! However, there’s one last match…

Hogan defends the World Title against Brock Lesnar. Hogan cuts a pre-match promo saying what happened to Bischoff doesn’t concern him. The nWo will leave one last dent in the legacy of the WWE, which will haunt Vince McMahon for generations. Hogan guarantees that he will retain the belt and says that Brock Lesnar is nothing to him. However, Brock actually beats Hogan for the title in a passing of the torch. If you want to have the Hogan turn face, simply have him shake Lesnar’s hand after the match.

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And that…. FINALLY wraps up the nWo storyline! I hoped you enjoyed all of that. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope that ending lived up to all of the build!

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!

If you have a fantasy nWo storyline of your own, tweet me on the @ArmbarExpress Twitter account! I’m interested in hearing other people’s versions of this storyline!

Wrestling Flashback – Rufus “Pancake” Patterson

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Today on the Wrestling Flashback is the Prime Time Players. This is actually due to an appearance the Prime Time Players made on Chris Jericho’s podcast. On the podcast, they talked about coming up with the idea of Rufus “Pancake” Patterson as an alter-ego for Titus O’Neil.

Why did they call him pancake?

Because he flattens fools!

This gimmick ended up being a one time thing which they did on WWE television. They did film a couple of segments for the WWE App but it only ever appeared ONCE on WWE Television. What’s interesting though is that they appeared at one of the top time slots for a WWE show… they showed up at the start of the show during a segment with John Cena.

John Cena was talking about how he was ready to face The Rock for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 29. This kicked off RAW, so they were kicking off RAW to promote the main event of Wrestlemania 29 with Cena. This was interrupted by the Prime Time Players. They start to cut this promo and Cena cuts them off. He was about to introduce them but Titus cuts him off to proclaim himself as “Titus’ nephew”. His name was actually Rufus “Pancake” Patterson.

I always thought the debut of this gimmick as part of the program including John Cena and The Rock was very interesting. On Jericho’s podcast, Titus and Darren talked about the pressure of opening the show and I don’t blame them for being nervous.

This was a gimmick that was really hit or miss experiment. For me, it was either you loved it or you hated it. For me, it was a hit. Titus always had a great sense of humour and I think if this was given a few months, this gimmick could have gotten really over. Probably not to the status of an alter-ego gimmick like Dude Love or Mankind. However, Titus and Darren just had great chemistry that I think would of worked out for the best. If Titus was the manager of Darren (like he was during Young’s match with Cena after the above segment I was talking about) it could have helped both Darren and Titus. Titus would have been able to get over just by his mannerisms and mic work. Darren could have built up a good record in the ring and could have been elevated as a singles star.

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Let’s be honest, the original split of the Prime Time Players didn’t go as planned. However, I think the opportunity to have both them stand out as individuals first while still being a tag team could have been a success. When they split up, Darren and Titus weren’t able to create a unique identity for themselves before doing so. If they were to have this gimmick run on for a while on television, Titus and Darren can get over as themselves so the split means they didn’t have to rely on each other to get over.

I really wish we saw a bit more of Rufus “Pancake” Patterson. With enough screen time, I truly believe he could have been worth Millions of Dollars…