How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here once again with WWE 2K16. The release of this game is almost here. What I have for you today is a video uploaded by WWE Games YouTuber TonyPizzaGuy, one of my favourites in the WWE Games community. It’s a video showing off one of the new OMG moments introduced in WWE 2K16. It’s the Curb Stomp into the RKO counter that we saw at Wrestlemania 31, where Randy Orton hit this incredible RKO for the win over Seth Rollins. I heard that this was going to be in the game a few days ago and today I’ve seen the video. It looks very well done by 2K and a nice little edition to the game. More and more ways to hit a glorious RKO outta nowhere!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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!
Part One – Introduction
Part Two – John Cena
Part Three – CM Punk
Part Four – Randy Orton
We’re now at the final installment of this particular series. We’ve discussed three other candidates. We’ve discussed John Cena, we’ve discussed CM Punk and we’ve discussed Randy Orton. We’ve talked about the possibility of booking these three as potential breakers of the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. But here’s a problem with these three individuals. These three were already main event stars in the WWE BEFORE they broke the streak. I mean this win would boost these three in one way or another. But however, one could argue that the ending of the streak should be done to make a star rather than elevate an already established star. One legacy ends so another one can begin. So let me ask you guys a simply question.
Out of everyone on the current WWE roster, who is the one person that needed a moment like this to make their mark in the WWE for years to come? Who is the one person who has developed possibly one of the greatest characters of all time with an incredible amount of potential? And with the right push, who can really forge a legacy of his own from ending the Undertaker’s streak? It’s the one person whose got the whole world in his hands. That’s right. Maybe the streak should have been broken… by Bray Wyatt.
Wrestlemania 30 would have been the perfect time for the Eater of Worlds to conquer the Undertaker’s undefeated streak. Wrestlemania 30 was Bray Wyatt’s first Wrestlemania. In his first match, he took on John Cena which is a big deal in itself. Also, he came out to a live performance of his own theme song. How many wrestlers have had a live performance by a band while strolling down to the ring for their first Wrestlemania match? Surely WWE must have had great confidence in the character to give Bray this kind of push after he debuted in July 2013 (just not enough confidence for him to beat Cena apparently). Bray Wyatt is a special character. So his first Wrestlemania match should be a special moment. How shocking of a moment would it be if in his first match at Wrestlemania… he beat the Undertaker?
Here’s how I’d play it out.
At the 2014 Royal Rumble, Bray Wyatt beats Daniel Bryan like he did in real life. Bray does not interfere in the John Cena vs Randy Orton match at all. At the Royal Rumble match, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper come in and destroy everyone. They eliminate Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Cesaro at the same time near the end (which is what Roman Reigns did) to make it into the final four. It’s the two Wyatts, Batista and Roman Reigns in the final four of this match. When it looks like they are about to Batista and Reigns out, Bray Wyatt stands on top of the stage. He gets down on his knees. When he does, both Rowan and Harper leave the ring and eliminate themselves. The camera cuts to Bray telling Rowan and Harper, “I have a greater purpose for you yet.”
We hear nothing from the Wyatts on RAW until they show up in the main event to cost The Shield their six man tag team match against Daniel Bryan, John Cena and Sheamus. Bray Wyatt cuts a promo the next week on RAW, saying that he plans to put the Hounds of Justice down and spawn the birth of new hounds. Wyatt announces that they will become the new servers of justice in the WWE. They won’t be called the Hounds of Justice. The Wyatts announce themselves… as the Hounds of Hell.
The Wyatt Family then beat The Shield in their match at Elimination Chamber. Bray Wyatt cuts a promo stating that the Hounds of Hell have already rid the WWE Universe of the Hounds of Justice. However, there is still one more outlaw to put down and deliver to the devil himself. He announces that the outlaw will reveal himself later on that night. The Undertaker then returns to the WWE at the end of the show, announcing his intention to defend the streak once again. As Undertaker is about to sign off we get the Wyatt Family cryptic intro…
The Wyatt Family come out to take out the Undertaker. Bray gets on the microphone and says “I will put you down, Outlaw”. Bray will challenge Undertaker to a match at Wrestlemania which Undertaker accepts a few weeks later. Mind games are thrown back and forth until Wrestlemania itself. Undertaker requests that the match is made a No Disqualification match as it is the only way to put down Wyatt AND his two dogs Rowan and Harper.
In the match, Undertaker first sets his sights on Harper and Rowan as Bray Wyatt watches on his rocking chair. Undertaker spears Erick Rowan into the barricade and chokeslams Harper through the announce table. As he’s having to take on all of these members, Taker is getting visibly tired and bruised. He then turns to Bray who simply launches himself into the Dead Man. This is a long and slow beat down but Undertaker continues to kick out. When Bray is about to deliver Sister Abigail, Undertaker counters it into a Tombstone. However, Undertaker is spent after the fighting with all three members of the Wyatt family. The camera man focuses on the ring for about 30 seconds when Undertaker sits up. He sits up but he sees both Rowan and Harper outside of the ring, seemingly unharmed. As he looks on, Bray gets up to do his Spider Walk. Undertaker turns around to walk into a Sister Abigail. And that… is the end of the match.
Bray then kneels over Undertaker laughing saying “Only I am unbeatable” as the crowd is shocked. The Wyatts walk off, leaving Undertaker in the ring.
What I would do for Bray though is simply take over the role of the Undertaker as this superhuman mystic force in WWE. He and the rest of his “Hounds of Hell” take out everyone. John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan. Everyone to assert themselves as the top dogs in the company. Not only that, but he starts a undefeated streak of his own at Wrestlemania. What’s a better way for Bray’s streak to start by having him beat the owner of the greatest streak of all time?
The rest of 2014 would see Bray dominate WWE just like Brock Lesnar did after he ended the streak. He beats John Cena at Summerslam for the WWE World title but he would lose it to Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble after interference from his next opponent… Sting. Bray beats Sting at Wrestlemania 31 to take his streak to 2-0. The Undertaker helps elevate Bray the same way Undertaker himself was elevated – dominating from the start of his career. Think about it. Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan for the WWF title not long after he debuted. Hogan beat him for the belt shortly after but the mystique of Undertaker remained. That’s exactly what ending the streak would do for Bray.
That wraps things up for the Eater of Worlds. We’ve got four candidates to choose from but I’m still interested in hearing other people’s thoughts about who should have broken the streak. I’ll discuss all of our candidates once more in the VERY last part of this series. We’ll decide ourselves who really should have broken the streak and come up with a verdict.
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!
Thanks ToxHLRules for the awesome video highlights.
I really did like this feud between Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. There was that great amount of intensity that made this short feud really worth while. You’ve got the venomous viper against the cold soft-spoken badass Samoan. If you put them together, you’re in for a treat.
Although Orton lost, he still looked strong coming off of it. He put on a great performance against Reigns that night. I remember the Spear reversed into the powerslam and the spear into the RKO as two examples. Those two spots, when I saw them live, really had me on the edge of my seat.
The two wrestlers just played off each other so well and when you’re on the outside of a major storyline involving Cena, The Authority and Brock Lesnar, it’s hard to make yourself noticed. You have to take a backseat as obviously everybody is interested in Lesnar and Cena. Also, there was a huge interest in Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose too. But these two really blew if out of the park at Summerslam and I’m really annoyed that the feud finished so early as it had so much left in its tank. Maybe they were planning to come back to it if Roman hadn’t gotten injured. I don’t know. However, if the purpose was just to provide a short but exciting program that could elevate Roman Reigns… WWE did a hell of a job.
Now it bothers me to no end seeing WWE drop Adrian Neville’s first name and just calling him…
The likes of Rusev, Big E and Cesaro all suffered the same fate as Neville. Their names cut because Vince McMahon see them as being more “marketable” if they’re known by one name. Like with Undertaker, Kane and… well, Heidenreich. The logic appears to be understandable to a degree considering the Madonna’s and Jay-Z’s of the world. Short and sweet names that could just roll off of people’s tounge. In the sense, I sort of get it. But with Neville’s, there’s a problem….
Now as you can see, if you type in Rusev’s name he pops up right away. Rusev is a name which stands out. It’s strong and dominant and it’s a name people will recognize.
Let’s do the same with Cesaro…
Again no problem. These names are so distinct that you could simply type their name in and they’ll pop up right away. First result right. The idea seems to be sound… and then I tried doing the same thing with Neville.
As you can hopefully see, WWE’s “Neville” doesn’t show up ONCE in the first page of results! Now my search engine is more optimized to UK stuff, true, but surely a currently hot commodity like Neville should show up regardless. But he’s not… because nobody remembers a name like Neville. His name doesn’t pop up until the 4th page of results (other than the first page because it’s linked to my own personal Google+)! But it’s worrying from a marketable position!
So on Friday night, I was pretty much ready to go to bed. I was pretty tired after a day of university work combined with the How I Would Book Brock Lesnar vs Batista blog posts (part one’s on this link and part two at this link). I was pretty much set… until I read the following tweet from @WWE themselves. And it involved one of the most important divas on the roster and one of the most “over” divas in the last five years.
The tweet read….
BREAKING: AJ Lee (April Mendez) has decided to retire from in-ring competition with WWE. We wish AJ the very best.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2015
I sent out a blog post following the tweet and it’s proven to be a big hit! However, I wanted to do a follow-up piece a few days later and just before RAW. The first blog post was not really intended to be a huge analysis on the story. I did make a few observations here and there but it was short and sweet just to let you guys know of the situation at the time. Now a day or so has passed and I’ve decided to do the follow-up piece that I promised you when I wrote the first one. To take a look at the situation, what we NOW know about it and where WWE and AJ goes from here….
So as stated, the only things we had before were the tweet sent by WWE and a tweet CM Punk sent out soon afterwards…
Now with her wife involved, this tweet was inevitable. But it’s probably Punk’s first mention in a REALLY long time. Possibly since the Colt Cabana podcast back in November. Of course, it didn’t hint at anything. However, I just felt it was just a nice thing to point out. Punk leading the praises of his wife as any husband should…
Many more have tweeted about AJ as well. Mick Foley, as usual, was very active on social media about. Heck, the Bellas broke kayfabe to send their farewells to AJ too. And considering all the things AJ have said about the Bellas on television, it’s a ture touch of professionalism and class from the Bellas.
Big loss 4 the Divas Division 2day. Wish @WWEAJLee the absolute best! Want 2 c who wants 2 take the Champ on..Train harder..Ready 4 anything
— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) April 4, 2015
However, it’s still not known for certain WHY AJ “retired” or what the reasons were for her departure.
Just to state the record, we’re not going to throw around the idea that WWE are hiding something or some WWE conspiracy reason for her departure. That’s not what this post is for. It’s pretty much a summary of what we know and the impact of her “retirement”.
That being said, there have been “hints” for the reasons behind her sudden departure. At least to US it was sudden. Looking back at her Wrestlemania tag team match with Paige, it could be that AJ knew she was calling it a day at WWE.
According to a NoDQ.com article,
“Regarding AJ Lee retiring from WWE, there’s already some speculation that she knew she was leaving this week before WrestleMania 31. A colleague who watched WrestleMania 31 with me thought that AJ’s post-match celebration with Paige “seemed weird” as if AJ knew this was her last big match. The two hugged for a while and AJ told Paige she loves her, which to most people didn’t seem out of the way at the time but is interesting now. We should have more on the AJ story later tonight so stay tuned.”
To be honest, I thought the huge was a pretty weird post-match celebration… at least from a kayfabe perspective. On the RAW before, Paige and AJ got into a scuffle and according to storyline couldn’t get along. Unless AJ was pulling out some unscripted jargon, which AJ has done quite a bit in the past, then there shouldn’t really be a reason for a hug like in the context of the story. Therefore, this speculation about AJ hugging Paige being a sign that AJ knew that she was leaving makes complete sense.
Again though, this doesn’t really explain WHY she left. It just indicates that AJ had been planning this departure for some time.
Now I think the general belief is that AJ’s last year in WWE has been quite an eventful one. Coming off the departure of her husband CM Punk, AJ’s been on the receiving end of a lot of idiotic “CM Punk” chants due to her relationship with the superstar turned MMA fighter. Not really AJ’s fault, but it probably effected her attitude in and out the ring a lot. AJ’s been known for a number of off-script or “shoot” moments in 2014, particularly with her Slammys speech where she praised a lot of the NXT women. I think with her being off of TV a lot of the time to be with her husband, she herself was pretty unhappy at the company.
I stated before that if AJ felt unhappy at the company than she should have just quit and I think she’s taken up my advice. I never said that in a nasty “I don’t want AJ at this company because I hate her” way by the way. It’s just if you don’t like your job and you feel it’s making you unhappy, then why bother continue it? I admire AJ for following her heart and choosing happiness over fame if that is the case. At least that’s the reason her husband gave for leaving in the Cabana podcast. So I don’t have a problem with her leaving what’s so ever. If anything, this opens the way for the NXT divas which AJ praised in the Slammys speech. This certainly paves the way for the likes of Paige and Naomi to becoming the top favorites in WWE. And that’s awesome for the both of them, who truly deserves it.
Now before I wrap this up, I’m going to look at a theory for AJ’s departure. By the way, the only reason I’m referring to it as a “departure” is because the chances are she’s just leaving the company. It would make sense for WWE to input a bit of damage control for a top star leaving by referring to it as a “retirement”. That’s what they did with Jim Ross. Again, I’m not suggesting that this is some WWE conspiracy or something. I’m just saying you shouldn’t take everything WWE tells you to be the 100% truth. Just because THEY say AJ’s done from in-ring competition doesn’t mean that she’ll wind up wrestling in the indies in a few months time. As a journalism student, the first thing I was told was to question… everything!
However, this notion suggested over why AJ left did need to be questioned… purely because of how daft it is!
InQuisitr writer Patrick Frye suggested that the UFC would be in AJ’s immediate future, following her husband into the octagon. One of the smallest divas I’ve seen in WWE fighting the toughest women in the world in the realms of MMA. Patrick first writes…
“During UFC 182, CM Punk spent almost an hour talking during a Q & A session. At one point, he was asked about who he thought could also end up in the UFC over time. Perhaps giving us a hint of things to come, CM Punk said he couldn’t count out AJ Lee as a possibility. With AJ Lee leaving the WWE, the possibility seems more than just an off-the-cuff remark.
“Ronda Rousey just so happens to be a big fan of CM Punk. In fact, the first time they met in person Rousey actually fangasmed all over Punk. While it’s questionable whether AJ Lee Vs. Ronda Rousey would be a good idea based upon MMA skill (or lack thereof), you have to believe that Dana White is seeing potential dollar signs floating in the air.”
Saying Rousey is a big of Punk is a potential reason for AJ wanting to go to WWE is like me saying that because Jeremy Clarkson is a fan of Will Young, he’s gonna start performing duets with the singer and form a band with him! As great of a future that sounds,that’s obviously NOT going to happen.
Also, the potential of AJ vs Rousey is very far-fetched considering the weight differences between the two. AJ Lee weights 52kg, compared to Rousey’s 61kg. You have to be at least 57kg in order to compete in the division so a potential fight is unlikely unless AJ were to proper beef up!
I can’t necessarily RULE OUT a UFC run for AJ since I thought there was no way Punk would sign with UFC and I was proven wrong. However, the idea of Rousey vs AJ at UFC is pretty ridiculous and UFC can’t constantly be thinking of signing AJ to their women’s division. Unless they were doing to say “Screw you WWE” or just as a publicity stunt, in which case that would be pretty absurd.
I was gonna keep going through other theories as well like marriage problems and a potential pregnancy but I’ve decided to call it a day for now. My estimation is that it’s down to simply AJ being unhappy at the company. It’s pretty hard not to be. Considering a lot of wrestlers that have left WWE nowadays seem to be leaving on sour terms, it seems to be that Punk’s description of WWE as being a very toxic working environment is pretty accurate. AJ having taken breaks from WWE a few times in the past year were probably indicators to this.
All I can say is that after four years, AJ Lee is no longer a WWE diva. To say that AJ’s career was “legendary” seems to be a little too much. I’d hardly call it a Hall Of Fame worthy run, as Joey Styles suggested. But in her time in WWE, AJ did impact the WWE divas division quite a bit. Having held the divas title for nearly a year herself, AJ’s done a pretty good job in getting people talking about the women of WWE. But with her career only lasting four years and a lot of it being clouded by affiliation with CM Punk, I don’t think her career had reached the point of legendary. I don’t think she did so much for the company that she should be bestowed this honor. Unless she were to somewhere down the road return, I don’t think she’s done enough to be considered one of the best divas of all time.I personally didn’t see her to be SUCH a strong in-ring worker.
But nevertheless, AJ was still a top diva, even at the end of her run. And good luck to her, wherever she ends up…
WARNING: Please read the first part at this link before reading the second!
We’ve begun fantasy booking once again on the Armbar Express! But this time, it’s not a part of the EWR series….
In Part 1, we discussed the potential of a Batista vs Brock Lesnar dream match. Last time, we thought up of an alternative storyline beginning the RAW after the Royal Rumble 2014 in WWE. It stemmed from the encounter between Brock, Batista and Randy on that edition of RAW and it led us to an alternative main event for Summerslam which saw Batista and Brock Lesnar collide. Now it’s time to do it again.
However this time, we’re bringing back to the present. We’re going to explore how I’d book a hypothetical main event match in 2015 of Batista vs Brock Lesnar….
Now on the last one, I explained that this storyline is set right after the RAW after Wrestlemania 31. It’s also not going to be as extensive of a blog post as last time’s due to the fact that there’s not a lot needed for this particular match-up at this particular time, nor is there a lot of active factors like other Paul Heyman guys that could advance to the storyline along. In fact the suspension of Lesnar, which was essential done to write Brock off TV until Summerslam time, is a great premise of a storyline we’re going to establish it on.
Also I pointed out last time that due to Batista’s movie schedule, it’s hard to tell whether Batista would be free to do a Summerslam program with Lesnar. He could still be filming stuff for the 007 Spectre movie. The chances are the most opportunistic time to use Dave would be around Survivor Series when the movie is released. And it also gives the PPV some much needed height and importance with a match-up of this caliber. So that’s why our end-game will be with Survivor Series in mind…
So at this present time, Brock Lesnar is “suspended” after his actions of RAW (which were pretty amazing!). However with Brock out of the picture, Paul Heyman really needs to be a focal point of Lesnar coming back. Because unless he found himself another Paul Heyman guy, what much else is there for Paul Heyman to do?
I think the current situation already puts Heyman in a fickle. Stephanie or Hunter could turn this around on Heyman and blame him for not being able to control Lesnar. Also, the chances of Heyman and Lesnar potentially suing WWE for breach of contract due to Lesnar not getting his rematch are pretty slim too for three reasons…
- Heyman and Lesnar have already tried to sue WWE once (kayfabe) in 2012. Redoing the same storyline twice is pretty lame and it would take away the strength of Lesnar for him to resort to legal action.
- According to WWE.com, Lesnar’s already supposedly expecting legal action from Michael Cole following his attack on the announcer on RAW. So why would he risk all the legal costs considering he’s already in a lawsuit?
- According to Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar thinks all lawyers are scumbags!
Heyman would obviously be pleading his case and trying to secure the rematch between Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on TV. This may fall upon deaf ears. WWE could do a segment where Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon have contract negotiations on television and it could lead to Heyman saying the wrong thing and Stephanie firing him. All of this back-and-forth stuff may last a few months which could lead to Heyman being fired on a PPV or something. WWE probably would be able to find a way to smoke and mirrors this and drag it on. Hell they dragged on the “stripping Daniel Bryan” for a few months, so why not this?
It would eventually come to the point where Lesnar would find a way onto RAW and pretty much DECIMATE EVERYONE!
I mean this is ten times as destructive as this week’s RAW. I mean we’re talking about BROCK LESNAR who’s been sat on the sidelines waiting for his title rematch. With Lesnar’s mindset, he would probably be in the state in which he’d take out the entire roster! This is kinda like the Nexus angle, but on a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SCALE. Triple H gets taken out as well as Stephanie just looks on in shock!
At this point, Stephanie knows she must do something to tame the beast. So he reinstates him to the roster and invites him on RAW to discuss the terms of his rematch. Brock Lesnar would demand two things at this point…
- A championship match at Summerslam 2015
- Paul Heyman being reinstated
Stephanie agrees to both and Brock Lesnars versus… Seth Rollins I’d imagine is signed. But the match is made NO HOLDS BARRED!
So at Summerslam, Lesnar and Rollins would clash. As much as I’d like to not book Lesnar to lose, Lesnar would LOSE… thanks to Batista!
If WWE could figure out a way to get Batista to show up at Summerslam, a large masked man would come running down as Lesnar prepares for an F5 on the barricade and spear him through it! He’d bring him into the ring and unmask himself as Batista! He’d follow up with a Batista Bomb (maybe two) which Seth would follow up with two curb stomps to defeat Lesnar. I’d hate to book Lesnar to lose, but it would have taken A LOT to have put Lesnar down. Also, if anyone should beat Lesnar… it should be the future. And this plants the seeds for Lesnar’s next encounter… Batista.
Skip forward a few months and Lesnar would come out the night after Hell In A Cell and pretty much SMASH once more. He’d call out Batista and would demand a rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Steph decided to settle things by booking Lesnar vs Batista for Survivor Series, with the number one contendership on the line.
Remember, Batista did not receive his one on one rematch for the title and it would be great incentive for Batista to come back and attack Lesnar. If he helped the Authority, the Authority would agree to put him back in the hunt. Hell, not getting a title shot was the reason Batista quit in the first place! So it would make a lot of sense for this to be a number one contendership match. With the added promotion of Spectre, the buy-rate for this one would be immense.
Not much needs to be added other than Brock Lesnar going on to beat Batista and probably getting one more title shot at the Royal Rumble or something.
And that pretty much sums up part two. Again, the schedules of Batista and Brock Lesnar would probably alter plans a little bit. And it’s hard to know if Batista will even come back to WWE any time soon. But what this storyline does is open up some great bit of business for both parties, especially if the match takes place at Survivor Series. And there’s also a bit of continuity with regards to BOTH men’s claims for title shots. And despite Lesnar having to lose along the way, Brock didn’t exactly go out clean to Rollins at Summerslam. Brock would look strong in defeat and hell, he’d be beating somebody like Batista anyway so it’s not like Brock Lesnar is getting buried or anything.
Also, I’d hate to have Batista lose in BOTH scenarios. However, if there was ever a match between these two nowadays, Brock really would have to go over. Brock losing SHOULDN’T be taken lightly. He’s the one in 21-1 (well 22-1 now!) and as much of a star as Batista is now… him going over Lesnar in either situation would be foolish. Also, I doubt the WWE faithful would take too kindly to Batista beating Lesnar! They certainty didn’t take kindly to Roman Reigns!
Yeah! Continuity lives on in the Armbar Express! More than a year ago or so, I did a blog post on how I would book a dream match that I’ve always wanted to see… AJ Styles vs Rey Mysterio. That was actually meant to be a one-off but after seeing a lot of traffic to my site from the Google search of Batista vs Brock Lesnar, I figured why not do it again! Let’s see how I would book “The Animal” Batista vs “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar!
It REALLY surprised me that in the short time that Batista was here, the WWE never booked Brock Lesnar vs Batista for a big PPV main event. Perhaps they was leaving it for Summerslam 2014 until the Wrestlemania ending was changed, I dunno. The movie star Batista, in the height of his movie career with Guardians of the Galaxy, should have been in the ring with a top draw like Brock Lesnar. That’s MONEY right there but WWE failed to capitalize. Now with this fantasy booking, I’m going to be looking at TWO different booking scenarios.
- An alternative universe which is set after the 2014 Royal Rumble.
- A present day booking up until Summerslam 2015.
I wanted to look at both scenarios because when he was here, Batista vs Brock Lesnar not happening was pretty much missed opportunity by WWE. So I wanted to look at that. Plus, I do have a good idea about how I would get Lesnar vs Batista together if they were to hypothetical face off at Summerslam. Now we know that Batista last WWE run was not the greatest of times for Batista. But if the money was there and both parties were on the same page, I would never rule out a return for Batista. Now considering his filming schedule, it’s unsure whether a Summerslam program would be possible for Batista. Maybe Survivor Series in November, since his new Bond movie “Spectre” is out around that time. It’d seem like a smart money move to me to have him around that time to promote his movie. But for this particular scenario, we’re just gonna assume that Batista was available for Summerslam because that’s the next big PPV on our minds.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll begin with the first scenario, which takes place AFTER Batista won the Royal Rumble….
In actual WWE, Batista and Brock Lesnar’s first interaction took place on the RAW after the Royal Rumble. Lesnar interrupted both Batista and then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Paul Heyman gave RAW GM Brad Maddox an ultimatum to book Lesnar/Orton or Lesnar/Batista… or else. Maddox refused to give him either so Lesnar would attack Cody Rhodes and Goldust later on in the show. This segment stays because I always thought this was really well done. In fact, I wouldn’t change much in the build up to Wrestlemania. The main event of Wrestlemania would be turned into a triple threat somehow and Lesnar would take on the streak and conquer it. The biggest difference is that BATISTA would be walking out as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, as I always felt he should.
Daniel Bryan winning the title was a very heart-warming moment at Wrestlemania but having Batista winning at the Royal Rumble only to lose at Wrestlemania totally undermined the point of the Rumble match in the first place, particular as Bryan was just entered into the match. In some way, I feel the same way about Roman Reigns when HE lost at Wrestlemania 31 but WWE were really booking themselves into a corner with Reigns anyway. To read more about my thoughts on Roman Reigns post Wrestlemania 31, click on THIS LINK to read it.
The Batista scenario is a very shocking ending to Wrestlemania, even if it’s not the popular one. When Batista almost won the title at the end of the triple threat, I was on the edge of my seat. Batista winning the title and the Authority embracing him at the end would make Batista look like a million dollars. But Bryan fans, don’t worry! Daniel will still get his moment as WWE World Heavyweight Champion and we’re still going to get Batista and Brock Lesnar as well…
As we know, Brock Lesnar was off TV again after Wrestlemania and Paul Heyman became Cesaro’s manager. Theoretically, the Evolution vs Shield stuff can still happen in this universe although I’d just limit it to ONE match between them at Extreme Rules. It would hurt Batista’s title reign if he goes two PPVs without defending the belt. The first six man tag would happen and then Batista would just defend against somebody else at Payback.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan’s still up against the Authority. He beats Kane at Extreme Rules and demands a rematch for the title at Payback. However, Heyman and Cesaro comes out cuts off Bryan. Eventually, this would lead to a match at Payback between the two of them for the number one contendership spot at Money In The Bank. You’d get a killer match between Cesaro and Bryan which would end in a botched interference by Kane which leads to Bryan winning. This would create heat between Heyman and the Authority and perhaps… Cesaro swings Kane at the end if he could.
Too smooth things over between Heyman and the Authority, Cesaro is entered into the Money In The Bank ladder match. Cesaro is concerned about the Authority, considering their new member Seth Rollins is in the MITB match as well. Heyman assures Cesaro that if anything did happen, he had a Plan C.
So now the stage is set for Money In The Bank. Cesaro and Seth Rollins are part of MITB and it’s Batista vs Daniel Bryan in the main event. Firstly in the MITB match, Cesaro gets screwed by Kane and the Authority as Seth Rollins wins. Heyman angrily goes to the Authority and announces they’ve just made the biggest mistake of their lives and says prepare for Plan C.
Main event, ref bump takes Bryan out of the equation. The Authority come in to help Batista when Brock Lesnar’s music hits. Whether WWE would be willing to pay Lesnar for a surprise Money In The Bank appearance is up for debate. However, in the situation that they do, Lesnar comes out and F5s Batista and Bryan would pick up the win and the title. If not Lesnar, then Cesaro comes out or something. Either way, a Paul Heyman guy has screwed over the Authority.
So then we’re in a very VERY interesting situation. I would have said at this point, have the Authority fire Paul Heyman. However, with Brie Bella having “quit” at the Payback PPV, it would result in the “fired-employee” storyline being a bit over done. So Heyman still keeps his job somehow and is still managing Cesaro.
Heading into Battleground, it is Bryan, Batista, Cesaro and maybe Roman Reigns for the WWE Title. Dean Ambrose would be feuding with Seth Rollins still, so there’s no need for Cesaro to fight Rollins and he could just go for the WWE Title himself. In the end, Bryan wins the match. The next night on RAW, Batista calls Cesaro out for a match on RAW (again, this is all assuming that Batista is wrapping up at Summerslam, which was reportedly the original plan). Batista and the Authority destroys Cesaro. Then Brock Lesnar would come out and destroy the rest of the Authority but Batista would be on the run. Lesnar challenges Batista for a match at Summerslam, with the winner getting a future WWE World title shot. The Authority books the match and at Summerslam, Lesnar beats Batista. Possibly at Night Of Champions or something, Lesnar wins the WWE World Heavyweight Title.
And that pretty much sums up this storyline. I’ll admit, there’s a lot to take in. However thinking off storylines for the likes of Daniel Bryan and Cesaro were important in building up for this particular match between Brock and Batista, which was the end-game in all of this. I had to build up Cesaro to be a top guy and a potential contender for the WWE title because his role as the “active” Paul Heyman guy helps build up Lesnar’s eventual return. Bryan still won the WWE World title and it didn’t diminish Batista’s significance in the WWE either.
There’s also a lot of plausibility issues with this fantasy booking. Plausibility revolving around the schedules for both Brock and Batista. We’re assuming that WWE would be willing to pay Brock to appear at Money In The Bank and that Batista would be heading out at Summerslam rather than the night after Payback? Also, we would be assuming that Daniel Bryan would be fit and healthy all this time for him to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? I mean a potential butterfly effect could make all of this happen, but tweaks could easily be made here and there if certain situations show up.
However, what I think this storyline does is take advantage of the opportunity WWE were presented with. Brock vs Batista in the Summer was exactly the type of thing that would get buy-rates or WWE Network subscriptions booming. And while doing that, you’re also building up the talents that truly deserve it. In the end, everyone’s a winner and Batista can return to Hollywood with his head high… even if all the fans hate his guts at the time!
Join me in part two as we bring things forward to the present a bit, as we book a potential Summerslam 2015 showdown between these two big guys!
At the moment the big thing in the WWE Universe, or more specifically on the internet, is pretty much centered around directing their hatred to one man… Roman Reigns.
Yes, the Roman Reigns who was in the final two of the 2014 Royal Rumble and was the overwhelming fan favourite heel against the hugely hated face Batista. Now looking back it was probably that the fans would have cheered for pretty much ANYBODY else over Batista at the moment, but Roman was still becoming a huge favourite among his fellow Shield partners. However fast-forward to the Royal Rumble 2015 and it’s deja vu… but this time the fans WEREN’T cheering for Roman.
After the elimination of Daniel Bryan and the entrance of Roman, the fans just booed the majority of the match. The predictabillity of the outcome was enough to get the fans rattled… well that and the fact that Daniel Bryan didn’t win.
It really does annoy me that a year later, the fans had completely turned their backs on Roman and it wasn’t even Roman’s fault… it was the WWE.
Now I think we can all agree that the 2015 Royal Rumble was SHIT. It was an awful booked show (other than the triple threat for the title) and the Rumble was just shitly booked for like the second-half of the match. I wasn’t too bothered about Roman Reigns winning the entire thing nor do I care if the entire thing was predictable as soon as Daniel Bryan was eliminated. Things can be predictable but still be entertaining if done right. Those last three words are crucial…. IF DONE RIGHT.
Now at the time, I went on a huge Twitter tirade about the entire Rumble and I’m not going to go to much into it here, because I think I’ve covered it a bit TOO much now we’ve actually passed Wrestlemania! But the point is, there’s not much WWE had to do in order to get Roman over as one of the top babyface guys in WWE. He’s a badass, samoan monster that doesn’t talk, because his actions speak for him. He’s built like an action figure and he’s somebody that realistically… could be the FACE of WWE. However, even despite being in the main event of Wrestlemania, Roman Reigns ISN’T the face of the company. Roman Reigns ISN’T the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. And Roman Reigns ISN’T one of WWE’s hottest properties anymore.
Before I continue, do check out the video below of Bryan Alvarez who talks a great deal about Roman and why WWE were struggling with him at the start of the year…
This video pretty much confirmed the ideas that were in my head at the time about the booking of Roman Reigns. Because I like Roman Reigns. I’ve talked about him before on the blog. I liked him in the Shield, I loved how they booked him BEFORE he got injured. He had a great feud with Randy Orton which led to their awesome match at Summerslam. But their direction with Roman changed drastically when he returned… well WHY?
What’s the point in taking this action-figure like, bad-ass long-haired superstar (kinda paraphrasing Alvarez here) and turn him into something he’s not? He’s not a Cena character. He’s not a “Eat your vitamins” guy. He’s not the guy and will never be the guy Vince McMahon believe he should be. So why would people be interested in Roman if he’s playing that role. But you know what, WWE did redeem themselves with Roman in the build up to Fast Lane.
I thought Roman Reigns going up against Daniel Bryan was a terrible idea. I was in my head thinking, “Oh god. WWE were hitting the panic button and now it’s gonna be a triple threat”. But as it turned out, Daniel was a great foil for Roman. Bryan’s repeatdely talked on WWE Television about the ideology of having big, muscular guys being hot-shotted to the top. So when you put Roman Reigns in the main event of Wrestlemania despite Bryan being the bigger fan favourite, you’ve got an interesting plate on your hands…
They did the good old out-doing each other angle with Roman and Daniel bickering back-and-forth. And what it accumilated to was a good old brawl on RAW which made Roman look really good. You could say it made Roman look really STRONG! 😉
After Reigns beat Bryan, he know looked like a legit threat to Lesnar and people were actually into him. Then WWE did what WWE does best… drop the ball with Roman.
I’ll point out early on before going on that Brock Lesnar not showing up frequently hurt the build up to their match at Wrestlemania hugely. There was no really big scrap between the two for main event and why? Why didn’t two badass fighters like Brock and Roman beat each other up or something before the main event? Did WWE really thinking Roman and Paul Heyman going back up or just intense staredowns was gonna get people interested? No. We’re in WWE… HAVE THEM FIGHT. To top it all off the RAW before Wrestlemania ended… like this. -.-
To go into one of the biggest and most important main event of Wrestlemania, you ended it with them agressivley holding onto a championship belt to pan out. People don’t want to see that! They want to see a fight! The crowd was dead when they did that spot. Hell, the biggest talking point going into Wrestlemania was Brock Lesnar resigning his contract… and that wasn’t even announced on WWE Television or the WWE Network. It was on bloody SportsCentre. While that did get people more hyped up about the match knowing Lesnar was staying, WWE never got that out there. They needed Third-Party coverage to get their main event over when they could have just done it themselves…
Thankfully at Wrestlemania, WWE saved their arses and delivered… but NOT in a way that benefitted Roman Reigns.
Roman Reigns took a trip to Suplex City as Brock Lesnar basically beat him up the entire match! To Reigns credit, he took three F5s and still kicked out. And he no doubt got in more offense throughout the match than John Cena did at Summerslam. But after being F5’d a fourth time, Seth Rollins came out with his Money In The Bank briefcase and… I assume everybody knew what happened next.
All of this hype, which I’ve talked about for about 1000 words, has led to Roman being pinned by the cashing in Seth Rollins after getting slaughtered throughout the entire match and the next night on RAW, he never showed up until the very end and… NOBODY cared.
Now I did watch RAW live this week and I can tell you why I didn’t care. Firstly, because it was pretty obvious that Roman was gonna come out as Randy Orton’s mystery partner. Secondly, the biggest thing that came out of RAW was Brock Lesnar. For good reason. The Brock Lesnar stuff was just amazing and is easily one of the best segments I’ve seen on RAW ever! This was like the Nexus debut segment but with ONE man! I could go on about how great this segment was but we’re talking about Reigns. What WWE did on RAW was focus heavily on the Lesnar stuff and they kinda forget about Reigns. Hell, Randy Orton got a segment with Seth Rollins and Reigns was just thrown in at the end. Reigns has fallen HUGELY down the food chain. Seth Rollins is the champion, everybody can’t stop talking about Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton is the number one contender for the WWE World Title (spoilers for SmackDown! apologizes). Where does that leave Reigns?
What RAW might have been was the END of the big bad push of Roman Reigns as it’s clear WWE doesn’t know what to do with him. All of this push that I’ve talked about for 1,000+ words going to waste because WWE have simply booked him into irrelevancy. WWE have booked a bad-ass, Rambo like character, that the fans love for having this cool factor about, to the point where WWE just doesn’t care about him… unless Roman ends up being put into the main event of Extreme Rules. But then again, technically it would be three triple threat WWE World Heavyweight Championship matches in a row on PPV. Lesnar vs Cena vs Rollins at the Rumble. Lesnar vs Reigns technically became a triple threat at Mania as Rollins pinned Reigns. And if Roman is added to this, it’s another triple threat match! So why would they? Unless of course they just love to have triple threat matches nowadays. The Wrestlemania XXX main event was a triple threat too! XD
Anyway, Roman is now currently lost in the WWE mix. What WWE have is essentialy job Reigns out to Lesnar, had Rollins pin him at Mania and made the next night all about Lesnar… simply because they have NO idea what to do with him.
Sadly, that’s the fate of Roman Reigns. The potential of this kid has been squandered. A big part of me wanted Reigns to win the belt at Mania because at least it showed WWE had faith in him. It’s obvious that WWE felt this about Reigns before. But now they’ve messed up Reigns this bad with their booking, Reigns immedietly goes down after this. And it’s a sad scenario for Reigns. The Roman Empire has been toppled before it’s even been properly built…