by Victor Parenza (@ParenzaBooks)
As long as I can remember I’ve tried to predict the Wrestlemania card. Around Royal Rumble time you can see small (or sometimes) large hints of things to come. Wouldn’t it be fun though to make your own Wrestlemania with no restrictions? Contract situations, injuries, none of that matters. The only limitation I imposed on this is that deceased wrestlers were ineligible. This was simply for the reason that this show would have about 107 matches and be about 35 hours long if they were included too (so it ironically would be about half the length of last year’s Wrestlemania). I used guys from the past, guys from Japan, basically whatever dream match popped into my head while I was outlining this. Some of these are fairly common dream scenarios, whereas others may have you scratching your head a bit. But I do promise you that if you read all the way through this, you will have a few good laughs. If you don’t see someone who you think should be on it, just assume he/she is in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal that would be present somewhere on this card even though I didn’t write about it.
Opening segment begins with Miz coming to the ring. He’s the Intercontinental champion. He brags about being the greatest IC champ of all time. He claims he was left off the Wrestlemania card because no one is left to challenge him that he hasn’t already beaten. Just then the strains of HALELUJAH fill the arena. Damien Sandow/Mizdow comes to the ring. Miz is absolutely shocked. Sandow grabs the mic:
“Miz you can brag about this and that. That you beat this person and that person, but the one person you didn’t beat was the person that hates you more than anyone in the world! And that’s ME! You couldn’t handle it when I became more popular than you. And you screwed me over and politicked your way to never having to face me one on one. So how about it? You and me right now!”
Miz starts to take off his ring jacket like he is ready to fight, before stopping and saying, “No way! You think you’re good enough to be in the ring with me at Wrestlemania of all places?!? Forget about it.”
Sandow then clocks Miz in the face and gives him the Skull-Crushing Finale. Maryse pulls Miz out of the ring and they run away in shame. Sandow climbs the ropes and basks in the Wrestlemania moment that he was long overdue for.
Kings of Wrestling vs. the Revival
The crowd is evenly split for this one. Cesaro recently hooked back up with Ohno after Sheamus turned on him. After solid 10 minutes of great tag team action, the scorned Sheamus runs in with a cheap shot on Cesaro allowing the Revival to get the win in quite the upset.
Fit Finley vs. Steven Regal
Both men are channeling their inner-WCW Uncensored ’96 here, and proceed to beat the tar out of each other for a few short, but exhilarating minutes. Finley gets the win, but a bloodied Regal is left in the ring for a standing ovation to the chorus of chants: “Thank you Regal,” followed by a “NXT” one showing their appreciation for everything he has done in and out of the ring. Later Regal is shown in the back being congratulated by many of the NXT wrestlers for a job well done.
In the back we cut to a Bray Wyatt promo. He talks about the fall of man, the dangers of poison, the earth’s gravitational pull, and changing your oil every 3000 miles. You know, the usual Wyatt-nonsense. When suddenly we see a python’s head enter the screen being held up by a certain someone. That someone opens his mouth to speak with his gravely drawl that is just a tad above a whisper.
“Everything you say is something that I have been telling these people for over 30 years. And I’m starting to get angry. One thing you don’t want to do is make a snake angry.”
Jake puts the snake right up to Bray’s mouth, the snake licks Bray. Bray slowly backs away as Jake smiles a devious grin.
The camera pans over to a dark corner where we see a man sitting on the floor rocking back and forth. He’s petting a rat as he speaks:
“Oh mommy why can’t we all just get along? Why does Jake intimidate Bray? Why does Bray imitate Jake? Oh the questions we have for all mankind. Have a nice day!”
Kota Ibushi vs. Sami Zayn
Much like last year’s NXT special, Zayn gets a showcase match with one of Japan’s best. And just like last year’s we see a classic, albeit an abridged version due to its placement on the card. This show is so awesome that you get a match of the year candidate on the preshow!
The New Day Invitational
The New Day again pays tribute/rips off the Hardyz. In a giant warehouse we see the New Day have a wild brawl with every tag team you can think of:
-Motor City Machine Guns
-London and Kendrick
-Unbreakable F’n Machines
-Edge and Christian
-Haas and Benjamin
-CIMA and Dragon Kid
-Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi
-New Age Outlaws
-Kane and X-Pac
-Ricochet and Matt Sydal
-Hart Foundation (original)
-Austin and Dude Love
Shenanigans ensue in this wild affair. If there was an award for “funnest” match of the year, this doozy make take the cake.
We then go to Dean Ambrose ready to cut a promo. Before he says too much Terry Funk approaches him. Ambrose makes some lame NWA joke, but Funk cuts him off, “You know last year I wanted to pass the torch to you. I gave you my beloved chainsaw-AND YOU DIDN’T EVEN USE IT! You should have lopped the big ape Lesnar’s head right off and be done with it. Instead you fought like a coward and lost. You’re nothing but an egg-sucking dog.”
Ambrose thinks about it. He tells Funk he may be right. As Funk walks away Ambrose attacks him from behind and pummels him with everything in arm’s reach. Funk is a bloody mess on the ground. Ambrose smirks and walks off with his much needed heel turn.
Sheamus vs. Roderick Strong
Sheamus comes out to a chorus of boos-well more than usual due to his interference against Cesaro earlier. The opening bell sounds, as Sheamus spreads his arms and starts screaming “FELLA!” As he turns around Roddy flies in with the Sick Kick, and the pin 1,2,3! Match time: 18 seconds. It was poetic justice for Sheamus. Sheamus gets on the mic and proclaims this to be “rubbish.” He gets taunted by the crowd who is now chanting “18 seconds.” Sheamus says, “Fine if that’s how you like it, I’ll retire right now and you’ll never see me again fella!” The crowd roars with excitement.
Lance Storm vs. Chris Jericho
These guys wrestled for 7 minutes at One Night Stand in 2005 and it was freaking awesome. I want 15 minutes! Storm is in the ring every day training so he would still be in shape, so theoretically this match is not that far-fetched.
Jericho’s list is nothing short of ridiculous (in a good way). And if there is one person who cannot tolerate ridiculousness in the wrestling business it is Lance Storm. Combined with the fact these two trained and had their first match together, it makes for a winning combo. Storm would come out one Raw and declare that Jericho and his list are nothing but off-beat shenanigans, and there is no place for that in professional wrestling. He was a graduate of the Hart Dungeon and he should act like it!
Towards the end of the bout, Cyrus runs in and helps Storm win (which if you haven’t listened to Cyrus and Storm’s podcast do it now!) and the run off together. Jericho grabs the mic and says, “Do you know what happens Cyrus when you interfere in my Wrestlemania match against Lance Storm and cause me to lose? YOU JUST MADE THE LIST!”
Even if this match sucked, which it wouldn’t, the dastardly Cyrus’ inclusion on “the list” would make it all worthwhile.
Backstage we see Head with the Hardcore title wrapped around him. Al Snow slowly comes into frame giving us his manic smile. He starts rambling about being extreme before he is cut off by a cookie sheet to the face. We see Hardcore Holly start to put the boots to Snow, when WHACK! Holly takes a Singapore cane shot to the back courtesy of Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer puts Holly down for the count and then does his pose, when suddenly Raven rams his grocery cart full of goodies right into the ample gut of Dreamer. “What about me!?!” Raven screams as he then starts to pose. “What about…” he is swiftly cut off by a Vandaminator. Rob Van Dam grabs the Hardcore title and starts his thumb pose “R-V-D.” He then walks off calm, cool, and collected as the crowd chants “R-V-D R-V-D!”
American Alpha and Kurt Angle vs. the Bullet Club
Anderson and Gallows want to wage war on American Alpha. The two teams have a few battles, each trading wins. Then during one bout in particular the returning Finn Balor aids the Club in victory. Finn says he needs to get back to his roots, to his buddies, and his buddies are Anderson and Gallows. American Alpha take a few more random beatings from the new/old Bullet Club before one evening announce they have an ace in the hole. The Club come out for the ambush and out comes Kurt Angle to save the day. He starts suplexing the Club left and right, before they all three lock in ankle locks on the Club members.
As for this match, it wouldn’t need to be that long. Just the sheer spectacle of it would be entertaining enough. The return of Angle in a WWE ring, plus he’s facing Balor, who is with his old buddies. Are you kidding me? The crowd would go nuts.
We go to the backstage and see a zoomed in shot on a New York Knicks jersey. As the camera pans out we see that it is Vince Russo. “WWE Universe I swear to God this will be bro, the greatest moment in Wrestlemania history bro, when Vince Russo enters the ring he’ll give you something you’ll never forget.”
The crowd is stunned. A “Russo sucks” chant is filling the arena as he makes his way to the ring. He grabs the mic and before he starts to speak, he is pegged with a Sprite can. And before you can say “Louisville Slugger” Jim Cornette has hopped the guardrail and is beating the shit out of Russo with a tennis racket. The crowd is again stunned, but somewhat amused by this once in a lifetime altercation. A battered Russo gives his last ounce of strength to low blow Cornette. And then it happens.
We hear the strains of the familiar ECW intro. The crowd is jumping up and down with excitement. Three of the most controversial personalities in wrestling history are about to have an altercation. Since Wrestlemania has predominantly a smart crowd, they know the tension between these guys. They know that they all hate each other. The hatred may be a bit larger coming from Camp Cornette, but the animosity is there nonetheless.
“ARE YOU TWO CLOWNS OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?” screams a flustered Heyman. “It’s the biggest Wrestlemania of all time, and you two are out here having a bitch fight!” A still-hobbled Cornette snatches the mic from Heyman, “Fuck you, you bald-headed garbage wrestling promoting fuck!” Heyman pulls out his iPhone and smashes Cornette in the face with it. Not the same effect as in ’93, but the crowd approves of gesture.
The lights go out and we hear the “gong.” Undertaker methodically makes his way to the ring. Heyman is on his knees begging not to be harmed. Undertaker grabs Russo and gives him the Tombstone. He follows suit with Cornette. Heyman thinks he’s in the clear starts skipping around the ring like he just won the lottery. Taker then turns his wide-eyed attention to Heyman. Heyman’s mouth drops open. You can almost see the piss run down his leg. Heyman begs for mercy as he is inverted into the Tombstone position. He squeals the whole way down until he spiked unconscious in the middle of the ring. The purple lights come on and Taker strikes his legendary pose. Of all the great Undertaker Wrestlemania moments, this is truly one for the ages.
Daniel Bryan vs. Zack Sabre Jr. w/ special referee Nigel McGuinness
In my fantasy world Daniel Bryan is allowed to have an official retirement match without risk of long-term damage to his health. And I can think of no better opponent than ZSJ. It’s the changing of the guards. The passing of the torch. When I watch Zack, I think ROH Bryan Danielson, and there isn’t too many higher compliments. The added twist of Nigel as the referee I thought would make a nice wrinkle to set this match apart from the other dream bouts of the evening. The backstory of Bryan and Nigel can be played up as to why he was chosen. And they can even say that Nigel was his fellow countryman Zack’s hero/trainer growing up. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but WWE doesn’t mind stretching the truth to fit their agenda.
Zack would have to be the heel because there is no bigger babyface in recent memory like ole D-Bry. Zack’s mission leading up to the match would be to guilt trip Nigel into thinking he should side with him opposed to Bryan, or being impartial. Nigel naturally would be conflicted between his good friend and his protégé. But that sneaky Sabre would seemingly win over McGuinness and have the upper hand going into the match.
The match would be a mat work clinic. Neither man goes to the top rope throughout the whole match, nor do they need to. Think Angle vs. Benoit from Wrestlemania 17. It’s the proverbial game of human chess. Sabre gets frustrated towards the end due to Bryan being able to keep up with whatever attack he dishes out. Nigel stays impartial for the most part, but does allow Zack to get away with a few minor things like an eye poke and closed fists. Just enough to make you think he is still favoring Zack.
Finally after numerous failed attempts at putting away Bryan, Zack heads to the outside to grab the steel chair. Zack blasts Bryan with it. Nigel doesn’t do anything. Zack then wraps the chair around the head of the fallen Bryan. He is going to Pillmanize him! Nigel seems concerned now, as he empathizes with the head trauma issues that Bryan has dealt with having only dealt with them a few years prior. Before Sabre can strike his blow, Nigel pulls him away telling him that is enough. Sabre is dumbfounded and pushes Nigel away. Nigel falls into the ropes and seems to fall out of the ring. But he catches himself and rebounds forward and nails the Jawbreaker Lariat. He turns Sabre inside out and Bryan covers him for the three count. Nigel and Bryan embrace in a manner reminiscent of Eddie and Chris (wow two Benoit references in this match) at Wrestlemania 20. Their careers were forever entwined in many fans eyes, now they can go out on top together.
Kevin Owens vs. Akira Tozawa
If you are unfamiliar with PWG, you may be thinking “what??” Trust me on this, these guys have great chemistry together. They were opponents and partners and always seemed to bring out the best in each other. Obviously in reality Owens is waaaaay higher on the totem pole than Tozawa is currently, but unlike most of the cruiserweights Tozawa has charisma flowing out of his ass. Hence part of the reason they worked so well together in PWG. Tozawa yelling “SHUT THE FUCK UP” when the crowd chants along with him is so damn entertaining. That would have to happen in this match. This one wouldn’t be too long, but it would be a brutal affair. I foresee broken tables, apron powerbombs, apron German suplexes, the whole nine yards. Owens gets the win, but Tozawa shows he’s a player.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hideo Itami
These men have never met in a one on one match. They’ve been on the same and opposite sides of tag team matches, but that’s the closet it’s been. It’s a match I hope we do get to see some day. The story of this match is that Hideo comes out and attacks Shinsuke. Then he grabs the mic and says, “You took my spot. Now I will kick your head off.” Like any good angle, there is some truth to it. Itami was the first big international signing, and due to a wear and tear shoulder injury followed by a freak accident neck injury he hasn’t been able to gain any traction. Due to the finicky nature of wrestling fans, turning him heel would be a great way to freshen him up so people don’t perceive him as damaged goods.
The match would totally be Japanese strong style one and another match that would blow your mind. If you don’t like striking bouts, this match definitely wouldn’t be for you. Who is the winner? Why the fans of course!
Austin Aries vs. Neville
This match will happen sooner or later I’m sure of that. Just the fact that Neville’s heel turn has been so awesome, and Aries being on commentary (and doing a great job) while he’s been injured has made me yearn for this match. They’ve never locked up before, so it’s something I definitely want to see happen. And in my opinion one/both of these guys should hold the cruiserweight belt for the next year to establish some credibility.
As for this match, they have to follow quite a bit of extraordinary action. Neville has altered his style to be more aggressive and ground-based. So I foresee this match starting slow and building to a dramatic finish. Neville can win here, then Aries can win the belt at Summerslam.
Triple H vs. CM Punk
There wouldn’t be a more personal match on the card. There hasn’t been a feud this personal in many years. The buildup would be simple, Punk surprises Hunter on one Raw. He says to HHH, “I fucking hate you, and I want to beat your ass at Wrestlemania.” Those would be his exact words too. HHH of course would call him a coward, not in his league, etc. The match would be no d/q of course, and would be a cross between Finley/Regal and Tozawa/Owens with the stiff brawling and wild hardcore chicanery.
After Punk seems to have it won, Vince McMahon pulls out the referee and clocks Punk with HHH’s sledgehammer. HHH gets the win obviously because it’s HHH. As the father and son in law are gleefully heading back up the ramp they are met by Colt Cabana and Ace Steel. They are defending the honor of their fallen comrade. HHH isn’t worried naturally because he has been in numerous handicap matches and always won (even if it was against the tag champions), and this time he has his “genetic jackhammer” of a father in law with him. What’s there to worry about? Plenty actually, as the ROH alumni and Punk’s cohorts come in exact some vengeance. Zayn, Owens, Bryan, Aries, Itami, Ibushi, Nakamura, Cesaro, Ohno, Young Bucks, Briscoes, Wolves, Addiction, Machine Guns, and Londrick all take turn hitting their finishes on McMahon and Helmsley. And to quote someone else, it was glorious.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
Call me crazy but I want to see this match. I want to see how the crowd would react, and I would want to see (and in real life) how it would end. It could be something really good, or the crowd could fart all over it. I think that the crowd would mainly be behind Cena. Even the kids who would be split, I feel they like Cena more than they do Reigns. Regardless, it would be interesting. It could be that big time “WWE Wrestlemania-style” match. (I even flirted with this being the main event, but can’t justify it due to a potentially horrible crowd reaction.) As for who would win? It’s a pick ‘em.
Asuka vs. Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss
No belts would be on the line in the battle of the three women’s champion. This is a matter of pride. Last year the women’s triple threat stole the show. Could they do it on this card? Probably not, and that’s not a knock on them either. It would be a really good match though. In the end Asuka wins because she’s freakin’ awesome that’s why! Take that Charlotte’s win streak.
AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins
On paper this could be a 6 star match (that still sound wrong to me). I’ve always thought of Rollins as kind of an AJ-esque performer. I have never in any way, shape, or form though thought that Rollins was better than or equal to Styles. Yes I know Iowans are partial to Iowans, but I can’t justify it in my opinion. This thought process would then be the basis of this match.
Heel Rollins would call out babyface Styles (which he should be anyway) to say that he is “the man” and is tired of being compared to Styles. He is better, won the title at Mania blah blah. Once the bell rang it would be an exhibition of two world class professional wrestlers. Granted there would be some heat between the two to give this more than an exhibition-type feel, but not a full-on brawl. I’m picturing something similar to AJ vs. Cena at Summerslam.
AJ would definitely bust out the Spiral Tap for the first time in WWE, and Rollins can do the Vertabreaker at some point like he did on a random house show for some reason. Rollins can get the win with the Phoenix Splash because when he hits that move it looks amazing. And really at this point, anything is better for him than the Pedigree. I give Rollins the win because I truly think AJ is bullet-proof at this point. I can’t say the same for Rollins. (His face turn has been atrocious in my eyes. Not really his fault, but still.) They can even shake hands at the end, in the first show of sportsmanship on this whole card.
Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe
And we come to the main event. The battle of who is the baddest mother fucker of them all? In reality only three people: HHH, Undertaker, and Goldberg, have been presented on the same level as Lesnar. That’s all well and good except for the fact they have a combined age of 300! Joe is a credible challenger though and he’s even under 40! In my fantasy world Joe is obviously also a threat to the tyranny of Lesnar. Whatever heavyweight title you want can be on the line here, and either guy could be champion going in. It truly doesn’t matter, because what matters is the match and who walks out with that belt.
It begins with an extended feeling-out process because they’ve never locked horns before. Each seeing truly how strong the other is. That all ends when Joe throws a stiff kick to Lesnar’s quad and then the gloves are off (Literally. Brock takes his gloves and throws them to the mat). Brock tries varies elbow strikes, and Joe goes for the chops. Lesnar tries to take Joe to suplex city (I’m so sick of that phrase) but quickly realizes that Joe is too strong- for now.
Not many big moves have landed at this point, but Joe eventually hits Lesnar with a sleeper suplex (Brock takes a wicked backflip bump so we got to include it somehow in this match). Eventually all the German suplexes come out (from both men) as the crowd counts along (for both men). The crowd is split, but they can feel the changing of the tide. Samoa Joe is going to do the near-impossible. After Lesnar kicks out of the Muscle Buster (barely) Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch and Brock passes out. We have a winner, a new hero, a champion!
Brock goes home with Sable (not a bad consolation prize, until she starts talking) and is never seen again. Joe is now the true “man” until he decides to retire. But before that he will have great matches with Rollins, Styles, Cena, Balor, Ibushi, and whoever else you can possibly think of.