We’re getting closer to the Fantasy Booked WrestleMania destination. We have eight, yes eight, matches scheduled, but what about the women? Let’s dig into those possible matches today plus a look at what a Fantasy Booked NXT:Takeover event would have going for it.
But first, here are the matches we already have set up from previous columns:
John Cena versus Dolph Ziggler
Smackdown Tag Team Champions American Alpha versus Raw Tag Team Champions Anderson and Gallows
Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton versus Kane and The Undertaker
Samoa Joe versus Cesaro (for the vacant Universal Title)
Triple H and Kevin Owens versus Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho
Dean Ambrose versus Baron Corbin versus The Miz versus Luke Harper (for the Intercontinental Title)
Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns
Braun Strowman versus Rusev versus Sheamus (for the United States Title)
Going into this WrestleMania season, we have Alexa Bliss as the Smackdown Live! Woman’s champion. With Naomi’s injury, Bliss has reclaimed the title, defeating Becky Lynch once again. With limited time to build up a big feud, Smackdown Live! decides to go with a multi-woman match with the title on the line. The division is small anyway. So we will have Alexa Bliss come out one week and announce that she can beat any of the women on the Smackdown roster. Daniel Bryan will then come out and trick her into saying she can beat “all” of the women on the roster. At that point, Bryan will schedule Alexa Bliss to defend against Mickie James, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, and Nikki Bella in a Gauntlet match!
Meanwhile, over on Raw, Charlotte Flair will regain the Woman’s Title over Bayley and Bayley will start her climb back to the top. The other women involved in this storyline have been Nia Jax and Sasha Banks, and very briefly Dana Brooke. These women will all continue to interact as they have been, until eventually Dana Brooke snaps and turns face. After being shunted aside multiple times in favor of Nia Jax as a partner/helper/etc to Charlotte, Dana will finally lose it and attack Jax from behind during a match. Dana will then grab a chair and Pillmanize Jax’s leg.
Dana will actually be more effective at this tactic than Dolph Ziggler, and this attack will put Nia Jax out of action for WrestleMania. The next week on Raw, Charlotte will confront Brooke. Instead of criticizing her though, she will congratulate her for stepping up and taking herself to the next level. Not the level of Charlotte, mind you, but definitely higher than she’s been.
Dana Brooke will face Sasha and then Bayley in consecutive weeks. The first week Dana will defeat Sasha after Charlotte interferes in the match. That sets up a match between Dana Brooke and Bayley for the #1 contender to Charlotte’s title and a match at WrestleMania. Unfortunately for Dana, Charlotte’s interference backfires this time and Bayley picks up the victory to move on to challenge for the belt at WrestleMania. After the match, Dana gets mad at Charlotte and Charlotte tells her to cool off because she could never beat her anyway. In fact, Charlotte’s actions just saved Dana some embarrassment on the biggest stage in wrestling.
This sets Dana off and she turns on Charlotte, chasing her out of the ring and back to the back. Dana will take on Charlotte in a non-title match the following week and will win after Bayley distracts the champion. Charlotte will be stunned by the loss and retreat to the locker room. Meanwhile, Bayley and Dana will cautiously shake hands. But no hug from Bayley yet. And Dana knows she will have a shot at the title very soon.
Meanwhile, Sasha Banks will have a sit-down interview with Byron Saxton where she will express disappointment that she is not in the title match at WrestleMania. She has nothing against Bayley, and she wishes her luck as she knows she deserves the belt. But Sasha is mad at herself for not holding on to that brass ring when she had it. And since she is not a part of the WrestleMania card, she has an idea to rejuvenate herself. She says that she was the greatest NXT Women’s champion of all-time and maybe it is time to “go home” and take that title back. Saxton asks her to explain that further and Sasha says that it is exactly what it sounds like – on WrestleMania weekend, she will be at NXT:Takeover to wrestle Asuka for the NXT title!
And that is the beginning of the NXT:Takeover event for WrestleMania weekend. Let me play this Fantasy Booked card out. In the main event, Asuka takes on Sasha Banks for the NXT Woman’s title. Bobby Roode will defend his NXT title in a triple threat match against Roderick Strong and crowd favorite, Tye Dillinger. Shinsuke Nakamura will go one-on-one with Kassius Ohno. Ember Moon and Nikki Cross will fight for the next #1 Contender status for the Woman’s belt. And the tag team titles will be on the line when the Authors of Pain go up against the two newest members of the NXT roster, Hansen and Ray Rowe, better known as War Machine!
Back to the main rosters though, a few weeks before WrestleMania we get a surprise return from a former champion. Finn Balor shows up unannounced and grabs a microphone in the middle of the ring. He says he is back, completely healed and ready to come get what he never lost, the Universal title. Stephanie McMahon comes out and says that Balor can’t just show back up and take back the Universal title. They are in the middle of a tournament and the finals will be at WrestleMania. She says that maybe, after WrestleMania, they can talk about how Balor can work his way back up to challenge again for the belt.
Balor says he understands they are in the middle of a tournament. He wouldn’t want to interfere. But he never lost the belt. The first thing he did when he got to Raw was win the new Universal title. That has to mean something. He should at least get first shot at the new champion. Before Stephanie can retort, Mick Foley comes out. He tells Stephanie that he thinks Balor has a very fair point. And he was a top draft pick of theirs when the brand split began. But Foley also tells Balor that Stephanie has a very fair point. Injuries are just a part of the WWE, but the WWE keeps going and you can’t just step directly back in where you were before. There have been other wrestlers busting their asses since Balor’s been out and they deserve a shot as well. For example, Sami Zayn.
Foley continues, “In fact, Sami doesn’t have a match scheduled for WrestleMania. Who would like to see Sami Zayn versus Finn Balor to become the new #1 Contender for the Universal Championship?” The crowd will support this suggestion with full-throated vigor and Balor will nod and agree. Balor will say that he thinks that is fair and he would love to step in the ring with a talent like Sami Zayn. Stephanie reluctantly agrees and makes the match for WrestleMania.
And this leaves us with a card that is almost complete. Here we’ve added the following matches for WrestleMania:
A 6-woman gauntlet match for the Smackdown Live! Woman’s Title between Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, and Nikki Bella.
Charlotte Flair versus Bayley for the Raw Woman’s Title
Finn Balor versus Sami Zayn for the #1 Contendership to the Universal Title
We also have a Fantasy Booked NXT:Takeover set up with the following matches:
Ember Moon versus Nikki Cross for the #1 Contendership to the NXT Woman’s Title
Shinsuke Nakamura versus Kassius Ohno
Authors of Pain versus War Machine for the NXT Tag Team Titles
Bobby Roode versus Roderick Strong versus Tye Dillinger for the NXT Heavyweight Title
Asuka versus Sasha Banks for the NXT Woman’s Title
Next week we will announce the Fantasy Booked undercard, we’ll give the cruiserweights a special 205 Live event, and we find out what will happen with AJ Styles. The week after we will compare the real-life WrestleMania card versus the Fantasy Booked one and ponder which one we’d rather see. Until next week…