WrestleMania 23 Booking Changes & More

Donald Trump’s spots during the Lashley/Umaga match, the running clothesline on Vince and taking a Stunner from Austin, were decided on the day of the show. Trump and Vince had been getting tense over Trump’s apparent lack of enthusiasm about WrestleMania, however, as showtime got closer, Trump got excited and told Vince he was game for a little fun. Vince tried to get Trump to do something at Backlash as well but was turned down.

Chris Benoit was originally slated to drop the US title to Montel Vontavious Porter but the finish was changed when WWE decided to keep him on Smackdown rather than making the rumoured switch to Raw.

The Originals victory over the New Breed in the ECW match was a gesture of goodwill towards Rob Van Dam. WWE wanted to show that they still value him and would like him to sign a new contract rather than leave for TNA in the summer. He has still to make a decision either way.

The Undertaker has been told this will be the first long-term title run of his career. Vince told him he wanted to give him a long-run but needed a commitment to a full-time schedule in return. It remains to be seen just how long Undertaker can keep up the schedule as he is in need of a hip replacement. The idea of Undertaker/Batista was first pitched last August by Dusty Rhodes and Alex Greenfield. Vince approved it in September but said no decision on the finish would be made at that time, prompting many to think he wanted Batista to end the streak. In truth, Vince doesn’t want the streak to end and so it probably never will.

The man who ran into the ring just before Cena/Michaels began was a British fan, who began stripping down to his Union Jack boxer shorts. Referee Mike Chioda grabbed him in a front facelock, while security guy Jimmy Tillis grabbed him in a choke and threw him over the guard rail, where he landed on a female fan and kicked her in the stomach. Shawn Michaels wanted to jump in but was motioned not to. Chioda went to start the match but Michaels sat on the top turnbuckle and refused to start until the guy was gone. He said “I’ve got a job to do” and seemed rather upset. Also, WWE anticipated a large negative reaction to John Cena and so played his music super loud so the initial crowd reaction would be less obvious.

Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter (click here for subscription information)

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