Hello and welcome to My Pinterest Is Piledrivers. In doing my column last week, I started up an idea for a column this week, what my brightest timeline Wrestlemania should be. A realistic one, so no Austin vs. Punk matches or Undertaker vs. Sting via time machine to 2002 matches. These are in no real order, save the pre-show and championship matches going last, as Gorilla intended. Also, I spent all that time in the last column plugging others and forgot to plug me. If you are on Twitter, like all hip people, I’m at @todaysjimsawyer.
Pre-Show match- Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. Big Show & Kane
This accomplishes two things. The first being that it keeps Big Show and Kane off the main show. That in and of itself is reason enough to have this match. But also, Curtis Axel has been growing a winking popularity since “Axelmania,” so this gets him on the show with the chance to play that up. In addition, it teams him with Ryback, who’s been growing a cult audience thanks to his self-aware meathead persona he displays on Twitter. The tag team scene is starting to look a little thin again, so their reunion helps both it and their own careers.
Falls Count Anywhere Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
This was kind of a hard one, as Dean’s not really doing much after losing to Seth and Wyatt in their respective feuds. Now he’s after the IC championship, which seems out of character as he strikes me as a guy that doesn’t really value belts and acclaim so much as getting his hands on people that wronged him. He’s fought too recently against Seth and Wyatt, so I put him up against Luke Harper. Harper is actually a really underrated big man, and a really underrated character. The guy was in ROH, Dragon Gate and Chikara so he knows his stuff. Plus, look at his acting sometime. The guy does hand movements and makes his eyes bulge out like a true maniac, possibly the most realistic psycho since Mankind. This would be a good chance to showcase both their brawling skills, and I’ll actually say that Ambrose should win this, as he’s been losing a lot and a win over a two-time former champ could really be a boost.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match- Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Roman has taken a lot of heat lately, and part of me feels bad for the guy. He’s only doing what the boss tells him to do. Honestly, put yourself into his shoes, what would you say “no thanks chief, I don’t want to main event the biggest PPV of the year and draw a huge paycheck, I need to take a break and work on some stuff in Ring of Honor first?” What the fans are trying to point out is that, like last year the brass are trying to substitute an established favorite for a new (or returning) guy, but unlike last year they’re sticking to their guns and saying damn the torpedoes/fanbase. Roman absolutely could be a world champ one day… in time. But think of every successful champ and you’ll see they started small and had to grow. Austin, Rock, Triple H, HBK and Punk all fought for the IC belt in their day. Undertaker won and lost the world championship inside of a week, but then went years in feuds before getting another title run. By all means give Roman some gold… but some realistic gold. And give him a character and decent promos while you’re at it.
Triple H vs. Sting
Eh, why not? Sting is really popular now that he’s finally in the WWE, and Triple H probably really wants to be on the show, so let them have at it. They have the most obvious storyline with each other, and if Sting’s a little slow or rusty, Triple H has both enough experience and enough backstage power to call an audible or carry Sting. This should be a quick, short nostalgia match to make the fans happy.
WWE United States Championship- Rusev (c) w/Lana vs. John Cena
This might be the one thing the WWE did right at our actual Wrestlemania. They’ve made Rusev look like a monster heel, their first one in a while, possibly since Umaga. Yes, everyone predicted that Cena would be the first guy to give him a loss… but so what? It makes Rusev look tough that it took a former world champion and future Hall of Famer to give him his first defeat. It makes the US title seem important in that it’s being fought for between an undefeated monster and the face of the company. Rusev already beat Cena once, even kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment, so a loss here isn’t as bad as a rollup from Health Slater. I have no objection to this.
The “Macho Man” Randy Savage Memorial Battle Royale feat. The Miz, Mizdow, R-Truth, Mark Henry, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, Fandango, Titus O’Neill, Darren Young, Adam Rose, Erick Rowan, Jack Swagger, Sheamus
So I figured out the purpose of the memorial battle royale, and that’s to get as many guys on the card as possible. Ladder matches already have their own PPV now (and they’re even sneaking back into this one) and Survivor Series is the home for five on five tags. I’ll give the WWE credit enough for trying to have as many lower-card guys on the show to give them their tiny moments (and tinier royalty checks I’m sure). Under this deadline I’m not clever enough to think up an alternative to a battle royale, so here we are. I do think it’d odd to single Andre The Giant out, unless they’re going for a rare non-scandalous death and hipster cred with all of those Shepard Fairey fans, so I switched it up to include another beloved deceased superstar and one that’s been long ignored, Randy Savage. If they do this every year, maybe they could choose a different wrestler, like Eddie Guerrero, Mr. Perfect (I imagine Axel would win that time), Rick Rude, Owen Hart, and certainly not he who shall never be named again.
As for the story behind this, I think a solid one would be having Mizdow on the verge of winning, only to be jealously pulled out by the already-eliminated Miz and starting that feud, or have a fan-favorite underdog like Ryder be on the verge of victory… only to be eliminated by a Brogue Kick from behind by Sheamus, who had been hiding out in a corner the whole match which would start his rumored heel turn. Also, this keeps up an overall purpose to the match, having it not just be time-filler but the catalyst to some kind of program. Hopefully more successful than last year’s.
WWE Tag Team Championship- “The Masters of the WWE Universe” Cesaro & Kidd (c) w/Natalya vs. The Usos vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods)
These are kind of the three remaining tag teams left… I refuse to acknowledge Los Matadores. But, they’re also three pretty great (or at least having great potential) tag teams. The Usos are great, which yeah, maybe they don’t really have personalities or characters, but in a match like this that’s not really going to hold them back. Big E and Kofi are great individual wrestlers, and I remember being impressed that when they threw Kofi and Bourne together years ago for not having anything to do for them, they went and created specific double-team moves, that’s how much thought and care Kofi has for wrestling. And I don’t even need to sell anyone on Cesaro and Kidd, although someone should really sell them backstage. I’ve long advocated for Cesaro, but Kidd has this great, weird douchebag gimmick going on that’s kind of original. He wears Beats By Dre, texts and selfies during his wife’s matches, and is creepily into cats.
Goldust vs. Stardust
The fact that this isn’t going to be at Wrestlemania baffles me. They broke up the Dust Brothers for a reason, presumably so they could feud with each other. Then they have a match on a throwaway PPV just before Mania and… that’s it? The end? I know that Stardust is a controversial figure around here (or at least whenever BD writes something) but Goldust is having the best matches of his career, and the timing is right for him to have a brother against brother feud. Goldust deserves to at least have one more great, hot series of matches and this could be it. The guy is 46, and even though he’s kicking ass now, who knows when he’ll decide to retire the facepaint?
Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt
This was another hard one, as Ziggler is going after a belt that, while prestigious at one point in time, is kind of an afterthought in this one. I think Ziggler should be kind of like Chris Jericho at this point, able to hold the tag, IC or world championships all within the same year and be credible at having any of them. Whatever Ziggler has, he’ll elevate because he always makes it seem like he’ll kill himself to hold onto it. However, when he’s not going after a belt, he should be in a dedicated feud against someone in an actual storyline. Not “let’s throw him against Kofi because they always have good matches” where there’s no real reason they’re wrestling each other so many times in a row… but the kind of feuds the WWE used to be able to do. Rick Rude hit on Jake Roberts’ wife. HBK and Rick Martell arguing over who’s prettiest and deserves the love of Sherri Martel. Edge and Booker T fighting over a shampoo commercial. You know, the classics. So in the brightest timeline, maybe Wyatt (who’s not going after the Undertaker) is instead going after some “Hollywood prettyboy” Dolph Ziggler, in order to corrupt the golden god of the WWE fans, possibly under the orders of The Authority.
NXT Showcase- Finn Balor vs. Hideo Itami vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze
Why WWE doesn’t use the biggest show on Earth to draw the casual fan to the best show on Earth is beyond me. Probably due to some behind-the-scenes power struggle between Kevin Dunn and Triple H… or just simple incompetency. Mustn’t dismiss simple incompetency! Anyway, I hear Owens is injured, so a simple four-way showcasing four of their top guys will more than suffice. Some people might question my putting Breeze in before a Neville or Kalisto, but Breeze has a great character with a millennial twist on the vain prettyboy archetype. This should steal the show.
AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella
That’s right, two divas matches at Wrestlemania. The better match would’ve included some combo of AJ Lee, Paige, Emma, Natalya, or any of the female NXT wrestlers… but storyline that would’ve just been random. At least AJ can have a beef with Brie that makes sense, as AJ can criticize her for being a “Total Diva” and Brie can call her a hater or whatever her character is now. The fact that she got back together with her twin sister who said she wished she died in the womb kinda threw me, now I have no idea what Brie is about or her motivations. Just like the writers who get paid to figure that out.
WWE Divas Championship Match- Nikki Bella (c) vs. Paige
I hate it when singles champions participate in tag matches on PPVs. The whole point of PPVs is so that championships are, more often than not, defended. For opponents, it was a toss-up between Paige and AJ Lee, but I can understand their skittishness at giving another run to the woman married to their number one enemy who has no qualms about calling WWE and Stephanie on their bullshit. (Don’t get me wrong, that’s just one of many good qualities AJ has). So Paige is likely the most realistic best option. And I like Paige anyways.
Seth Rollins vs. “The Viper” Randy Orton
I couldn’t really think of who these two could face besides each other, so I guess the WWE did two things right in this year’s build. And it does kinda make sense, Orton was the first Authority golden boy, now it’s Rollins. Plus the way Orton’s character is he doesn’t really need a reason to feud with anybody.
The Undertaker retires and thanks the fans following a Hall of Fame induction
Hey, The Undertaker was among my first favorite wrestlers and the first one to legit frighten me as a kid. “He locked the Ultimate Warrior in a coffin! I just witnessed attempted murder!” I understand he’s more than just the Streak, but as he’s taken a once-a-year schedule for the past six years (at least) then he has been just the Streak. If he feels like he can still go, then great! Put him on Summerslam or Survivor Series. But Wrestlemania was the Streak, and now that it’s over so should his Mania career be.
WWE World Championship Match- “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar (c) w/Paul Heyman vs. Daniel Bryan
As if this would’ve been any other match. If I had to guess, I’d say that Bryan might be one of the few guys Lesnar would respect backstage. Like Lesnar, Bryan is an individual in a world and industry of conformists who would probably be just as happy in a yurt in New Mexico as Lesnar would on his farm in the frozen tundras of North Dakota. Bryan actually trains in BJJ and MMA techniques so they speak the same language.
“What about the size difference?” Well I don’t remember Eddie Guerrero being the biggest guy in the world and his match against Lesnar turned out pretty okay. Face it, Lesnar dwarfs most human beings, let alone wrestlers. He had an awesome match against Punk with a huge size difference.
But at it’s most basic… this is the match most fans want to see. The hated, nigh-invulnerable teutonic terror giant going up against the crunchy, granola, bearded underdog. That is drama. That is Wrestlemania.
Tags: AJ Lee, Bad News Barrett, Bella Twins, Big E, Big Show, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Finn Balor, Goldust, Hideo Itami, John Cena, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Luke Harper, Natalya, New Day, NXT, Paige, paul heyman, Roman Reigns, rusev, ryback, sami zayn, Stardust, Sting, The Undertaker, The Uso's, Triple H, Tyler Breeze, Tyson Kidd, xavier woods