The Fantasy Book on the Thunder Road to WrestleMania (United States Title, Intercontinental Title, Roman Reigns, Mankind)

Greetings one and all. We have a real WrestleMania coming up in a few short weeks, and the Fantasy Book WrestleMania only has five matches scheduled so far. We will do some adding to that today.

As a reminder, we have the following matches already set:

  1. John Cena versus Dolph Ziggler
  2. Smackdown Tag Team Champions American Alpha versus Raw Tag Team Champions Anderson and Gallows
  3. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton versus Kane and The Undertaker
  4. Samoa Joe versus Cesaro (for the vacant Universal Title)
  5. Triple H and Kevin Owens versus Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho

In this fantasy booked world, the following people are the major champions – AJ Styles is holding the World Title and continues to declare that there is no one left for him to beat. Neville is still the King of the Cruiserweights. Dean Ambrose still has the Intercontinental Title and Braun Strowman is the new United States champion. For the moment, let’s see what is going to happen with those secondary titles.

Over on Smackdown, Dean Ambrose continues to treat the Intercontinental title like a stepping stone, as he keeps pushing for another World title shot against AJ Styles. The difficulty with this is that Styles continues to gain pinfalls over Ambrose in various matches, some due to outside interference by Baron Corbin.

Then, a few weeks prior to WrestleMania, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon come to the ring to address the crowd and run down the Smackdown Live! involvement in the show. Daniel mentions that there is no Intercontinental title match scheduled yet, and Shane says he was holding off because he thought Dean Ambrose might break through with a victory on Styles vaulting him to the top of the contender’s list. But since that hasn’t happened, he guesses they have to make a decision on the Intercontinental title.

Dean Ambrose comes out and says that he will defend the Intercontinental title against anyone at WrestleMania, but he should still be fighting for the World title as well. Shane tells him to hold on a second, as he may not feel that way once his opponent is announced. Shane then announces that Ambrose will take on the Lone Wolf, Baron Corbin, for the Intercontinental title. Ambrose says that is fine, he will rip Corbin to pieces and goes to leave the ring.

Daniel Bryan tells Ambrose to wait a second. Shane and Ambrose look confused, but Bryan says as General Manager it would be wrong to go into WrestleMania without the man who has, although he hates to admit it, been the MVP of this brand for months. Bryan takes a deep breath and says that he hates to do it, but it is the right thing to do, and he adds The Miz to the Intercontinental title match. Ambrose says he doesn’t care, they can add Godzilla to the match for all the good it will do. Ambrose starts to leave again, but Shane now tells him to hold on.

Shane addresses Bryan and says that he makes a good point. And there is another person who has been very impressive lately. And since Smackdown Live! is the show of opportunities, he feels this person should have an opportunity as well. He’s not Godzilla, though, he’s more Swamp Thing. With that, Shane adds Luke Harper to the Intercontinental Title match, making it a Fatal Four-Way. Ambrose throws his arms in the air and just walks out.

As he is heading down the ramp though, Roman Reigns music hits. Ambrose stops dead in his tracks when he sees his Shield buddy walking down the ramp. Reigns and Ambrose share a bro hug and then Reigns keeps walking to the ring. Shane says that he is not supposed to be here. This is Smackdown, not Raw. He can’t just do whatever he wants. Reigns picks up the microphone Ambrose left in the ring and tells Shane that is just not true and if he wants to push his luck he can just keep talking to him like that. Or does he want another concussion like he gave him at Survivor Series?

Daniel Bryan steps in between the two and tells Reigns to get out of the ring. He is not a Smackdown talent and does not belong in this ring. Reigns starts to say he belongs in any ring he damn well pleases, but before that sentence is finished, Shane leaps at him and starts throwing rights and lefts. Daniel pulls Shane back which gives Reigns the opportunity to hit a Superman punch on Shane-O. Daniel calls out security and tells Reigns that if he thinks he can get away with striking Shane, he’s got another thing coming.

Later that night, we see Daniel Bryan on the phone with Mick Foley discussing Roman Reigns. Shane storms in and puts Mick on speakerphone. Shane demands that Foley do something about Reigns or he will consider this to be a blatant breach of contract and he will destroy all of Raw in the courts. He then slams Bryan’s phone down and it breaks. Bryan just looks at Shane and Shane takes a deep breath. Shane then looks at Bryan and says, “Sorry about that. But it is 2017. That Blackberry just isn’t going to cut it.”

The following Raw sees Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon huddling backstage. Foley says, “You want to see strength? Then don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it!” and walks out. Back from a commercial break and we see Mick Foley in the ring. He calls out Roman Reigns. Then he demands Roman Reigns comes to the ring. Reigns comes out and steps in the ring. He starts to say something but Foley cuts him off. Foley then launches into a passionate promo asking Reigns what he was thinking going over to Smackdown Live! He screams at him telling him how unprofessional it was and how it put him and Daniel Bryan and Stephanie and Shane all in very tough positions.

Reigns finally speaks up and tells Mick that he’s sorry, but he just doesn’t care. He doesn’t have a match at WrestleMania yet and he DESERVES to be fighting in the main event. Since he didn’t seem to be getting his respect on Raw, he thought he would go take some respect on Smackdown. Plus, even Mick knows that he can beat Styles for the World Title. The crowd is just raining boos down on Reigns at this point.

Foley tells Reigns to shut up. He doesn’t “deserve” anything. Yes, he’s tough and bad and the big dog and all that. And he is a former multiple time champion. But none of that means squat. Foley tells him that his United States title reign was a disaster and he treated the belt like it was nothing. That was insulting to the wrestlers in the back, insulting to the fans, and insulting to him. Then, he gets into a fight with Braun Strowman. Now Strowman has that United States title and Foley thinks he will be a much better champion than Reigns was because he wants competition. More and more and that is what a champion does – challenges himself. Foley then says that Reigns has all the talent but is a spoiled baby and not a champion by any stretch of the imagination.

Reigns grabs Foley and threatens to beat him down and Foley snaps and starts laughing. Reigns releases Foley and Foley starts talking like Mankind, saying that Reigns definitely doesn’t want to go down that road. As Mankind, Foley collapses into a clump on the mat and starts rocking back and forth saying, “what to do with you… what to do with you… what to do with you…”

Reigns then starts yelling at Foley telling him that he’s not going to get out of this that easy. You don’t insult “The Guy” and not take a beating for it. Reigns continues to rant and says that Mankind isn’t going to stop him, Dude Love isn’t going to stop him, Cactus Jack isn’t going to stop him, and especially Mick Foley isn’t going to stop him. Foley, as Mankind, keeps rocking and saying “what to do… what to do…” and then suddenly he sits upright.

“Ooooo, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. You think you are the biggest and baddest around here? You think you deserve some sort of big match at WrestleMania? Well, there is already a match taking place that is between two of the baddest badasses around. You think you can hang with them? You think you are going to show something. Let’s see it.” Foley then shifts into Cactus Jack-mode and tells Reigns that he is adding him to a match at WrestleMania. He doesn’t get a shot at a title, but he gets a chance to take the worst beating of all time at WrestleMania. Reigns will be added as the third man in the Goldberg/Brock Lesnar fight and he hopes he gets his ass kicked. “Bang Bang!”

Foley leaves the ring while Reigns looks a bit stunned. Dropping back into Mankind-mode, Foley says, “Oh yeah, Roman, have a nice day!” and walks back to the dressing room.

Later, Paul Heyman approaches Stephanie McMahon backstage saying that she can’t let Roman Reigns in his client’s match. It isn’t fair to Brock Lesnar. Stephanie says that she thinks she will let it stand because Lesnar still hasn’t proven he can beat Reigns or Goldberg. And if Heyman is going to tout his client as THE major main event draw, Brock needs to show it.

The following week, Lana and Rusev come out to the ring and hijack the show. They complain that Rusev was not a part of the tournament for the vacant Universal title. Mick Foley comes out and explains that Rusev has been missing for a few weeks which is why he wasn’t in the tournament. But he mentions that Braun Strowman still needs a challenger for the United States title. Rusev smiles and says he’ll be happy to take back the title that belongs to him anyway. Foley says that he misunderstood. He will Rusev a chance to go against Strowman at WrestleMania, but first he has to beat Sheamus.

Sheamus and Rusev beat the hell out of each other in a power match that was surprisingly crisp. Before it can come to a close, Braun Strowman comes out to the ring and destroys both men. This brings Foley back out and he says that he is tired of Strowman ignoring his orders and messing up his show. This match was supposed to decide his WrestleMania opponent, but if he wants to attack both guys, he’ll get both of them at WrestleMania. So Foley makes a triple threat for the United States title at WrestleMania!

We have added three more matches today to the Fantasy Booked WrestleMania – Dean Ambrose versus Baron Corbin versus The Miz versus Luke Harper for the Intercontinental Title, Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman versus Rusev versus Sheamus for the United States Title.


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