The Fantasy Book on the Traffic Jam to WrestleMania (Pre-Show Battle Royals, World Title Main Event, Kalisto)

(Just a quick note, this was written prior to Austin Aries’ return, the Usos tag team championship victory, or Randy Orton’s felonious arson. I know the storylines in the real world (Hey there, Miz) WWE have diverged quite a bit in the past few weeks, but let’s just see this through. Who knows, maybe this fantasy WrestleMania will be even more interesting…)

Greetings all. We are in the home stretch towards this Fantasy Booked WrestleMania. But wait… What’s that? Brake lights? Nooo… Well, my GPS says that it is just a bunch of congestion due to the pre-show matches. So let’s run through those, see what the Cruiserweights have going on, and then find out who AJ Styles’ opponent will be for the WrestleMania main event.

But first, here are the matches we already have set up from previous columns:

  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
  6. Dean Ambrose versus Baron Corbin versus The Miz versus Luke Harper (for the Intercontinental Title)
  7. Goldberg versus Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns
  8. Braun Strowman versus Rusev versus Sheamus (for the United States Title)
  9. A 6-woman gauntlet match for the Smackdown Live! Woman’s Title between Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, and Nikki Bella.
  10. Charlotte Flair versus Bayley for the Raw Woman’s Title
  11. Finn Balor versus Sami Zayn for the #1 Contendership to the Universal Title

I know we are pushing the limit on the number of matches on this card, but WrestleMania is always long. Like four+ hours long, so I’m giving myself a break on the number of matches. Plus, I figured we would be nice and give as many people a WrestleMania payday as possible.

There is always the pre-show that maybe one of these matches could be moved to if needed. But one match which we will place on the pre-show without question is the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Let’s list who we will fantasy book into that match – Big Show, Big Cass, Enzo, Jinder Mahal, Apollo Crews, Rhyno, Heath Slater, Jack Swagger, Titus O’Neill, Mark Henry, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, James Ellsworth, Sin Cara, and Darren Young. Yes, it seems that a lot of these guys may be future endeavored soon, but let’s get them in one last battle royal to see if they can make a splash.

What would we accomplish in this battle royal? Well, first, I would have Big Show be the main monster that everyone works together to throw out. Maybe let someone like Heath Slater hit an enziguri to knock him out of the ring. That would give Slater a quick push that you might be able to get an Intercontinental title challenge out of or something. I would allow Jinder Mahal to look dominant for a while and maybe even start a little rivalry with Apollo Crews (maybe Crews can start to get some momentum from that). There could be all sorts of comedy involving James Ellsworth and Enzo.

While it might look like this battle royal is a way to break apart a couple tag teams, I think it is probably better in the long run. In fact, Big Cass appears to be being groomed for a singles run once he gets tired of Enzo’s big mouth, so why not let him win this? Or at least be one of the final two. The other person who could really use a victory in this match is Titus O’Neill. It could keep his Titus Brand alive.

The second fantasy booked pre-show match would be a special tag team battle royal. Here, if one member is thrown out, both members of the team are eliminated. Maybe even give the winning team a future title shot. The teams here would include: The Shining Stars, Tyler Breeze and Fandango, The Ascension, R-Truth and Goldust, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, The New Day, The Zack Ryder Associates (Mojo Rawley and Curt Hawkins), and DIY coming up from NXT. I figure the only teams that could logically win would be The Usos, The New Day, and DIY. Honestly, any one of those teams would do well coming out of this match with a title shot. Again, mostly a chance to get guys on the card.

Now let’s detour a bit and fantasy book a special 205 Live event for the WrestleMania weekend. Maybe one or two of these matches could be on the pre-show as well. We’ll start off with Akira Tozawa facing the man who offered so nicely to mentor him, The Brian Kendrick. After that, we will have some cluster match, maybe even a cruiserweight battle royal, but more likely an 8-man tag match with Ariya Daivari, Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, and Tony Nese versus Jack Gallagher, TJ Perkins, Tajiri, and Rich Swann. The main event will be a triple threat for the Cruiserweight title and will have the champion, Neville, go up against Cedric Alexander and Kalisto!

We should give Tozawa the victory in his match to pop the crowd. The heels can go over in the tag match. And in the title match, I would do a switch of the belt to Cedric Alexander here. You could have Alexander pin Kalisto, giving Neville justification for rematches down the line. It could also set up a nice little Neville versus Kalisto feud while Cedric defends against everyone else in the division. Because he’s Cedric Alexander and he deserves it, damnit.

Now, the main event of WrestleMania… As we set up previously, AJ Styles has the WWE World Heavyweight title once again. However, he has been running around bragging about having defeated everyone and there is no one left for him to beat. One week, he comes out to start Smackdown Live! and he starts doing his same spiel about being the best, he’s beaten the world, there’s no challengers left, etc. All of a sudden, AJ is interrupted by

CM Punk! Punk would come out to a huge pop and he would drink it in for a bit. Then he would pull out a microphone and the crowd would go apeshit. He’d start by saying he knows of one guy AJ Styles hasn’t defeated. He’ll also talk about how, as long as he can remember, his dream has been to headline WrestleMania. He was never able to reach that point before. But now it’s going to happen and it will be CM Punk versus AJ Styles for the World Heavyweight Title as the main event of WrestleMania!

Styles will show a mixture of anger and confusion that CM Punk is back. We will go to commercial with him asking why Punk is here and how is he allowed to challenge for the belt. Back from commercial, Styles will still be in the ring ranting and raving. Daniel Bryan’s music will hit and he will come out to address Styles. Bryan will tell AJ that he has all the respect in the world for him. Bryan says that he agrees with what Styles said a few months ago, that he and Styles are the same and that they are different than the John Cenas of the wrestling world. He also agrees that Styles has beaten everyone around.

Bryan continues saying that one day it just struck him – he knew someone else like he and Bryan. He knew someone who could and should headline a WrestleMania. Someone who has fought all over the world like Styles. Someone who has poured his heart out in the ring in front of a dozen fans or 20,000 fans. Someone who knows himself, knows how good he is, and never gives less than 110%. So he made a call. Whatever issues CM Punk has had with the McMahons and the WWE brass, he never had those issues with him. He worked out a deal between Punk and Shane McMahon and now Styles gets to be a part of the greatest main event in WrestleMania history.

The following week, CM Punk comes out to address the crowd. He says he forgot to say thank you to the fans last week for his reception. Also thank you for not forgetting about him. Yes, he left before. Maybe not in the best manner, but he still feels it was for the best. But he could understand if the fans held it against him. The fact that they haven’t, and have actually embraced his return, means the world to him.

He says he had not watched WWE in quite a while, but someone told him to watch a little bit and that he would be surprised. So he watched a little bit of Smackdown and a little bit of Raw. And he saw The New Day talking about ice cream. It pissed him off. That was his idea! Was the WWE going to give these guys their own ice cream bars when he’d been pushing for that 6 years ago? And he decided that was it, he would never return. Never ever ever.

Then Daniel Bryan called. He didn’t want to talk to him. He didn’t want to listen. He didn’t want to be around anything associated with the WWE. But his wife told him to hear him out. What could it hurt? So he called Bryan back and he listened. He listened for a long time. Bryan tried so hard to sell him on coming back. He pointed out that it was not the same as before. It wasn’t the same atmosphere. It wasn’t the same people at the front of the pack. Bryan pointed out that the WWE was being led by people like them. People like Samoa Joe. People like Seth Rollins. People like Finn Balor. People like Dean Ambrose. People like Kevin Owens. People like AJ Styles. These were the people he always thought should be on the top if they were just given a shot. Well, they finally were. And here they are.

But where was he? Bryan pointed out that he left because he wanted to. He tried MMA because he wanted to. And Bryan would like him to come back, but only if Punk wanted to. Then he gave him a dollar figure he had been authorized by Shane McMahon to offer. And one final thing. The main event of WrestleMania. No games, no getting squeezed out by a part-timer, no backstage politics. If he came back, the main event of WrestleMania against AJ Styles was his.

Punk let all that Bryan told him sink in and he decided that he did want to come back. He’d made his point and it sure seemed like the company was doing what he’d always wished it would. He’d be cautious, but how could he not come back to main event the biggest WrestleMania in history? He discussed it with his AJ, his wife, not Styles, and decided to give it a go. He was in the best shape of his life, so why not?

As Punk was talking, AJ Styles comes out of the crowd and attacks Punk from behind. Styles kicks and strikes him while screaming “how dare you!” and “this is MINE now!” before hitting Punk with the title belt in the head. Styles then grabs the mic and stands over a fallen Punk and says, “You should have stayed away. You’re not ready for this and you never will be!” and walks out.

We get a surprise the following week on Smackdown Live! when CM Punk comes out to the ring for a match. Punk makes quick work of a local jobber and then grabs a mic. He says that it has been a while and maybe Styles was talking some truth last week. Maybe he isn’t ready. But he knows how to get ready and he calls out Paul Heyman. Punk says that if he is going to be letting bygones be bygones, he might as well bury the hatchet with Heyman. He says that Heyman was right, he would be main-eventing WrestleMania one day. And he wanted him to be right about one more thing – he wanted Heyman to lead him to the ring on that day. Heyman says nothing and just looks at him. Punk asks what it is he wants him to say? Does he want to hear it? Does he want him to say he’s sorry? “Fine, Paul. I’ll say it. I’m sor…” but Heyman cuts him off before he finishes.

Heyman takes the mic and says that he doesn’t need to hear that. Punk knows what he means to him. Even though they fell out, that happens with family sometimes. And Punk is family for him. He says he does need to hear one thing though, but he doesn’t need Punk to say it. Heyman takes a deep breath and asks Punk if he’s ready to be the Best in the World again? Punk screams YES and the two men embrace.

And there we have it, the main event of WrestleMania is finally set. Next week, we will take a look at how our Fantasy Booked WrestleMania matches up against the Real World WrestleMania. We’ll also go through the matches and fantasy book some winners. Hope to see you there!



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