The Fantasy Book on What to Do With a What If – Part 3 (WWE, ROH, Smackdown Live!)

It is mid-June already? Where has this year gone? The past two weeks have focused on some possible storyline ideas for WWE creative to use if they bought Ring of Honor as was rumored a few months ago. And even though that sale does not appear to be happening, we can still keep this little fantasy book going. We’ve touched on NXT and on 205 Live, so let’s move to the big boy programs. Today, we tackle Smackdown Live!

(One note before we start, Chuck Taylor debuted on ROH television this past week. I am not sure if he has signed a ROH contract or if it was a one-time thing, but if he has, I should add him to this experiment. Even with Jim Cornette hating him, I still think his talent and humor would go over well in NXT. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.)

So how should we start this? I would begin with AJ Styles coming to the ring. Let’s say he has won the Money in the Bank match and is out to gloat about how he is going to take the World title back. The crowd is eating it up but waiting for the inevitable interruption by Jinder Mahal (who we will say is still the champ). Styles does get interrupted, but not by Mahal. Instead, the lights go dim and we see the following on the Titantron, just without the ROH Coming Soon text:

As Styles and everyone watches the Titantron, Marty Scurll gets in the ring behind Styles with his top hat, mask, umbrella, everything. He slowly removes the mask and hat and places them aside with his umbrella. He does his little spin dance and then locks AJ into the crossface chicken wing just as the video ends. The lights come back up and Scurll has Styles in all sorts of trouble. Styles is tapping out like crazy and Scurll just will not let go. Finally, Shane McMahon sends a bunch of referees and security to the ring to break it up. Scurll releases the hold and escapes through the crowd.

Later in the show, we see Shane McMahon talking to some medical personnel who are saying Styles needs to get further medical care. McMahon calls someone on his phone and starts yelling about what just happened. The rest of the show continues as normal. The main event is scheduled to be Randy Orton in a handicap match against the Singh Brothers, but Orton attacks them on their way out to the ring and drops them with RKOs.

We cut to a commercial break and when we come back Orton is in the ring along with someone that most people don’t recognize. Apparently during the commercial break, Shane McMahon came out and said that Orton is going to wrestle tonight even though he took out the Singhs. He sends out a new hire for the WWE in order to give the crowd a match to watch. That new hire would be Adam Cole.

Orton would take  early advantage, but not knowing Adam Cole’s tendencies (since Orton is an arrogant jerk who doesn’t bother to watch anything but his own matches), Cole is able to hit a few surprise moves and get the pin off a Shining Wizard. Orton would be shocked after the match while Adam Cole would take the mic and do a quick “Adam Cole, Baby!” yell.

In the following weeks, Orton would become obsessed with getting back at Cole, while Cole continued to rack up victories over people. That feud would last for a little while in order build up Cole as a legitimate threat and not just a surprise fluke. Styles would not return to TV for a while as well. Instead, we would get some creepy and cool vignettes from The Villain, Marty Scurll.

While Cole and Scurll are being established, the tag team division would get crazy. The Motor City Machineguns would arrive as full-fledged heels, insulting the fans at every turn. Breezeango would have a couple Fashion Files cases on them which would start a feud between those teams. Meanwhile, the Usos would accept still hold their tag titles until The Young Bucks show up and challenge them. The Usos would laugh and tell the Jacksons that they are just flies they would just swat down. The Jacksons would laugh a little with the Usos and then hit stereo superkicks on them.

The next few weeks would see The Usos getting superkicked out of nowhere by the Young Bucks. Think Kanyon running around hitting a Diamond Cutter on everyone type of thing. Eventually, the Usos would get pissed and demand a match with the Young Bucks. Shane McMahon would grant it, but make it non-title. The Bucks would win that match, setting up a title match for Summerslam.

Finally, we would get some very threatening promos and vignettes from Punishment Martinez. He would go by Damian Martinez, because Punishment is a dumb name and the legal challenge from Marvel for “Punisher” would be too much. In these vignettes and promos we would get little hints and easter eggs about Martinez’ origins. We would find out that Martinez has a very dark past. His mother was a nurse in a mental institution and he never knew who his father was. All he knew is what his mother told him, that he was a very disturbed individual.

Martinez would continue with his demon-esque character in these vignettes, with him detailing his search for his father, for understanding of his darkness. After several weeks, we would finally get the reveal of Damian’s origins. It would turn out that his mother had a secret affair with a patient at the institution. She never told Damian because this patient was one of the worst, most violent and disturbed men she had ever met. But he had a good side that he never showed people, except her. He was also hideously scarred and she didn’t want to scare her son.

Martinez would then say something scary, set a fire in front of himself, and stare through it into the camera. We would then see a figure walk into the frame from behind and walk up to Martinez. He would put his hand on his shoulder and then bend down to look into the camera as well, but the fire would block his face. He would say, “That is excellent, son. You are ready.” And as the picture started to fade to black, we would see the flames die down a bit to reveal Martinez’ father as Kane!

Martinez would debut the following week with Kane at his side and tear through Sin Cara. He would then have a short feud with Tye Dillinger, coming out of it very strong. This would lead to crushing Mojo Rawley. After destroying a good portion of the face roster, he would get involved in a terrific feud with Luke Harper, allowing both men to showcase their power, agility, and skill. Hopefully, this feud would be what turns both wrestlers into breakout stars.

So, in this booking of Smackdown Live!, United States champion Kevin Owens would continue feuding with Shinsuke Nakamura with Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin on the periphery. In fact, Dolph Ziggler and Sami Zayn could get into a nice little feud as well to raise the level of in-ring action. Jinder Mahal would maintain his hold on the world title, even strengthening his position by defending the belt against John Cena (!) and then maybe Kofi Kingston or someone. Randy Orton will be focused on Adam Cole for a while. The Motor City Machineguns will frustrate Breezango for a bit and eventually move into a top contender feud with American Alpha. The Usos will take on the challenge of the Young Bucks, but will fall on a big stage. Damian Martinez, along with his “father” Kane, would wreck havoc on Smackdown, eventually running into the wall that is Luke Harper. Finally, before AJ Styles wins the World title back with the Money in the Bank briefcase, Marty Scurll will show himself as the next best superstar in the world by having a series of incredible matches with Styles all over the world.

And that is how a Ring of Honor purchase could help Smackdown Live! The tag team roster would be bolstered with the MCMGs and the Young Bucks. The main event scene would get a couple more cogs to fill it out nicely with Adam Cole and Marty Scurll. And a new monster would rise with Damian Martinez.

Oh, and one more addition I didn’t mention. After a few months, the WWE can make nice with Cody Rhodes and bring him in to add additional depth and talent to the roster. Cody would be one of those entries who would make a big splash upon his return. Perhaps even in the Royal Rumble or something.

Next week, we finish up this Ring of Honor purchase fantasy book with seeing what could happen over on the flagship program, Raw. Until then, let me know what you think in the comments. Have a great week!

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