The ‘Wolf Beast kicks his own ass’ post…
As I said I would, and as I did with WrestleMania 22, I’m just gonna run down my thought process for booking certain things the way I did.
First up, I get the criticism for the overly long video package to open the show. I knew myself it went too long, and should’ve cut out the section of looking back at other glorious WrestleMania moments. In the end, I couldn’t bring myself to doing it, as tbh, I really liked it ... but it was too much
Unlike last year, I had plenty of available options as the opening contest. Any of the eight person, WWE tag or MITB could’ve opened. I counted out the Cruiserweight match for the sheer fact it had the least build of any feud, and ruled out the US title match, as I didn’t want to kick off with a heel win. In the end, for that reason, it left me with the eight person tag as the viable opener, as it ticked the right boxes.
As the event neared, I had been wracked with thoughts of changing the outcome, and putting MNM and Kennedy over, and give Straight Edge and Alexis Laree another month to chase the belts, and get them on their own, down the line, but (and this ought to be popular) I didn’t want to put the I.C belt back on Kennedy. I’ve got my reasons for that, but I’ll address them in a minute with something else…
Brent Albright has probably been the luckiest champion in this threads history. And by that, I mean he’s held the U.S title belt WAY longer than I had originally intended him to do so. At first, he was to lose the belt back to Matt Hardy at Armageddon. Then, once I decided to go with the Hardy reunion, it was to fall to Batista right after Armageddon … but that was changed to a one on one non-title match. Then, LITERALLY, at the last minute, I rewrote the crappy finish to their U.S title match to keep the belt on Albright a little longer, planning to have Batista (and Lashley) chase the belt for a triple threat at WM, with Batista winning. As I finally decided on the WWE title triple threat, this one had to change, as I didn’t want two triple threat matches at the same show - hence the Lashley injury. So, it was down to Albright and Batista, and again, Batista was set to go over, but once more, I had a change of heart, and decided to go with the heel win.
Now, to kill two birds with one stone. Before anyone begins to think Kennedy will be winding up the same in this thread as he did in real life, can stop worrying. I have massive plans for him over the coming year. That’s why I didn’t want to put the IC strap back on him. He’s held the belt already (not for long mind), he’s been KOTR, and he’s rubbed shoulders with the top dogs on Raw already.
Batista is a little different. I have no plans for him to become an out and out main event like real life, as tbh, I neither feel the need to make him, or want to. As far as I’m concerned, in this ‘reality’ he missed the boat for superstardom. He’ll be one of those guys that can shift from world title picture, and main events to mid card and the US title picture.
As far as MITB goes, I tried my best to make it TOO obvious in the last few weeks that Orton would win, hoping it would throw everyone off the scent. Initially, he wasn’t even going to be part of the match, instead, he’d have been in a match with Ruc Flair. I wasn’t totally sold on it myself, and with not wanting to overload the card like last year, I cut the match, and dropped Orton into MITB. Chris Jericho was also set to be part of the match to increase the star power, and make it less obvious over the winner, but as things transpired, Jericho was needed elsewhere. It was meant to come over as a spot fest, so I’m glad that’s how it was seen. Orton wasn’t always going to go over, but once I made my mind up to go for the cashing in on the same night, he was always the best candidate imo. As for the Little Bastard table spot; that’s the last you’ll see of him in the thread, kept him around this long for that sole purpose
JBL / Hogan was added just for something to break the action up after the MITB spot fest. Don’t be surprised if there is a short term follow up though.
Sorry to all you cruiserweight fans. Apart from a man-crush on Paul London and Jamie Noble, I’ve never been overly fussed on them tbh, but initially I had planned to give these two at least another five minutes. As things went on, and the placement of matches was sorted, this was only ever going to be a bit of a breather match. I do plan on utilising the division more in the coming months though. That’s a promise. As for Kendrick going over, I just felt it was the better move for the long term, rather than stretching out Kash’s run for another month or two.
Little surprised that the WWE Tag Title match wasn’t as popular as I had expected it to be. Was probably my favourite under card match of the show. Overall, I just felt it worked better for AMW to keep the belts as it accomplished a number of things; solidified AMW as the top team on SD, didn’t have a title change that would only last a week or so for a soon to be split Hardy Boys, and kept the heel ratio of wins a little higher. Jeff taking the fall should make one other thing clear in this thread; Matt > Jeff. Expect that to remain the case.
And so … onto the main event portion. Initially, I hadn’t intended on closing with the five main attractions, but I just didn’t feel dropping any of the matches further down the card fit. Foley / Michaels was the least important of the five, so that was always going to go first. And I wanted to make it as violent as possible, but also wanted to throw in a few teases too; hence the reversals of Irish whips into the barbed wire ropes, and the near misses of the thumbtacks on the floor, along with the teases of the table of fire. I really enjoyed writing this match, and went completely balls to the wall with the hardcore element as it would be the only match on the card with the stipulation really. As pointed out though, I did make a bit of a cock up with the ode to Snuka from Foley, as it should’ve been a splash, not a cross body. In the end, both men won, as HBK got the three, and Foley got what he came for, and that was a memorable match at WM. Don’t expect to see Foley for a while, but I’m a mark for the guy, so expect him back eventually.
I completely expected Taker / Angle to be match of the night, without question. In the end, it didn’t turn out that way imo, as there was at least one match that imo, blew it out of the water for my money. Was a little surprised that the feeling from it in some views was that Taker was dominant, as that was not how it was meant to be taken at all. If anything, Angle was written (in my eyes) as the aggressor throughout, although it’s cool to see things interpreted differently than I intended. Can totally see the gripe with Angle recovering so quickly from the Tombstone. Again, the sudden comeback should’ve been written differently, with more of a break in action. Not sure how the finish really came off in the end, with Taker winning it with the triangle. Wanted that to be the finish, in order to show Takers desperation, with Angle having the Deadman literally at his mercy. Hence Taker running out of gas towards the end of the match, and Angle seemingly getting stronger as time wore on. The aftermath, while odd, was an out for me, should I decide not to bring Taker back. He’s pencilled in for at least two more feuds over the year, but, I might just well use this as his swansong. Time will tell.
Lesnar / Triple H was only going to be the overbooked mess of the show. It had been built up that way, with so many people involved, so it should never have come as a surprise that it would turn out with all kinds of ‘bells and whistles’. The only regret I had was the involvement of Tyson. As pointed out in a review for the last Smackdown, the announcement of Tyson as being in the corner of the McMahons was thrown in a little shoddily. In honesty, I had meant to announce that at least a week or so prior to the show. Turns out though, my memory isn’t all that great, and I forgot to add any hype to his involvement. I’d have forgotten completely had it not been for me having a read over WrestleMania just a day or two before posting the last Smackdown, and suddenly remembered I had forgot to mention that Tyson would be in the McMahons corner. As for the match itself, I just wanted to throw just about every swerve I possibly could; hence the Tyson turn on Vince, the Bischoff turn, and the false finishes throughout. Got a lot of enjoyment writing this one, although the first half of the match was admittedly a little shaky at times.
Cut the video package on the triple threat match simply for time constraints on the show, as I’d imagine it’d be pushing pretty close to the full five hours, and with some things going a little long, thought this VP could be sacrificed.
TBH, I wasn’t entirely pleased with the triple threat match. For me, looking back at it, it didn’t come off as special, or truly WM main event level worthy. I also expected to take a lot of flak for not having Edge win the belt, having held MITB for the entire year. I’m sure there are some people that are a little annoyed maybe, since I’ve still yet to put Edge as the top dog, but I can assure anyone with any qualms that over the coming year, Edge will be an integral part of the thread, with a very interesting arc, that I‘m looking forward to exploring. As much luck as Albright has had in the booking of the thread, Edge has had just as much bad luck. Should’ve won the belt last September (if not sooner
) … then December … then now … and got fucked over again here. Like I said though, I’m going to enjoy exploring his frustration at missing out again in the coming months.
Glad no one (bar TKOW :@) predicted Orton cashing in MITB. Wanted it to be a genuine shock, and although it probably doesn’t make much sense for Orton to cash in on Van Dam, considering he has more history with Cena and Christian, I’ll be addressing that point on Raw. Debut of the almighty PUNT~! too, which is a personal favourite of mine.
Going into this event, the one thing putting me off booking Christian and Cena in a face / face match with no added gimmicks, was that I didn’t think it’d end up worthy of a WrestleMania main event. I just wasn’t confident it’d work, and had intended it to go for only 15-20 minutes tops. But as I got writing this, something clicked (much like the Angle/Benoit match of Nemesis 2005 that just kept going as I typed, for those long time readers
) - at least for me, and it seems the general reaction was good too - ideas flowed, and the rough idea I had for the match got thrown out the window, and for me, I’d honestly say this was the best match of the show. It was certainly the most complete imo, with the early stand off, the stare down, the brawl to the outside, the fight through the crowd and back in the ring, and letting loose. Probably could’ve done without the announce table spot - or at least switched it to later in the contest - and the teases with the chair to play off the build up over both mens true colours could’ve been shaped a little differently, but overall, I got total satisfaction from this main event. Without a doubt, and surprisingly, my favourite match on the card, and probably one of the favourite matches I’ve ever wrote in my time here. Not the most technically sound or smoothest, but worthy of a WM main event - the best WM main event I’ve wrote of the three.
Thanks for all the positive feedback, and thanks for all the reviews. I’m glad you all seemed to have enjoyed it. Despite not being as ‘loaded’ as WrestleMania 22, I think the quality was much better, and it’s officially my favourite WrestleMania to have written.
I cant guarantee to return all the feedback, but I’ll be handing out points (more for certain members) to all those who have taken the time to give their thoughts. It’ll probably be some time next month before I get back up and running writing shows, but in that time, I will still be around, handing out the odd review here and there. Currently, I’ve got Patmans latest Raw saved on the PC along with BKBs latest Raw too for review purposes, along with Legends Backlash. Those are the first three randomly that I plan on critiquing - mind you, it could be a week or two before they’ll be done
- but I’ll be trying to catch up with all the regulars in the coming weeks, and keeping an eye on any further shows that show up.
Thanks for reading, thanks for rating.
… I’ll be back