Booking WrestleMania XXX: Revisited

So, in October three weeks before Hell in a Cell, six before Survivor Series, I stuck my neck out and tried to book WrestleMania. If you’re curious, you can find the article here.

Well, I did pretty badly with four correct picks and four wrong but, like I said at the time, I looked forward to being wrong. Part of the fun of WrestleMania season and the build up to it is seeing whether or not your instincts are right and whether or not the rumours that come out of WWE actually end up being where they go with things.

See how I did…

Pick 1:

                  Undertaker v Brock. A match that was talked about last year but it was rumoured           that Undertaker didn’t much fancy working with an opponent as stiff as Brock and       because they don’t see eye-to-eye. They felt that Punk was a better prospect since                he needed a high-profile match coming off his long title reign. You can see now that          the timing is right for this. The Beast v The Streak – whatever you want to tagline it –          would be one of the few legitimate matches where people could suspend their              disbelief enough to trust that the streak could end.”

Ding! Didn’t take a genius but this was one of the few that I called correctly. The build has been poor but I still think this will be an amazing match. If you ignore the Big Show match at the Rumble every match Brock has been involved in since his return has been tremendous.

Pick 2:

                  Rhodes v Rhodes. I have to believe that this is where they’re going with these two.            Wrestling loves a sibling rivalry and this one has been talked about for years.”

Wrong! I know why they didn’t break them up because they were killing it every since week and together were so strong that breaking them and turning one of them was wrong place, wrong time. But, since January, they’ve gone back to being utter nobodies. In hindsight, this would have been a good time to do it – maybe this is one for next year.

Pick 3:

                  “Triple H v Vince. I’m not saying that these two are going to wrestle. In fact, I      seriously doubt that. But what we do know is that this storyline is going to end with a            fight for control of WWE.”

Wrong! Well sort of. Vince may well appear tonight and this might become a storyline but for now I was off the mark. Punk was originally in this role (so we’re told) and its now become Bryan’s Mania.

Pick 4:

Punk v Bryan. Punk has also made it clear on numerous occasions that his ultimate        goal is to be last on at a Mania. Yes, it would be a 50/50 deal with the crowd and I         know that’s an issue. Being last on at Mania, if they did that, could of course be a               poisoned chalice – remember Hunter and Orton getting zero reaction when they          went on last after Taker and Michaels? – well, maybe this will be his year. If it isn’t,            the much-salivated-over Punk v Austin for the following year might be the time for        that.”

Wrong! Obviously. Punk has gone and even if he shows up tonight in an angle of sorts, I was still wide of the mark. Punk v Austin? That could happen – never say never.

Pick 5:

Wyatts v Shield. I could be way off on this and they may well go with Bray Wyatt              for the World title sooner or later. Who knows where these two teams will be   placed on the card in six months.”

Wrong! Sadly. This was the best match of the year so far in WWE. Twice. They would have torn the house down at Mania. Bray beating Cena is important tonight. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have big futures.

Miscellaneous:

“…they may do the pre-show Battle Royale and there’ll be a Divas Title match.”

Ding! Wasn’t too hard a prediction but the Battle Royale could be one of the more interesting and fun matches on the show.

Ryback. I really don’t believe that they will make Ryback v Goldberg.”

Ding! Glad this didn’t happen.

Hogan. Does Hogan return? As things stand the claim is that he’s not going back to       TNA and they’re playing up that they don’t want or need him […] He’d make a good       host but that’s about he’d be good at given his physical limitations.”

Ding! Not a big deal but a correct prediction nonetheless.

I suppose all of these ideas were destabilised by three factors: the Network happened and CM Punk walked out and fans are still into Daniel Bryan. All of these were huge in their own way and coincided at similar times. Punk’s absence means that much of this card had to shift slightly; the Network means that buyrate figures will get skewed more than ever and it becomes about how many subscribers rather than breaking the all-time record. Lost amongst all the bells and whistles of the Network will be how many people actually ordered the show. Daniel Bryan getting this kind of reactions means that he’s on the show as much as possible. They’d be stupid not to give him the title, right?

– By James Cox 

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