Booking WrestleMania XXVI
With Elimination Chamber this Sunday, the Road to Wrestlemania is now in full force. At this point, all that matters is putting together the best card possible at University of Phoenix Stadium on March 28.
And while for the most part, everything has been set in motion, there's still various things here and there that can be tweaked, a few holes to fill in.
The tweakings, the holes, and the buildup can make the difference between an amazing WrestleMania and a lackluster one. So here's my card, why it should be done, and how I would set it up.
World Heavyweight Championship: Chris Jericho (C) vs. Edge
This one is a no brainer. Edge tore his ACL back at the beginning of July, and they've been building up this feud ever since. To throw away 7 1/2 months of buildup, as well as Edge's Royal Rumble return would be idiotic.
Granted, this is the WWE, and common sense doesn't seem to apply too often. But with this, even they should be smart enough to have Jericho win the Elimination Chamber this Sunday and have Edge challenge him for the title.
WWE Championship: Triple H (C) vs. Shawn Michaels
The Undertaker vs. Sheamus
I put these two matches together because, logically, it can only go two ways. Either Sheamus retains, and wrestles Triple H for the title at WrestleMania, or Triple H wins the title only to defend it against his DX ally Shawn Michaels in Glendale. Whoever's not facing The Game has to go up against the Deadman.
There are multiple reasons why I'm going with Triple H vs. HBK. For starters, Sheamus is a legit main-eventer, but it's too early for him to be in a world title match at WrestleMania.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels would be a much bigger marquee draw than any other combination. And of course, there's no way Taker and HBK will come close to their match last year considering Taker's current physical condition, and the match would put them in a situation where they're damned by either result.
It's not fair for someone of Michaels' caliber to job to the same person two years in a row, while ending Taker's streak would be a mistake.
At Elimination Chamber, have Triple H win the title. The next night on Raw, have DX invoke their rematch clause against ShowMiz early on in the show. Just as they're about to win the titles, HBK superkicks Triple H.
After the match, he challenges Triple H to a match at Mania. Sheamus, John Cena, and Randy Orton all come out and claim they should get the title shot at WrestleMania.
Have Jewel and Ty Murray (the guest hosts for Raw Monday following the Elimination Chamber) come out and announce that in the main event, there will be a fatal four way elimination match in the main event, in which both John Cena and Randy Orton get elimination due to outside interference (from Batista and Ted DiBiase, respectively), building up their own WrestleMania feuds.
Shawn Michaels defeats Sheamus, and Raw ends with some sort of altercation between Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
The next Friday on SmackDown, Teddy Long gives Undertaker a rematch for the World Heavyweight Champion against Jericho, in which Sheamus comes down and beats down the Undertaker, claiming he will be the one to end the streak.
Bret Hart & John Cena vs. Vince McMahon & Batista (Steve Austin as guest referee)
At this point, no explanation needed. Of course, there are other possibilities for this match, depending on Bret Hart's physical condition. If it's not a tag, they could make it one on one with Cena and Batista, which Hart and McMahon in their respective corners.
If Cena wins, Bret gets five minutes alone in the ring with McMahon, and if Batista wins, Bret must join the kiss my ass club.
Either way they do it, the match needs to be officially made March 15 when Steve Austin is guest hosting Raw, and he appoints himself as special guest referee.
With his history with McMahon, his close friendship with Bret, and his status as possibly the most popular wrestler in history, it will make this epic encounter even greater, especially if after the match we see Hart, Austin, and Cena, arguably the biggest stars in their respective generation (as much as it pains me to put Cena in the same group as those two), celebrating in the ring downing some beers.
Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase
It's obvious that they're building up to this. With all the strife between Legacy, and Orton that's been going off and on since pretty much the formation of Legacy, it has to build up to WrestleMania, especially considering that there's nothing else logical to do with Orton.
This one is a simple one too, have DiBiase be the one to eliminate Orton in the Elimination Chamber, followed by Orton RKOing DiBiase, causing him to be eliminated as well.
Have DiBiase get his retribution the next night, continuing on this rivalry leading to Mania.
Unified Tag Team Title Match: ShowMiz (C) vs. Straight Edge Society vs. Matt Hardy & Great Khali vs. Hart Dynasty
While some of the guys involved in this match deserve more, WrestleMania has limited time and this is simply a way to get a bunch of guys on the card that deserve to be there, nothing more, nothing less.
Intercontinental Title Match: Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Christian
This match may seem random to have someone like Drew McIntyre in a singles match, but they should have every title on the line, if possible (obviously Miz can't defend both the US and tag team titles and it is pointless for him to drop the US title just so it can be defended at an already full Mania card).
As for Christian, it pretty much comes down to who on Smackdown or ECW is most deserving that isn't in any of the previously mentioned matches, and he was the one who clearly stood out.
So draft Christian to SmackDown so he can be in this match.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, John Morrison, Kane, Rey Mysterio, R-Truth
We may not even have a Money in the Bank Match anymore at WrestleMania due to the new July pay per view, but I sure hope we do.
It has become an annual tradition and a great early match to get the crowd going, as well as a way to get some deserving people on the card.
Since Edge's first Money in the Bank win and him subsequently cashing in over eight months later, no Money in the Bank winner has gone as far as win the MITB pay per view will be.
If they're worried about a conflict, they can always switch it with a pay per view later in the year. They can tweak it so that, even though they share the same name, there can be enough differences to avoid any MITB overkill. There's a lot that can be done.
But back to the match. Having the four highest profile guys at the moment on Smackdown and two highest profile on Smackdown (MVP and Kingston) that aren't in any of the previous matches, with Evan Bourne and Shelton Benjamin added to improve the match quality (just move Benjamin to Raw so it will have an equal number for each brand...and so he doesn't wind up teaming with Charlie Haas again), is the logical option for this match.
Winner take all Diva Lumberjill Tag Match for the Divas and Women's Championship: Gail Kim and Mickie James (C) vs. Maryse (C) and Beth Phoenix
As much as I don't want to, you have to have a Divas match at WrestleMania, so it comes down to what kind of match they have. They had a battle royal last year, so that's out of the question. A singles match for one of the titles would be wrong because it would exclude on of the brands.
A diva from one brand challenging someone from the other brand for her title wouldn't make sense since each brand has it's own title. You can possibly have a title vs. title match, but I don't see them unifying the titles as the Divas championship is still fairly new.
You can see a multi-diva tag match between a group of faces and a group of heels with no stakes any given week on Raw, so having that at WrestleMania would be a huge mistake.
So what do you do? How about a winner take all tag team matchup? Have Maryse cheat to win the Divas championship at Elimination Chamber (I would personally much rather see Gail win the title over Maryse, but this works better for the Mania buildup), prompting Gail to demand a rematch.
Have Mickie retain her title against Michelle McCool next week on Smackdown, followed by a beatdown by Beth Phoenix with Beth wanting a shot at the Women's Championship.
Somehow link these together for a match at WrestleMania where if Gail and Mickie win, Gail wins the Diva's Championship and if Maryse and Beth win, then Beth is the new Women's champion.
And as always, this would be a lumberjill match.
That's my WrestleMania XXVI card, trying to put the best one possible while taking a realistic approach.
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