WWE WrestleMania 37: Top Booking Options for Lashley vs. McIntyre, Title MatchesApril 7, 2021
WWE WrestleMania 37: Top Booking Options for Lashley vs. McIntyre, Title Matches
The booking of any WWE match can enhance or ruin it, doom it to failure or propel it to success, and even more so at WrestleMania.
The best intentions and most extraordinary wrestling can be negated by a booking decision that is not true to the story that preceded it or that is detrimental to the characters involved.
As WWE enters its first event in front of a live audience since March 2020, the significance of the right or wrong booking decision is amplified. There will be instant feedback the likes of which the company has not received outside of social media in over a year.
To avoid the negativity and pull off an event that checks every box from a fan perspective, these are the booking options WWE Creative should consider come Saturday and Sunday night.
Women's Tag Team Championship Match: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. TBD
At this point, we do not yet know against whom Jax and Baszler will defend their Women's Tag Team Championships on Night 2 of WrestleMania 37, but we do know said challengers will be determined via Tag Team Turmoil featuring The Riott Squad, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, Naomi and Lana, and Natalya and Tamina.
Tamina and Natalya have been that sneaky, low-key team that has earned a bunch of television time of late. The two longtime contributors to the women's division feel very much like a team WWE Creative may pull the proverbial trigger on in a match of this type.
At the same time, energy and effort have gone into presenting Naomi and Lana as threats to the tag titles, and a win for them should not be out of the question.
With that said, the best booking option is for an established tag team to win the titles.
Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan have enjoyed a very inconsistent push but have always performed up to the moment and have earned the opportunity to run with the gold in a division consisting of very few (if any other) genuine tag teams.
Regardless of who wins the title opportunity, one thing is for certain: It is time to get the titles off Jax and Baszler and let them go do something else.
United States Championship Match: Riddle vs. Sheamus
Has Sheamus earned a big win on the WrestleMania stage and a championship run of some sort? Absolutely. His wars with Drew McIntyre in February and March were physical battles that reminded everyone of just how great an in-ring competitor The Celtic Warrior is.
With that said, Riddle has been on a roll of his own, and given his status as one of the brightest stars of the future, he needs the win more than his opponent.
One of the real sleeper matches of the card, it should conclude with Riddle pinning Sheamus to retain his title and continue building his star on Monday nights.
Nigerian Drum Fight for the Intercontinental Title: Big E vs. Apollo Crews
As of publication time, WWE has yet to fully explain what a Nigerian Drum Fight is. The company has never sweated the details, though, so that should be of no real surprise. What is, though, is that Apollo Crews has yet to score a meaningful victory over Big E.
That should change at WrestleMania, if management has any intention of seeing his push through.
The best booking option sees Crews manipulate the rules of the drum fight in a manner that allows him to win the match and title without cleanly defeating Big E. That way the narrative remains that he cannot win against Big E, all while he steals the title fairly because of the setup of the stipulation.
It will garner him more heat, add another layer to the feud with Big E and allow things to progress forward rather than staying stagnant with Crews seeking the title, as he has for the last three months.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: New Day vs. AJ Styles and Omos
There's no way Omos isn't winning his first match, right?
The guy has been so steadily and competently built as this monster of a man that beating him and AJ Styles right out of the gate feels incredibly counterproductive.
As a result, the best and most effective booking option is to do what many have expected from the minute the match was made official and put Omos and Styles over New Day for the titles.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods will recover rather quickly, as they have throughout their careers, while WWE will have on its hands a new big man, with whom it can build toward the future. Oh, and Styles wins a title that has eluded him thus far in his WWE career.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley
Asuka has been nothing short of fantastic since winning the Raw Women's Championship back in May of last year. She lost it and won it again, had superb matches with Sasha Banks and Bayley, and did everything you would want a champion to do.
Except, WWE Creative has never treated her like one.
She has played second fiddle to whoever has been programmed with her. Whether it was Banks and Bayley's tale taking precedence or Charlotte Flair coming back to immediately seize the spotlight, Asuka has repeatedly found herself overshadowed by challengers and their stories.
Rhea Ripley is no exception. Unlike the others, though, the Aussie should (and will) defeat The Empress of Tomorrow to win the title and redeem herself following last year's defeat to Flair.
It is the booking option that makes the most sense at this point, especially if WWE Creative won't focus on Asuka. Ripley really cannot afford consecutive WrestleMania losses as she preps for her main roster run.
SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair
It certainly feels like Bianca Belair is destined to win the SmackDown Women's Championship from Sasha Banks and begin her run at the top of the blue brand, but that does not present the best booking option.
Banks recently turned heel again, and history tells us she is at her absolute best when she is in that role. If this is a long-term turn and not something booked just so the crowd won't be split, then Banks should retain her title via nefarious means, thus ensuring the feud with Belair continues.
Would a win for The EST on wrestling's grandest stage mean a ton in establishing her as the face of the women's division? Absolutely. But it will mean even more coming on the heels of a hot storyline rather than the uneven and disjointed booking we got leading into WrestleMania.
If this is just a one-off and Banks will be a babyface again by the end of the night, Belair should deliver the Kiss of Death and earn her first title on wrestling's biggest night.
Universal Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Edge vs. Roman Reigns
Assuming WWE wants to end this year's show with a babyface standing tall, pyro exploding and fans erupting in excitement, Bryan winning the Universal Championship is the only finish that makes sense.
The best booking option to achieve that outcome sees the leader of the Yes! Movement tap Edge out to the LeBell Lock. It proves to Edge that Bryan belonged, but more importantly, it preserves Roman Reigns' heat. The Tribal Chief has been the hottest heel in the industry, the one star who has managed to thrive, evolve and engage audiences in this COVID-19 pandemic.
By keeping him out of the fall, it allows him to state his case for another title shot since he was never pinned or submitted for the title.
Reigns can easily regain the title after WWE gets its satisfying conclusion, and Edge can further descend into madness, his determination to win the title he never lost fueling him.
WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley is as hot as he has ever been in WWE, and Drew McIntyre simply beating him to win the world title is not an option. Such a finish would diminish everything the creative team has accomplished with The All Mighty since the beginning of the year.
The best option for Lashley, if WWE is hellbent on putting McIntyre over for the title, is to book him as an unbeatable force whose body gives out well before he does. Have him eat three Claymores. Let him kick out and then kick out some more.
Only have him lose after he physically cannot muster enough energy to kick out that third or fourth time.
He should be protected, allowed to maintain that badass aura that has been such a key factor in his success in recent months. The moment he loses that or looks like any other Superstar to have lost to McIntyre over the last year, he loses what has made him special.
If WWE Creative understands that and books accordingly, it can prevent Lashley from losing anything other than his championship.