Triple H, October 2011:

“When I grew up, I hated Hogan. I thought he was terrible and didn’t like to watch him. I was like Punk in a way. I liked the Steamboats and Flairs and the ones that could go. Would I be right in saying that Hogan was the wrong guy to go with, and they should’ve changed directions and gone with Steamboat because he was the better wrestler? Ludicrous.” - Triple H. October, 2011.

Road to Wrestlemania 27 Part 2

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Part I is here.

In Part I, we set up the following:

WWF Title: Edge v. CM Punk
Rey Mysterio v. Bryan Danielson
Matt Sydal/Yoshi Tatsu v. Douchebags(Ryder/Hawkins)

6 more matches.

The Clique hasn't been in the top two programs (Edge/Punk and the simmering GDI v Underground) but have been pushed pretty consistently, well, for years if you think about Nitro.  Johnny Nitro's push really started when he got to be the one to go over Fit Finlay for the NWA Title when the company was split in thirds.  He then went over Benjamin in a year long feud; he then got anointed as Michaels's protegee, and took out Shawn in forming the current version of the Clique.  This year - Nitro and Miz have taken on Linda McMahon and Nitro blew MVP out of the company.

At the Rumble - Nitro beat back the challenge of Kidd and Miz seems to have ended Kevin Nash's career.  They're rolling - and they each get singles matches at Wrestlemania.

A theme of Bret's (Bret is WWF Commissioner until Survivor Series) in the build to 27 is "Fight For Your Life" as getting a Wrestlemania spot for many of the wrestlers involves winning a showdown match.

One such match - Hooligan v. Hooligan: Sheamus v. McIntyre.  

Think of this as the bracket to the beginning of the wrestling year when Bret called halves of the big tag acts to the ring and suggested there would be a day when they'd have to go it alone, a day when they'd be squaring off against each other.  For Hooligans, that day comes now - they did not particularly work well together at the Rumble, they lost Fit in the build (he was taken apart by Punk) and Bret tells them one of them will get a spot at Mania ( a spot challenging Nitro for the IC) and one of them will be out.

This is not cataclysmic for the Hooligans - they brawl all the time; they were built Underground as a next generation Regal/Finlay, either fighting together or fighting each other but always fighting.  

Sheamus goes over in a Fight Night brawl - and that makes the IC:

IC: Johnny Nitro (w/Natty) v. Sheamus
Sheamus as new Fit will be part in the build, given the Nitro origin story from the NWA. Whereas once Fit was grizzled vet and Nitro was callow youth, now Sheamus is the youngster taking on Nitro, who is positioned as the new HBK.

In the build to the Rumble, Miz was set to take on a mystery Clique opponent, and the running joke was his mock guessing who it might be "Is it the Road Dogg?  Is the Doggy-Dogg coming to the Rumble?"

The initial announcement about Miz's Mania opponent is that it will again be a mystery Clique member, say it comes on RAW - and that same night, Miz just starts to cut his first "Will it be the Road Dogg?" jokey promo - when Hunter's music hits, he comes to the ring, Pedigrees Miz, says "No, it's me." and exits.

Miz (w/Natty) v. HHH-M
Hunter and Miz were partners; HHH the vet who showed Miz the ropes, brought him into the Clique, and then Miz immediately turned on him. It's not a complicated feud.  I'd like one 6 man on TV in the build, Hunter/Sheamus/McIntyre against Miz/Nitro and their mystery partner - Edge.  Edge gets the fall on Sheamus, and before the exit he replies accordingly when Nitro and Miz make the sign for the Clique.

That's 5.  4 left.  Here's the tag title.

Defiance (Orton/DiBiase) v. Empire (Barrett/Gabriel w/Riley)
Defiance took the straps at the Rumble - it's been a quest, really, for years for Orton, to regain the tag belts through Defiance. It took his trusting young DiBiase as a full partner for Orton to get it done.  Empire, the Undeground team of Barrett and Gabriel, won the number one contender's elimination match at the Rumble when Riley left GDI to aid Underground.

Riley is the vehicle through which Regal can criticize GDI in this build, Riley can be every example of how independent wrestling is killing the sport, how they get terrible fundamental training, how they learn how to do "moves" but not how to create a whole wrestler.  Riley is officially a member of Empire now, but Gabriel and Barrett will be wrestling the title match.  The longstanding feud between Orton and Regal will be part of this build, as the defiant character Randy Orton developed was really through a feud with Fit (Dusty came first actually) that led to a feud with Regal. As part of all of that, it was Orton who punted the previous Underground trainers, Taz and Rotunda, out of the job.  Orton as Underground antagonist will be part of this build, as will DiBiase's treachery in attacking Taz and joining Orton.

3 left.

How about a Money In the Bank Match?

Bret says many years ago he brought the ladder match from Stampede, and now its time for the next evolution - 6 WWF wrestlers, a briefcase (sponsorship available) and a title shot that can be cashed in anytime over the next year.  

Who is in the match?

2 guys are in automatically - Kingston and Killings, the deposed tag champs. Like D1 the year before, they had a 9 month run (teams continue to try to hit that one year mark) with the straps, but for several months have been slowly fracturing as Kingston becomes a little more serious and Killings becomes way more crazy (he smokes cigarattes coming to the ring, he's putting up odd youtube videos, he's just gotten a part time job at Home Depot to get a 20% discount, over the summer he's going to legally change his name to #TruthKills).

They fell apart finally at the Rumble, they lose a rematch to Defiance not long after, and show no ability to work together at all.  Bret says out of appreciation for their accomplishments over the year, they don't have to Fight For their Lives - they're in automatically, each with a 1 in 6 shot at the MITB briefcase.  

So - will they work together is their story; can they put aside their growing differences, take out the other 4 guys and then compete to see which of them can get the Briefcase?

Here are the 4 Fight For Your Life Matches.  
Swagger v. Nemeth
Kidd v. Smith
Primo v. Chavo
Cody v. PAUL

Bottom up, Cody is the Undertaker's little buddy, DMW has never liked him, so this is a callback to that - Cody goes over and he's in the match.

Chavo lost to Del Rio at the Rumble, I said that would wrap him up, but he has one more job to do, he puts his opponent from the tag match at last year's Mania over and leaves the company.  Primo's in.  

Kidd lost the IC shot to Nitro at the Rumble, my assumption is it was a helluva match, Bret tells the boys that they are family, but he can't find spots for both of them so they have to fight - they have the very best match they can and Tyson goes over.  

Finally, Division One.  Swagger's been playing hurt all year, wearing a kneebrace, Nemeth has become more real world Ziggler like bit by bit all year long.  They've been singles most of the year, a Bret-motivated move from all the way back at Rumble 2010 when Bret began talking to Nemeth about his Hennig-like potential.  Nemeth became obsessed with beating Mysterio (unsuccessful) Swagger won the number one contender battle royal, eliminating Nemeth as they were the last two (he lost to Edge at SSeries).  And while the former dominant tag champs fell right back into their roles as the best tag team in the WWF at the Rumble, in the end, Swagger's bad knee couldn't be overcome.

Swagger's limping heavily as he and Nemeth (with Kelly) come to the ring so Bret can tell them they need to Fight for their Lives. Nemeth's opposed to the match, anyone can see his partner, his brother is not physically ready.  It's heartbreaking.  

Swagger, of course, is largely silent, he's soft spoken amateur wrestling machine.  Bret asks if he can go - he says "yes sir."

They build for a couple of weeks, Swagger clearly injured, Nemeth telling him and Kelly that he'll just look to pin him quickly so not to prolong it.  Swagger tells Nemeth not to hold back, to do what he has to do. 

In the match, Nemeth is able to establish pretty quickly that he's better than a heavily deteriorated Swagger, Swagger can't move at all, Nemeth is able to take him down quickly, repeatedly.  After a couple of minutes of amateur wrestling, Nemeth starts going for pinfalls - he can't get them, 3 nearfalls and he can't get them - he gives a little bit of "come on Jack, just stop" - and it gives Swagger the ability to momentarily take over, enough to swing the momentum briefly and after a nearfall a frantic Nemeth lashes out at Swagger's injured knee, Jack goes down and Nemeth gets a quick fall.  

Nemeth is quickly stricken "what did I do" - Kelly comes in the ring to help her brother - Nemeth is shaken, but Swagger is able to get back to his feet - Nemeth apologizes, Swagger accepts and limps away.

MITB: Kingston v Killings v Kidd v. Rhodes v. Colon v. Nemeth

2 more matches.

The Undertaker is an 8 time Legends Match champ; he'll meet Dos Caras, Jr.

Dos Caras is real world Del Rio, with the addition that his character is ground specifically in his family legacy; he's spent the year beating other wrestling second generation workers, at the Rumble he beat Chavo when Vicki Guerrero turned heel, she and Caras are now a couple and she joins the act.  Dos Caras's - "I am wrestling, this is wrestling" summons the Dead Man from his year away - and they'll meet in the legends match.

Legends Match: Undertaker v. Dos Caras, Jr.
-Dos Caras hits the "there are no legends but my family, and I'm the culmination of that legacy - look, I've even won over a Guerrero" button, there's a button that Vicki's gonna press, she'll say she was part of the Guerrero family, but now, with Dos Caras, she's finally with a real wrestling legend.

That draws heat from Mysterio (probably draws heat from a lot of people) who displays rare rage, from someone normally above momentary angles.  Rey can join the Undertaker as old guard establishment guys disgusted by Dos Caras and Vicki and give a little bit of legitimate Eddy-based anger to the program (and since there's not going to be real anger between Rey and Danielson, given that the match is based more around who the better wrestler is, that gives Rey a chance to show some anger). 

And finally.

Glass Light Tube Match: Mark Henry v. John Cena
Henry squashed Cena in an impromptu straight match at the Rumble - Cena comes right at him on a RAW, handing Henry a light tube and telling him he'd better use it.  Henry throws it down, says he's a man, Cena tells him he'd better pick it up.  Henry goes chest to chest with Cena - and Cena hits him with a light tube over the head.

Henry doesn't go down, he bleeds - he beats his chest - he says "lets go" - and slams Cena.  

Cena will come back a few weeks later - throwing Henry a light tube and telling him to use it - it's the same spot, but this time Cena hits him with two light tubes and it drops Henry to one knee.  

A couple of weeks later, Henry will attack Cena in the back, say ramming him through some sort of structure.

And we have the match - it's the annual Wrestlemania garbage match - there are light tubes stacked up in two of the four corners, they'll hit each other with them.  Blood will be shed.  

One more thing for 27 - an appearance by....The Rock.  

And that's Wrestlemania 27, coming your way in April.

WWF Title: Edge v. CM Punk
Rey Mysterio v. Bryan Danielson
IC: Johnny Nitro (w/Natty) v. Sheamus
Tags: Defiance (Orton/DiBiase) v. Empire (Barrett/Gabriel w/Riley)
MITB: Kingston v Killings v Kidd v. Rhodes v. Colon v. Nemeth
Miz (w/Natty) v. HHH-M
Legends Match: Undertaker v. Dos Caras, Jr.
Glass Light Tube Match: Mark Henry v. John Cena
Matt Sydal/Yoshi Tatsu v. Douchebags(Ryder/Hawkins)


Mike Heine said...

A fine job sir! Methinks Taker is going to have his work cut out for him in this particular match.

I was thinking that your top 64 wrestlers might need updating! Should you be so inclined, it'd be fascinating to see where Edge, CM Punk and others rank in light of all their shenanigans since the list was first compiled.

Jim said...

I've thought about it; I'm unsure when time will permit it (maybe summer of '13) and also unsure what the formula would be. I gave too little credit for longevity of title reigns in the previous build.

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