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 29

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Wrestlemania 29 is coming from New Jersey in April.

There’s a thread we can weave among four matches

WWF Title: Bryan Danielson (w/Steamboat&Punk) v. Brock Lesnar (w/Heyman&Swagger)
IC: Three Way Dance: Rock v. Nick Nemeth(w/Regal) v.Jack Swagger (w/Heyman)
Legends: JerichoDeath v. CM Punk
Dos Caras, Jr. v. Roman Reigns Uso

I’m going to reference the “beats” that we need to hit in the build, they don’t necessarily match up 1:1 with one per week, I’d look to see how many shows I needed to fill in the build and look to pace accordingly. 

Beat 1:  The night after the Rumble, Heyman cuts a promo where he introduces his stable of Paul Heyman Guys.  Swagger is the finest trainee in WWF history; Lesnar is the Greatest Fighter Alive. At Wrestlemania – in his home of NY, they’re taking both title belts. 

Foley enters, he’s furious about the ruining of the IC tournament.  He recognizes that Heyman has gotten revenge for Foley’s having turned on him to end Heyman’s previous WWF run.  It’s a man with a long memory. 

Foley isn’t there to chat – he’s there to fire everyone.  He fires Swagger.  He fires Heyman.  He tells Lesnar that since he doesn’t work for WWF, he can’t fire him, but as long as he’s WWF Commissioner the last Wrestlemania appearance of Brock Lesnar’s life will be 9 years ago when Foley kicked his ass.

Lesnar grabs Foley by the throat.  Heyman is able to quickly get Lesnar to release.  Foley gets into Heyman’s face, tells him that if Lesnar ever touches him again, he’s going to bite Heyman’s fingers off.

Beat 2: In a short taped piece, similar to the ones we’ve seen for years with GDI, Danielson says that it’s time to do this; Steamboat asks is there’s anything he can say to change his mind.  Danielson says, “if you tell me I can’t beat him” – which is a callback to the same scene when Punk faced Lesnar and Steamboat wouldn’t tell Punk that he could win.  Steamboat says that Danielson’s the best wrestler in the world and can beat anyone.  Danielson says that’s all there is to say. 

Beat 3: In the ring, Danielson tells Foley that it doesn’t matter if its at Wrestlemania, at Ring of Honor, or in the parking lot – in April, he’s wrestling Brock Lesnar.  Danielson takes the title belt off his shoulder and says that if he has to hand this belt back to Foley in order to do that, he’s willing to. 

There are things Foley might like to say, that Danielson sure would be screwing over everyone in the promotion if he actually walked out.  He might like to say that Danielson’s acting selfishly, that he’s killing Foley’s leverage with Heyman.  He doesn’t say those things, Danielson’s the champ.  Foley tells him to keep his belt.  Foley looks to the camera and tells Heyman to meet him next week in the ring and to come alone. 

Beat  4: This is a negotiation.  The feeling is like when DeNiro and Pacino sat down in Heat.  There’s a table, and on each side are Foley and Heyman, both holding some good cards.

Heyman plays his first – Danielson wants Lesnar.  The fans want Danielson vs. Lesnar.  Foley and Heyman are both from New York, Foley has a chance to give those fans the greatest main event in Wrestlemania history, the Best Wrestler in the World against the Greatest Fighter Alive. 

Heyman then takes a piece of paper out of his jacket pocket, slides it to Foley.  Asks Foley to sign. 
Foley then plays his.  They are both from New York, Foley was the guy who drove hundreds of miles to wrestling school.  Heyman was the teenager who hung around MSG; who worked his way into Vince McMahon Sr’s office.  For all of his anti-establishment bluster, Heyman reveres the WWF as much as anyone in the sport.  And for all of his accomplishments, the one achievement missing is the WWF Title. 

And the only thing keeping him from the best shot he’s ever going to get is Foley.

Foley takes a piece of paper out of his jacket and slides it to Heyman.  Asks him to sign.

Quickly, they come to a deal.  We don’t know the parameters of the deal at that time, but Swagger gets his shot in the three way dance (that means its an elimination match as opposed to one fall) and there will be X number of Heyman Hustles.  The segment ends with both men standing – Heyman telling Foley that, with both of their appreciation of wrestling history and tradition, it sure would be a shame to have a contract signing where someone didn’t get put through a table.

Heyman’s music hits – here comes Swagger.

Swagger gets in Foley’s face while Heyman turns from reasonable, negotiator guy to evil, I’m about to hurt you guy.

When Rock’s music hits.  His first appearance since the Rumble.

He doesn’t speak – goes right up to Swagger and rock bottoms him through the table. 

Beat 5: Rock is the guest on Heyman Hustle.  Heyman hits Rock in the way that he should, he’s past his prime, his prime wasn’t that good, he’s a helluva talker but this isn’t a debate, it’s a wrestling match, and Swagger’s better and there isn’t a single person in the building who would honestly say differently.

Rock does his shtick, insults Swagger and Heyman in the way that you’d expect. 

Nemeth enters.  He ignores Rock, gets in Swagger’s face, tells him he’s a pussy.  Nemeth had an opportunity to head Underground and took it, had an opportunity to win the WWF Title and took it – Nemeth didn’t hold Swagger back, didn’t try to keep him from achieving anything.  Just took opportunities when they came up.  What Swagger did was cheapshot him to keep him from winning the Triple Crown.  

Swagger’s a pussy.

Swagger swings at Nemeth, Nemeth slips it and the punch connects with Rock.  Rock and Swagger then brawl, Nemeth goes to the top and hits a maneuver to take out both guys. 

A match for the go home RAW is then set up, Rock v. Swagger with Nemeth as the special guest referee, non title. 

Beat 6: Nemeth refuses an invitation to Heyman Hustle, says he doesn’t have to do Paul Heyman’s show – that he’s his own show, that he’s the show off, that at Wrestlemania, he leaves with the Triple Crown, he becomes a wrestling immortal, and he gets to beat a movie star and his former tag team partner to do it. 
Regal is standing with Nemeth as he cuts that promo; with Heyman in Swagger’s corner, Nemeth isn’t taking any chances, he’s bringing Regal to the ring at Mania. 

Beat 7: Punk is set to take on Jericho in the Legends match, he asks Danielson to aid him in preparing.  

Why did Punk lose to Jericho – because Jericho now will do any move at any time, he’s totally unpredictable – who better to prepare for that than someone who is a master of all ring styles.

And Punk can help  Danielson prepare for Lesnar, as the only guy around who has wrestled him in almost a decade.  There are multiple taped training segments, Punk constantly asking Danielson to show him something else. 

Beat 8: Jericho does his Sabu light gimmick in a couple of winning matches, against, say Kingston and Killings.  Then against Mistico – he’s in trouble in the match, and then vanishes in the darkness.

Why Mistico?  He is on a Mysterio revenge tour, he cuts a fiery babyface promo in Spanish after the Rumble on Jericho and Dos Caras (Jericho for the Rumble, Dos Caras for Survivor Series; Mistico, out of respect to Rey’s wishes, didn’t act on his desire for revenge until after Rey left.  I think a super fiery babyface promo in Spanish, even without translation, gets over. 

Jericho disappears when he gets in trouble in their match; Dos Caras also has a singles match with Mistico, and he loses by DQ when Ricardo breaks up a possible pinfall.  Dos Caras, since the Rumble has beaten both Jimmy and Jey Uso, on his own revenge tour for the disruption of his wedding. 

Beat 9: Dos Caras challenges Mistico to a tag match.  Tells him he’s found himself a partner.  Lights out.  Lights on.  Jericho.  He tells Mistico that he can get anyone he wants.

So, it’s a mystery tag partner – which turns out to be Punk.

Recall, Punk lost to Dos Caras at Survivor Series. 

The important spot comes for Dos Caras, he’s hit a move that sends him outside, where he walks around proudly near the ramp – and is then speared out of his boots by Roman Reigns Uso.

Jericho is still able to get a roll up flash pinfall on Mistico – and then in a subsequent singles match beats him decisively.

Beat 10: Taped piece with the Paul Heyman Guys walking around Manhattan.  I’d like to see Brock Lesnar attracting a crowd in NY – something to tie in NY with Mania, to borrow from that energy.  I can’t get the actual show in MSG, but a piece with Lesnar, who would probably be a heavy babyface just walking around New York, would be good footage.

Beat 11: Danielson as the guest on Heyman Hustle.  This gets us, for the first time really in the build, Lesnar face to face with Danielson.  I want them away from each other in the build – they each have enough energy to do their own thing and propel the momentum forward – I think we can build up to this meeting for the very end.  Heyman’s message is that Danielson’s going to get hurt – that his buddy Punk, with his 3 WWF titles, still isn’t the same after getting in the ring with Lesnar.  That Danielson could have been Bruno Sammartino but instead is about to find his career, his life, irrevocably changed.

Danielson says what Heyman doesn’t get, what maybe no one gets, is that’s what he wants.  He wants to take all that Brock has, wants that F5, wants to get on the mat with an All-American, wants to trade punches with the UFC Champion – Danielson holds up the belt, says this doesn’t mean anything unless he’s tested himself under every condition; the WWF title isn’t a participation trophy, it’s not miss congeniality, it’s not perfect attendance – it means you’re the best wrestler in the world, and that means proving yourself against the greatest fighter alive. 

Swagger enters – Heyman makes clear he’ll be bringing his newly won IC title into Lesnar’s corner.
Punk then enters – he says after he wins his Legends match, he’ll be joining Danielson’s corner. 
Best Wrestler in the World.  Greatest Fighter Alive.  Wrestlemania 29.

Beat 12: It ends with the non title Swagger v. Rock.  Nemeth special guest referee. 
Nemeth preens, in the way Shawn Michaels would as a guest referee.  Probably even wears too tight shorts.  Rock does his shtick - but –what we see is he just can’t keep up with Swagger.  Bigger, faster, stronger, younger, better technically and, with Heyman in his corner, willing to do anything.

Rock seizes the advantage with a quick, tide turning move – and that’s when Lesnar’s music hits.

He storms right into the ring, shoves Nemeth out of the way, and takes Rock to the mat. 

Brock lands some heavy blows on Rock as he tries to cover up, Nemeth jumps atop Lesnar, both because he needs Rock to be able to wrestle at Mania to have a chance at the Triple Crown and because Brock just shoved him.

Swagger rips Nemeth away, those two are nose to nose, screaming at each other, when the lights go out.

Lights on.  It’s not Jericho.  It’s Punk – and he lays a kick in to Lesnar. 

Lights off.  Lights on – Jericho – he and Punk begin to brawl – Nemeth and Swagger begin to brawl, Lesnar starts swinging at everyone in the ring – Danielson’s music hits, and he starts walking down the ramp – and that’s how we go home.

We’ll spend less time setting up the other half of the card.

WWF Tag Titles: Empire (Barrett/Ryback) v. The Shield (Black/Ambrose)
No Disqualification Randy Orton(w/Defiance) v. Fandango Johnny Curtis (w/Douchebags)
Fluorescent Light Tubes: John Cena v. The Miz
Sheamus/Big E Langston v. PAUL/Mark Henry

The Shield’s coming out party was the Rumble – they cut a promo in this build saying they were told to wait for their turn; wait behind Empire and Douchebags, behind Sheamus and Nemeth. It’s 2013 and now they’re done waiting – they’re taking all the turns.  Hawkins.  Kidd.  Cole.  Barely a start.  If there’s one thing that wrestling fans should do in 2013 – it’s believe in the Shield. 

Barrett and Sandow, who have now made up in wake of the revelations of Shield attacks, cut a joint promo.  They say The Shield has nowhere to turn.  They’ve burned Underground.  Black already burned GDI.  They’ve proven they are entirely about themselves.

This, incidentally, serves as motivation for entering through the crowd going forward.

Barrett and Sandow say that since the tag title match will be relaxed rules, the Shield shouldn’t be surprised to see if they’re not just facing Empire – but also Douchebags at Mania. 

Douchebags have another Mania date, coming off the Rumble finish, we have a program between them and Defiance, and since that’s a total of 7 men that provides for lots of combinations for the build.

The official match is Orton against Curtis, but it’s No DQ, so the implication is that everyone will be involved. 

Miz beat Cena at the Rumble – the Light Tube Match at Mania is Cena’s signature, so we get that rematch.

Sheamus and PAUL are even; they’re told to find a partner for the opening tag.  PAUL finds Mark Henry, they’re team Knocked The Fuck Out (KTFO).  Sheamus reunites with his Hooligans partner McIntyre – but McIntyre winds up as the next victim of The Shield.  Regal decides to move up Langston from developmental to join Sheamus.

And that’s the card.  Add in a Kings of Wrestling v. Pac/Generico tag match and JR calling his last WWF event, and it's a big, big show.  

WWF Title: Bryan Danielson (w/Steamboat&Punk) v. Brock Lesnar (w/Heyman&Swagger)
IC: Three Way Dance: Rock v. Nick Nemeth(w/Regal) v.Jack Swagger (w/Heyman)
WWF Tag Titles: Empire (Barrett/Ryback) v. The Shield (Black/Ambrose)
Legends: JerichoDeath v. CM Punk
Dos Caras, Jr. (w/Ricardo & Vickie) v. Roman Reigns Uso
No Disqualification Randy Orton(w/Defiance) v. Fandango Johnny Curtis (w/Douchebags)
Fluorescent Light Tubes: John Cena v. The Miz
Sheamus/Big E Langston v. PAUL/Mark Henry

The next TNA show is in March.  Wrestlemania 29 in April.  


Anonymous said...

So I'm guessing you're going to have to change your planned main event for WM 30, due to recent developments?

Jim said...

Without confirming speculation on future booking, I would have preferred other real world outcomes to this one.

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