Another year of wrestling counted out. 2017 was an eventful time in the WWE to say the least. From some exits out of the company (Neville, Emma, Summer Rae, Austin Aries, to name a few) to new arrivals (Adam Cole baby!!). From the best (Survivor Series fatal 4 way main event) to the worst (Jinder Mahal as champion, Paige’s possible retirement). While January seems to be a time for celebrating the past with the 25th anniversary of Raw next week, I’d like to look ahead and dream up some fantasy bookings and discuss what I would love to happen in 2018, particularly leading up to the Greatest Show in Sports Entertainment. Bookings that I can’t seem to shake out of my head. Possibilities that would be epic to come to life, and some that would be just plain crazy, but would be awesome all the same. Plus, one superstar that I feel deserves a better run that they’re getting right now, and even surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble. Journey down the rabbit hole of imagination with me…
You Can Look…
The Royal Rumble is always a special night. One of the biggest Pay-Per-Views in WWE, you can never go wrong with a few surprise entrants in the Rumble match. What will make 2018 most historic is the addition of the first ever Women’s Rumble. So it would be pretty lame if there wasn’t any surprises in this one. With that in mind, the names I’ll be throwing in the hat for this match are : The Bella Twins. We haven’t seen Brie or Nikki in the ring for some time. Brie has been enjoying retired life as a new mum and her twin Nicole has been enjoying engaged to John Cena and Dancing With The Stars. But both sisters are itching for a comeback. Perfect opportunity then to return to a history-making night. The surprise could not be better, and an awesome tag team to throw a few ladies over the top rope and to lay down a statement that they are back. What could be even more interesting is the other factions that are in the match too. With Absolution and the Riott Squad in the mix, the board is set for an epic throw down. Culminating in a 6 women tag match at Mania?
Take things to the Stratus-phere
Along with the Bellas, Let’s add a smidgen of nostalgia to remind the current roster who paved the way for this current revolution. A tweet from a certain Trish Stratus suggested she was ready to lace up her boots one more time after hearing the huge Rumble news and join the party. A huge name it would be to see the seven-time champion in the night. She was recently announced to appear in the Raw special next monday, could she announce herself as a participant too? While she doesn’t have to stay in the match for long, it would be cool to see her perform again and remind the world why she was one of the greatest women’s wrestler.
Throw in another name in the hat that has been roaming around the rumour mill for quite some time on the World Wide Web. The MMA former UFC fighter Ronda Rousey. Looking like the end of her career inside the octagon, what better time than now to dominate the squared circle like she did in the cage for so many years. And perfect timing to join too. There is already an unbeaten superstar in the name of Asuka. Put these 2 together, and you have a credible fighter in Rousey and a legitimate reason to see who could end Asuka’s nearly 2 year undefeated streak. Breaking the streak has always been a fascinating edge to a contest. Especially with The Undertaker, always wondering in past Mania’s if The Dead Man’s streak would ever be broken. Rousey V Asuka could bring some new excitement into the women’s division.
I’m not finished with you…
Talking of bat shit crazy booking, I’d like to add another dash of fantasy in the Men’s Rumble match. A storyline I would love to see being set up in the WWE is the addition of Chris Jericho’s eventual return… and Kenny Omega. Hear me out. These two had a hard-fought, bloody match at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Japan. A once in a lifetime match that was supposedly never gonna happen, with Omega picking up the victory. But what if they made it into a trilogy? With the success of that fight, surely the two would want to make more bucks? Y2J disgraced the country, gave the middle finger, he even beat up the ref and his son!! Jericho could make his triumphant return in the rumble early, eliminate a few stars, be the G.O.A.T… and then all of a sudden: Omega arrives. Jericho eliminates Kenny, now it’s 1-1. Jericho can easily cut good promos, and can say that Omega has the balls to show up on his turf and try to ruin his comeback to the WWE, well then let’s settle this once and for all at Mania!! I know there’s probably a lot of legal issues surrounding this that couldn’t make this happen, but come on!! Already you’ve got a PPV worth waiting for. More subscribers to the network, more money for the wrestlers, more joy and happiness for the fans. You’re welcome.
The Authority Issue
Since Angle’s return, he has been doing a stellar job as General Manager for Raw. Even competing in a few PPV’s. But like every other General Manager before him, he’s had some issues with the Authority. This past Monday on Raw, Kurt had to fire Strowman for his actions against Lesnar and Kane, and let’s just say he didn’t take the news that well. A call from Stephanie McMahon however, reinstated Braun and is able to compete in the triple threat match at Royal Rumble. The Authority won’t accept that one of their employees was running amok backstage and will blame Angle for not handling it well. Cue a stipulation that Angle must fight one last time to keep his job. Enter The Game as his opponent at Wrestlemania. A seed that was planted in Survivor Series when they couldn’t get along, this contest is already an interesting set up, and finally a one on one match that we’ve longed for since the Olympic gold medallist’s return.
Over on the blue side, it seems management aren’t holding hands along the beach either. To say that tensions are running high between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan would be a bit of an understatement. Many times they’ve disagreed over what’s fair punishment and what’s fair opportunity. Mainly with the once again brothers in arms Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Getting involved in matches between these two has been the focal story point on Smackdown Live. They’ve even been referee’s together in the same match!! One can see this boiling to breaking point and ending up in a match between the two. Although WWE medical staff are adamant that Daniel won’t be wrestling for the company again, there has been talks of Bryan leaving the company and wrestling independently. Could a match between himself and Shane McMahon though? If at all possible, it would be a great way to end this tussle of power they have going on at the minute. If Bryan was cleared for wrestling duty, it would definitely be the way WWE would go with it.
Let the Demon Rise.
An unfortunate injury to Finn Balor at 2016’s Survivor Series has been a huge setback for the young superstar. Not just how long it took for him to recover and come back from the surgery, but creatively too. Once being the first ever Universal Champion and to be the poster boy for the company, he has since been sliding down the roster and floundering in mediocre and meaningless matches. Added to an awful (and even awkward at times) feud with Brey Wyatt. To rub more salt in the wounds, Vince McMahon has claimed Balor is only interesting as the Demon and not as over with WWE Universe. Now I don’t know if McMahon goes to live shows anymore, or is just oblivious to the crowd reaction, but it’s safe to say that if there was a poll asking the fans who was more over, golden boy and chosen one Roman Reigns, or the *cough* not so over Balor, I think I know what the answer would be… Oh wait, there was!!!!:
The tide may be shifting for Balor a little however, he did main event Raw this week, something he hasn’t come close to for a while. It still doesn’t look like he’s getting the push to the top that he deserves. Maybe if he isn’t ready like the boss man says (even though he is) start by putting a belt on him. Like The Intercontinental Title for instance. It seems inevitable that the main event for Wrestlemania is going to be Lesnar and Roman, so why not have Balor take the IC belt and have a huge match at Mania, possibly with Samoa Joe?… Or put everything on red and have Balor win the Rumble and face off with the Beast himself? We’ve already seen that size isn’t an issue with Lesnar and AJ at Survivor Series (another highlight of 2017) so let’s give something new and fresh that the fans want to see.
Holy hell, I should be a booker. In the space of one article, I have created the perfect Wrestlemania:
The Bellas v Riott Squad v Absolution
Rousey V Asuka
Y2J V Omega
Angle V HHH
Shane-O-Mac V Daniel Bryan
The Beast V The Demon
If any of these happen, you know where you saw it here first.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
Do you agree with any of these bookings?
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Next Week: Wrestlers who have retired early.
By George Millard