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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania 2000

Cowabunga home skillet, we have entered the 21st century now. Gone are your "radical" and "tubular" and now we say "chillax" or "Wassup" or "you got served". The year 2000 was an amazing year for WWE, arguably their best in company history at the time. More money than ever before, the best roster ever, pissing all over the competition. Judgment Day? Amazing. Backlash? Phenomenal. Fully Loaded? Banger. No Mercy? Great! Royal Rumble? Very =, very good. Summerslam? Has 3 of the best Summerslam matches of all time on it. No Way Out? Solid with a banging main event. There is so much to like about WWE in 2000. Somehow, by a miracle, WWE's biggest annual event ended up being a total flop. Only 2 matches are really worth watching. The main event, whilst not necessarily a bad match, was incredibly disappointing, dull and contradictory to some great booking they already had set up. Here's a reminder of the card:

Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan vs D'Lo Brown & Godfather

Hardcore Battle Royal

T&A vs Head Cheese

Dudley Boyz vs Hardy Boyz vs Edge & Christian, Ladder match for Tag Championships

Terri Runnels vs The Kat, Catfight

Chyna & Too Cool vs The Radicalz

Kurt Angle (c) vs Chris Benoit vs Chris Jericho. Two-Falls for IC & European Championships

DX vs Kane & Rikishi

Triple H (c) vs The Rock vs Mick Foley vs Big Show, Elimination for WWF Championship

The 3-way ladder match was incredible, an early prototype of the famous TLC match we'd see later in the year. The IC/Euro 3-way was good too though not as good as any of their future matches together. Everything else on the undercard isn't worth your time. Only one singles match and it was a pissing cat fight. Watching Mick Foley work with Triple H to beat up the Rock, considering the history these 3 had over the past 12 months, was blasphemous to watch. So nonsensical. They absolutely made this show so much more awkward and unwatchable than it had to be. WWE, this is how its done.

One quick little story that is running through the show. The Radicalz debuted in the WWF in early 2000 and they say they are better wrestlers than anyone else on the roster. their aim is to storm the Fed, beat their best stars and capture their championships. I'd position them as tweeners so they can compete against both faces and heels for the time being. Also there will be no Austin, Undertaker or Billy Gunn who are out injured.

The show opens with a 6-man tag. Team DX are represented by Road Dogg, X-Pac & Tori. They face Kane, Mick Foley & Chyna. After the heel turn by Triple H and Chyna at Wrestlemania 15, Kane and X-Pac form a team and immediately win the tag titles. They team together all the way until October, when the New Age Outlaws & X-Pac turn heel to reform DX with Triple H. X-Pac asks Kane to join DX, but Kane shakes his head. X-Pac says "I tried" before all of DX destroy Kane with chairs. Kane and X-Pac cross paths at Survivor Series in an 8-man tag, but they have a singles cage match at Armageddon. Kane's storyline girlfriend at the time Tori then also turns heel, betraying Kane and necking on with X-Pac after helping him win. Two lady heel turns in one night. At this time, Chyna is finishing up her feud with Jericho and wonders why she was never invited to the new DX. The guys say "sorry, but your position has already been filled." You can make an innuendo of it, if you're disgusting. Chyna takes exception to being purely categorised as simply "the woman" of DX, she was just as important to their success as they are. This leads to some heated confrontations with Tori and Stephanie, eventually leading to physical confrontation with her and DX. Kane backs her up, seemingly making amends for the events of last year and forming an alliance. Mick Foley had that excellent feud with Triple H. Instead of being forced to retire at No Way Out, I would just have the stipulation be 'if Foley loses he can never challenge for the world title ever again'. Foley says he may not be a world champion ever again, but any chance he can stick it to Triple H and DX, he will gladly accept. No Billy Gunn, who gets kicked out when he picks up a legit injury. This should be a fun opener, have the guys run through their best offence. I would have Chyna destroy Tori pretty convincingly to win the match, maybe with that crazy ragdoll bearhug that she did on Terri that one time.

Next we have a Hardcore Gauntlet Invitational, not a clunky 15 minute battle royal. Tazz debuted in the WWF at the Royal Rumble, I would have him win the Hardcore title a few weeks later from Test. He defends it weekly, successfully too. The 24/7 rule isn't in play until Crash Holly wins the title, we can begin all of the silly 24/7 hardcore stuff following Wrestlemania. Tazz has been unstoppable and craves more competition. He invites anyone and everyone to come challenge him at Wrestlemania. Then I would have Tazz just work his way through some of the roster. Crash Holly comes out first, he gets suplexed and choked out by Tazz quickly, followed by D'Lo Brown and Big Boss Man. Wrestlers like Test, Bradshaw, Al Snow, Steve Blackman and Hardcore Holly put up a better fight but the result is the same. After conquering 9 men, Tazz is feeling the effects but he's still standing. He stands waiting for the next man to enter, Perry Saturn appears from behind with a low blow. He hits him with some weapons before locking in the rings of Saturn. Tazz holds on as long as he can but he passes out in the move. First win of the night for the Radicalz.

Next up we have back to back Kurt Angle matches. After winning both the IC and European championships in quick succession, Angle says he is already the best wrestler in WWF history. When the Radicalz debut, Angle does not see them as a threat. He naively accepts two singles matches and boasts about being able to defeat them both back to back because he is an Olympic hero. He defends the European championship against Eddie Guerrero first, they're a couple years away from their peak but they would still have a good match. Guerrero lies, cheats and steals his way to a victory.

Immediately after, Chris Benoit comes out to challenge for the IC title. Same as before, they can have better matches in the coming years but a competitive 10 minute match with Benoit getting the win. Angle loses both titles in one night, like he did for real. The Radicalz have won all 3 of their championship matches.

Next up is Big Show vs Shane McMahon. One of the biggest downfalls of some of the heel booking in the Attitude era is that both Shane and Stephanie never really get much comeuppance for being arseholes. With Shane being a turbo dickwad for a year and a half at this point, it is time he got some just desserts. After being taken out by the Undertaker who made it his mission to eliminate the Corporation and the McMahon's, Shane McMahon returns at the Royal Rumble and he has a plan to overthrow the new McMahon-Helmsley regime. He makes an ally out of Big Show, who has been feuding with DX for the past few months as a face after the dissolution of the Corporation. Shane uses the company power that he has to schedule a world title match between Triple H and Big Show at the Rumble, but it was all a ruse. Shane turns on Show, costing him his title match and the whole of DX beat him up. Big Show goes on a warpath but is never able to get his hands on Shane until his mother Linda McMahon makes an appearance and thinks it is time that Shane faces the consequences of his actions. She books the match and bans any interference from DX. This should be short and sweet, under 5 minutes of Shane being lobbed about like a toy, Big Show getting an easy, clean win.

The only match on the original card I would keep is of course the 3-team ladder match for the tag titles. Whilst not on par with the future TLC matches, this was still a very entertaining spot fest that raised the bar for tag team wrestling. These 3 teams helped make tag team wrestling in WWE be better than it ever has been. Edge & Christian get the win.

I know that the predominantly horny male demographic probably had a great time watching Terri Runnels and The Kat wearing as little as possible, tearing each others hair out. However, I prefer a little bit more wrestling with my wrestling. I would not have Stephanie win the women's title, at least not yet. Ivory won her first women's championship in June of 1999. I would have her hold it from then until Wrestlemania. No 4th title reign for 76 year old Fabulous Moolah. The Kat doesn't win the title in an evening gown pool match. Harvey Wippleman dressed as a woman does not become the first man to win the women's championship. Give Ivory a nice long run from June until April. Pair here with Jacqueline because in reality these two are the only consistently solid women's wrestlers in the company right now. Trish Stratus and Lita would rise over the course of the year. Give Jacqueline the win and another title reign here, because why not.

The second to last match is a WCW rivalry reignited. Chris Jericho loses his IC championship to Kurt Angle in January at the Royal Rumble. In a rematch at No Way Out, Jericho fails to recapture his title after an attack by a masked wrestler who is identified as Ciclope. However, he removes his mask and it is Dean Malenko. That is a call back to how Dean Malenko returned in WCW to win a battle royal and face Chris Jericho for the cruiserweight title on the same night. Malenko hasn't forgiven or forgotten Jericho's treatment of him in WCW, but he doesn't specify details purely so that the fans can still looke at Y2J as the face. Jericho, with his usual quips, tells Dean to get over himself and move on, this is the WWF not WCW. I'd like at least 15 minutes of Jericho vs Malenko at Wrestlemania, please and thank you. Malenko retires in the next couple of years anyways so I want as much of him as we can get. I would also have Malenko go over here, whilst Jericho has the brighter future I think they should really push the Radicalz as a threat and a competent faction, especially since they just debuted like 2 months prior. Following Wrestlemania, Malenko can go win the Light Heavyweight title and carry that for as long as he likes. Jericho can enter his amazing feud with Chris Benoit over the IC title.

Our main event just needs to be kept simple, Triple H defends his WWF title against The Rock. The McMahon-Helmseley era is under way as Stephanie and HHH are now together, Undertaker and the Ministry of Darkness targeted and wiped out the Corporation, Vince McMahon (now a face) was beaten up and taken off TV due to storyline injuries by Taker. Triple H rose to the top and in control as WWE champion at Summerslam, a feud between him and Austin is planned but Stone Cold ends up having to take time off for legit surgery. No, I would not have Austin be ran over by a car backstage. Here is how I would remove him off camera. HHH gets a restraining order on Austin, making him liable for arrest if he breaches it. After a full show of trash talk, Austin snaps and attacks him, he is arrested and Triple H says he is fired. At this point, DX have reformed and they are the top heel faction. For Survivor Series, the match is change to Triple H vs The Rock vs Chris Jericho. It'll be a good spot for Y2J. Big Show does not win the world title. He has turned face and is feuding with DX. Triple H retains the title at Survivor Series. With Vince gone, I would have the Armageddon match be between HHH and Test, who has Stephanie in his corner as they want revenge on HHH for the drugged-up drive-thru wedding. That is a crazy sentence. Triple H wins with Stephanie turning heel on her former fiancée, they share a kiss over his prone body. Shane McMahon returns and betrays Big Show to also join Triple H and Stephanie. The heels try their very best to keep The Rock away, but the People's Champion wins the 2000 Royal Rumble to book his ticket to a Wrestlemania match. Triple H and DX are prepared to do anything to help Triple H retain but when Linda comes out, not only does she ban any outside interference in the main event, but she also introduces a special referee. Here returns Mr McMahon, he verbally runs down the Game and his daughter for ruining his company. He guarantees that at Wrestlemania, the most worthy to be champion will walk out with the title.

Triple H and The Rock have great chemistry together. With no interference allowed and Mr McMahon as referee, he is very lenient and allows the Rock to use weapons and brawl on the outside for extended periods of time. He also doesn't want to DQ or count out Triple H otherwise he keeps the title. A great 20 minute match later, The Rock finally hits the Rock Bottom. He hooks the leg for the 1-2-...there is no 3 count. The Rock looks over as Vince hesitates to count the final time. He argues with Vince and quickly realises that once again, Vince McMahon is about to screw the fan favourite out of the match. Vince begs off apologetically, but the distraction is enough for Triple to use a sledgehammer to the back of Rock's head, hitting the pedigree for the win. Triple H and Vince share a handshake and a hug, he holds up the champions hand. Many will say that Rock should have won at Wrestlemania, maybe they're right. However, the rematch at Backlash plus the return of Steve Austin is too awesome to not have. I'd have Linda McMahon book the rematch and she says that the Rock won't be alone, he'll have Stone Cold in his corner. Then, like in reality, we don't see Austin until the last possible second, he returns at Backlash, the place comes unglued and Rocky finally wins the WWF championship from Triple H.

Following Mania Kurt Angle can elevate himself to the main event scene, winning the King of the Ring and being a world title contender. Austin can eventually return properly when he is fit enough and feud with Triple H, who I'd have form a loose alliance with Kurt Angle. Mick Foley can semi-retire but appears as the commissioner. The year 2000 gets better and better from here. Here is a quick card recap:

Kane, Mick Foley & Chyna vs DX

Hardcore Gauntlet Invitational, Hardcore Championship

Kurt Angle (c) vs Eddie Guerrero, European Championship

Kurt Angle (c) vs Chris Benoit, IC Championship

Big Show vs Shane McMahon

Dudley Boyz (c) vs Hardy Boyz vs Edge & Christian. Ladder for Tag Championships

Ivory (c) vs Jacqueline, Women's Championship

Chris Jericho vs Dean Malenko

Triple H (c) vs The Rock, WWF Championship

What are your thoughts and feelings? Hey at least there is more than 1 shitty singles match, that is a plus at least. Come back here tomorrow when I rebook Wrestlemania X-Seven, Bloody hell, how do I fix something that is not only fully functional, but is also one of the best of its kind? We'll figure it out together. Thanks for reading!


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