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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania 39

After 39 days, over a month of running through every single Wrestlemania and trying to make it better we have finally came to our final Wrestlemania booking. Wrestlemania 39 is a tale of 2 halves. Night 1 might go down as one of the best WWE PPV shows of all time. Night 2 still had some great stuff, but also was let down by a couple of matches. Here is the card: Night 1

Austin Theory (c) vs John Cena, US Championship

Street Profits vs Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs Alpha Academy vs Viking Raiders

Seth Rollins vs Logan Paul

Trish Stratus, Lita and Becky Lynch vs Damage CTRL

Rey Mysterio vs Dominik Mysterio

Charlotte Flair (c) vs Rhea Ripley, SD Women's Championship

Pat McAfee vs The Miz

The Uso's (c) vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Undisputed Tag Championships

Night 2

Brock Lesnar vs Omos

Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs Natalya & Shotzi vs Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville

Gunther (c) vs Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre, IC Championship

Bianca Belair (c) vs Asuka, Raw Women's Championship

Snoop Dogg vs The Miz

Edge vs Finn Balor, Hell in a Cell

Roman Reigns (c) vs Cody Rhodes, Undisputed WWE Universal Championship

I enjoyed everything on Night 1, even the Cena vs Theory match which I know most people didn't like much. Night 2 has a stellar IC match, a very good women's title match and a fun Hell in a Cell match though it could have been better. The main event was great too, but many question though whether Rhodes' loss was the wrong call and a deflating end to Wrestlemania. There is a lot about this show that I love and wouldn't change for the world, but that isn't what your here to see. WWE, this is how its done.

I'm happy for Snoop Dogg and The Miz to keep their hosting duties but I don't really care for seeing either of them wrestle. They have some patter and The Miz talks about being the greatest Intercontinental champion in history. The opening show promo is interrupted by the unannounced arrival of the current IC champion, the Ring General, Gunther. He comes down and says "I am insulted by your words Miz and you have seconds to leave my ring before you are in trouble." Dogg & Miz promptly leave. "I find it very insulting that I, the greatest IC champion of all time, do not have a scheduled match for Wrestlemania. There is no one available for me to crush? I very much doubt that. So tonight, there will be no IC championship match. However, I will wrestle somebody. Someone else without an opponent tonight. Brock Lesnar! I am calling you out." That is all the set up this match up needs. It is a dream match, Brock Lesnar comes out and smiles at the thought of a beefy boy match with Gunther. The two powerhouses have a stiff war to open Wrestlemania, Gunther should definitely go over and assume the role as WWE's new unstoppable beast.

So Sheamus and Drew McIntyre had an awesome feud in 2020 into 2021 but in 2022 the two brawling Europeans form an alliance whilst dealing with Imperium as well as the Bloodline. Whilst still with the Brawlin' Brutes, Sheamus and McIntyre form the Banger Bros for their ability to have banger after banger after banger. In the lead up towards Wrestlemania, I would have the other two members of Brawlin' Brutes Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland turn heel on Sheamus and Drew. They justify their reasons out of jealousy that the two wrestling veterans were hogging the spotlight whilst Holland and Dunne became lackeys. Dunne and Holland call themselves the future, the real brawling brutes and they will make a name for themselves at the expense of Sheamus and McIntyre. Drew says "If there is one thing that a Scot and an Irishman can agree on, is that we like to beat up the English. You've had yourselves a Donnybrook in the past and that's all fine and dandy, but at Wrestlemania we are doing things my way. We're having ourselves a Bloody Pagger mate!" We get an all British & Irish tag match between the Brutes and the Bangers, in a match called a 'Bloody Pagger'. God hearing the Americans say pagger is going to piss people off. It is a no holds barred brawl in and around the ring, I'd give the win to Holland and Dunne who I think would benefit a lot more from it.

So after Cody Rhodes makes his WWE return at Wrestlemania 38, he can have his Seth Rollins feud but then he gets injured and doesn't appear again until the 2023 Royal Rumble. He announces his return ahead of time and he talks about his two main goals. He wants to win the title his dad never did, the WWE championship, and also wants to prove that he can be the next face of the company. He always knew he was able to do it, but now he feels like WWE are giving him the chance to really become THE guy. Rhodes returns in the Rumble match at number 29. After a rush of offence, number 30 enters. It is John Cena. The two men stand face to face. The face of the WWE for the last 20 years vs the man who feels it is his time to be the face. They do not come to blows, they are attacked by other participants before they interact. Both men are eventually eliminated from the Rumble match. Sorry Cody, you can win the Rumble in 2024 still though. In the build towards Wrestlemania Cody says he believes in the words of the legendary Ric Flair "to be the man, you gotta beat the man." John Cena has been the man in Pro Wrestling for 2 decades. If Cody wants to be what he aspires to be, then he must prove that he is ready. The challenge is laid out and John Cena accepts, I can imagine the weekly promo battles these two could have. The vague AEW references, the comparisons and differences between the two men's careers and rises. It would be sensational mic work. Rhodes vs Cena at Wrestlemania is a passing of the torch moment. Cena gives his all, but Cody gives more and defeats Big Match John with a pair of Crossroads'. Cena raises Rhodes' hand and acknowledges that Rhodes is the new face of the WWE. There is always a risk with these torch passing matches, but Cody is so charismatic and likable that I think this would be a great moment for him.

I still had the Hurt Business as an active faction when we were talking about Wrestlemania 38. I would keep them active throughout 2022 but signs of fallout start to form as Bobby Lashley and MVP get into conflict more and more. Eventually, MVP betrays Lashley and has all of the faction attack him, ousting Lashley from the Hurt Business and turning him face. Lashley wants his revenge on MVP specifically, but MVP refuses to face Lashley unless he runs the Hurt Business gauntlet. So at Wrestlemania Bobby Lashley must defeat all of his former allies to get his hands on MVP. Lashley faces Cedric Alexander first. Cedric uses some flashy offence but within a couple of minutes Lashley grabs him in mid-air for a dominator and the pin. Shelton Benjamin fairs a bit better, wrestling for over 5 minutes but he is caught in the Hurt lock and submits. Next though, is Omos. The Nigerian giant dominates Lashley but Lashley eventually catches him in a huge suplex and manages to pin him. Lashley is worn down though and whilst the referee is distracted getting Omos out, MVP whacks Lashley with his cane and is able to steal a cheap victory over Bobby. The feud can carry over into one more match on Raw, Lashley defeating MVP inside a steel cage.

Damage CTRL debut at Summerslam 2022 when Bayley returns from injury flanked by Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky from NXT. They cause shock waves in the women's division and quickly become the most dominant and entertaining force in WWE. I would actually have Asuka join their ranks too, far earlier than what they really did. Have her turn heel and join Damage CTRL during the Women's WarGames match at Survivor Series, helping Damage CTRL get a big victory. Bayley and her faction call themselves the most dominant group of women in WWE history, no one can measure up to them. They are insulted that names such as Trish Stratus, Lita and Beth Phoenix are held up with such high acclaim when they are nothing compared to them. We have guest appearances on Raw and Smackdown by the 3 Hall of Fame women and they are all attacked by Damage CTRL. Beth Phoenix's best friend Natalya tries to help but she isn't enough on her own. This builds to an alliance between 3 HOFs and a future HOF in Natalya, setting up an 8-woman tag at Wrestlemania. We get the nostalgia of seeing Trish, Lita and Phoenix show they can still go, but ultimately Damage CTRL score the win to solidify their strength and unity as a faction.

So after Wrestlemania 38, the Universal title is vacant due to the injury to Big E that I feel too uncomfortable pretending didn't happen. Winning a tournament to become the new Universal champion is AJ Styles. Styles holds the Universal title for a good few months, but later in the year the unthinkable happens. A tragedy to all wrestling fans everywhere. Mr Money in the Bank for 2022 blindsides him and cashes in successfully to win the Universal championship. That person should be...Logan Paul. Now wait, wait, WAIT. Don't get mad, actually do get mad because if you're angry you're supposed to be! Have Logan win the Money in the Bank briefcase and just disappear, we never see him again until he cashes in. I know we all hate the guy, but here are some hard truths. 1) He is incredibly talented in the ring and on promos. 2) He has an incredibly large fan base than would indeed get views and headlines if he was a world champion in WWE. 3) It is just wrestling, it is fictional fighting, calm the fuck down. The heel heat on Logan as world champion would be unseen. Have Logan appear everywhere with the Universal championship but rarely defend it. I mean, Roman Reigns was doing that already so what is the harm. He defends it against Styles at Survivor Series in a rematch then he defends it at the Royal Rumble against Bobby Lashley thanks to Hurt Business interference. At the Elimination Chamber PPV, the winner of the match and finally getting another opportunity to win a world championship is Edge. Edge and Logan Paul have history over their altercation at Wrestlemania 37 that I booked, Edge speared him after defeating Sami Zayn. Logan Paul hasn't forgotten and he wants a measure of revenge. He refuses to fairly defend his Universal title against Edge unless the Rated R Superstar agrees to one condition. When Edge once again fails to win a world championship, he is done with wrestling. He retires permanently this time. Edge struggles with this, but being a world champion means everything to him and he accepts the terms. They have a great match, Logan busts out signature moves of iconic rivals of Edge's past. Randy Orton's RKO, the Hardy's Twist of Fate, Cena's AA, Christian's Killswitch and even Chris Jericho's Walls of Jericho. Really sell and push the match to feel like a tribute to Edge's career so a retirement is very plausible. The veteran stays in the fight though, turning the tide and after a pair of spears, he makes Paul submit to his Edgecator submission move to finally win the world championship he sought after, 3 years after his in ring return. The next night, I would have Edge retire the Universal championship belt and re-introduce the classic big gold, World Heavyweight championship. He can have a nice reign, drop the title to Seth Rollins before eventually leaving WWE to end his career in AEW like he seems to be doing.

The main event for Wrestlemania 39 Night 1 is for the Raw Women's title, Bianca Belair defending against Becky Lynch. Both women should be face going into this match, Lynch wanting to test herself against the rapid rising star that is Bianca Belair. There isn't much of a feud going into this except they are both 2 of the best wrestlers on the planet currently and it should be a first time match up when this takes place. Lynch throws her entire arsenal at Bianca but cannot keep her down, she gets visibly frustrated and gets more aggressive. Her aggression backfires, causing her to be complacent and Bianca capitalises. She reverses a Manhandle slam into a KOD to retain her title. After the match, a bitter Lynch brutally assaults Belair and leaves her for dead. Lynch turns heel, we can have their feud take place over the Spring/Summer of 2023 during which we can see Iyo Sky cash in to win her first world championship.

Night 2 of Wrestlemania 39 opens with The Uso's defending their Smackdown Tag Championships in a 4-way elimination tag. On Night 2, all of the Bloodline are in matches. The Uso's have held these titles for well over a year by this stage, 3 other teams in the division seek to dethrone them and begin to start tearing down the defences of the Bloodline. The challengers are Imperium, the Street Profits and DIY. The match goes 15-20 minutes. All 4 teams get time to shine in the first third of the match. The Street Profits are the first to be eliminated, Angelo Dawkins pinned after a double Uso splash. Imperium are next to go, also falling victim to a double Uso splash leaving us down to the Uso's and DIY. I'd give these two teams at least 10 minutes to work a tag match. The Uso's operating at their best but DIY are the resilient underdogs in this match. After a great back and forth, DIY catch Jimmy Uso with their Meet in the Middle finisher for the 1-2-3, DIY win their first main roster championships. Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman are seen backstage, Heyman looks worried whilst Reigns is visibly pissed off.

LA Knight starts making waves when he lands in WWE and wows the crowd with his unparalleled charisma. Knight promises that he is going to be a star in this company and he doesn't care at who's expense that is. One man who he rubs up the wrong way is Seth Rollins. Knight pokes fun at Rollins' eccentric attire and personality causing Rollins to poke fun back. "Have you ever even been a world champion Knight? Oh yeah you have, but I guess you barely made an...Impact, did you?" See what I did there? Honestly I just think Rollins and Knight could do some gold on the mic together and create a programme that the fans would be really invested in. They have a good match at Wrestlemania which I'd give the win to Rollins to. I think Knight can deal with a loss here since he was still a heel, plus Rollins gains momentum heading into his Heavyweight championship win.

Following Wrestlemania 38, Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey continue their feud over the Smackdown Women's Championship. Their final match up as at Money in the Bank, where Ronda finally gets the win over Becky but immediately after she is cashed in on by the MITB winner earlier that night, Liv Morgan. Morgan and Ronda then feud for a couple months which Morgan manages to escape with wins over Ronda when she is the clear underdog. Ronda loses her cool and brutally attacks Liv, getting suspended for doing so and putting Liv on the shelf. Morgan still tries to be a fighting champion which is admirable but it costs her. She eventually loses her championship to Charlotte though she put in a great effort. Soon after, Ronda Rousey returns and seeks a match with Charlotte for the title on the line. During that match, Morgan gets a measure of revenge by attacking Ronda causing a DQ and ending the match. Ronda is now LIVID and seeks to destroy Liv. The following Smackdown she is seen pacing backstage looking for Morgan, she thinks she has found her locker room but she is greeted by Morgan's newest friend and muscular bodyguard, Raquel Rodriguez. Raquel tells Ronda to leave Liv alone or she will make sure she never comes back here. Ronda backs away but she concocts a plan. She baits Raquel to come out and face her in a singles match, but during the entrance Shayna Baszler attacks, helping her friend Ronda. "I have friends too Raquel!" They double team Raquel, Liv makes the save wielding a chair. This builds up towards a No Disqualification tag match between the 4 women. It is a competitive brawl with a lot of intensity. The closing spot I would like to see Morgan dive off from Raquel's shoulders through Ronda and Shayna lying on a table. Liv and Raquel pick up the feel good victory.

Finn Balor walks out of Wrestlemania 38 as the US champion but he should soon lose it to Bobby Lashley. Lashley can have a nice wee run with the belt but he loses the title when he is betrayed by his former Hurt Business friends. He drops the title to Solo Sikoa, who at this point has only been a part of the main roster for a couple of months after his debut at Clash in the Castle. Solo holds the title all the way through to Wrestlemania where he is challenged by Kevin Owens. Owens is part of the movement who are rallying to try and overthrow Roman Reigns and the Bloodline from the top. Sikoa and Owens have a 10-15 minute match, I think it would be pretty good. Owens gets a small taste of revenge by dropping Solo with a stunner and pinning him for the US title, this should also be Solo's first televised singles loss. Backstage now, Heyman looks almost close to tears whilst Reigns looks just as angry as he did earlier, but this time there is a glint of fear in his eyes. The Uso's try to enter his locker room but Reigns demands they leave, calling them failures and a disgrace to the family.

The one match that I am keeping unchanged on this card is Rhea Ripley vs Charlotte Flair. I think this is the best women's match in WWE history, I really do. Rhea Ripley wins the Royal Rumble, she challenges Charlotte and wants to avenge her loss to Charlotte a couple years prior. Rhea wins in their epic encounter where she can begin her reign of dominance over the WWE as the division's Mami.

At Clash at the Castle 2022, Dominik Mysterio spat his dummy, kicking Edge in the nuts and turning heel to join the Judgement Day. He does not lay a hand on his dad though, important detail. Edge is gunning for revenge but Rey is really torn, he does not like his son's actions but he refuses to get physical with him at all. This eventually leads to Rey Mysterio costing him and Edge a match against the Judgement Day. Rey hops off the apron and leaves Edge to fight the faction on his own. In the following weeks, Rhea Ripley would like to announce and introduce their newest member...Rey Mysterio! Rey joins the Judgement Day, reluctantly. He says if this is something Dominik wants to do that will benefit his career, then as a father the best thing he can do is support his son. Rey does not turn heel, but he allows Dom to run around with the Judgement Day and do nefarious things. Rey wrestles with the Judgement Day, he tries to keep the match clean and respectful but there is always cheating going on around him. Dominik Mysterio and Finn Balor win the Raw Tag Championships together. Rey's passive stance on his son upsets recently debuting Legado del Fantasma; Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde and Cruz del Toro. They look up to Rey as a legend of their craft, but his lackadaisical attitude towards Dom's antics has been hard to watch. They plead for Rey to discipline his son and stand up to the Judgement Day but Rey says that things are far more complicated than that. Naturally, a feud between the Judgement Day and Legado del Fantasma forms and we get ourselves an 8-man tag match between the 2 factions. Legado bring in an honorary member to fight alongside them, the returning Bad Bunny. During the match, the Judgement Day maintain control by cheating but later on in the match after receiving verbal abuse from his fellow "allies", Rey has had enough and prevents his team from cheating anymore. This ends up costing them the match, Santos Escobar getting the pin for his team. The Judgement Day chew out Rey, even Dominik gets in his dads face and shoves him. Rey has reached his limit, he slaps his own son and demands some respect from him. Dom looks like he is about to cry. Judgement Day beat up Rey, but Bad Bunny with the Legado come back to save Rey from the attack. You can form LWO shortly after this, you can have the Priest vs Bunny match at Backlash and you can have the Mysterio feud carry on throughout 2023. I want a mixed tag ladder match at Summerslam 2023; Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor vs Rey Mysterio and Zelina Vega, a custody of Dominik Mysterio match for the second time ever. That is just funny to me.

Our Night 2 main event then is WWE champion Roman Reigns defending against the winner of the 2023 Royal Rumble, Sami Zayn. The Bloodline story was art, so I don't really want to change much. Roman Reigns wants one of the Bloodline to win the Rumble so that they can relinquish their title opportunity and the championship can comfortably stay around the waist of the Tribal Chief. Against all of the odds, Sami Zayn manages to win the Royal Rumble and Roman Reigns is just so proud of his honorary Uce. He was wrong to doubt Sami Zayn...until he wasn't. Sami Zayn saves Kevin Owens from the brutal beat down at the hands of the Bloodline. Sami then turns the chair onto Reigns and officially leaves the Bloodline. He is brutally beaten and his clearance for Wrestlemania is unsure. A few weeks prior to the show, Zayn returns and not only guarantees he will be at Wrestlemania, but he has pulled a couple of strings to give him the best possible shot at ending the Roman tyranny. Zayn will fight Reigns inside of Hell in a Cell. The first ever Hell in a Cell main event at Wrestlemania. Reigns and Zayn have a similar match they had at Elimination Chamber in real life but of course with the Hell in a Cell factor too. Eventually we have the Bloodline come out and try and enter the cell. The Uso's attack the outside official as Solo comes down with boltcutters. They break into the cell but by this point Sami has some allies coming to his aid. Kevin Owens, DIY and even Cody Rhodes come out to help fight the odds. We see a brief stare down between Rhodes and Reigns, teasing the future main event for Wrestlemania XL. The Bloodline have been cleared, they are fighting around the outside of the cell now. It seems like it is finally down to just Reigns and Zayn, can Zayn finally end the title reign? That is when we hear...IF YOU SMELL....WHAT THE ROCK....IS COOKIN'. The Rock returns at Wrestlemania, the crowd erupts, everyone is frozen still in shock, even Roman Reigns. The Rock gets to the ring and he gets in the face of his "cousin", before dropping Sami Zayn with a Rock Bottom. Reigns hits him with a final spear. Reigns retains the championship. The Rock raises Roman's hand and raises one finger to the sky. The Rock represents the Bloodline now. This way we can still build things for how they are heading into Wrestlemania XL, plus it is still an interesting new development in the story. I also think the return of the Rock paired with a supposed heel turn helps cushion the blow of a deflating Roman Reigns win, because I think that Roman holding the title for over 1000 days is pretty cool and I am happy to book it that way.

So that is the final Wrestlemania fantasy booking out of the way. Here is a recap of the card: Night 1

Gunther vs Brock Lesnar

Sheamus & Drew McIntyre vs Brawlin' Brutes, A Bloody Pagger

Cody Rhodes vs John Cena

Bobby Lashley vs Hurt Business, Gauntlet match

Damage CTRL vs Trish Stratus, Lita, Beth Phoenix & Natalya

Logan Paul (c) vs Edge, Universal Championship

Bianca Belair (c) vs Becky Lynch, Raw Women's Championship

Night 2

The Uso's (c) vs Imperium vs DIY vs Street Profits, SD Tag Championships

Seth Rollins vs LA Knight

Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez, No DQ

Solo Sikoa (c) vs Kevin Owens, US Championship

Charlotte Flair (c) vs Rhea Ripley, SD Women's Championship

Judgement Day vs Legado del Fantasma & Bad Bunny

Roman Reigns (c) vs Sami Zayn, Hell in a Cell for WWE Championship

What did you think? I found it hard because there was so much good booking Triple H did that I didn't want to get rid of. Thank you to you reader, whether you have only read this one, several articles or if you are a crazy person and have read every single one of my blogs. I really appreciate your time and your support. I'll be in Philadelphia by the time this is out. I am unsure when my next blog post will be. I will probably write one full article covering my time at the wrestling over Wrestlemania weekend. Then I have some reviews to catch up on as well as some other series' to finish writing. Until the next one, take care!


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