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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania VII

Throughout 1990 and 1991, the world news was taken by storm as Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched an invasion into Kuwait and occupied the territory within 2 days. The war lasted over 6 months, with approximately 100,000 people either wounded or killed. The Gulf war was detrimental in so many ways, so many lives were at risk. The US were heavily involved, so of course the WWF created a storyline that ran alongside the very real scenario. Sgt Slaughter turned heel and became an Iraqi sympathiser, even winning the world title. Hulk Hogan, the patron saint of America, aimed to take down Slaughter for America. He even said that Saddam Hussein would surrender the moment Hogan bodyslammed Slaughter. It is often looked back on as one of the worst booking decisions in Wrestlemania history, not only was it distasteful but poorly built and executed. This was the card:

The Rockers vs Barbarian & Haku

Texas Tornado vs Dino Bravo

British Bulldog vs Warlord

Hart Foundation (c) vs Nasty Boys, Tag Championships

Jake Roberts vs Rick Martel, Blindfold match

Undertaker vs Jimmy Snuka

Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage, Retirement match

Genichiro Tenryu & Koji Kitao vs Demolition

Mr Perfect (c) vs Big Boss Man, IC Championship

Earthquake vs Greg Valentine

Legion of Doom vs Power & Glory

Virgil vs Ted DiBiase

The Mountie vs Tito Santana

Sgt Slaughter (c) vs Hulk Hogan, WWF Championship

There were some decent matches. The opener was a fun tag match, Warrior vs Savage was excellent, the Harts carried the Nastys to a good match. Not enough to prevent the show from overall disappointment. A lot of weak matches, a few pointless short matches and a bland formulaic Hogan main event. There is a lot of room for improvement. WWE, here is how I would have done it.

We have a lot of history to rewrite so let's get cracking. The opening tag match between the Rockers and Barbarian & Haku was pretty good so I want to keep it, but have it be for the championships. After the Hart Foundation win the tag titles at Wrestlemania VI, they hold those titles all the way until Survivor Series when they drop them to the Rockers. The Rockers really should have had an acknowledged title reign. They are the champions going in to the show, they unsuccessfully defend the titles here against the heel teams who use their power advantage to win the championships. I'd have Barbarian & Haku hold them until Summerslam where they drop them to the Legion of Doom.

Another title match follows, Jake Roberts defending his IC championship against Rick Martel. How did we get here? Well, following my booking from the previous Wrestlemania, Mr Perfect holds the IC Championship until Summerslam where he loses to the Texas Tornado (like real life) but then quickly wins it back again in November (also in real life). At the Survivor Series only a week or so later, Jake Roberts finally defeats Curt Hennig to win his first singles championship in WWF. Roberts and Martel were feuding in real life anyways so I would keep that. This is NOT a blindfold match. Whilst the audience had fun, it was not a good match to watch. This is just a normal match. In the build Roberts is blinded with Martel's atomiser and begins sporting an eyepatch. At this start of the match, Roberts removes the eyepatch and is seemingly 100% fit. Towards the finish, Martel uses the spray again, hitting his finisher to win the IC championship. It should be a much better match than what we really got. I wuld have Martel hold the title until Summerslam where he loses it to Bret Hart, then have the Mr Perfect vs Bret Hart match we got take place at Survivor Series instead. That is relying on Mr Perfect being physically healthy enough, but this is my fictional world so I'm saying that he was.

Next up we get a 6-man tag match. British Bulldog, Texas Tornado & Tito Santana vs Hercules, Paul Roma & The Warlord. I would have the 3 heels be in a faction called the Triangle of Terror, because that is a cool heel team name but I don't want a faction of evil Iraqi sympathisers. 3 great wrestler, 1 good wrestler, 1 average wrestler and also Paul Roma. This should be a competitive match, the faces win to avoid too many heel wins early on.

Next up, the feud between Ted DiBiase and Virgil. The match wasn't too spectacular but the feud was pretty well built. I would keep Roddy Piper in Virgil's corner, he punches DiBiase when the referee is turned around and helps Virgil score a win. A nice wholesome moment.

Next, we have Paul Bearer's open invitation to face The Undertaker. Mean Mark debuted at Survivor Series and everyone should be terrified by his dominance. Everyone tries to avoid wrestling him. At Wrestlemania, They come out and Paul Bearer says "No one in the WWF can stand up to the Deadman, he is unstoppable, unbeatable and unbreakable. Everyone cowers in his presence. I doubt anyone will step up to the challenge." We get some music, then out comes The Dragon, aka Ricky Steamboat. He returned to WWE in 1991 but appeared at some TV tapings not being booked for the show. I would have Steamboat's big return be here, give him a grandiose entrance with the fire and the costume because it did look cool. Please just call him Ricky Steamboat though. The issue with most of Undertaker's bad Wrestlemania matches is that they're bigger opponents, Taker works best with smaller more athletic wrestlers. He is still green but Steamboat will help him through a solid first Wrestlemania win. He goes 1-0 with a win over an established star.

Next, the retirement match. Keep all of this time same. The match was amazing and so was the post-match angle. Sherri attacks his client before Miss Elizabeth saves him, reuniting the lovely couple for the first time in 2 years. An awesome moment and a lovely send off for Savage, who definitely did not ever wrestle again. Definitely.

I want to keep Genichiro Tenryu & Koji Kitao on the card. Tenryu is one of the greatest Japanese wrestlers, being a legend in AJPW and had stints in NJPW, NWA territories and WCW. Their match with Demolition sucked, but that's because their styles did not mesh. Who's styles would mesh? The Hart Foundation. Give me plenty of Bret vs Tenryu please. I would put over Tenryu because the Hart Foundation would break up soon anyways as Bret became a singles star and Neidhart would form the New Foundation with Owen.

Sgt Slaughter vs The Mountie next. No Iraqi-sympathetic bullshit. Keep the Sgt as a pure American face. No references to the war, but have the Mountie bash America in a traditional evil foreigner manner. Slaughter can stand up for his nation, he can be a patriotic hero and even send his support to the US troops, but do not make it a core part of the storyline. Jacque Rougeau as the Mountie can wrestle a good match, he'' help the aging Slaughter to a solid encounter. Have the USA win of course, 'murica and all that jazz.

Our penultimate match, Legion of Doom vs Demolition. Unfortunately Ax left the company so we're stuck with Crush, but they can still build this as a huge marquee match. The similarities are not subtle, the fans can compare both teams as near equals. Demolition can say LOD are walking into their division, they are the most dominant tag team in the WWF. The LOD can say that Demolition were only that successful because they weren't here to put them in their place. A back and forth power match, have the LOD go over because they are by far the bigger stars, Demolition would separate later in the year anyways.

So, what is our main event if not Hogan vs Slaughter. Well, there are 2 notable names missing, this is the scenario. So, Royal Rumble 1991. current WWF champion Ultimate Warrior is actually feuding with...Mr Perfect. After losing the IC championship, Curt Hennig sets his sights on being a world champion. He can run down Warrior for all the ways he is not perfect, because there are many. Warrior vs Perfect at the Rumble should be a good one, Perfect could help Warrior to a great match similarly to what Savage did. Have the finish be similar, the Macho King runs out and clocks Warrior with his sceptre, Mr Perfect nails him with the Perfect Plex to win his first world championship. I'm writing a lot of wrongs in wrestling history. Piper gets a world title, Roberts gets a singles title and Perfect gets a world title. Hogan still wins at the Royal Rumble, he can go after the world title in a feud all about being the very best. It should be a great main event, and I would have Hulk Hogan still go over for the win. Wait, wait, wait now I know, yes, Hogan wins lol. I know I have removed almost all references of the Iraqi Gulf War, but it is still a real dangerous situation and I think the show needs a positive happy ending. Sure Hogan is not as on top as he once was, but he was still beloved by many and was not quite yet at the point fans were turning on him.

So that is how I would have booked Wrestlemania VII. Here is a recap of the full card:

The Rockers (c) vs Barbarian & Haku, Tag Championships

Jake Roberts (c) vs Rick Martel, IC Championship

British Bulldog, Tito Santana & Texas Tornado vs Hercules, Paul Roma & The Warlord

Ted DiBiase vs Virgil

The Undertaker vs Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat

Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage, Retirement match

Hart Foundation vs Koji Kitao & Genichiro Tenryu

Sgt Slaughter vs The Mountie

Legion of Doom vs Demolition

Mr Perfect (c) vs Hulk Hogan, WWF Championship

How was that? Yeah Mr Perfect doesn't get a very long reign, but a short and sweet WWF title reign is better than no title reign. I would much prefer this main event than the one we got. Lemme know what you think, come back tomorrow for a rebook of Wrestlemania VIII. Time to book the blockbuster main event we should have had. Thanks!


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