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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania X-Seven

It has taken us 17 days, but we have arrived at the first Wrestlemania that is universally acclaimed. Every Wrestlemania beforehand there could be an audience that disliked the event, but anyone who says they don't like Wrestlemania X-Seven is frankly just wrong. It is a perfectly structured card, a variety show with a little bit of everything for everyone. Not a single bad match on the card, the worst thing being a 2 minute squash for the women's title and even that was entertaining. Here is the card:

Chris Jericho (c) vs William Regal, IC Championship

Tazz & APA vs Right to Censor

Raven (c) vs Kane vs Big Show, Hardcore Championship

Test (c) vs Eddie Guerrero, European Championship

Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit

Ivory (c) vs Chyna

Shane McMahon vs Mr McMahon, Street Fight

Dudley Boyz (c) vs Hardy Boyz vs Edge & Christian, Tag Championships

Gimmick Battle Royal

The Undertaker vs Triple H

The Rock (c) vs Steve Austin. No DQ for WWF Championship


I mean, how the fuck am I supposed to rebook something that is universally viewed as perfect? There are two 5 star matches here in my opinion, plus plenty of other excellent matches from top to bottom. There is nothing I would personally change, but that makes for a boring article. I can't really say "this is how it's done" so I'll say; WWE, this how it could have been done.


The show opener is for the European championship. Eddie Guerrero walked out of Wrestlemania 2000 with the championship, he holds it until September where he drops it to Al Snow, he is just a transitional champion holding it for a month before dropping it to recent hire William Regal. Regal holds the title from October onwards, calling himself the greatest European champion ever. Someone takes issue with that statement, D'Lo Brown. At No Way Out, Brown defeats Regal for the European title but Regal quickly wins it back on Raw 2 weeks later. They have another rematch set up here. Keep this short and sweet, Regal wins by making D'Lo submit to the Regal stretch. As he celebrates up the ramp, he is knocked out by the IC champion Chris Jericho who is walking to the ring, mic in hand.


After the usual fun Jericho promo, he talks about being IC champion and not having a scheduled opponent tonight. With the WWF recently purchasing their competition, he wants to test who is ready to jump to the big Fed. He calls out anyone from ECW or WCW to answer his open challenge for the title. Answering the challenge is Jerry Lynn. These two only wrestled a couple of short TV matches in WCW, but I would have loved to see a proper PPV match with both men at their best. Give these 10 minutes and they'll have a great match I'm sure. Jericho retains, but they shake hands after the match. Hopefully this would give Lynn exposure for a bigger push throughout 2001.


Next, the APA team with the Big Show to face Right to Censor. I would keep the Big Show as a face through 2000, feuding with the McMahon-Helmsley faction and other heels. He gets embroiled in the Right to Censor feud when they protest Big Show being an active wrestler when he "injures" Steve Richards in a singles match. Richards begins wearing a neck brace, using crutches and even goes in a wheelchair as he "deteriorates". It was all an act though it is revealed, and Big Show teams with the beer-drinking, poker playing bodyguard agency APA to deliver justice. Similar to real life, I'd have this be under 5 minutes as the faces demolish Right to Censor.


Next is the 'ECW Invitational' match. Former ECW legend Raven debuts in the WWF and quickly wins the Hardcore championship. He calls himself the King of Hardcore and challenges any ex-ECW guys to meet him at Wrestlemania. Answering the challenge is; Rhyno, Spike Dudley, Tazz, Mike Awesome and Tommy Dreamer. This is essentially a tribute to the memory of ECW with 6 alumni going at it all over the arena. After 10 minutes of carnage, we have a run in from Beulah McGillicutty (the wife of Tommy Dreamer who featured heavily on ECW) to help her husband DDT Raven to win the Hardcore title. Dreamer celebrates, but he is attacked and rolled up by Crash Holly to win the title. He stands and celebrates before turning to see 6 very angry ECW legends staring him down. He runs away.


At the end of Wrestlemania 2000, 3 of the 4 Radicalz members held a singles championship. The next night on Raw. Dean Malenko wins the Light Heavyweight championship to make it 4 for 4. Guerrero is European champion, Saturn is Hardcore champion and Benoit is IC champion. They reign dominant throughout 2000 but begin to lose their strength in the final half of the year. Saturn loses his Hardcore title to Crash Holly, then Guerrero loses the European championship to Al Snow, then Benoit loses the IC title to Chris Jericho. De facto leader Benoit's relationship with Guerrero deteriorates and only gets worse when Benoit slowly becomes face. Guerrero convince Malenko & Saturn to turn on Benoit, attacking him during a world title match on Raw. Benoit returns the favour, costing Guerrero an IC title match setting up a singles encounter. A competitive 15 minute match, I'd give Guerrero the win. The feud could continue for maybe another PPV match, but I would also have Benoit begin his feud with Angle soon after because they had some amazing matches together.


Jacqueline won the Women's championship from Ivory at Wrestlemania 2000, shortly after though Stephanie should win the title and hold it for a few months. She drops the title to Lita like she did in real life, then Lita quickly transitions the title to Right to Censor's Ivory. She does her anti-sexualising shtick which primarily targets Lita and also Chyna. Ivory should hold the gold until 2001. At the Royal Rumble, Lita fails to win the title after botched help from Chyna. At No Way Out, Lita successfully keeps Right to Censor away as Chyna defeats Ivory. A rematch is booked for Wrestlemania, but as a favour Chyna gets Lita added into the match up too, making a triple threat. Chyna and Lita actually wrestled at Judgement Day for the title, I would still book that but Lita actually defeats her for the title then. Here, I would tease the future singles match but Ivory's involvement breaks it up a lot of the time. Lita hits Ivory with the Lita-sault, but Chyna throws her out the ring and pins Ivory herself. Lita still has a justified reason to hunt the title.


As daft and soap opera as it was, I want to keep the Shane vs Vince street fight. However, with all the recent allegations, I feel really weird booking a "drugged wife whilst cheating on a significantly younger woman whilst also publicly degrading her" angle. So we are going to change the entire set up for this. At the end of the Wrestlemania 2000 main event, Mr McMahon had turned heel once again and joining the alliance of Shane, Stephanie, Triple H and DX. The regime try to rule the Fed with an iron fist but Linda McMahon's presence is giving good guys like the Rock enough chances to foil plans. In late 2000, around September, at the end of a Raw Linda McMahon goes to leave in a car, but another car drives at high speed and smashes into her vehicle. Emergency responders arrive and she is rushed away in an ambulance. The entire McMahon family are in shock and are deeply upset. They begin a company wide investigation. The most obvious suspect to them, is recently returning Steve Austin who has a history with the McMahon family. Austin hates them but he has no issue with Linda. This triggers the Austin vs HHH feud, but Shane doesn't think it is Austin and continues to search. Shane really begins to piece things together towards the end of the year, he seems really close to uncovering who really did it. On the last Raw of the year, Vince tells Shane that he has guaranteed information and wants him to join him in the ring where he will expose the villain. They both stand out there, Shane tells his dad he is ready to deliver sweet vengeance on the bastard. Then, all of Shane's friends the Mean Street Posse come out. He is confused, no way it was you guys? Why? The 3 lads beat up Shane, before holding him in place as Vince reveals it was indeed him who maimed his own wife. He did it for them, he wanted their family to thrive and succeed but his "bitch wife" was jeopardising them. Now he says that Shane is jeopardising the family. Shane's friends betray him and work for Vince, beating up Shane who is also taken away by medical staff. Stephanie doesn't turn face when hearing this, but she is very disturbed and definitely distances herself from him. Shane returns in the lead up to Wrestlemania, buying WCW under his dad's nose and getting Vince to agree to a street fight at Wrestlemania but only if Shane puts up ownership of WCW on the line. I wouldn't have Trish Stratus too involved with this at all except for one capacity. Stephanie cannot bear to visit her mother in such a state so Trish offers to go visit and deliver things on her behalf. Her and Stephanie actually form a small bond together, but I wouldn't exactly call them friends.


So the match can go down in a similar fashion, Stephanie though when she gets involved actually helps her brother by distracting Vince. The match was a great war full of storytelling which I liked a lot. No spot of Linda sitting up though, I know it got such a huge reaction but it doesn't fit my narrative, I think we can live without it. Shane still wins hitting the coast to coast dropkick on a garbage canned Vince. As he is about to leave he gives his dad last fuck you by saying "I lied. I never bought WCW, I just pretended to so I could get this match. However, I know who did buy WCW. It wasn't you. I'd expect to see them, very soon." Some early seeds planted for the Invasion angle.


Following that emotional drama we have a simple tag match. Brothers of Destruction vs Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn. Isn't it mad that we never saw a BoD match at Wrestlemania? Let's change that. Undertaker returned as the American Badass at Judgement Day and properly for the first time he and his brother began being on the same team. In late 2000 I would have the heel Radicalz begin working under Triple H and the rest of his faction. This involved taking out Kane and Undertaker ahead of scheduled title matches. After having a temporarily injured hand, Kane returns fully fit and the two brothers are seeking Vengeance. A lot of this kind of happened in real life, but it set up Undertaker vs Triple H instead of this. Whilst this may seem a bit disappointing on paper, its the best time to have a Brothers of Destruction Wrestlemania match, also Malenko and Saturn would work well for them. Give them 10 minutes, the brothers win. Should be fun.


I'll be keeping the TLC match pretty much unchanged. The previous year, Edge & Christian took the titles from the Dudleys. The same happened again this year, but I would change that. Instead I would have Edge & Christian walk in as the champions and have the Dudleys walk out as a champions as a little reverse of the last result. This entire match is an absolute spectacle.


Similarly I would also keep the Gimmick Battle Royal. It's just a bit of fun init? I really like it. I'd have the Gobbeldy Gooker win, so that they can say both the Undertaker and the Gooker debuted at the 1990 Survivor Series and are undefeated at Wrestlemania. Laugh out loud.


The semi main event does go to Triple H, but it is with Kurt Angle instead of Undertaker. It is the Steph-Kurt-Hunter love triangle! Honestly I thought there were legs for a great feud here, I'm surprised they never got more out of this than they could. Kurt Angle wins the King of the Ring tournament and gets a title shot against current WWF champion The Rock at Summerslam. Angle loses thanks to Triple H getting involved. Over the course of 2000, Stephanie begins to get closer of a friend to Kurt, who is clearly infatuated by her. Triple H doesn't like this but begrudgingly puts up with him for a short while. They work together when feuding with the Rock, setting up a triple threat match at Unforgiven which Angle ends up winning. Around this time, Austin comes back as a wrestler and begins his feud with Triple H. Angle feuds with the Rock for the rest of the year and holds on to the title until losing it to Dwayne at the Royal Rumble. Like real life. During this time, Kurt begins getting very friendly with Stephanie and even plants a kiss on her. This ignites a feud over Stephanie who is caught up in the middle. She loves both of them, but she loves Triple H more. Kurt challenges him to a match at Wrestlemania, he says he is going to hurt him so bad that he won't be physically able to satisfy Steph, so she will come to him. That sounds like something that they would say. During their match, Stephanie is in a neutral corner and is often torn on what to do but ultimately she does cheat to help her husband Triple H hit a pedigree, but only for a 2! The resilient Angle stays in the fight. Angle eventually fights back and wins the match with the Angle slam. Afterwards, he asks Steph if it is him or Triple H, he needs to know. She says sorry but choose Triple H. Angle hits her with an Angle slam and taunts the two. This either makes him a bigger heel, or turns him babyface, depending on who you are. I'm undecided yet.


So yes the main event is of course still Rock vs Austin because it is one of the best main events of all time. The Rock holds the world title for half of 2000 before chasing it or the other half. After winning it back at Royal Rumble 2001, he successfully defends it against Triple H at No Way Out. For Austin, he takes some more time off after Backlash but then returns around September and enters a feud with Triple H because they had some amazing matches. Steve Austin wins the Royal Rumble for a third time in 2001, then defends his right to challenge the champion against Kurt Angle at No Way Out. We don't need the inclusion of Debra in the build, just draw on the two guys' history together and position as top stars in the company. I would have the match play out almost exactly the same, except without the involvement of Mr McMahon. Trying to turn Austin heel when a) he was their top face and b) they were in Texas was a bad a idea. However, there is a way to start the process. In the closing sequence when the Rock keeps kicking out of everything, Austin gets visibly angrier and angrier and punishes the Rock, making him bleed. Then, after one more stunner, Austin locks the Rock in the Sharpshooter. Similar to Austin's match with Bret Hart 4 years prior, the Rock wears the crimson mask whilst trying to fight out of the submission. He can't, but he passes out in the hold and the referee calls for the bell. The referee has to pull Austin off, who delivers a few more stomps to the unconscious Rock before celebrating his win. These actions would usually always be a heel turn, but for Austin in Texas it might just make him look like a badass. To many though, this should be scene as a dick move. Austin begins his reign as champion but he did say that he would do anything to win the world title again.


I would have Austin gradually transition into a heel over the course of the year. The invasion slowly begins with one or two WCW stars appearing in the WWF to win titles. Paul Heyman on commentary acts as a spokesperson for the mysterious new owner of WCW. He promises that very soon, all of the WWF titles will be held by WCW guys. 1 by 1, each title is won by a WCW star. Austin is realising that he is finding it harder to defend his title, he is no longer the spring chicken he once was. He grows more and more desperate to remain champion and his obsession with it spirals. When the WWF title is the only title not held by a WCW guy, his paranoia peaks and eventually, he makes his most desperate move. He turns heel, betraying WWF and becoming the face of the invading WCW. I'll talk more about how the invasion should go down, tomorrow. Here is a quick recap of my booked card:

William Regal (c) vs D'Lo Brown, European Championship

Chris Jericho (c) vs Jerry Lynn, IC Championship

APA & Big Show vs Right to Censor

Raven (c) vs Rhyno vs Spike Dudley vs Tazz vs Mike Awesome vs Tommy Dreamer, Hardcore Championship

Eddie Guerrero vs Chris Benoit

Chyna vs Lita vs Ivory

Shane McMahon vs Mr McMahon, Street Fight

Brothers of Destruction vs The Radicalz

Edge & Christian (c) vs Dudley Boyz vs Hardy Boyz, Tag Championships

Gimmick Battle Royal

Triple H vs Kurt Angle

The Rock (c) vs Steve Austin, No DQ for WWF Championships


What do you think? It felt like an impossible task improving a show that didn't need improving, so I hope that I did alright changing up most of the card to have a different show but still a good one. Let me know what you think, come back tomorrow for rebooking of Wrestlemania X8. I think this one should be a bit easier to change things. Until then, see ya!

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