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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania XII

The Iron Man match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels might be the most divisive main event match of all time. Some people, like me, praise the match as being a tremendous feat of stamina and physical storytelling. Other people, like you, say it is a tediously boring match little substance and a lot of time wasting. It is a marmite type of match. It is to me, the only good thing on the show. Here is the rest of the 6 match card:

Camp Cornette vs Ahmed Johnson, Jake Roberts & Yokozuna

Roddy Piper vs Goldust, Backlot Brawl

Steve Austin vs Savio Vega

Ultimate Warrior vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley

The Undertaker vs Diesel

Bret Hart (c) vs Shawn Michaels, Iron Man match for WWF Championship

The 6-man, the Austin match and the Undertaker match were all okay. Warrior squashing HHH was lame. The Backlot brawl match was a poor attempt of capitalising on the OJ Simpson car chase with about 2 minutes of poor wrestling in the ring and Piper "won" by stripping Goldust revealing lingerie under his attire and he ran away. 1996 would see positive changes for the Fed, but the issues were still pretty present here. WWE, this is how its done.

It is worth keeping in mind that Razor Ramon gets suspended before the show for failing a drugs test, hence why he won't be present in my booking here. The show begins with the semi-finals for the vacant IC championship. Following from Wrestlemania X, Diesel holds the IC title until the Raw after Summerslam. He vacates the title after winning the WWF title the night before, more on that later. Razor Ramon wins a tournament and is crowned the new IC champion. He trades the title back and forth with Jeff Jarrett at consecutive PPVs, but he is the winner coming out of the In Your House in October and carries it until the Rumble. He loses the title to the 1-2-3 Kid via shenanigans, setting up a rematch at IYH 6 in February, which Razor wins which is definitely not a cry baby match. With Razor being suspended, the WWF vacate the IC title and announce an 8-man tournament to crown a new champion. We are down to our semis. The first match is Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Savio Vega. No lame squash punishment for big Trips. This should be a solid match, HHH cheats to win and goes to the finals.

The second match of the tournament is Goldust vs Barry Horowitz. I'm going somewhere with this, I promise. Horowitz was always a top talent for putting other guys over and he got a mini push in 1995. I want him to still be getting wins now and then through to this show. Goldust is on the offence a lot but Horowitz fights back and scores a huge upset victory over Goldust. Barry celebrates but post-match he is attacked by HHH and then also Goldust because why not. What pricks. We'll come back to this.

Owen Hart & British Bulldog defend the tag championships against Yokozuna & Ahmed Johnson. Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie were tag champions coming out of Wrestlemania X. Over the course of 1995, as the Hart family feud dies down, British Bulldog tries to make himself into a singles star again. In late '95, Bulldog now also begins to turn on Bret, calling him entitled and thinks he is bigger and better than the whole family. This boils over as they cost each other world title matches. They have their match at the December In Your House which Bret wins. It is around here when Bulldog forms his alliance with Owen Hart, apologising for ever fighting him and they become aligned with Camp Cornette. Owen & Bulldog win the tag titles from the Smoking Gunns at the Royal Rumble and have held them since. Yokozuna is a former member of Camp Cornette, ousted out and turning face in the process. He buddies up with Ahmed Johnson who has had his own problems with Camp Cornette recently. A tag match with two amazing wrestlers helps the limited Yoko and inexperienced Johnson from being overexposed. Thanks to Cornette, Owen and Bulldog retain their gold.

Quick little note. Marc Mero is spotted alongside Sable backstage and is interviewed. He is excited to be in the WWF and is looking forward to watching the IC finals ringside.

Next is the Backlot brawl, but it is going down very differently. It will be Roddy Piper... fighting Steve Austin. In the lead up to Wrestlemania, Piper announces that he will be at the show of shows this year. This draws the ire of Austin who labels Piper a sell-out, a Hollywood whore, all of the insulting adjectives. Piper is worked up into a frenzy and says "If I'm so Hollywood, let's put that to the test. We will have ourselves a Hollywood Backlot brawl!" A brawl between Piper and Austin? Give me a hell yeah. It starts with Austin walking around this undisclosed backstage area, calling out Piper. He turns around when he hears a car horn, Piper drives in and runs Austin over. They have a chaotic brawl throughout the backstage area. I would have the set be like behind the scenes on a movie set. The guys use lights, cameras, boom mics and more to beat the crap out of each other. Austin thinks he has Piper beaten, but the Hot Rod rises to his feet and screams in a crazed manner. Austin gets out of dodge, stealing Piper's car to drive away but Piper has managed to jump on the back of it as it drives away! To be continued.

Next we have Undertaker going 5-0, his opponent is not Diesel. It is Vader. This is the first time I would mention any streak, Vader just casually saying that Taker is undefeated at Wrestlemania but that will change when he is done with him. Make this a 10 minute hoss fight, they can have a very physical contest and it'll be fun. Undertaker gets the win, but Camp Cornette are not done. All 3 wrestlers are now out and deliver a beating to the Deadman. We hear the famous music, out comes the Ultimate Warrior. He fights off Camp Cornette before having an intense stare down with the Undertaker. So, as much as I hate him, Warrior's inclusion was for a reason, he can draw some people in to buying a show. I'm not willing to watch him wrestle though. This way, you can still advertise Warrior as appearing to bring in some extra sales, he gets his little moment but doesn't bury anyone in the process. Also a tease for a future match that will never happen because Warrior is gone within 6 months.

We are back with Austin and Piper. A camera crew in a car drive down a road near the lot and see the car Austin was driving has crashed into a tree. You can hear faint noises of fighting and as the cameramen get closer, we see Austin and Piper fighting each other in the street. This will be on a set of course. They throw each other into doors, into a garage, using pipes and chains and bikes and whatever they find to bludgeon each other. Eventually Austin bails again, using the car he crashed into the tree. Piper takes the car that the cameramen were using, abandoning them behind which I think would be a funny bit. We will be back with this again soon.

The IC tournament finals next, HHH comes out feeling pretty confident since Horowitz is viewed as the heavy underdog and also suffering injury. Marc Mero is supposed to be ringside but he has not appeared. There is a pause of silence and then Howard Finkel announces "due to injuries sustained earlier in the night, Barry Horowitz will no longer be able to compete for the title tonight. However, this tournament match will still go ahead with a replacement contender." The replacement is none other than Marc Mero, making his WWF debut at Wrestlemania XII. What better way to portray and invest in a star than debut him at Wrestlemania in a title match. I would also have Marc Mero win, he is a great wrestler and a big win like this immediately pushes him as a big deal in the company. Hunter can complain that it was unfair, setting up their feud which happened in real life after this show.

Steve Austin arrives at the arena and is in a rush. Piper arrives shortly after wielding a pipe and hollering after Austin. Before he makes it to the ring, Austin ambushes him and beats him down towards the ring. They have a fight in and around the ring for a little while, Piper has the sleeper locked in but Austin transitions into a Stunner and pins Piper for a win. I think that should be a bit of fun, both men are great and I see them having excellent chemistry together.

The main event of Wrestlemania XII is a Three Way Dance. Bret Hart defends the WWF title against Diesel and Shawn Michaels. A Three Way Dance, popularised by ECW since 1994, is a triple threat with elimination rules. Following Wrestlemania XI, Diesel should win King of the Ring and go on to Summerslam. He defeats Bret, like I mentioned, to be the second man to ever hold the IC and WWF titles at the same time. Diesel vacates the IC title and focuses on being world champion. Diesel stays heel and does not reform the Dudes with Attitude with HBK. He successfully defends the title against the Undertaker at In Your House 3, then at IYH4 against Bulldog thanks to Bret interfering. Bulldog returns the favour at Survivor Series costing Bret his match with Diesel. Diesel holds it until the Rumble where Bret gets a rematch and captures his 4th world championship. Also at the Rumble, Shawn Michaels wins the Rumble match like he did in real life. After losing his title, Diesel thinks it is a joke that HBK gets a world title shot when he cannot defeat Diesel. At the IYH in February '96, Diesel faces HBK, if he wins then he gets a world title match at Wrestlemania too. Diesel does in fact win and originally it is revealed we will have 2 world title matches at Mania. However, Bret is a fighter and he offers to fight them both at the same time under elimination rules.

I'd give these 3 plenty of time, a 30-40 minute match because we get a tale of two halves. The first half of the show is watching 3 men who dislike each other just tear each other apart. After a series of 1v1 matches, HBK and Diesel temporarily reform an alliance to put Bret through a table. As the match progresses, rivals Hart and Michaels realise that they are not capable of putting Diesel away alone. They must combine their talents. They form a shaky alliance, Bret locks in a Sharpshooter on Diesel. Whilst Diesel props himself up trying to crawl, HBK nails him with his Sweet Chin Music and both men lie on top of Diesel to eliminate him. That would be a cool visual I think. The second half of this match is a battle between the WWF's best wrestlers for the world title. 15-20 minutes of awesome wrestling, Michaels knocks Hart out with his finisher and falls on top for the 1-2-3. HBK wins his first world title. The boyhood dream comes true.

How did I do? I think the Three Way Dance would be a great alternative main event. Afterwards you can still have Diesel claim Michaels can't beat him on his own. Then you have the Diesel vs HBK No Holds Barred match at IYH 7 a month later, Diesel's last WWF match before leaving for WCW. Here is a recap of the card:

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Savio Vega, IC tournament SF

Goldust vs Barry Horowitz, IC tournament SF

Owen Hart & British Bulldog (c) vs Yokozuna & Ahmed Johnson, Tag Championships

Steve Austin vs Roddy Piper, Hollywood Backlot Brawl

Undertaker vs Vader

Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Marc Mero, IC tournament final

Bret Hart (c) vs Shawn Michaels vs Diesel, Three Way Dance for WWF Championship

Thank you for taking the time to read this one, and all of them if you have managed to keep up. Tune in tomorrow for the rebooking of Wrestlemania 13 and you bet your entire savings that I refuse to have Sid main event this one! Who will be the champion? Who will main event the show? You'll have to wait and see. See you then!


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