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  • Connor Ewens

Fantasy Booking: Wrestlemania XX

The 20th Wrestlemania was the third and final to air from the famous Madison Square Garden, like Wrestlemania I and X before it. The show crowned Chris Benoit as world champion, who closed the show standing with best friend and also world champion Eddie Guerrero, seemingly a glimpse into what the main event scene in WWE would look like for the next few years. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass. Both Benoit and Guerrero were no longer world champion after Summerslam and they never climbed that mountain again. Guerrero tragically died a year later, then Chris Benoit committed a double murder and suicide 2 years later. Whilst the disgusting tragedy will never be forgotten, it is important to approach these scenarios objectively and with perspective, because I have talked about him and booked him for the amazing wrestler he was at the time, and for the next couple of Wrestlemania events I'm going to continue to do so, because as a wrestler he might be the best ever. We shouldn't be afraid to talk about him because of what happened, we can be mindful of his sins as well as remember how fucking talented the man was. Anyways, rant over. here is the card:

Big Show (c) vs John Cena, US Championship

RVD & Booker T (c) vs Cade & Jindrak vs Dudley Boyz vs La Resistance, World Tag Championships

Christian vs Chris Jericho

Evolution vs Rock 'n' Sock Connection, 3-on-2

Torrie Wilson & Sable vs Miss Jackie & Stacy Keibler, Playboy Evening Gown match

Chavo Guerrero (c) vs Akio vs Billy Kidman vs Funaki vs Jamie Noble vs Nunzio vs Rey Mysterio vs Shannon Moore vs Tajiri vs Ultimo Dragon, Cruiserweight championship

Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar

Too Cool (c) vs World's Greatest Tag Team vs Basham Brothers vs the APA, WWE Tag Championships

Victoria (c) vs Molly Holly, Hair vs Title for Women's Championship

Eddie Guerrero (c) vs Kurt Angle, WWE Championship

Undertaker vs Kane

Triple H (c) vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit, Heavyweight Championship

Yeah Lesnar vs Goldberg was ass wasn't it? Two men who were working the last match of their current contract and the fans knew, they turned on them hard so both of them stopped caring. That's why I booked it a year earlier. Both world title matches were awesome, as was the 3-on-2 match full of past and future world champions. The Undertaker's return to being the Deadman was cool even if the match was just average. On the other end of the spectrum, both 4-team tag matches were a bit of a clusterfuck especially the WWE tag one. The Playboy women's match was absolute trash, a complete U-turn on what women like Trish, Lita, Victoria and Molly Holly had built in the past couple years. Talking about Molly, she sacrificed her hair just to get a match on the card, a bloody women's title match nonetheless! It paid off though, props to you Holly. The positive outweighs the bad, but there is still a way for this to be enjoyable from top to bottom. WWE, this is how it's done.

Whilst I thought the Cruiserweight open was a fun match, 10 men in a10 minute match felt like way too many cooks in the kitchen. I would simplify this and have this purely be Chavo Guerrero defending against Rey Mysterio. Build this on Chavo being jealous of the relationship Rey his to his cousin Eddie. Eddie and Rey are both hot faces and Chavo is being a brat about it. He targets Rey and tells him to stay away from his family, simultaneously trying to reform Los Guerreros with Eddie. Eddie has bigger and better things to worry about, plus he likes Rey and says Chavo should too. That only adds more fuel on the fire. Chavo and Rey can have a fast paced 10 minute opener that Chavo wins, continuing his cruiserweight title reign.

The second match is a number 1 contender match for the US championship. So they brought back the US title in 2003, hooray, but I think there is a fun way to do this. Following Wrestlemania XIX Angle retained the WWE title and here I would have the continuation of his feud with Lesnar, eventually Lesnar winning back to WWE championship at Vengeance. After losing the title, Angle insists on holding a championship because he is an American hero and worth more than anyone else on Smackdown. Angle himself brings back the US championship, calling himself America's champion. Angle's reign begins at the start of August and he successfully defends it at every PPV and a few Smackdown shows. At No Way Out 2004, Angle defeats John Cena and Big Show to retain the US title but both men feel like they could have won if it was a straight singles. So now we have Cena vs Big Show at Wrestlemania, the winner facing Angle later in the night. I'd keep the match relatively short, Big Show isn't in his best physical condition here but it would be a big win for Cena and the FU spot on the Big Show always looks impressive.

Next up, a 6-man ladder match for the IC championship. I had Booker T leaving Wrestlemania XIX with the belt, but I would have Christian beat him at Bad Blood to take the title. The UnAmericans are still a faction here and even bring in Chris Jericho to form a Canadian supergroup. However, tensions rise amongst them all as Christian and Jericho become closer buddies and stop helping out Test and Lance Storm as much (William Regal is still in the faction but he is out injured until mid 2004). This leads to a Canadian civil war and eventually a split between all members of the faction. Test and Storm lose the tag titles and blame each other. Chris Jericho and Christian both act selfishly and eventually fall out refusing to help each other. Jericho transitions into a feud with someone else whilst Test and Storm gun for his IC championship. Throughout Christian's reign he has lost the title but quickly won it back. He dropped it back to Booker T early on but got it back with help from Test. Matt Hardy won the title too but in a rematch Lance Storm helped him retain. Finally, RVD won the IC title but again, in a rematch Christian won it back this time thanks to Y2J. Bischoff decides to pair all of them (minus Jericho) into a big ladder match for the title. I don't know about you, but these 6 men in a ladder match I think would be very lovely indeed. I would have Christian walk out still champion too, I think with him having so many cheap victories a big win here solidifies that he is a worthy champion even if he is a huge douche.

We have our cross-promotional match and like last year it is tag champions vs tag champions. Raw's World Tag Champions La Resistance take on Smackdown's WWE Tag Champions, the World's Greatest Tag Team. Resistance are the heels, WGTT should be the faces after they distance themselves from Angle. GMs Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman cannot agree on a suitable punishment for the losing GM, so out comes the self-declared sheriff of Raw Steve Austin who lays out the stipulation. The losing GM receives a can of whoop-ass from Raw's sheriff. Austin joins commentary for this match, drinking as many beers as he can during the match. After 5-10 minutes, the greatest tag team secure a win and Bischoff's eyes fill with fear as Austin rises out of his seat. Heyman stops Eric from leaving and Austin stomps a mudhole before dropping Eric with the stunner. Austin toasts a beer with Heyman, before dropping him with a stunner and posing to the crowd. Fun Austin antics.

Following that is the first of 2 advertised "dream matches", we have Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho. You don't think I forgot about how good these were together? I skipped it for Wrestlemania XIX but I have brought it in here. After losing in the main event last year, Michaels takes a little time off whilst Evolution take charge of Raw. Y2J hosts the highlight reel when HBK returns to Raw around November and lays out his plans to challenge Triple H once again. Jericho says everyone has seen that match a few times already and instead suggests that he and Michaels meet one on one for the first time. HBK appreciates it and one day he would love that match, but right now he feels like he has unfinished business. Jericho is disappointed but he accepts it and offers his help against Evolution. So, the two form a short-lived alliance to take on Evolution, HBK again challenges Triple H for the world title at Armageddon but he loses. Jericho is sorry it didn't work out, but now that it's out of the way he once again challenges Michaels to a singles match. Again, HBK is flattered but says he wants to take out Evolution. This sets up a big tag match pairing Y2J, HBK and the Dudleyz against all 4 men of Evolution. Once again, Evolution are victorious. After the match there is a conversation between Jericho and HBK without microphones but you can just about make out what is being said. Jericho does the whole "I really respect you, you're a legend in the business" talk and says it would be an honour to wrestle him in a match. HBK looks and thinks for a few seconds, before shaking his head. As he turns around, Jericho attacks him and he lays the boots in viciously until security finally manage to tear him away. Jericho's justification is that he idolises Michaels, and he knows the real HBK would have accepted the challenge. But he knows something we don't, HBK is a shell of himself. He can wrestle sure but he cannot keep up with guys like Y2J anymore. HBK won't wrestle Jericho, because he fears being bested by his younger, faster, better successor. "I no longer want to be the next Shawn Michaels. I want to be the first Chris Jericho." That line was actually used and it is such a good line. HBK responds and says that Jericho is partially right. He has been avoiding the match because he knows how good Jericho is. He does not fear Jericho though. Michaels drops the line "I didn't want you to blame me when this old man beats you and ruins any future chances at being in the main event." They have their match, of course it is a banger and I would still have Michaels win the match. They can do the handshake into a low blow spot and the feud continues. I'd book them into a ladder rematch at Bad Blood with a title match on the line, then a final third match being a 60-minute Iron Man match at Vengeance, where Jericho can win the feud overall.

I am keeping the Evolution vs Rock 'n' Sock Connection because I think it is a great match and the best use of all 5 men possible with everything else going on. Foley is in a feud with Orton which will spill into a brutal hardcore match at Backlash. This will be the Rock's first match in about a year and his last match for over 7 years. Evolution still win, because they are the biggest heel faction in the company and have been dominant for a full year.

Don't worry Molly Holly, you don't have to shave your head to feature on my Wrestlemania card. However, if you're willing to do it I might as well keep it because I like a good variety to my wrestling. I'd have the original match going into this show be between defending champion Victoria and former champion Gail Kim. Molly so desperately wants in the match that she wagers her hair to get in, both Kim and Victoria agree and when the match begins they double team her and take her out. We have ourselves a fun singles match between two of WWE's most underrated and appreciated women Kim and Victoria, but then Molly returns to the match and gets some near falls! I would have Victoria successfully defend her title. Molly Holly goes "oh well" and grabs some clippers and buzzes her own head.

We have 4 matches left and they're all pretty big. First we have our second "dream match". Yesterday when setting up Lesnar vs Goldberg, I said that Goldberg had a list and Brock was first. After beating Brock at Wrestlemania, the Raw after we can still have the segment where Goldberg interrupts the Rock and spears him to death. The next Raw, Goldberg simply says "10 names. 1 down, 9 to go. Then, I'm gone. Rock, you're next." Goldberg barely appears on TV, it is his newly hired hype man Paul Heyman who battles people on the mic, he gives vague context and reasoning behind who Goldberg chooses and why. Goldberg is the most effective, the less we see him. Too much exposure and we quickly realise that he has weaknesses. After his short promo about names, the promo battles are between Rock and Heyman, Heyman saying that it doesn't matter how Hollywood you think you are, Goldberg is your reckoning. At Backlash, like in real life, Goldberg runs through Rock and wins. He holds up 8 fingers to the hard cam. Ahead of Bad Blood, Goldberg reappears spearing Chris Jericho and tells him he is next. Heyman and Jericho on the mic, that would be very nice, Heyman says Jericho is a bonafide star and he is self-made. Goldberg actually respects your hustle, but you made a mockery out of him and now he will return the favour (referencing Jericho's attempt to force a feud with Goldberg in WCW). At Bad Blood, Goldberg defeats him. Holds up 7 fingers. At Summerslam, we do not get an Elimination Chamber match. Goldberg attacks him, Heyman says "You deserve credit for the rise of WCW, however you are also directly responsible for its death." Their Summerslam match barely goes a minute as Goldberg takes him a part. 6 fingers. Nash is injured, this draws the attention of the Heavyweight champion Triple H. Heyman tells him that he is next, but tells him to leave the belt at home. He calls Triple H guilty by association. Goldberg beats Triple H at Unforgiven. 5 fingers. During the Survivor Series match Team Bischoff vs Team Austin, Goldberg makes a surprise appearance and spears Bischoff so hard that he is removed via stretcher. He shows 4 fingers, before turning to stare down Austin. The next Raw, Heyman tells Austin "You're on the list too, however it seems like your neck has done the job for him. Goldberg kills for sport, you're too easy of a prey." (Austin is retired by this point and I feel way too uncomfortable booking him to receive a spear considering his physical state). Heyman says 3 men remain. In the lead up to the Royal Rumble, Vince is in his office on Raw all day and getting angrier as people keep asking him something. The last time someone knocks, he loses his cool and starts shouting but very quickly he stops himself. Fear takes over his face, he begs and apologises before BAM. Goldberg runs through him with a spear, through the wall behind him. Goldberg gestures 2 fingers to the camera. Hulk Hogan returns to Raw a few weeks later, he is cut off by Heyman who says "Goldberg declares that you are next, he officially challenges you to a match, next week on Raw. We wouldn't want to see you get squashed on PPV now, would we?" (A reference to the only Hogan vs Goldberg match in WCW being on an episode of Nitro). Hogan doesn't accept but the next week Goldberg comes out anyways dressed to compete, Hogan comes out and tries to talk but he is immediately speared. Goldberg roughs him around for a bit until hitting the jackhammer. Heyman counts a pinfall as Hogan needs urgent medical help. Only one finger is held up.

A few weeks before Wrestlemania, Goldberg appears on Smackdown and he actually explains himself for the past year. "I came into the WWE with only a 1 year contract and 10 names on a piece of paper. 2 of those names were personal (Jericho for their backstage issues and Lesnar for the constant comparisons).

8 names were who I believe were responsible for the death of my home, WCW. Whether they were directly involved on the inside (Bischoff, Nash, Hogan), you were an outside factor as a star of this company (McMahon, Rock, Austin) or you represent someone I am unable to punish myself (Hall was another influential backstage member in WCW but he was fired from WWE a couple years prior, that is why he went after Triple H). I have one name left, he embodies everything the WWE stands for and once I have collected your debt, I am gone. Undertaker, not only are you next, you are last." Heyman then says that Undertaker better leave the Badass shtick at home, we want the Deadman. Hopefully, this means that we will never ever ever have to see them wrestle in Saudi Arabia. EVER. Undertaker has been off TV since Survivor Series after his Buried Alive match with Vince McMahon. Undertaker responds when his music hits and the lights go down, 11 druids holding fire walk down and surround the ring, symbolic of the 11-0 streak Undertaker has amassed so far. When the lights go up, the names of each victim is visible on the druids clothing. On the ramp, a 12th druid appears holding a torch but it is not lit. After a strike of lightning, the torch is set ablaze and the name Goldberg is written on them. At Wrestlemania, both men have their super long entrances before finally squaring off. It shouldn't go too long, but this should feel like the biggest threat to the Undertaker yet. After a back and forth and some big finisher kick outs, Undertaker finally keeps Goldberg down with a piledriver. After the match, both men share a sign of respect with each other. Goldberg leaves, and we don't see him for a VERY long time.

Following that one is the US championship match between Cena and the champ Kurt Angle. Their history dates back to Cena's debut with the whole "Ruthless Aggression" thing. Angle will make Cena look like even more of a star than Big Show can. After just over 10 minutes Cena keeps Angle down with 3 FU's to win his first singles championship.

The semi-main is for the Heavyweight championship. Triple H walked out of Wrestlemania XIX as the champion and he holds it for a full year. Evolution rise and dominate Raw, Batista and Orton holding the Tag championships for the majority of the year period. Now, Eric Bischoff wants revenge on Kane and RVD for helping the Smackdown GM Stephanie sic Rikishi and his rotund ass all over his face. He punishes them by having to face Evolution in handicap matches, eventually losing the tag titles. Steve Austin returns as the Raw Sheriff and allows Kane to get some revenge by booking a world title match on Raw. Bischoff adds that if Kane loses, he must unmask. This happened, however I would book it very differently. Kane wins that match but by DQ as Evolution attack. They handcuff him to the ropes and force him to be unmasked anyways, Kane is bald and doesn't have the weird tuft of hair underneath but his face is smeared black and he looks horrifyingly disfigured. Hire some good special effects designers to paint his face. After the unmasking, Kane breaks free in a fit of rage and destroys anyone in the vicinity with chokeslams. RVD tries to calm him down, but it is no use. He chokeslams RVD again and again and again. He screams in rage, before hiding his face and running away. We do not see Kane for a few months, Triple H feuds with RVD, Jeff Hardy, HBK and Jericho throughout the rest of the year. Around December we start seeing mysterious vignettes of a man working on something, smithing in a dark and dungy basement. Eventually, we see Kane's old mask in this mans hands, he just casts it into the fire and watches it burn. "Some people wear masks to hide themselves out of fear. Some people wear masks to protect their identity. I wore a mask to protect everyone FROM me, no one should have to see the scars of the horror I have lived. But now they have, and they are scared of me. So now, I will wear a mask for a different reason. I will give you a reason to be scared of me. I will wear a mask because I want to be haunting, I will be the last thing you see as you sleep and the first thing you see when you wake. This cruel world will feel my wrath. The monster has been rebirthed." Or something like that. Kane returns not as the unmasked bald man we're used to, but he wears a new mask. It is similar to the welders mask he started wearing in the mid 2010s. That crossed with a slasher villains mask. It is all black and covers all of his face except for his piercing eyes that stare into your soul. At the Royal Rumble, Chris Benoit wins the Royal Rumble and books his world title match with Triple H. However, Kane defeats both Triple H and Chris Benoit clean in singles matches and threatens destruction unless he is added to them match. Austin makes it official. Kane strives to take everything from Evolution and it begins here. Whilst I don't think they should have unmasked Kane, they did create an opportunity to make Kane the biggest heel since his debut in 1997. In the triple threat match, HHH and Benoit reluctantly work together to keep Kane down whenever they can but Kane always comes back into the match. Near the finish, they work together to put him through the announce table and bury him under any and all weapons they can find. After a back and forth singles encounter, Benoit catches Triple H in the crippler crossface for a good while. HHH fights but he ultimately taps out to Benoit who wins his first world title.

That means our main event is for the WWE championship and it will be the defending champion Brock Lesnar vs challenger Eddie Guerrero. This would be Lesnar's last WWE match for 8 years, but I hope that with being given the championship and defending in the main event that he will play ball and put over Guerrero like he deserves. Essentially I'm copying and pasting their No Way Out match here but minus the Goldberg inteference. I would keep the finish to Angle vs Guerrero, where Eddie loosens his boot to escape from him. The referee gets distracted removing the boot from Lesnar, as he throws it to the outside, Guerrero low blows him, climbs up for a big frog splash for the 1-2-3 and winning his first world title. Benoit and Guerrero stand side by side as world champions to close the show, because that was a super wholesome end to the show.

So there we have it, I have rebooked 20 Wrestlemania shows in a row so far. How is it going? I hope you are enjoying these as much as I am. Here is a recap of the rebooked card:

Chavo Guerrero (c) vs Rey Mysterio, Cruiserweight Championship

John Cena vs Big Show, Number 1 contender for US Championship

Christian (c) vs Booker T vs Matt Hardy vs RVD vs Test vs Lance Storm, IC Championship

La Resistance (Raw) vs Worlds Greatest Tag Team (SD), Cross-promotional Champion vs Champion match

Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho

Evolution vs Rock 'n' Sock Connection, 3-on-2

Victoria (c) vs Gail Kim vs Molly Holly, Women's Championship

Undertaker vs Goldberg

Kurt Angle (c) vs John Cena, US Championship

Triple H (c) vs Kane vs Chris Benoit, Heavyweight Championship

Brock Lesnar (c) vs Eddie Guerrero, WWE Championship

Let me know your thoughts and come back tomorrow when we talk about Wrestlemania 21, Wrestlemania goes Hollywood. WWE ditch the roman numerals for a couple of years, that is the real end of an era. Plenty to talk about tomorrow, including the rise of John Cena and Batista and the birth of the Money in the Bank. Until then, see you later.


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