AJ Lee, Bella Twins, Big Show, Brie Bella, Brock Lesnar, Curtis Axel, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erik Rowan, fantasy booking, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Kane, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Nikki Bella, Paige, Paul Heyman, Prebooking The Finish, pro wrestling, R-Truth, Randy Orton, RAW, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Seth Rollins, Stardust, Sting, Triple H, Wade Barrett, WrestleMania, WrestleMania 31, wrestling
[Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at writing something in a TV format like this, it might be good, it might be bad, but I thought it would be an interesting exercise. Obviously I have zero experience placing commercial breaks, so there might be some awkward placement there. I also have no experience laying out matches, so keep that in mind.]
The build-up to WrestleMania this year has been a bit underwhelming to say the least. With the go-home RAW being tonight I thought I’d give my own take on garnering a little bit of excitement going in. As always, please leave your comments and let me know what you think! You can also let me know on Twitter @RebookTheFinish! So here we go….
[Then. Now. Forever]
Triple H comes down to the ring flanked by The Authority, but Stephanie is nowhere to be seen. Triple H is not wearing his suit, but rather is in street clothes with his hands taped. He gets in the ring alone, with Big Show, Kane, Seth Rollins, and J&J Security each “defending” one side of the ring. Triple H addresses Sting, telling him that he stuck his nose in business that didn’t concern him. He invites Sting down to the ring to settle this “one on one” and steps back waiting for Sting’s appearance. Triple H reminds him that he holds the keys to the castle in the WWE, and he’s not sure who in the back is letting him into the arenas, but he’s going to sniff them out tonight. Orton’s music hits as he comes out onto the ramp. He again thanks Sting, assuring Triple H it wasn’t him assisting Sting, but that he’d like to thank whoever did. He addresses that this Sunday he gets Seth Rollins at WrestleMania. He then goes onto mention facing Kane at WrestleMania, and having defeated Big Show at Survivor Series, but tonight he wants to face someone he’s never beaten. He says tonight he wants a match against…. Jamie Noble. Noble is visibly shaken by this challenge, as Joey Mercury points and laughs. Seth Rollins slides into the ring and whispers something in Triple H’s ear. He nods and tells Randy that he will grant him a match against Jamie Noble…. and Joey Mercury later tonight. Orton walks to the back laughing as J&J slide into the ring to protest. Rollins pats them on the back assuring them with a big smile on his face as Triple H’s music hits and The Authority walks to the back.
J&J are backstage with Seth Rollins protesting the match they’ve been put in tonight. Seth assures them that The Authority has their back and everything will be okay. They reluctantly agree to get ready.
Kane’s music hits as he walks to the ring with a mic. He says that last week meant nothing because it “wasn’t official” and announces an “over the top rope challenge.” Big Show’s music hits and he comes out next. Kane then calls out Mark Henry. He enters the ring and the bells rings. Kane/Show attack Henry. As they stand over him Erik Rowan’s music hits and he runs down to the ring. He hits Show with a flurry of punches then ducks a Kane clothesline that hits Show, staggering him. Rowan hits a big boot that sends Show over the top rope. As Show has a temper tantrum outside the ring, Kane hits a clothesline sending Rowan over the top rope to the floor. Show/Rowan continue to brawl as Kane picks up Henry from the corner. He tries to leverage him over the top when Curtis Axel hits the ring and surprises Kane. He knocks him over the top rope, his momentum bringing Mark Henry with him. The four big men brawl to the back leaving Axel in the ring to celebrate.
The Matadores make their entrance as we return. Inset promo from Cesaro/Kidd saying not only with they clap (as they clap in unsion) better than the New Day, but they will “matadore better than Los Matadores”. The camera pans down as they pull a red blanket away yelling “Ole!” as Natty charges through with him fingers against her head as is they’re horns. Cesaro/Kidd come out next with Natalya. Match begins and as Kidd/Cesaro gain control we goto…
We come back with Kidd/Cesaro still in control. As they make frequent tags, New Day also comes to ringside. They join Cole & co. on commentary as Los Matadores finally get the hot tag. Matadores clean house until Cesaro gets a tag to Kidd. Kidd comes in but is distracted by El Torito stalking Natty on the outside and gets rolled up for the pin. Tyson/Natty argue with Cesaro breaking them up as Los Matadores celebrate.
Backstage we cut to Kane/Big Show. Show is blaming Kane for his elimination in the “over the top rope challenge” and eventually shoves Kane before walking off.
We come back to Triple H walking into a locker room backstage, as Ric Flair is shown. Triple H notes Flair’s history with Sting, then tries to persuade Ric to admit to helping Sting. He gets in Flair’s face grabbing him by the shirt. Flair denies any involvement and implores him to focus on their match at WrestleMania and not fall into the mind games and Triple H storms off.
Paige’s music plays as she comes out. She waits on the ramp and AJ’s music hits. They head to the ring together.
We come to back to AJ/Paige vs. Alicia Foxx/Summer Rae. Quick squash with Paige getting the submission with the PTO.
The Bellas music hits as they announce Bella Twins vs. Emma/Naomi is next. Bellas are victorious in another quick squash with Nikki pinning Naomi after the Rack Attack. AJ grabs the Divas Title at ringside before her at Paige slide into the ring. AJ looks at the belt longingly as does Paige, before tossing it at Nikki’s feet and leaving the ring.
Triple H is walking past Arn Anderson backstage. He stops and confronts him, accusing him of helping Sting. Arn denies it, and tells Triple H that Sting is getting to him. Triple H shoves Arn and walks away in a huff.
Next we see Miz/Mizdow backstage. Miz apologizes to Mizdow and tells him to make up for it he got him a match tonight. Miz’s music hits and the pair comes to ringside. As they’re in the ring Rybacks music hits. Mizdow shakes his head as Miz grins. Ryback and Mizdow lock up and do the neutral roll to all four corners before breaking. Ryback grins as Miz gets up on the apron, barking directions to Mizdow. Mizdow pretends not to hear him as he ties his boot. Mizdow and Ryback lock up again ending in a stalemate. At this point Miz runs in from behind attacking Ryback. Ryback no-sells the attack as Mizdow rolls out of the ring and allows Ryback to hit the Shell Shock on Miz.
Triple H is walking backstage looking for Big Show. He walks past an exit where event staff is posted. The staff guy is reading a WrestleMania program and jumps up to address “Mr. H”. Triple H notices an exit door propped open and asks about it. Triple H is incensed as the staff member tells him that staff uses the back door to sometimes step out for a smoke. Triple H walks over and kicks the door closed then grabs the staff member by the collar and says “Well smoke breaks have been cancelled by The Authority” before shoving the staff member down and walking off. As the staff member lays there, there is a knock at the door. He gets up and timidly pushes the door open just a crack. You see R-Truth’s face in the crack asking who closed the door on him. The staff member reluctantly lets him in before looking around and making sure that the door is secured shut.
Back to the ring as Stardust makes his entrance. He gets into the ring and Lillian Garcia announces his tag team partner.. Dean Ambrose?! Michael Cole announces that this is a triple threat tag match as Wade Barrett and Luke Harper are introduced next.
After the break, Ziggler is introduced. He comes to the ring waiting for his partner to be introduced as Michael Cole explains that the teams were put together by random draw. R-Truth’s music hits and he comes down to the ring, but heads to the announce table as Daniel Bryan’s music hits and Lillian Garcia announces him as Dolph Ziggler’s tag team partner. Ambrose and Stardust argue about who will start the match. The ref steps in and forces Ambrose to the ring apron. Ziggler and Stardust trade reversals until Stardust tags in Barrett. Barrett and Harper make frequent tags working over Ziggler.
Back from break Ziggler is in with Stardust. Dust then tags in Harper. Harper works over Ziggler, as Ziggler tries to make a come back but is cut off when Harper tags in Barrett. Barrett whips Ziggler into the corner as Stardust makes another blind tag. Stardust is reversed into the ropes knocking Amrbose off the apron, as he feigns concern for his partner Ziggler finalls makes the hot tag to Daniel Bryan. Bryan comes in and takes out Stardust before cutting off Harper and Barrett. Ambrose enters the ring hitting Stardust with the Dirty Deeds before walking off leaving Bryan to pick up the easy victory over the fallen Stardust.
Backstage Triple H is in his office with Stephanie, he tells her that she needs to leave the building because he can’t trust security. She tells him that he’s being ridiculous, but he won’t take no for an answer. He says that he needs to get her out of the building, and then he’ll deal with Sting.
<Insert Bray Wyatt-Undertaker segment here>
[Sadly, the Bray Wyatt-Undertaker feud has been so uninspiring to me that I can’t even come up with anything to further it going into Mania. I’ve been critical of the lack of usage of “easy tricks” with The Undertaker character, yet here I am unable to come up with anything myself. Writing three hours of television ain’t easy folks]
Hulk Hogan comes down to the ring for his typical vanilla hype promo that he’s been relegated to the last couple of years. He puts over the WWE Network and WrestleMania.
Next out is Erik Rowan for a match against Fandango. The match is a quick squash, simply trying to rehab Rowan a little after the past few weeks’ interactions with Big Show.
We cut to the back where a camera crew is rushing alongside WWE officials as they come to a laid out Big Show in the back. Officials tend to Big Show as the announcers question what happened to him.
John Cena comes down to the ring as we come back. He gets on the mic, and runs down Rusev and his “legal counsel” from last week. As he’s doing his promo he’s interrupted by Rusev on the Titan Tron. He’s backstage in a locker room and tell Cena again that America will die and that tonight he’s going to give him an example. The camera pans down and Rusev is standing over a fallen Hulk Hogan. He grabs Hogan by the hair pulling him up, saying that Hulk Hogan stands for everything America stands for and look at him now. Cena rushes backstage, as a camera crew follows him. He attacks Rusev in the locker room as officials swarm to seperate them, then tending to the fallen Hulk Hogan.
Triple H is then shown in his office with J&J Security and Seth Rollins. He asks where Kane is, and that they need all hands on deck tonight. He tells Rollins to go find Kane, Rollins is hesitant at first before Triple H reminds him that he has everything he has because of The Authority, and Rollins exits.
Next we goto the ring and it’s time for Randy Orton vs. J&J Security. Triple H and Seth Rollins come to ringside with Noble and Mercury as the announcers question where Kane is. The match starts with Orton and Noble. Orton keeps him isolated and lays in punches in the corner. He drags Noble to his own corner taunting Mercury to tag in and he refuses. As he lays in more punches, Joey Mercury distracts the ref as Seth Rollins rolls in and attacks Orton from behind. Noble crawls to the corner and tags Mercury who immediately goes for a pinfall and only gets a one count.
The announcers cut to footage from the WWE App from the break where Seth Rollins continued to get involved in the match. Triple H is shown at ringside, obviously distracted and periodically looking around. The ref is knocked down after an irish whip reversal by Orton. Rollins enters the ring standing over Orton, he mocks him before slowly picking him up and as he does so Orton hits an RKO… out of nowhere! Rollins rolls to the outside as Jamie Noble is then treated to an RKO, and Mercury is dragged into the ring and given one for his troubles as well. Orton stacks J&J on top of each other and gets the pin. He then bails to the outside and starts taking it to Rollins once again. The two men brawl to the back. The camera pans showing J&J out in the ring and Triple H standing by himself on the outside. As they show Triple H, the lights go out. They come back on and Triple H is beside himself, looking around but there’s no one there. He slides into the ring yelling for Sting to show himself. The lights cut off again and when they come back on Sting is standing behind Triple H. He surprises him from behind, hooks him for the Scorpion Death Drop and takes him down before exiting through the crowd.
Brock Lesnar’s music hits as he and Paul Heyman make their way to the ring. Paul Heyman gets on the mic and tells the crowd that he isn’t out there to “sell them a bill of goods” because he doesn’t have to. Brock is a once in a lifetime athlete, and people for years have paid to see Brock Lesnar fight. This Sunday, whether he decided to stay or go, he’ll do so with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman Reigns’ music hits as he comes through the crowd. He gets the mic and says that he will have something to say about that this Sunday at WrestleMania. He says that whether Brock stays or Brock goes, Roman Reigns is going to be in the WWE for years to come. Heyman puts over his family again, saying that Reigns is maybe a twice in a lifetime athlete, but Brock Lesnar is one of a kind and he will prove that once again this Sunday. Roman says that they don’t have to wait until Sunday and drops the mic. He gets into Brock Lesnar’s face as Heyman is shoved out of the way by Brock. The two are nose to nose as the announcers give the big sell job for WrestleMania and we fade out with the two men face to face.
So there it is. I’ll admit the first half of this is probably a little stronger than the second half as writer’s mental fatigue set in. Let me tell you folks, writing a three hour television show is no easy feat. So let me take this time to put over those who have done it in the past. Go ahead and follow @BrianMaxMann, @CourtBauer, @alexdgreenfield, @theJohnCarle, @SethMates, @JenBloods, @ChrisDeJoseph, @mccarthyredhead, @JohnAsHimself, @JensenClan88, @AngeGold and I guess you can follow @Lagana on Twitter too (but be careful, if you’re an attractive female he might follow you… literally). I think I’ll be doing a lot of writing leading up to WrestleMania this Sunday, so stay tuned!