It seems like at several of the recent Wrestlemania’s there has been some “head-scratching” booking decisions at Wrestlemania. And i’m not talking about WWE putting over a someone you don’t like. I mean when we look back now in hindsight that those decisions made no sense.
*Lesnar retaining against Roman for the Universal Championship, prolonging a sour feud and sending Raw into a tailspin as it has had so much trouble booking the show without a champion.
*Heel Chris Jericho beat AJ Styles at his first Wrestlemania when the following month AJ faced Roman for the WWE Championship and Jericho fell down the card into a midcard feud with Ambrose.
*League of Nations beating the New Day when the League broke up (and Barrett left) within a month.
*Heel Fandango in his first match beat Chris Jericho. Fandango was never going to be anything more than a midcard comedy act.
*The Miz beating John Cena for the WWE Championship. The Miz’s run was better than expected but he quickly fell back to the midcard. Cena winning here was the natural end to the feud and still would have set the stage for Rock vs Cena at WM28.
*Michael Cole beating Jerry Lawler. Ugh.
What are some others that come to mind for you? Hopefully this trend doesn’t continue this year of swerves just for the sake of it.
last year having Brock beat Roman, Charlotte beat Asuka and Styles beat Nakamura was definitely surprising. Feels like its goal in recent years to make sure there are shocks at each mania. I think one of Seth, Becky or Kofi is going to lose next Sunday, and I have a bad feeling its going to be Kofi.
Let’s not forget that the Wrestlemania VIII main event ended with a DQ.
Between Hogan, Flair, Meltzer and Prichard, the agreed upon facts about the Wrestlemania VIII booking are few a far between. But one way or another, the main event went from Hogan/Flair to Hogan/Sid. Hogan wasn’t going to job (either by refusal or because Vince wasn’t ending Mania with a heel going over) but Sid was the guy staying (theoretically) while Hulk was going off to film Mr. Nanny. Add in Papa Shango’s run-in coming late and a Warrior return that’s now more hilarious than exciting knowing how it panned out, and you’ve got a nonsensical clusterfuck closing your biggest show of the year.
Feels like having Savage/Flair for the WWF Title close the show would have fixed a lot of this, but Hogan is Hogan, so that didn’t happen.
Wrestlemania 11: Putting the LAwrence Taylor vs bam bam bigelowin the main event spot over Diesel and HBK: I get that LT was a celebrity and at the time they were really struggling to get any type of media attention, but the semi main with Diesel and HBk was way more over then the main event.
Zack Ryder winning the IC Title ladder match. Loses the title the next day so it was just pointless.
Lex Luger hitting Bret with the forearm the day before Wrestlemania IX. That led to nothing at all.
Just billing Rock vs Cena as Once in a Lifetime when they seemed to know in advance they would have a rematch the next year. Always annoyed me.
There are a lot of poor order decisions at wrestlemania. Although I think the WM18 example is a tough one because before the show I would have put it in the same order. I think most were surprised (including Rock and Hogan) how insane the crowd got for that match. And if the championship match hadn’t main evented that WWE would be criticized for not elevating the title.
I thought about mentioning that one. But my theory is that whoever won the IC belt at WM was dropping it the following night so there could be a title change on the big Raw after Wrestlemania. So it might as well have been Zach to give WM a feel good moment rather than have Sami or Kevin look like losers for winning the title one night and loosing the next.
Hs going over Booker T during THAT angle.
Taking the title off of Owens for Goldberg (who lost to Brock) when the festival of friendship was one of the hottest angles going into mania. Goldberg vs Brock was third from the top that year. Owens vs Jericho was after the curtain jerker in a match that for some reason McMahon hated.
The decision to make WrestleMania 8 hours. I want to be excited for this year but it’s too much.
Making Sid and Hogan and Savage-Flair at Wrestlemania 8 instead of Hogan-Flair
HHH going over Sting. Shane vs Taker with Shane losing the match but getting to be part owner of RAW anyway making their entire match mean nothing
Turning Austin heel. Having Yoko beat Bret for the title and then Hogan beating Yoko in less than 30 seconds
The Asuka decision to me was especially bad as they went on to have Charlotte lose soon there after to Carmella. They could have had mella cash in a Wrestlemania and Protect Charlotte, but instead they gave up Asuka. Then had her go out and lose to Carmella after that.
WrestleMania XXX (30) - Undertaker Vs Brock Lesnar (21-1)
The End Of The Streak, and after the initial shock I felt it was Undertaker’s retirement at the time. However Undertaker would go on to have another 4 WrestleMania matches including defeats of both Bray Wyatt (31) & Shane McMahon (32), before losing to Roman Reigns (33), then finally getting a squash victory over John Cena (34). Then in the last few years Undertaker’s even done more with TV and international shows!
In my opinion it is weird booking in hindsight, you nether retired the Undertaker or catapulted a new star into the main event by breaking the streak. If Brock Lesnar hadn’t lost to John Cena in their 2012 Extreme Rules event match then they wouldn’t have needed to have Lesnar defeat Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX (30), and allowing a “New Star” to break the streak.
2000 - Adding Foley and Big Show to the main event then having Triple H go over just to lose to Rock a month later then win the belt back in May to lose it again in June. They could have just had rock win at Wrestlemania.
34 - Having Nicholas as Braun’s partner - I think that cooled Braun off a bit. you only have to look at how hot and protected he was going into that show then look at him now.
I also look at Wrestlemania falls from grace -
King Kong Bundy - Main events Wrestlemania 2 - Comedy Match at 3
Booker T - Wrestles HHH for world title at 19 but relegated to pointless 4 way tag match at 20
they are the 2 that come to mind but there are probably a load of others
The build to Taker vs Cena from last year was remarkably disappointing.
Could have been a two month storyline between two all time greats and instead they just went with “Will Undertaker accept the challenge” and didn’t even announce the match.
I disagree and actually The Ringer recently did a podcast special on Mania 30. Since then Brock has pretty much been the biggest star in the company and based on booking prior he wasn’t being treated that way. He has an invincible aura that even when he loses you don’t pay much mind, and why? Because he beat Taker and the Streak at Mania 30.
Nobody would have been made from beating Taker. They would have had opposite heat for ruining it. Imagine if it was Roman pre Luekemia?
We’ll never know if Lesnar breaking the streak was the best decision, because any other situation would be a hypothetical. We don’t and can’t know how it would have played out.
I have no issue with the way it went down, because Brock was booked like a monster and having (albeit occasional) great matches for a few years afterwards. I do think that, as I write this in 2019, interest has waned significantly from that point, but I can’t say that has anything to do with Lesnar breaking the streak. Closing in on a decade of being on top in the national/global TV era was too long even for Hogan to maintain his level of “overness”.
Sorry haven’t herd of “The Ringer”, could you send me a link to said artical?