Welcome to part II of a three part series. For those reading this for the first time, we conducted a 20 round, 260 pick Wrestlemania era fantasy draft that spanned from mid July to about Mid September. Anyone male wrestler who competed at least one Wrestlemania (85-present) was eligible for the draft and could be judged on the merits of their entire career and used in any character form they had throughout their career. I challenged the 13 people in the draft to come up with their own unique Wrestlemania cards based on the guys they drafted. Today will feature main page writers Rich Latta, Sir Sam, and The Doc.. as well as column forum member Matt M and wrestling enthusiast Josh Harvoth. To this point, Matt M has been an overwhelming roster favorite among those who competed- but does his card match is amazing roster? FIND OUT!
Main Event for the WWE Championship
“The Battle of Generations”
John Cena vs. Bruno Sammartino
Demon vs. Beast
Kane vs. Yokozuna
Extreme Vs. Arrogance
Jeff Hardy vs. “The Model” Rick Martel
Tag Team Championship
The New Age Outlaws vs. Ted DiBiase, Jr. and IRS
Ron Simmons vs “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Hair vs Hair Match
Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs MVP
Fatal Four Way Hardcore Match
Crash Holly vs. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart vs Big Bossman vs. Michael “PS” Hayes
Zack Ryder vs. The Red Rooster
Type’s Thoughts: I know that Cena/Sammartino might not be for everyone, but I think it’s a great generational match up and imagining the promos and intensity about both people trying to protect their legacy would be pretty decent. I think Cena could put on an engaging enough match showcasing his strength against the big Sammartino. Sammartino barely qualified for this event, but since he did we’re looking at a dream match and I thought it was a fantastic choice. Some other quick thoughts, I think Hardy/Martel has a chance to be a good undercard match up. Martel is extremely underrated. Also think Outlaws vs. Money Inc would deliver as well. I don’t know that you get a 5* or ever a 4* match out of this card, but the entertainment factor and solid under card would make me watch.
Tazz vs Dain No DQ match for the Hardcore Championship. (Dain wins)
Mr. Kennedy Open Challenge which is accepted by Masters and is then challenged to a Masterlock challenge. (Mr. Kennedy is unsuccessful)
Kidman vs London vs Gabriel vs Axel vs Super Crazy vs Psicosis Championship Scramble for the Cruiserweight Championship. (Kidman retains)
Shelton Benjamin/Charlie Haas (World’s Greatest Tag team) vs Brain Busters in the final of the Tag Team Tournament to crown the new Tag Team Champions. (WGTT wins)
Mysterio vs Davey Boy for the IC Championship (Davey Boy becomes new IC Champion)
Angle vs Dynamite Kid (Angle wins)
Kevin Owens vs Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship (Michaels becomes new WWE Champion)
Kurt looks like he won’t have an opponent come WM. He’s been proclaiming for weeks that he is the best pure wrestler to ever lace them up and it’s a travesty that someone of his capabilities won’t be in a featured match at WM. Dynamite Kid comes out and steps up to the challenge to prove that he is in fact the best pure wrestler ever.
This accomplishes getting Kurt vs Dynamite on the card and Dynamite tells Davey that it is something that he has to do for himself and so he has to pull out of the Tag Team Tournament and he hopes that he can understand. This puts Davey on a downward spiral because now he feels he has no path to getting on the card himself and feels like he has been stabbed in the back and left out to dry by his brother so he can chase solo glory when they were so close to winning the Tag Team Championships in their last effort. He starts acting and doing more heelish traits during his single matches. He beats Mysterio in a non title match but after the match is over and Rey is trying to shake his hand Davey viciously beats him down and officially turns heel setting up their match at WM.
KO and Michaels had been the Tag Team Champions going on 6 months heading into the RAW before Elimination Chamber, the last PPV before WM. There has been a lot of talk that perhaps Shawn has lost a step with his age as the last few title defenses they have had they have barely retained and it’s been Kevin coming to the rescue each time to pick up the win. But it’s been slowly but surely eating at Kevin. The fans have seen the signs that he’s getting frustrated. The commentators have pointed it out too. He hesitated to tag in during their last title defense and actually walked away before coming back and making the tag and picking up the win.
They are squaring off against The British Bulldogs when Shawn once again has been isolated in the ring for 10 minutes. He jumps down off the apron and sits down in a chair with his head in his hands not knowing what to do. Shawn finally makes a comeback and crawls to his corner to see Kevin isn’t there. He sees him sitting down on a chair and is pleading for him to tag in. Kevin yells at Shawn that he can’t keep doing this. He eventually gets up and makes the tag and they pick up the win over The Bulldogs. Shawn is apologizing after the match saying he’ll do better. As they’re walking back up the ramp Kevin yanks Shawn by his hair head first on to the ramp. He drags him up the ramp and then powerbombs him through a table off the stage. KO opens up Elimination Chamber saying he is forfeiting the Tag Team Championships as he plans on walking into the Elimination Chamber and walking out as the WWE Champion. It comes down to Kurt, the reigning champion, and Kevin. After a hellacious battle Angle gives Kevin an Angle Slam on the grate on the outside but is unable to take advantage and roll him into the ring to make the pin.
They eventually both get up and Kevin throws Angle into the ropes and gives him a pop-up powerbomb on the outside to the grate. He rolls Angle back into the ring and is barely able to make a cover when Angle kicks out. Shawn suddenly appears from under one of the grates and goes to super kick Kevin but he moves out of the way and he hits Kurt. Before Shawn can react to what he’s done Kevin throws him into the ropes and pop-up powerbombs him onto Kurt and makes the cover to become the new champion. Shawn accidentally costs Kurt his rematch the next night on RAW and keeps terrorizing Kevin until he agrees to give him a title match at WM to prove to him and everyone that he is still in fact the show stopper and he hasn’t lost anything.
Johnny Mundo (2014/2015) vs. Jeff Jarrett (1995) in Match 7 of a Best-of-Seven Series to determine the #1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship – In this card’s opening contest, the culmination of a multi-month saga would bring back memories of Double J’s classic battle with Shawn Michaels from his peak WWF year, with the artist formerly known as John Morrison bringing with him the added edge that he found in Lucha Underground (Season 1).
Mordecai (2004) vs. Apollo Crews (2016) – The cool-down match would strike diehard fans as an attempt to further push the mystical character played by a talented wrestler, but in a twist of fate, Crews would pick up the surprise win in a relatively short match (think British Bulldog vs. Warlord at WMVII).
Raven (1996) vs. Tommy Dreamer (1996) in a Hardcore Match – Basically, this would be a carbon copy of the type of battle that they made famous during their classic feud in ECW, blood, guts, and all.
Barry Windham (1986) vs. A-Train (2006) – Take the version of A-Train that made his career in Japan well-respected (as Giant Bernard) and put him against Windham at his babyface best and you would have a surprisingly fun hoss-ish match featuring mobile big men.
Marty Jannetty © (1993) vs. Taka Michinoku (1998) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty (2000) vs. Jamie Noble (2002) for the Cruiserweight Championship – This traditional Fatal 4-Way would offer this card its 12-14 minute popcorn match full of intricate spots and incredible pace.
Lex Luger (1988) vs. Luke Harper (2014) – In this grudge match born of repeated random attacks by Harper on Luger, The Total Package would put his strength and underrated guile up against a modern day monster with still-developing intentions.
Razor Ramon (1994) vs. Christian © (2011) for the Intercontinental Championship – I envision a very similar storyline for Razor vs. Christian that Captain Charisma put to such good use opposite Randy Orton in his peak singles year, and I would imagine the matches to be of similar quality, particularly for this PPV pay-off.
Shaquille O’Neal vs. Big Show (2008) – Take the version of Show that knocked it out of the park against Floyd Mayweather and give him an in-shape Shaq (insert out of shape Shaq joke here) and you have a special attraction with few peers historically.
Triple H (2000) vs. Hulk Hogan © (1987) for the WWE Championship – If you ever saw a Hogan vs. Orndorff match, you will appreciate what I’m going for here and you will know that this was in no way suffer from a workrate perspective. Trips had the evil bonafides to be an awesome Hulkster foil and this essentially, paying close attention to the specified years, pits the arguably the greatest babyface of all-time against arguably the greatest heel of all-time.
1999 D Lo Brown vs 2017 Trent Barreta – European Championship
Two excellent workers and athletes going for Europe’s finest prize in a PWG style fast match.
2009 Kofi Kingston vs 2017 Jason Jordan
The best version of the most decorated midcarder of his or arguably any era (Kingston) against a young Heavyweight prospect who had it going before an injury.
2013 Jack Swagger vs 1981 Tony Atlas
A Real American vs Mr. USA. Who’s idea of America will prevail? All the Jingoism.
1989 Rick Rude vs 1983 JYD
The Summerslam 88 rematch, except we’re putting JYD back in his drawing prime, having him get led around by Rick Rude and having a clean finish. A perfect body vs The JYD.
2009 Sheamus vs 1998 Booker T
Two of the best heavyweight athletes at their athletic peaks, one loved for his intensity, charisma and matches. One reviled for his ruthless nature and quick rise to the top of WWE.
2017 The Usos vs 1985 The Rock N Roll Express
The zenith of tag team matches within this entire activity. The Rock N Roll get to meet the Heel Usos who are unlike anything they’ve ever faced with their athleticism, intensity, and aura.
1998 Chris Benoit vs 2014 Sami Zayn
Like Neville vs Zayn. But Better. 1998 Benoit was my favorite version of him, he also wasn’t a murderer yet in this time travel affair. 2014 Sami Zayn would look across the ring and face someone arguably better than anyone he’s ever wrestled. I’m giving them 22 minutes and telling them the world says they don’t deserve to be here.
1985 Dusty Rhodes vs 1999 Vince McMahon – Steel Cage Match
Hard Times vs The Corporation. Vince decided to cut off Dusty’s checks after an injury, and forced him to fight through hell to finally meet him in a Steel Cage Match. If Austin gave McMahon hell, a rotund charismatic man of the people would irritate him to no end. The prematch promo Dusty cuts is Hard times to the 5th power.
2014 Daniel Bryan vs 2018 Roman Reigns (C) – WWE Universal Championship
The one fans chose vs The One WWE did. This would resonate as perhaps the best wrestled most fan invested match that is possible in this competition. This is a match that could headline any stadium in the country. Reigns is getting fully unleashed as a hated heel, while Bryan goes up against his ultimate test and his antithesis in his Man vs The Machine journey.
Neville defeats Greg Valentine and Sabu – Openweight Number 1 contenders match
I really like on fight cards how they will set up the next challenger for a championship early in the night and that is what I would do here. Have the ‘King’ of the Openweight Division Neville assert himself as the next man in line to face the winner of the Openweight Championship match that would come later in the card. Going into this match Sabu would be entering with a view of moving on from the Chaos division he was banished from by The Lions Den Stable. This would kick off the card in hot fashion with Sabu and Neville using Valentine as a platform to fly around the ring.
Dory Funk Jr defeats Mike Knox – winning the right to corner Terry Funk in the co-main event
I wanted to create a story that runs throughout the night and this match feeds off the co-main event feud with Dory Funk fighting the monstrous Mike Knox to win the right to corner his brother in the co-main event against Braun Strowman. I always thought Mike Knox was an underrated talent, he had some moments of complete domination and he had a very distinct look in a time well before beards were sported by every big man. In my universe he would pair up with Braun Strowman to reek havoc across the promotion, showing up in random matches and destroying everything. From the build up to the co-main event it would be fairly obvious that if Knox wins he would interfere significantly to help Strowman in the match so Dory Funk winning would give his brother some hope heading into the match against the unstoppable Strowman.
Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows representing The Lions Den defeat Xavier Woods & Sin Cara
One of the major sub plots of the midcard would be the domination of heel stable dubbed The Lion’s Den and headed up by Ken Shamrock (it is named after Shamrock’s real life MMA camp). Featuring, Wade Barrett, Brian Kendrick, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows these men would rule over the midcard titles, banishing Sabu from the Chaos division and target a number of the more colourful characters in the midcard, including Xavier Woods & Sin Cara. The pair would band together in the lead up to my Mania card in an effort to seek revenge for their mistreatment. Unfortunately it wouldn’t end so well for them on the night as they take the fall to give the Den some pride coming out of the night and setting up an internal struggle within the den that would play out in the next year.
Sabu defeats Wade Barrett (c), Al Snow, Sabu, Spike Dudley, The Brian Kendrick, Lance Archer – Chaos Championship match
A Chaos Championship match is a time limit anything goes match, there can be multiple pinfalls or submissions in the time limit with the winner being the last man to gain a pinfall or submission and is the signature match of the Chaos Championship, my hardcord title. This match would be the first hardcorde match on the card and these guys, who are all familiar with insane risks, would go a little crazy, with Spike Dudley and Kendrick flying around the ring, Sabu & Al Snow taking the crazy gimmick spots and Lance Archer and Wade Barrett providing the solid bases for everyone to brawl off.
The story in this match though is mainly centered around the original Chaos Champion Sabu v The Lions Den members of Barrett & Kendrick. Through the year, he would have been banished from the division by the stable and his late entry into this match and return to the division would see him take the championship back to where it belongs.
Mustafa Ali defeats Ken Shamrock (c) – Openweight Championship
As I mentioned the main mid card plot for the year would be centered around the Openweight Champions stable running roughshod over the division. I think Shamrock is a particularly great midcard champ as he is a legitimate tough guy who has a natural aura of danger around him. He is also smart enough to rally these other men around him in an attempt to take over the company and secure his own position.
These entitled hard men would be contrasted by the light in the darkness, Mustafa Ali who would come into the promotion as a relatively lower tier talent, get attacked and singled out by the lower levels of the Lion’s Den for his heart and passion. Just like he has in 205 Live he would slowly establish himself as the heart of the midcard, slowly overcoming different members of The Lions Den and build up to the point where he is the the center of the resistance to The Lions Den. Mania would see see Ali complete his arc and be crowned the Openweight Champion defeating Ken Shamrock in a match that starts slow but builds up to a frenetic pace as Ali’s excellent matches against Drew Gullack and Buddy Murphy have.
This loss also frees up Ken Shamrock to move up to the main event scene and become a big rival to the new champion after Mania.
Braun Strowman defeats Terry Funk w/Dory Funk Jnr – Dory Funk stoppage
This match between the wily vet, Terry Funk and unstoppable monster Braun Strowman booked as he was in 2017, is set up at the number 1 contender battle royale when the Funks save Dean Ambrose from a three on one beatdown by Strowman, Knox and Mic Foley. It would be positioned as the always game veteran trying to draw a line in the sand against the marauding Strowman and Knox.
I would use this match to build Braun Strowman’s unstoppable nature as he batters Funk from pillar to post. While Terry Funk would get his own offence in, eventually the unstoppable monster that survived being driven into the wall, would pummel Funk so badly his brother Dory would have to step in, throwing in the towel to end the match in heartbreaking fashion.
Dean Ambrose defeats Mic Foley (c) – No DQ match
My main feud for the year. A heel Mic Foley would run as the inaugural champion for the company, as the Cane Dewey era, anti-hardcore Cactus Jack heel that abhors the violence the crowd revel in ans will stop at nothing to bring down the crowd’s violent heroes. I love the intensely dark and psychological side to Mic Foley and that would be on full display in this version of him. His main competition would be firstly Terry Funk, then the people’s champion Dean Ambrose. I’m booking Dean as he was in early 2016, a people’s champ on a mission to prove himself. When it becomes apparent Foley would have to face the rising Ambrose earlier in the year, Foley would blindside him at every chance and manipulate the two monsters Mike Knox and Braun Strowman into attacking Ambrose and keep him from getting to his championship.
For Ambrose part he would rise through to the pinnacle of the card as a people’s champion, initially earning respect in a fued with Dory Funk and then fighting the combined forces of Strowman and Knox to a standstill. With the help of the Funks in a Battle Royale to crown the Mania number 1 contender, Ambrose would eliminate Braun Strowman to finally get a 1-1 match with the man who had been trying to avoid him. The lead up would see the two duke it out on the mic before the kind of violent No DQ match you just know Mic Foley and Dean Ambrose could put on, cementing Ambrose rise to the top of the company.
FINGERTIP FEELER: What was your favorite match of the card and storyline? Who’s card needs work? COMMENT BELOW! Thanks for reading!!