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The One-Match-Only Fantasy Challenge! 
March 30, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Pointing out flaws is easy... coming up with viable solutions is hard.

Well, it CAN be hard, if your job is, like working at NASA or something... but it shouldn't be so hard if your job is Writer Monkey for WWE.

That's OO's feeling, anyway, no matter how difficult the Fed insists on making it look. Then again, we never graduated from cosmic jokes of  Liberal Arts Colleges with our virtually 

worthless degrees in TV Writing. And to the best of my knowledge, none of us has ever contributed to anything as detrimental to society as "Will and Grace."

We're just a bunch of intelligent, creative people. And wouldn't you know it, that makes us the sort of crew capable of having Good Ideas on nearly a daily basis without injuring ourselves.

And we're also wrestling fans, with varying years of seeing what works and doesn't work, of knowing what WE like (or at least, used to like, back in the days when WWE cared about what we like), and of taking all that experience and combining it with our all-around smartness, and realizing, "There has GOT to be a better way." And then quickly coming up with the better ways...

Now, some people have differing opinions on "Fantasy Booking." But when it happens here at OO, we do it with a few rules that hopefully make it more palatable to all. And all those rules boil down to "We try to stick to reality." That means no wacky superstar guest appearances, no firing Randy Orton and pushing Paul London as a main eventer, nothing like that.

Today, as an experiment, we've gathered the trOOps together to present a "fixed" WrestleMania 22 card that could realistically happen, but which might have a little bit more to offer than the current one. If it's not the sort of fatastical Super Show *you* would fantasy book, well, just remember: all these matches COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN. And if they did, they'd beat the pants off the Boogeyman and pillow fights.

Since I learned, first-hand, back in January what a chore Fantasy Booking an entire brand/show can be, I could not ask the trOOps to write up Entire WM22 Fantasy Recaps. Instead, I asked each one to submit a SINGLE MATCH. It was a curious experiment, and it has resulted in some over-lap (so it's not a TRUE cohesive card; a couple guys did get used twice)... but I think I accomplished what I wanted to.

Each individual match is sort of a window into the wrestling soul of each columnist. If you think the product is still pretty OK, you might see a guy just tweak an existing match. If somebody proposes a more unique match-up, it'll give us an idea of when and how he became a fan and what sorts of things he's jonsing for come WM22 time. Pretty interesting stuff.

[Note: Big Danny T broke the rules and included 2 matches. I'm allowing him to do this, because Erin Anderson's submission didn't include a match in the "realistic" category, and would only have made Vince McMahon cry. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but perhaps we'll save it for the Super Fantastical WM22 Feature another time, complete with the Mark Henry vs. Chris F. Masters Very Special "The Ring Will Blow Up And Kill Them Both The Second They Step Into It" Match, musical appearances limited only to bands who don't suck, and other completely unrealistic crowd-pleasers of that ilk. Anyway, lucky break for Danny...]

So here goes: a full PPV card, starting with more prelim stuff, building to some slightly more special/main eventy stuff.... and the cool thing is that even though everybody (was only supposed to) picked one match, you can read through their explanations and see how they were also contemplating other, complimentary matches. Oh, the layers!

Big Danny T suggests...
MNM vs. Paul Birchall/Chuck Palumbo (SD! Tag Title Match)

1 Week prior to SNME: MNM are sitting around, doing their usual snarky routine, being self important assholes, when Paul Burchill wanders by. He does his "hello!" routine and is about to wander off when MNM start giggling at him and his getup. Paul hears this and returns to offer some profound comments about MNM's status (The word "pooftah" and calling them pirates, but of a different sort are used.) MNM are confused, but know they are insulted, so they double team Paul. Later that night, Teddy makes a match: Paul Birchill vs. MNM at SNME (Because Burchill is so mad that he wants them to himself.)

SNME: In place of the awful Mark Henry/Undertaker stuff, we get a short and fun little match where Burchill dominates for most of it, but because of a crucial distraction by Melina (possibly using her sonic scream) MNM are able to do the Snapshot and takes Burchill down.

The next friday, Burchill is miffed that MNM beat him, but he's going on with a match against Finlay. Finlay cheats using the Shaleighleigh and is DQ'd, and MNM show up to assist in the beat down. Bobby Lashley shows up to make the save, and is concentrating on Finlay when he's double chock blocked by MNM. Face beatdown continues until... Buchills music hits? Heel's are confused until behind them, out of the crowd shows up Palumbo, in full pirate getup! He surprises Finlay with a jungle kick and Lashley and Burchill have recovered enough to chase MNM off.

The next friday is a match featuring Finlay/MNM vs. Lashley/Pirate
Kings. Oh, and earlier in the show, Teddy announces that MNM must now defend the titles against the Pirate Kings at Wrestlemania. 6 man ends in a schmozz when Animal, just to be a spoilsport/plot device interferes and is joined by Matt Hardy. Ring is cleared, and Teddy sets up an impromptu match between Animal and Lashley, which Lashley wins to get in the MITB match.

WM: MNM and the Pirate Kings have a decent match, but MNM retain.

Big Danny T, with his Extra Pick, also suggests...
Cruiserweight Title Tournament Final

Pretty simple here: What with Helms being injured, Teddy strips him of the title the friday before SNME, and we start a tournament, with the finals being, oh, I dunno, Kid Cash vs Brian Kendrick. Both these guys go all out for 8 minutes, with Kid Cash winning the title for his second run (Kendrick being more important as a part of a tag team with London.)

See, WWE, two matches on the card that people are more likely to give a shit about than Pillowfights and worms, and Imagine that, this takes care of ALL the titles being defended at WM.

Anyway, there's my 2 cents/matches.

Rick Scaia suggests...
Kurt Angle/Daivari vs. Shawn Michaels/Shelton Benjamin (RAW Tag Title Match)

So many choices... I had so many damned ideas (12 of them, I think) for matches I wanted to do at WM22 back when I was toying with doing a Fantasy Universe. But the whole reason I tanked that concept was that injuries and stuff had rendered part of my card unrealistic. And "unrealistic" is the naughtiest of words when it comes to OO's stance on Fantasy Booking.

But some of my ideas would still hold up, and could still easily contribute to a stronger-than-present WM22 line-up. I won't bother trying to steal any main event thunder.... I actually sort of like the idea of toiling with the undercard. Because this is where a PPV really builds its foundation... if you don't have quality undercard matches to prop up the big fancy main events, fans'll know the difference. And you'll end up with the "One Match Card" phenomenon that started to permeate WWE's brand-only PPVs 2 years ago, and is now (sadly) becoming more and more common.

So my choice for a labor of love: going back to January, telling a story that takes some time, has some swerves, and that builds up to a match that has the net effect of putting the World Tag Titles back on the map.

Remember January? Angle was still on RAW, and Daivari was his manager, and the only thing keeping Angle a heel was that he was saying anti-American things. Dumb. But Angle was also in the WWE Title mix: the title was held by Cena, but the landscape was wide open because of an Elimination Chamber Match. Also in the mix were Big Show and Kane, who were doubling as Tag Team Champs.

So this is where we diverge: in the Elimination Chamber Match, something happens to make Angle pissed off at Big Show and/or Kane. He drags his spokesman/lackey Daivari into the mix, and insists on tag matches. The anti-American stuff is out, and Angle's character will get it's heat by acting like a dick to Daivari (think DiBiase with Virgil, circa 1988). The end game to this scenario is that Angle and Daivari take the tag titles by the end of January.

Parallel Issue #1: so Batista gets hurt and SD! needs help. Instead of sending Kurt, why not send Big Show and/or Kane, now that they're relieved of the titles? Show and Kane are, afterall, the ones who already had big time heat with Batista and Rey (and JBL), and could have done a dandy job stabilizing things, if you ask me. Rey's Underdog Story, in fact, might have become even more compelling if he was up against one or both giants.

Parallel Issue #2: back on RAW, Shelton Benjamin was -- if you recall -- a wreck back in January. His confidence was shattered, and he was losing matches left and right. But instead of Mama coming to the rescue, we keep Shawn Michaels FAW AWAY from Vince McMahon and his Montreal fetish, and we turn Michaels into Shelton's mentor and coach. The twist: Shelton doesn't want to be any man's protege, he wants to be his own man. Over the course of January, Michaels tries to talk sense to Shelton, but Shelton's petulantly not accepting the advice. At the Royal Rumble, Michaels tries to lend a hand and make suggestions in Shelton's IC Title Match against Ric Flair.... instead, the advice backfires. Shelton repays Michaels by interfering during the Rumble Match itself, costing Michaels his shot at the WM Main Event. Finally, on a Free Per View edition of RAW, it comes to a head, as Michaels realizes the only way to talk sense to Shelton is gonna be to BEAT IT into him, in a match.

Shawn reverses, and instead of being nice to Shelton, he starts browbeating him for his lack of focus, and mocking his losing streak. Heading into the match, Michaels DEMANDS that the same Shelton Benjamin who took him to the limit a year ago on RAW return. And surprise, surprise: he gets it. And an even bigger surprise: when Shelton scores the upset over Michaels, it's like a thunderstorm breaking. All of a sudden, all the insecurity is gone, and Happy Smiley Shelton is back, along with his confidence. He actually THANKS Shawn for everything, and Shawn is Christianly enough to accept the loss in stride and be proud that he's "fixed" Shelton.

The synthesis: so now we're into February, and Shawn and Shelton are buddying up, while Angle being a jerk and running roughshod over RAW's weak tag ranks and not giving Daivari any of the credit. Somebody notices that WrestleMania is looming, and that there's nobody who can stop Angle's Tag Ranks Rampage....

Until Shawn Michaels shows up and says, "Um, we've gone at it a few times in the past year, and as I recall, I've gotten the better of you the same number of times you've gotten the better of me." Touche. So what's Michaels proposing? Angle brings the tag titles and his little mascot Daivari to WM, and accept the challenge of Shawn Michaels and his partner.... Shelton Benjamin.

Challenge made and accepted. And with the cracks in the relationship between Angle and Daivari, Shawn and Shelton seem like they might be the favorites. They're getting along great, Shelton's excited that Shawn's helped get him into a title match at WM, everything's dandy. Until Master Asshole Kurt Angle shows up and starts getting in Shelton's ear. "I brought you to WWE 4 years ago, and I watched you outgrow Team Angle and go off on your own, and now you're back to being another man's lackey? What's wrong with you?"... And "Shawn's only pretending to be proud of you. What's he got to lose. You beat him once, and thought it was the biggest thing in the world. How many times did he beat you before that one match?"... and all kinds of stuff like that, which Shelton starts to buy into, and we've suddenly got MORE friction between Shawn and Shelton than we do between Angle and Daivari.

That creates a nice, tumultuous backdrop heading into WM22's tag title match. Who can trust who? Will there be a heel turn? A face turn? A double turn? All possibilities are open, and no matter what happens at WM22, the summer months are looking exciting on the undercard. You could have Shelton vs. Angle matches. Or Shelton vs. Michaels. Or Angle vs. Michaels. Or Shelton and Daivari coming together as a tag team and forming a new Team Angle. Or Daivari vs. Angle as he strives for his Virgil-esque independence.

Anything can happen in this Tag Team Title showdown at The Rick's Fantasy WrestleMania... and the only sure thing is that with these four involved, the action will be stellar, and with The Rick doing the booking, the drama will be high.

Admit it: you'd like to see this match.

The Immolator Calum Macbeth suggests...
Cactus Jack/Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat (Legends Match)

Right off the bat, let me re-introduce myself. My name is The Immolator. I did Heat and then SD! recaps when the newest version of OO opened, then I had the crazy notion of actually trying my hand at wrestling. Over the course of about 3 1/2 years, I wrestled as Calum Macbeth. I had about 70 matches, some better than others, many of them bordering on Kaufmanesque. But I had plenty of heat. I loved wrestling.

That having been said, the combination of my exposure to the business and the decline in quality of WWE wrestling has left me more than just disillusioned with Wrestlemania. Throw in equal dollops of disinterest, sadness and a dash of anger, and we're getting closer. That's why my WM "dream match" has these four gentlemen in it.

Two ingredients are needed here. First, I put Edge in the Money in the Bank match instead of vs. Cactus Jack. Storywise, he won it last year and would be highly motivated to win it again - and the crowd just as motivated to boo him. Ringwise, he can put in his two cents about what worked or didn't work last time and help everyone else craft a good match. Second, whatever fences need mending between Funk and WWE, mend them. Put him in the Hall of Fame.
Announcing it a few weeks ago would have given ample time to build things up. Steamboat isn't in yet, right? I haven't been paying attention. If he isn't, have Flair induct him.

The story is simple: respect. Cactus respects Funk and is looking forward to inducting him into the HoF. Flair and Steamboat reminisce about old times and tease at wrestling each other at WM. AT some point, Flair and Funk bump into each other, and Funk reprises his heel role from back in '89. Maybe even puts the ol' plastic bag over Flair's head again. Steamboat comes to Flair's aid. The rest writes itself.

I suggest this tag match rather than Flair-Funk or Flair-Steamboat for three reasons. One, it'll get the most out of all four competitors, given their relative ages/lack of condition (although I suspect all four can run rings around me). Two, tag-team wrestling is a lost art, and I happened to love it. Three, I don't want to see the classic Flair matches with either Funk or Steamboat diminished by having them try to go at it again in singles action.

I think the fans would mark out big time for this match. I know I would. I'd treat it seriously and sandwich it between the two title matches at the end of the card (Aside: I still can't believe they have two frickin' titles) and give them a good 20 minutes. Cactus and Funk would be the aggressors - have the announcers play up their previous WM XIV tag win when Funk was doing the short-lived Chainsaw Charlie gimmick. Flair and Steamboat would "fight from
underneath." In the end, Steamboat hits a flying cross-body off the top rope on Cactus for the win, while Flair simultaneously has Funk in the Fig. 4. Handshakes and hugs and a standing O for everyone when all is said and done. And we all live happily ever after.

Matt Hocking suggests...
Money in the Bank 2: Shane McMahon vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Booker T vs. Fit Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley

I took Flair out and put Shane in for pure bumping potential.  It’s not that people don’t buy Flair as a potential money in the bank winner, but Shane is good for a few more huge bumps, and Vince’s nepotism is enough to keep that lingering thought in the back of your mind that, “yeah Shane might just win this match.”  I like the inclusion of Lashley and Finlay, if for no other reason than it puts Lashley in a high profile spot without having to do too much, while also continuing to build a feud with a credible veteran which will only help him in the future.  Finally, you need credible winners at the forefront, and Booker, RVD, and Shelton are fine (Shelton is the current Intercontinental champion, so laying claim to him as a potential winner shouldn’t be hard).

The build for RAW’s side can go pretty much as it did, with the exception of Flair’s involvement, which can be replaced easily by not having a third tournament match (by having Vince “reward” Shane with the spot for helping him with Michaels) or by taking any of the Shane/Shawn matches and making them qualifiers.  On Smackdown, you could do Booker/Boogey during which (if you don’t want to directly job Boogeyman out), you could have Booker win by DQ or countout (where Boogey chases Sharmell or something) and then have him attack Booker, and call that both a “blow off” to the their feud and a qualifying match for Mania.

During the match itself, Lashley and Finlay would basically cancel each other out.  Give Lashley just enough hope spots to make people think he could win it, but have him entangled with Finlay most of the match.  Shane is just there to flop around for everybody, but he could take one big ladder bump to take him out of the match for good.  So essentially you’re left with the only viable winners Booker, Shelton and RVD.  Here’s what happens from there:  At first it seems positive that Shelton is going to win, because he has taken advantage of the no-rules nature of the match to bring in Charlie Haas to help him out late in the match.  Haas’ interference seems to be enough to get Shelton the win, but, with their backs against the wall, Van Dam and Booker call upon their previous experience as WWE Tag Team Champions, and take out the former World’s Greatest Tag Team (now reformed, WGTT would make perfect foils for Kane and Show at Backlash).  Now down to two men, Booker and Rob fight, and thanks to some Sharmell-ference, Booker comes out on top.

Why Booker?  Well, it all ties in to Randy Orton’s ominous “you owe me a favor” message to Booker back during the series with Benoit.  You could go two ways with this, with Booker begrudgingly handing over the title shot to Randy (the ultimate dick move would be for Orton to wait until Misterio had defeated Angle for the title, and then cashing in his shot and beating Rey) perhaps with the promise that Booker will get his title shot against Orton at some point, or you could have Booker refuse, offering instead to help Orton win the title, so that he can keep the Money in the Bank.  This would save a nice Booker/Batista feud for this summer after Batista/Orton wraps up.

Essentially, I didn’t try to reinvent the wheel here.  I just added a smidge more star power and story to an otherwise decent match.  Maybe it wouldn’t have changed the way we view Wrestlemania forever or anything, but it certainly would have propelled forward a few more “Holy Shit” moments and summertime feuds.

Adam Gutschmidt suggests...
The Undertaker vs. Mankind

I know what you all are thinking, “We’ve seen this match a thousand times, while would I want to see it again”.  To which I say, “Screw you”.  No actually, I have a pretty logical reason behind wanting to see this match at Wrestlemania. 

Both competitors currently have decent storylines heading into this year’s show, they just have the wrong dance partners.  The Undertaker’s storyline is the one that’s been told for the past few years: his undefeated streak.  With each passing year, everyone questions whether this will be the year that Taker finally loses.  But we all know, that won’t really happen.  Even if a Taker win is inevitable, it shouldn’t be presented that way on television.  Try as they might, there is no convincing the audience that Mark Henry has a chance in hell of defeating the Dead Man.  For the undefeated streak to mean anything, Taker should be fighting people who stand a chance of breaking that record.

Enter Mankind.

It would not take much storytelling by Mick to remind the audience that nobody has a better win-loss record against the Undertaker than him.  If they want, they can even play up the fact that it was almost exactly ten years ago that Mankind debuted began his feud with the Undertaker.  However, in all the times that Mick fought and beat the Undertaker, it’s never happened at Wrestlemania.  Then you begin to play up how Mick has never had a great Wrestlemania moment, and there could be no greater moment than defeating Taker.

You can still have it be a hardcore match and you know that these two can come up with some pretty sick stuff.  This way, Mick can still have a Wrestlemania moment, even in defeat.  By having an awesome, yet violent match, Mick can give something that the fans will remember.  And Taker can still get his win, but in this case, he’s not having to job out anyone who could be hurt with a loss. 

If we’re thinking really far ahead, you could then have this match lead into Mick sticking around Smackdown for a while.  RAW’s pretty stacked as far as main event talent goes, but until Batista comes back, Smackdown could use someone to help fill out their solo PPVs at the top of the card.

Plus, by having this match, I envision a nice ripple effect where a lot of other guys benefit from this match taking place.  In my world, this would free up Edge to then still be in the main event fighting for the WWE title.  As for Mark Henry, well I originally envisioned him fighting Lashley at the show in a power vs. power match, but since they actually built the Lashley/Finley feud so nicely, I wouldn’t want to ruin that.  So instead, I’ll just have Mark Henry sit at home and watch the show on PPV, which would make all the fans happy anyways.  And this is exactly why this match didn’t happen, because we’re all learned the harsh lesson that the WWE isn’t in the business of making fans happy anymore.  *sigh*

Canadian Bulldog suggests...
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

Yes, I do recall the "beer drinking contest" that happened less than two weeks ago. It was a harmless, fun segment that actually turned into the highlight (for me) of an otherwise dull Saturday Night's Main Event. So it got me to thinking - why NOT put these guys into a WrestleMania-caliber feud?

Yes, I realize Stone Cold can never wrestle again, blah blah blah. But hey - he was set to do something with Jonathan f'ing Coach as recently as October - surely a veteran like JBL could protect him better, even if its done in some sort of "street fight" rules?

They could have started the build-up (and I realize "build-up" seems to be a dirty word around Titan Towers these days) back in early January, after Kurt Angle jumped ship to SmackDown and claimed the brand's vacant championship. I can't recall offhand if JBL was in that battle royal or not, but for argument's sake, let's say he wasn't. The next week, he comes out and launches into a tirade about how he was the most recent champion on SmackDown (and if you remove Cena and Batista from the picture, it's true),  and how he "is a wrestling (dramatic pause) god", all that jazz.

CRASH! Here comes a surprise appearance by the Texas Rattlesnake. "Look atcha in yer little hat, yer little suit, yer little lady with whatever the hell that is on her damn face," Austin might say. This would have happened before Boogeyman chewed Jillian's mole off in the storylines, and thus, it never happened. (By the way, "Boogeyman chewed Jillian's mole off " is a series of words I NEVER thought I'd write in a wrestling column.) "Yer pathetic! What? What? What?" followed by all the Stone Cold-isms you could shake a stick at.

JBL backs off from a fight, saying that while he'd love to teach Austin a lesson, he has to focus on regaining "his" title. Austin goes for the stunner, but Jillian distracts him, allowing JBL to slip away and, naturally, Jillian eats the stunner herself. Stone Cold keeps calling JBL out week after week, with JBL playing the chickenshit heel he does so well. One week in particular, Stone Cold hijacks the steer-horned limo, but JBL doesn't retaliate in any meaningful way. Then you could have JBL vs. Kurt Angle on a February edition of SmackDown, with Austin costing JBL the match, and his shot at the championship.

THEN you have the beer-drinking contest on SNME. Only this time, instead of being completely random, there's a story behind it: JBL feels this would be the "settle" the issues between he and Stone Cold without actually, you know, wrestling. But instead of it being a throw-away comedy segment, it becomes a set-up for JBL to ambush Austin, give him the stunner and pour beer over the Rattlesnake.

Would the match be a workrate-classic? Would it re-establish JBL as a legitimate title contender? Not at all, but who cares? Austin and Layfield have tremendous chemistry together, not to mention tons of charisma to spare. I can picture the interviews and weekly segments in my head - they would fun, but would help to build to an important-sounding match. Put them in a short but effective brawling situation and - bam - WrestleMania moment.

Jeff J. Snider suggests...
Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio (World Title Match)

NOTE FROM RICK: Jeff alerted me that he wanted to write-up this match/story (basically, the non-Orton-ized version of Rey's quest for the gold), but has not yet supplied the additional details. Yet, I like the idea, and it's as good as any I've read for what to do with SD!'s Main Event, so I mention it here in this spot.

PyroFalkon suggests...
John Cena vs. Chavo Guerrero (WWE Title Match)

The match I want to see for Wrestlemania 22 is a cross-brand inter-promotional match. A double-stipulation match: TNA’s Gail Kim vs. WWE’s Victoria in a very special Loser Goes Home with PyroFalkon for the Night and Winner Goes Home With PyroFalkon for the Night match.

…What, too esoteric? Tch, fine.

Actually, I have been thinking of a wrestling storyline for awhile now because, let’s face it, what else do wrestling fans do when they’re bored? It doesn’t help that one of my best friends likes doing this too, and we tend to feed ideas off each other.

For this match, we have to rewrite history and the future a bit. First, WWE decides not to put Eddie Guerrero in the Hall of Fame. If they want a sympathy pick, I would so choose Owen Hart. For one, he’s dead, but people care about him. For two, it would be a nice gesture toward the Hart family, especially Bret. In fact, I’d have Austin induct Bret, then have Bret turn around and induct Owen. Whether Owen actually deserves Hall of Fame honors is debatable, and outside the scope of this little piece.

Anywho, so Eddie doesn’t go to the H of F. This makes Chavo’s sympathy push slightly more important because we all know it won’t last long. So after Eddie’s death, perhaps the two Mondays of December, Chavo stays on RAW and matches, including against some upper-tier stars. Perhaps he scores wins over Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Rob Van Dam, and so on. He doesn’t face guys like Big Show or Kane… he needs to win, and win plausibly. This happens through New Year’s Revolution, where Chavo finally beat a top-tier star.

The next night on RAW, Chavo beats… well, someone in the upper-tier. So Chavo celebrates his win, announcers hype the shit out of Eddie’s memory, blah.

And then enter… WWE Champion John Cena.

At this point, Cena’s already getting booed consistently, so we’re axing his current character. Cena comes out to his current music, stands on the stage whilst Chavo is still in the ring. The music and crowd fade; Cena has a mic. He has no Wigger voice at all, and is dressed in regular clothes: jeans that fit, a plain T-shirt, no funky hat, no gay bling, no arm bands.

Cena talks: “I’ve been out here, trying to talk ‘real.’ Trying to be ‘street.’ Trying to be ‘hip.’ But you all should know, it’s not really me. Every week, I seem to go farther and farther away from being real, being myself. Well, that ends now, because I’ve been witnessing an injustice for the last month. And Chavo, you’re at the center of it.

“Chavo, you’ve done a great job with your matches. Win, after win, after win! The fact is, though, you didn’t deserve any of the opportunities. The only reason you had those matches, and those wins, is because your last name is Guerrero. You’re not honoring Eddie’s memory; you’re riding it to places you’re not ready for!”

This goes on as a monologue for awhile. The crowd will naturally be pissed, but they will know that it’s true to an extent. It all ends up with Cena making a title challenge, which he admits is weird (champion doesn’t normally make the challenge), but says he’s wanting to have Chavo prove to himself, to WWE management, and Eddie that Chavo has the talent to earn himself his position, and doesn’t have to rely on his last name.

Vince has other ideas, comes out without music or a mic, and helps sell this thing as a shoot-work. He ends up saying later that Cena has a match at Royal Rumble that will not involve Chavo. At Royal Rumble, Cena ends up losing the belt cleanly.

Cena calls off his match with Chavo, saying that because it’s not for the belt, it won’t prove anything. Chavo counters that now it will prove more, as Chavo is doing it for pride and not gold. Between RR and Wrestlemania, Chavo and Cena are involved with each other’s matches; Cena dances as a tweener, saving Chavo in a tag match here and giving him an “accidental” chair shot there.

Finally, it comes down to Wrestlemania, where they have a no holds barred match. (This includes a sick ladder spot I can’t describe without pictures, although I’m not sure it could be pulled off with Cena’s arms snapped like twigs.) Cena pulls the win out of his ass, but he injures his knee in the process.

(Warning: Cheesiness cometh.) As Cena gets strapped into a gurney, he manages to get a mic and he tells Chavo that Chavo no longer has to prove himself, because although Cena took the win, Chavo is only one walking away from the match. They shake hands, and Cena is written off TV for a few weeks to get a fully fleshed-out character makeover.

This whole thing gives Cena a different character, which is desperately needed, and it really does help lend some credibility to Chavo. Post-Wrestlemania, Chavo can start climbing up the ranks, maybe even get the IC title at some point. But either way, I would be hanging onto this storyline, and in this instance, a Chavo/Cena match would be pretty fun to watch.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28



Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.




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