How I would book WrestleMania 31

WrestleMania’s just a few days away and we’re likely to be talking about how good or bad the results are for quite a while.  Right now the way things are going to shake down people are to either take a big dump on the show or say it was salvaged some kind of way.  What would I do if I was in charge, taking into account what you have to do after the show as well as the show itself?  Here’s my take:

Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton – It all depends on whether or not they’re going with the Rollins cash-in later.  If they are, you have Orton win this to set up a title match at Extreme Rules.  In essence it would be a redux of what Bret Hart did at WrestleMania X putting over his brother in the opening match before regaining the WWE (then WWF) title in the main event.  I don’t see having Rollins lose this if he’s not going to cash in Money in the Bank at the end of the show.  If he’s not going to cash in, then you give him a win to get a WrestleMania stamp of certification.  What would I do?  I know this is tipping off my answer for the main event but I think you have him win here with help from J and J Security, of course.  Then you can do an no-DQ style match at Extreme Rules next month.

Divas Tag Team Match – The Bella Twins vs AJ Lee and Paige – AJ and Paige win.  It’s WrestleMania, and the faces always win this kind of Divas match.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal – Ryback wins.  Why? I have no idea.  Sorry.  Out of all the people in there he seems like the nest bet.  The Miz/Damien Mizdow split will probably at least be teased during the match but it may result in one or both of them being eliminated and not a match winner itself.  Big Show is always a favorite just because, and could use a win to set up a program somewhere else on the card in the weeks and months after.

Rusev vs John Cena (US Title Match) – Cena obviously wins, the question is how.  You don’t want him to just squash the big Russian to end an almost year long undefeated streak.  You want to end it in such a way that Rusev is still viable going forward.  I’d have some kind of DQ finish and set up and extreme rules match for next month so Cena can pin him after hitting him over the head with a chair or something instead of a straight up clean win this month.

Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt – I think you got to have Wyatt win this one.  At this point you can’t be jobbing people with big time potential like Wyatt to guys on their way out like ‘Taker.  After this I would bring ‘Taker back one more time next year for a farewell match, play up the old and washed angle leading in, and then have him go over one time to close his career out.  I watched his match vs Brock Lesnar again recently and while he did better than I remembered from the first time I watched it, it’s clear from the past two years of matches (last year and the year before against CM Punk) that he can’t do even basic stuff that he used to do.  That’s no disrespect but we all get older and can’t do what we used.  Better to close him out soon before he goes the way of Andre the Giant.

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title:  Wade Barrett vs Dolph Ziggler vs R-Truth vs Daniel Bryan vs Luke Harper vs Stardust vs Dean Ambrose – There are several ways you can go here.  My pool of possible winners consists of Barrett, Ambrose, and Bryan.  R-Truth and Stardust are there mainly to eat everyone else’s big moves.  Harper is there to stop people during the false finish spots.  Ziggler has won this title in a ladder match already so putting it on him again just so he can drop it again at Extreme Rules or Payback is more than a little redundant.  I think having Barrett survive six challengers to come out as champion could set him for bigger things this year (if he stay healthy for once).  At the same time, Ambrose or Bryan getting the belt and going on a good run with it before moving into (or back into, in Bryan’s case) a main event program would be an excellent move.  I would put it on Bryan, then he can go on a run of great matches with Ziggler, Barrett, Ambrose, etc over the next few months.

Triple H vs. Sting – Not a whole lot to chew over here.  Triple His gonna do what he does best, serve as a foil to a fan favorite and get as good a match out of him as anyone possibly can before putting him over.  No other way to play it, really.

Main Event (WWE Title Match): Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns – How this match ends is going to be the deciding factor in everyone’s show grade.  If Reigns goes over people are going to crap on it regardless of how good the other matches are or how good this match is.  There crowd is likely to be lukewarm at best and hostile at worst.  So with that in mind, do you book that finish anyway or do you do the Seth Rollins Money in the Bank cash-in?  Short term thinking says yes you do the Rollins cash-in just to keep the crowd and the internet fanboys (of which I am one) from crapping on it.  And trust me, those crap-on-the-show have either been completely typed up already or mapped out in a lot of people’s minds.  It’ll be the easiest write all year for some folks.  But if I’m in charge you have to consider the downside.  You’ve put a lot of work into getting Rollins over as a heel, somebody people legit boo as a villain.  To bring him out for something that will get him cheered means those months of work are over unless you immediately put him in with Bryan or Ziggler to work with next.  You crown him champ and then send him to work with Reigns or Orton next you’ll be having to pull a double turn to offset the cheers he will be getting.  I really don’t think that’s what you want.  At this point I would play it straight, eat the hostile crowd and move forward.  If it really looks that bad out there Sunday night put this one on earlier and send Triple H and Sting out for the last match.  They’re in a real pickle here but hotshot booking isn’t the best way to solve that.  Ask the WCW guys if you don’t believe me.

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