I just wrote this looooong post on a news item and thought, why not share it? I never play armchair/internet booker but I’m going to this time simply because Rollins injury creates a whole new dynamic around the world title. Before I get into this I want to say that I am a fan of the old school multi-year champions but this is a golden opportunity for WWE to give a huge rub to a lot of guys that could really use it.
- Announce Rollins is out as champion with the stipulation that he gets an immediate rematch upon his return, basically a Money In The Bank type of contract. This is important long-term.
- The title should bounce around until Wrestlemania. Let Bray win at Survivor Series. He could use the bump and fans really are into him because he’s different. Bray holds on until Royal Rumble
- Set up a feud between Bray and Ambrose. Ambrose wins at the Rumble.
- Roman wins the Rumble. For the love of God don’t even mention Daniel Bryan between now and then or you’ll kill poor Roman again.
- Have one of those “WWE Network” specials that’s live like the MSG show was a few months ago. This does two things: first it creates a nice hook for the Network and second it allows for something truly unexpected. Don’t advertise the opponent. You’re not selling PPVs here, your hooking new Network subscribers. People will think it’s Roman, whcih is what should be alluded to. But in actuality his opponent is? Cesaro. I’m not a big mark for Cesaro (although it’s good to see him ditch Bjorn Borgs sweatbands he used to wear on his thighs) but hardcore fans would love this. Ambrose wins, but just barely, and fans come away happy with both guys. Then.,.
- Sheamus (who I’m also not a fan of but he’s got the briefcase and we need to get it off of him before too long) cashes in on Ambrose. Ambrose get a concussion (or neck injury if you’re worried about using concussions in story lines) from multiple Brogue Kicks. He’s out for awhile- keeps him hot for a return, you’ve given him a World Title rub, and it lets him rest up a bit (so we don’t get another Rollins injury debacle!)
- Next PPV is Fastlane. Put Sheamus vs Reigns, who earned a shot at the Rumble (I know it’s for Mania but he’s sticking up for the injury his buddy Ambrose took as a result of Sheamus) in a street fight, because let’s face it, you’re not going to get a “wrestling” match from these two going at it. The only way to have people get behind Reigns is to put him in there with someone the fans hate more. Who better than Sheamus? Roman wins. And if he could cut off those ridiculous chin things that Sheamus has it would be even better.
- Because Roman gave up his Mania shot to take on Sheamus at Fastlane there is a 4 way match to determine the new #1 contender at Fastlane as well (make the theme the “Fastlane to Wrestlemania”. Three people are announced with a “mystery man” as the 4th. Bray, Cesaro, Ziggler (because why not? Throw the guy, and the fans, a bone) and the mystery: Daniel Bryan. Bryan wins and we have Roman vs Bryan at Mania.
- Bryan gets his Wrestlemania win & moment over Reigns.
- Next night on Raw Bryan sells the fact that, while fans booed Roman out of the building they should show him respect for working for 2 years to overcome the odds, pressure, Authority, Wyatts and the venom of the fans. He brings Roman out and embraces him. If done right, fans will warm a bit because their hero has really shown that Roman is a good guy who has worked hard. Roman gives a (short!) speech on how he’s worked to overcome the odds for the last two years and he lost to a better man at Mania. He needs to take a step back, regroup, and figure out what’s next. Fans actually cheer him and… he’s out for awhile.
- If you’re keeping track that means all three Shield members are out right now. See where this is going? You’re probably only 1/2 right…
- Bryan defends through SummerSlam, giving people what they missed in 2014- a long run with their hero. Let him beat some established guys, like Orton for example, so you don’t diminish the guys you gave a title rub too earlier in the year. Meanwhile you’re building to Bray vs Bryan and you have some history there from when Bryan spent a short sting in the Wyatt family.
- Summer Slam 2016: Bryan against Bray, who’s family keeps interfering. During this match both Reigns and Ambrose make surprise returns to even the odds for Bryan. Bryan wins and is celebrating with Roman and Ambrose. Then… Seth Rollins hits the ring and his immediate match is started. He beats Bryan quickly and clean. Roman and Ambrose enter the ring and are stunned. They back Rollins into the corner and suddenly Ambrose blasts Bryan. Roman and Seth look shocked, until all three Shield members smile, put their fists in old-school style and triple power bomb Bryan. You’re going to have people booing this like crazy and cheering it like crazy. But you’ll have them hooked.
- Next night on Raw the Shield explains that they’re back and focusing on themselves. They have no enemies or friends, just a common goal to dominate. The Authority comes to the ring congratulating them, saying they brought the Shield in to begin with, gave them countless chances to be the best and that they took care of them. The Shield destroys Triple H and the crowd is NUTS.
- Beyond that you can work to Roman vs Rollins at Mania in 17 or go a lot of different ways.
So what has this long, convoluted plan accomplished?:
- You’ve given title rubs to Bray, Cesaro, Roman, Sheamus (blech!) and Ambrose. You wrapped it up with a strong run by Bryan. You don’t diminish the title but you pass the rub around a bit.
- You’ve given people what they want from Bryan, kept him in the title picture and kept him the sympathetic underdog at the end of everything.
- You’ve put the Shield back together, which the fans want, but now they’re Stone Cold style stars: out for themselves only and loners. The team is strong enough to pull it off.
- You’ve creatively fixed things up for the next year to cover the Rollins injury and plans that were in place.
You might wonder about some other guys for Mania. My quick list if I was putting this plan above in place:
– Brock vs Cena. Cena has never avenged that savage ass-kicking from last year. Let him win and FINALLY turn heel.
– Undertaker vs Kane. I know, I know it’s been done before. But we know we’re leading to a Undertaker/Kane tag team again, at least in the short term. Let’s have Undertaker go out in style with a final Mania win over a long-time foe and ride off into the sunset.
– Triple H vs Sting. Two years later we get the rematch in Sting’s retirement match. He goes over Triple H (which doesn’t matter since he’s part time anyway) and the Stinger is finished on a good note. He’s HOF bound in 2017 after this. Hell, announce him that day for a year in advance.