It's never too early to book WrestleManiaSo it was in the late summer about six years ago that we on the WWE creative team started coming up with possible scenarios for WrestleMania, which was still months away. Sure, we knew plans would likely change, but just having an idea of where you wanted to be down the line was helpful in planning in the short term.The only match that seemed unanimous was Angle vs. Lesnar. The other match I advocated for was Rock vs. Austin, though at one point there was a suggestion on the table to do Austin vs. Scott Steiner. I fought for Rock vs. Austin because it's one of those "big-time" matches I could watch over and over; plus, Austin vs. Steiner had potential to make people actually leave the building as it was happening.The one interesting thing is that on all the WrestleMania scenarios we looked through, Stone Cold's name was on every one of them. Keep in mind that this was in the late summertime after his June 10 walkout, and his return wouldn't become official until around December or January. Yup, that's how wrestling works.Why do I mention this? Because given WWE's moves as of late (putting the title on Punk, moving HHH to SmackDown and Batista to Raw, etc), WWE actually has the potential to build to one of the best WrestleManias in a very, very long time.Here's what I would do.I'd build WrestleMania around three main matches: Triple H vs. Edge for the World Title, Batista vs. John Cena and CM Punk vs. Randy Orton.Triple H vs. Edge -- As I mentioned in my previous post yesterday, I'd put the title on Edge at the Great American Bash and then keep it on him til Mania. Let HHH play the role of babyface in the chase. I actually LOVE the storyline of Triple H getting screwed by the wrestler who's dating the boss; substitute "everyone else" where I just said "Triple H" and you've got the story of WWE for the past six years. Triple H vs. Edge is one of the few big-time matches left with any intrigue; if done right at the Bash (total screwjob ending to build heat for Edge), the Mania match could be gigantic.John Cena vs. Batista -- No title on the line here. You don't need one. I'd build this feud by having these two guys be CM Punk's challengers for the titles, and they cost each other those matches. I'd start it at the Bash -- Batista loses somehow, then Cena tries to jump in as the next challenger. Batista's angry, says he still deserves another shot, but Cena gets the shot, say at SummerSlam. Batista costs Cena the match at SSlam. Go to Survivor Series with a Triple Threat, then to the Rumble, which neither guy wins. Maybe they eliminate each other. Batista's the natural heel -- though I've been advocating for a Cena heel turn for months now. But if they keep these guys apart until Mania, this match has a VERY big-time feel to it. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton -- Yes, I'm advocating keeping the title on Punk for this long. Heel first-time champions can usually have pretty short title reigns (Triple H, Edge) and get over, but babyfaces (Hogan, Warrior, Diesel, Cena, Batista) need some time to make the fans believe in them. Punk has a natural charisma and confidence that will make people rally behind him. Orton, on the other hand, is the most natural heel in the business. I don't know what I'd do with the finish of this match, but if they do move forward with a third-generation faction, Orton as World Champ seems like a natural choice to lead it.So there. Obviously there'll be a Taker match in there as well, and hopefully Mania will have an IC Title match for the first time since 2002. But given how most of the past few Manias have seemed like they came together in the weeks right before the PPV, a scenario like this would allow some time for the feuds to simmer ... add in a mainstream name and you've got something really, really special. See THAT was the big problem with this year's show -- Mayweather got a lot of publicity and attention, but the WWE product around him was very flat. So that's what I'd do. Unfortunately, the secret to big matches is the slow build, and it seems that Vince's short attention span has grown even shorter as of late. But with the building blocks in place, I think next year's Mania could actually be something special.Yup, I'm optimistic today. Don't hold your breath that it will last.
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