Sunday, February 15, 2004
posted by James - 12:16 PM
World Wrestling Entertainment will host their last pay-per-view broadcast before Wrestlemania XX tonight.
I was up late Thursday night after watching the latest edition of Smackdown (which was an alright show which did the job of creating interest in the PPV after they spent the previous week's show focusing on a PPV which is still a month away), and I started thinking about what they have already announced for the PPV and what could happen.
Although most of the readers who come here for traditional sports insight may not appreciate it, I'm going to post my thoughts anyway for those who might.
As a word of warning... aside from the match listing, the rest is a complete work of fiction based on current and yet-to-happen events. It's not my attempt to prove I could do a better job than those who run WWE at putting together a card, nor is it "fantasy booking." It's just a subject I've been interested in since this phenomenon appeared over a decade ago. It's a completely fictionalized drama, written for a live-event situation. I have no idea whether it would display through a TV screen, which might be why they wouldn't do something like this.
I also won't be saying what I think of the respective matches or what will happen in these matches. That's a job for the WWE agents (who I've seen work in person) who will script these matches. Click on the links to the left if you want opinions on these matches. 411mania does an especially great job.
No Way Out, Live from the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA
February 15, 2004
WWE Title Match*
* Raw superstar Goldberg will be
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match
Rey Mysterio w/ 2-time boxing champ Jorge Paez in his corner
Chavo Guerrero, Jr. w/ Chavo Guerrero, Sr. in his corner
WWE Tag Team Titles Match
Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty
The Bashams & Shaniqua
*The titles would go to the Bashams if Shaniqua makes the pin
#1 Contender's Match*
Kurt Angle vs John Cena vs The Big Show
* Winner gets shot at WWE Title at Wrestlemania XX
Blindfolded Revenge Match
Jamie Noble vs Nidia
The APA vs Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas
Six matches seems a little light for the PPV, so they might be planning a match to utilize their very under-utilized cruiserweight wrestlers - who the crowd goes nuts for - or non-wrestling segments, maybe concerning their dual-Playboy Playmates.
Playmate Pals Posedown*
Sable vs Torrie Wilson
*Raw Divas Stacy Kiebler and Miss Jackie, who were "snubbed" for the chance to be in Playboy, interrupt... WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon and Smackdown GM Paul Heyman act amused instead of stopping the intrusion until Heyman's assistant Dawn Marie snaps them out of it...
They could also do a segment which would catch the viewing audience, both at home and the arena, in shock, yet they've already laid the groundwork to do so.
Again, this is complete fiction...
Mr. McMahon gets in the ring to make a public acknowledgment of his respect for Goldberg showing up in his ringside seat for the PPV and not making a disruption... then the lights go out. A video plays on the screen announcing the Undertaker's arrival in time for a Wrestlemania XX showdown with Kane... and his arrival is now!
The lights go up. Mr. McMahon is in a seated position, but he can't get up. In fact, he can't move all.
His terror grows as Taker's music starts with an eerie bell ringing through the arena - first quiet then increasing to a deafening volume, followed by the too familiar organ music.
Cloaked druids start to come down and surround the ring. Flames start to shoot up from the sides of the rampway; smoke fills the entrance. A shadowy figure begins to emerge.
The Dead Man reveals himself.
He grabs the microphone from the paralyzed WWE Chairman, and reacts like a craftsman getting used to having an old tool in his hand.
But he suddenly remembers his purpose. He peers intently at Mr. McMahon through his demonic eyes.
"There's an explanation everyone on this planet is interested in as to my return to this form," Taker says. "But that will have to wait for I have a different purpose on this date, this time, in this ring."
"Revenge!" Taker utters in a manner which chills, frightens and excites everyone within an ear, except Mr. McMahon, of course.
"When you enlisted the aid of my brother, Kane, to bury me alive, you must not have thought of the grave mistake you made, but you of all people should have understood the grave consequences."
Mr. McMahon begins to frantically mutter a defense for including his brother.
"You should have done it alone!" Taker responds with rage while menacingly standing over Mr. McMahon.
"You should not have included him. You don't understand; you see a lot more when you've left the living. You sought him out. Instead of accepting your fate, you tried to cheat death, and instead YOU BROUGHT DEATH BACK."
"I wasn't going to go through with it. It would have only served as a lesson for you. You would not have died, but I was prepared to lose. I was ready to rest peacefully, but you made that impossible. Having that maniac celebrate over my demise awoke something you couldn't handle the first time."
"I don't know the extent of my existence in this form. I know he is my ultimate priority, but I have unfinished business with YOU! And I don't know if I'll ever complete that business, but I am here to give you a taste of what it's like to Rest In Piece."
Mr. McMahon regains control over his body and overcomes his paralyzation and attempts a hasty getaway. The Dead Man comes alive and pummels the overmatched Mr. McMahon with nostalgic offense, finishing with a thunderous Tombstone Piledriver.
Taker leaves the ring with the nearly lifeless Mr. McMahon slumped over his right shoulder. His druids follow him up the ramp as flames shoot up as he leaves. He raises his left fist with his back towards the exuberant and exhausted crowd as they wonder what will become of the WWE Chairman of the Board.
Of course after a segment like this, the crowd would need a breather before the title match, which may be why a useless tag match like the APA vs Haas and Benjamin was added to the card.
Since I was a teenager, I've been enthralled by the Undertaker character - maybe too much heavy metal - and I've always wanted to explore the possibilities of a character where anything is possible and the audience just eats it up.