The Crow's Nest - TNA vs. WWE: How I Would Book the Event
Jun 20, 2013 - 12:48:56 AM
1) TNA vs. WWE: How I Would Book the Event (06/19/13)
A while back, I wrote a column with fellow Main Page writer SuperChrisss where we both put together a team of wrestlers and chatted about which team we thought would taste victory should the encounter ever become a reality. Being the TNA fan that I am, I chose to assemble "Team TNA", leaving Chrisss to put together "Team WWE". I think we managed to put together a couple of amazing teams, and I had a blast trying to put mine together. My whole goal was to have a perfect combination of name value, veteran talent and rookie potential.
Not long ago, TNA President Dixie Carter made a comment on Twitter about wanting to see a TNA vs. WWE PPV card. Shortly after that, Paul Heyman spoke to those comments in an interview, and basically said that it was never going to happen because WWE would gain very little from agreeing to it. Of course Carter would want the card to happen; it would be the single biggest thing that the company has done since its formation. As good as I personally think the product is right now, there is absolutely no debating that WWE is the powerhouse of the wrestling industry. Why would they want to help advertise and promote their competition?
But because this is the internet, we as a fan base are free to speculate on all sorts of "what if" scenarios, and that's exactly what I will be doing in my column today. If I were going to put together a TNA vs. WWE super card, what would it look like?
For the sake of getting all of you fine people involved in the process, I'm not going to be making any predictions on these matches. I'll give my justification for the match being on the card, and of course a few random thoughts, but I want all of you to help pick the winners. You can leave your predictions as a comment here, send them to me on Twitter, email them to me or send them to me telepathically, but I can't promise that I'll get them if you choose the latter method. After a week or so, I'll tally up the votes and post the results in a new column.
Now because this event would, hypothetically anyways, be a pretty big deal, I'm going to go ahead and declare it as a 4-hour event, plus a half-hour pre-show. 2 matches on the pre-show, 11 on the main card. I actually had a lot of fun putting this together, particularly the graphics that you'll soon see, and I've already run through the list and made my predictions. But, as I mentioned above, you'll have to wait until next time to see mine as I'd like to keep this as un-biased as possible, leaving the voting entirely up to you.
Each match that a TNA wrestler or team wins will earn TNA a point, and each point that a WWE wrestler or team wins will earn WWE a point. The company that has the most points at the end of the voting period will win. Pretty simple, right? All you need to do is vote.
But enough with the introduction, let's take a look at my card.
I've lost count of the number of times I've had the discussion about which group of women was superior - I've even written a column on the topic before - so I thought it fitting to include some kind of match on my mega-card. Divas vs. Knockouts in a battle royal. 10 women, no official teams, each of them fighting for glory. Glory for themselves, and glory for the company that employs them. Standard over-the-top-rope elimination rules apply, with the match continuing until only one wrestler is left standing in the ring.
Each of the wrestlers in this match has held a women's championship at some point in their career, a few of them have even held a belt on more than one occasion. All of them are fitting representatives of their respective companies, and while I had considered just making this a 5-on-5 tag match, I decided on the battle royal format instead. I want to see not only which company you fine folks think has the superior group of female wrestlers, but also which Diva or Knockout you think is superior to them all.
The UK has a long tradition of producing great professional wrestlers, and despite few of them ever achieving a great amount of success on this side of the pond, I thought it would be fitting to highlight a group of them in a "Battle of the Brits".
On one side we have Magnus and Rob Terry, former British Invasion teammates. On the other side we have Wade Barrett and William Regal, never a formal tag team, but both proud Englishmen. Ideally I would have had TNA's Douglas Williams in place of Rob Terry, thereby having a veteran and a "rookie" on both sides, but as Williams is no longer with the company, I was unable to use him for the purpose of this column
This match may be on the pre-show, but I'd have to imagine it would still be something excellent to watch. Good blend of power, technical ability and experience, with each of these men having been a champion of some sort in their career.
Despite so many other matches seeming more obvious, this was actually the first match I decided on when putting this card together. I don't know why, and I did initially try to find a different place to put Styles (with Kingston likely not making the card at all, in that case) but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of this match, because really, these two are very similar talents.
Both wrestle a high-energy style, often incorporating aerial and insanely athletic moves into their arsenals, even both using a kick-based finisher at one point or another. Both men often come up in conversation when discussing underused talents in wrestling. Both men have flirted with the main event before without managing to stay there for too long. Both men are used by their respective companies as dependable names, looked to to deliver high-quality matches against a huge variety of opponents. I'm sure I could go on, but you get my point.
I would say that this would be the perfect match to kick off the show. Both wrestlers are incredibly popular with the fans, and it would pretty much be a guaranteed high-energy affair that would get the live crowd popping early. Unlike another match on this card involving some high-fliers, these two wouldn't have to rely on a match gimmick or spot monkey tactics to deliver. Possible Match of the Night candidate? I wouldn't rule it out entirely.
This was the second match I came up with when putting this card together, and the reasoning should be pretty obvious. While there are certainly some fundamental differences between the two groups, they're not entirely dissimilar either. Both groups are fighting a bigger company to conquer what they see as injustice. Both groups have members that have been overlooked by the bigger companies in the past. Both groups utilize surprise tactics to gain the advantage over their opponents.
The main difference in my opinion, aside from number of members of course, seems to be that The Shield has been consistent in its mission from the outset, whereas Aces & Eights took forever to really get off the ground and, for the longest time, didn't seem to really believe in any purpose aside from beating the hell out of TNA wrestlers. The Shield work together as one unit, whereas Aces & Eights have a loosely formed hierarchy and are expected to obey their leader unconditionally.
Which group strategy is the superior one? Does the youth of The Shield work to their advantage? Or will the experience of the members of Aces & Eights help them to gain the upper hand? Only one gang can reign supreme.
This match was decided on a little later in the game than my previous two, only because I initially had a different opponent in mind for Abyss. When I decided to use that original opponent for a different purpose, I was left with the task of finding a replacement. I already knew I wanted to use some kind of weapons gimmick here, and the street fight seemed appropriate. But who would Abyss be facing?
Of course, as you can see in the above graphic, I decided on none other than Mark Henry, WWE's resident monster.
While Henry may have a strength advantage, I would give the "crazy factor" to Abyss, meaning that he would be more willing to take the crazier risks that could land him the victory. Rarely does Abyss get to face an opponent like Mark Henry, simply because there aren't a lot of bigger wrestlers in TNA right now. Henry would be the true test to determine whether or not Abyss could hang with someone his own size.
Though I initially wanted to use the "Monsters Ball" gimmick for this match, but despite the fact that it is essentially a street fight in its current form, I decided against it as I wanted the encounter to be as evenly matched as possible. Two monsters, an arena full of weapons, only one winner. Which beast will reign supreme?
If you've never seen an Ultimate X match before, I highly recommend it. Some of the craziest spots in the history of TNA have taken place during matches of this type, and for some time it has been one of my favourite match gimmicks. Essentially, the goal of the match is to pull down the big red X hanging above the ring, suspended in the middle of two crossing cables.
That should give you a better idea of what we're dealing with here.
Naturally, this match favors the high-flying risk taker type, hence the wrestlers I've chosen to compete. Sure, the gimmick may seem to favour Team TNA as Team WWE has never competed in Ultimate X before, but that is exactly why I've left this match in a team format. No wrestler will be left alone in a strange environment, as they'll all have two guys watching their back. Anything goes in this match, and it can't end until someone manages to pull down the X. Which group of cruiserweights will soar above the rest?
No, you're not seeing that wrong. I did, in fact, put Tyson Kidd on my PPV card. It wasn't an easy choice, given how low he is on the current WWE roster, but in terms of his style, I think he would fit in just fine with these three former "indy darlings".
Joe, Punk and Aries are no strangers to each other, having faced off in more than a few matches over their careers. Each of them went from being relatively unknown indy wrestlers to international superstars, each holding a World Championship at least once. The same may not be said about Kidd, but I still hold out hope that he'll be able to make a name for himself someday.
This is another match with no teams, and I'm okay with that. All four of these men could easily be classified as workhorses, and I'd like to see what they could do against each other. This is another match that could easily deliver a Match of the Night contender, no question about it.
This was another match that I decided on fairly quickly, almost based entirely around the fact that they both use the same finisher. Morgan has the "Carbon Footprint", Sheamus has the "Brogue Kick". Same move, different name.
Aside from the finisher similarity, I think this match works well as a "battle of the big men". Morgan does have the size advantage though, standing around 8 inches taller and weighing around 60 pounds more. Both men wrestle a very physical style, and considering their size, both men are surprisingly quick and agile.
I decided to add the Last Man Standing stipulation for an added element of drama and intensity. This stipulation is all about dominating your opponent until they literally can't stand up, and I think that is perfectly suited for both of these men. Would it come down to which of these men can hit their kick first? Would Morgan's size give him the advantage? Or would the World Champion experience of Sheamus give him an edge over his opponent?
I've highlighted the women, I've highlighted the big men, I've highlighted the Brits, and I've highlighted the cruiserweights. Now it's time to highlight the tag teams.
Neither company is especially rich with great tag teams right now, but it's far from a complete disaster right now. Both companies have a team that can be credited with being a part of the more entertaining segments of any show they appear on (Hell No and Bad Influence). Both companies have produced great teams in the past, and while neither division is super strong at the moment, both companies seem to be making an effort to revitalize tag team wrestling.
Elimination rules would apply in this match, with two wrestlers in the ring at any given time, able to tag in any other competitor. A team would be eliminated if either member was pinned, tapped out or disqualified, and the last team standing would win the match. Lots of different styles coming together in this one, but which team would make it to the very end?
This is one of the few matches on the card that actually has happened before, and that is precisely why I wanted to book a rematch here. Their brief feud was centred around very personal reasons, with Jeff wanting revenge for what Orton did to his brother, leading to that very memorable Swanton off of the RAW set. Throw in a No Holds Barred stipulation, you've got yourself something potentially great.
These two have proven in the past that they can work together, and I'd expect no less from them now. Their styles may be drastically different, but somehow they made it work before. Both of them can (and have) use weapons to enhance their matches, but it's that personal history that really makes me think this match could be something special. Randy Orton was victorious the first time around, but will things be different in this No-DQ rematch?
Remember when that series of videos were airing and everybody swore up and down that Sting was finally coming to the WWE to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania? Remember how disappointed so many people were when it was quickly revealed that this would not be the case? Well this may not be Wrestlemania, or even a real-world event card, but I'm now giving you the perfect chance to imagine what this encounter could have been like, with the added advantage of removing the whole "Undertaker can't lose at Wrestlemania" thing from the equation.
The tagline of "Icon vs. Phenom" is perfectly fitting here. These men gained those nicknames for good reason, and you have to know that this is exactly how the match would be marketed in the real world. Two absolute legends of the business, both with Hall of Fame worthy careers. When you think about dream matches that could still realistically happen anymore, this is generally near the top of most peoples' lists. Sure, both men are getting up there in age and aren't exactly at their primes anymore, but they both have one very crucial thing in common: when called upon to deliver greatness, 9 times out of 10 that's exactly what they do.
When the Icon and the Phenom finally clash, which one will walk away victorious?
I have to admit, my original plan was to book Kurt Angle against Jack Swagger, which should come as a surprise to very few of you given how many times in the past I've said I'd like to see that match happen. But considering this is no ordinary PPV, that match just wasn't going to be good enough. Jericho had no place on the card yet, and given the fact that these two have feuded in the past, it seemed perfect to have them face off once again.
Both men have used submissions throughout their professional careers, and both men have, at one point or another, played a character that was quite egotistical. Now that both men have matured professionally and likely will only be around for a few more years, I can guarantee this match would be something special to see. The booking is easy here: Walls of Jericho vs. Ankle Lock. Which submission is superior? Which one will lead its user to victory?
After thinking about my card, I realized that this should really have been the easiest match to decide on. How could I not have thought to add a Champion vs. Champion match right away? On top of that, I actually think that their styles would match up quite well. Both use a mix of power, technical and brawling techniques. On top of even THAT, this match represents the classic tale of good vs. evil. Cena, the virtuous hero standing for all that is true, and Bully Ray, the dastardly villain interested in nothing but himself and what affects his path to the top.
John Cena is the obvious choice to represent the WWE in the main event, because whether or not you care to admit it, he is 100% the face of the company. Bully Ray, despite being a heel, is arguably more over than anybody else on the TNA roster. No one else gets the kind of reactions he gets, and nobody else is as good at playing the crowd as he is. There is no more fitting match-up than this for the main event, and the only question that remains is who will be victorious in the end.
So there you have it folks, my card for this imaginary mega-PPV where TNA and WWE are squaring off. I look forward to hearing your predictions and thoughts on my booking choices here, and encourage you more than ever to get in touch with me. I recommend Twitter, since I'm generally pretty active on there, but commenting directly here will do just as well. I'll tally up the results over the next week or two, and once I am done I will reveal the results in a column. Until then, thanks for stopping by.
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