May 24, 2024

GUTS AND GLORY | Fantasy booking WrestleMania XL

GUTS AND GLORY | Fantasy booking WrestleMania XL
WWE is cooking up a massive show for WrestleMania 40, that's for sure. Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports
With Elimination Chamber already in the background, all WWE fans can do now is wait for the biggest show of all time in WrestleMania XL. Professional wrestling has been on an upswing as of late with amazing talents and solid storytelling that have captivated our attention once again. 


Usually, this column is about sports, but we decided to go to sports entertainment this time.


As a brief background, I’m a lifelong WWE fan and I am also working with them as one half of their Filipino broadcast team with Stan Sy. Unfortunately, you won’t hear Tagalog locally as we’re only airing on the WWE Network, but we do appreciate our friends who go via the more complicated VPN route to hear us during the premium live events.


Let me also clarify that I do not have advanced knowledge of the plans WWE Creative has in store for us. So this will be all about my opinion alone. There’s also no need to discuss the Bloodline angle because they’re just absolutely on point with that part right now.


With that said, here are the four things I would want to see for WrestleMania XL.




1 - Split the undisputed tag team championship


The Judgement Day storyline has been quite enjoyable and also frustrating at times. Yes, they’ve done well in defending their tag team championships but now might be the best time to split them up so RAW and SmackDown can both have a pair of champions.


With Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, and Roman Reigns looking like they will all be pulling double duty for WrestleMania XL, Damian Priest and Finn Balor could do the same. Right now, there’s no clear challenger yet so it’s still possible for the red and blue brands to run Number 1 Contenders’ competitions to set up the two matches. 


There’s a wealth of tag teams in the WWE right now and all of them will definitely benefit from a title reign. Yes it was cool to have super teams like Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and then Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso winning the undisputed straps but all those four are or can be involved in other stories/matches in WrestleMania XL.


The New Day, New Catch Republic, LWO, Authors of Pain, Creed Brothers, DIY, and even Austin Theory and Grayson Waller or The Miz and R-Truth could all be options to challenge Priest and Balor.


I’m not saying they have to drop both titles but giving up at least one pair of belts could really elevate another tag team.



2 - Give Gunther a worthy challenger


Building a dominant champion is always good for business. However, the problem here is that you’ll need an equally strong story for the challenger for the eventual title change. Gunther has taken on all comers to hang on to his Intercontinental Championship.


After winning it in June of 2022, he’s defended it against the likes of Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Chad Gable, and Jey Uso. You have to give it to Gunther as he has made many of his challengers look good as well when they shared the ring with him. The problem is that in doing this, he has looked like an unbeatable champion. Unlike Roman Reigns, who oftentimes gets help from The Bloodline to win, Gunther wins clean and it has come to a point where it’s difficult to imagine how he could lose the title.


I’m not saying Gunther should lose at WrestleMania, but they will need to put someone in the ring with him who would look like a real threat. “Main Event” Jey Uso could have been a great option if it was a slow build to WrestleMania XL, but they went another direction with him now looking like he’s going up against his brother Jimmy.


This leaves Gunther without a clear opponent, but the recently-announce six-man gauntlet match should change that soon enough.



3 - Make Damian Priest Cash In


When the Money in the Bank concept debuted all the way back in 2005, the whole point is that the winner could schedule his title shot within a year. And since the match debuted at WrestleMania, the cash-in could be for the main event of the next WrestleMania.


Of course, this has drastically changed from that point with Money in the Bank moving on from just a special match to its own premium live event, but the case here is if you won’t cash in at WrestleMania, what’s even the point?


Right now, Priest could technically join Cody Rhodes in challenging Reigns or Drew McIntyre in challenging Seth Rollins. He could unilaterally announce that either of those matches will now be a triple threat match or wait for an opportune moment when the champions (or their challengers for that matter) appear weak. 


There have been many cash-in teases but WrestleMania XL is the biggest show ever and not even attempting to win your first major championship during this big event will only hurt Priest’s and the MITB contact’s reputation.


If he’s not ready to win the big one yet, then so be it. But he needs to part with that briefcase next month.



4 -  Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill vs. Kabuki Warriors


The past three editions of WrestleMania have been wonderful for Bianca Belair with championship wins over Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Asuka. But now that both women’s championship matches have been booked with Lynch taking on Rhea Ripley and Bayley facing off against Iyo Sky, yhis leaves Belair with no dance partner for the big show. However, this could quickly be fixed as the Kabuki Warriors do not have challengers to their tag titles yet.


Enter Jade Cargill. The two had a moment during the Royal Rumble, which made everyone go crazy about the next opportunity to have these women share the same ring again. Some people say that Cargill still needs more time to learn how it’s done in the WWE, but it’s undeniable that she's already a huge star. Having her in a tag match could allow Belair to do the heavy lifting while she comes in for the hot tags. Cargill was close to perfection during her Rumble stint so WWE could entrust her with this big part in WrestleMania XL.


Setting this up would be easy. Belair gets into a promo with Asuka and Kairi, challenges them to a championship match, gets laughed at for having no partner, and then Cargill comes in to save the day. 


Expect the fans to go absolutely nuts if this happens.