The Ramblings of a Madmanchild: My WrestleMania 30


My WrestleMania Card ( #IfJoeMcCaffreyWroteForWWE )


My WrestleMania Card: (4 hrs 30 mins -> Pre-show and 4 hr PPV)

This is essentially the ramblings of a madmanchild that devolves very quickly into pro wrestling fanfiction, but I’m going to WrestleMania for the first time ever this year and this is is a card that would really send me home happy.

Pre-show Battle Royal for #1 contender to US-IC Championship:

Since it’s a longer wait between Elimination Chamber & WrestleMania than most pay per views, I would have Dean Ambrose vs Big E Langston to Unify the Intercontinental & US Championships as a main event, likely on a SmackDown, with Ambrose winning. THEREFORE, the #1 contender for the now more prestigious 2nd-Tier title.

Mark Henry, Wade Barrett, Christian, Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, David Otunga, Evan Bourne, Tyson Kidd, Fandango, Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Tensai, Santino, Alex Riley, Camacho, Curtis Axel or Brodus Clay (whoever isn’t used as Sandow’s partner).

Winner: Wade Barrett, who eliminates Christian, Evan Bourne, Santino, and Zack Ryder. (My heart says Ryder but my mind says Barrett and my body says Rosa Mendes)


Bad Guys: 1 | Good Guys: 0

Seth Rollins (Authority’s attack dog) vs RVD or Jericho (Guys that HHH has badmouthed. Orrr ANOTHER reason for this feud could be that Rollins & RVD got into an argument backstage over who had the more luxurious ponytail – or in Jericho’s case who USED to at their ponytail PRIMES – and shit escalated QUICKLY.)


Rollins goes over with underhanded tactics (eye rakes, low blows, chair shot when ref is out) but wins with one of his finishers and without physical interference. This faster-paced, high-flying, legend vs future match will be a great opener to get the crowd and the worldwide viewers interested.


Something for fans of today and fans of the Attitude Era.

Winner: Rollins


Bad Guys: 2 | Good Guys: 0

Damien Sandow & Curtis Axel or Brodus Clay or some other young heel they want to put spotlight on (or some alum: Sid Vicious, Vader, Scott Steiner) vs Big E Langston & Ultimate Warrior

Big E and Warrior do the Warrior Press Slam and Big Ending at the same time, then do their big splashes simultaneously for the win. This is a quick, feel-good match for the long-time fans that also gives some younger stars a rub. This match should only be like 5 minutes and mostly be about the entrance of Ultimate Warrior, a few quick spots, and the finishers.

Winners: Big E Langston & The Ultimate Warrior

Bad Guys: 2 | Good Guys: 1

Sheamus vs Kane (Authority)

Since the Undertaker’s prime and Lesnar’s first run, Sheamus is the best big man in the WWE at pulling quality matches out of other big men. This will be Kane’s mania swan song. It would be great to see if Sheamus could lift Kane up for the Celtic Cross to send him out with one of those classic WrestleMania shows of strength (ideally through a flaming table) that would live on in GIF and YouTube history. Make this an Extreme Rules or Hell In A Cell match if it needs more juice.

After the match, Ellie Goulding emerges and walks out onto the entrance. She starts performing her hit song “Burn” for WWE’s most famous burn victim

and they show a career tribute video for the Big Red Monster as tears stream down Kane’s face. Sheamus picks Kane up an Officer & A Gentleman-style and walks him back up the ramp.

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, Richard Gere, Debra Winger, 1982, (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

(Only kidding about that entire part. Don’t worry, smarks).

Winner: Sheamus


Bad Guys: 2 | Good Guys: 2

Unified Intercontinental & US Championship match: Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns

Reigns goes over in emotional battle that has a different type of “I don’t want to do this” feel from Flair vs Michaels. Reigns gets his first singles win at Mania, and Ambrose has the straw that broke the camel’s back that sends him into a mad descent and leading him into becoming a “The Joker”-type character in the WWE Universe unleashing his brand of brutal chaos and anarchy on whoever he sees fit & deserving. This kind of character can win even when he loses as long as he brings pain and impact.

Winner: Roman Reigns


Bad Guys: 2 | Good Guys: 3

Championship vs Career: Brotherhood vs Wyatt Family (champions): If Brotherhood loses, Goldust retires.


If Goldust is retiring and this is his last Mania, this is how he goes out. He & Cody clean house after the loss and have a moment in the ring. “Thank You Goldust!” chants throughout the Superdome. Dusty is waiting for them at the top of the ramp. They all hug and walk off together like at the end of “Warrior”.




This leads into a Cody Rhodes vs Wyatt Family feud where he goes through Rowan, then Harper, then Bray (who will be hot after feuding with Daniel Bryan and John Cena). This feud ideally concludes with a hardcore match that will elevate Cody as a tough guy in the way Randy Orton vs Mick Foley at Backlash in 2004 did for Orton.


Winner: Technically, The Wyatt Family, but really, everyone involved in this match.

Bad Guys: 3 | Good Guys: 3

Hall Of Fame announcements:

Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton (Authority) – Winner gets a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match.


The crowd will likely be booing the hell out of Orton and chanting passionately for my man Ziggler. Some Authority-affiliated members will try and involve themselves but Miz & Ric Flair intervene to even the odds. Ziggler wins this great in-ring battle that will feature two of the better movesets in WWE (as long as Randy doesn’t fall in love with chin locks and rest holds) and the Superdome explodes. I could see it ending this way: Ziggler goes for his signature jumping DDT


but loses his grip due to the excessive baby oil covering Randy Orton’s body


and hits the mat. Orton takes this opportunity to go for the Punt, but Ziggler catches him with a superkick and a Zig-Zag.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Bad Guys: 3 | Good Guys: 4

Batista vs Alberto Del Rio

These two have some real heat, which could make this a short entertaining match. This would be an ideal time to bring back the Lion’s Den match that they used with guys like Ken Shamrock, Owen Hart, Steve Blackman, Dan Severn since both guys have MMA training. Both guys hit their signatures (Corner Enziguiri, Backstabber, Cross Armbar, Spicy Chin Music – Spear, Spinebuster, Batista Bite, Batista Bomb), and WWE gets to decide whether they put over their short term guy or their roster member. I say Triple H’s buddy (Batista) picks up the win. This should be an intense short match. Something like 6-7 minutes. That will favor attention spans, interest in the feud, and Batista’s cardio.

Winner: Batista

Bad Guys: 3 | Good Guys: 5

Tag Team Turmoil for #1 Contendership for tag team titles:

New Age Outlaws vs The Usos vs The Real Americans vs Mysterio & Sin Cara vs PrimeTime Players vs (the reunited former tag champs) ShoMiz (Big Show & Miz): The Real Americans take most of the teams out before self-destructing against Mysterio & Cara.

Winner: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara (and Antonio Cesaro because this is the beginning of his rise)

Bad Guys: 3 | Good Guys: 6

Goldberg vs Ryback:


Goldberg is my favorite wrestler of all time, so I would blindly book him to win it, buuuttt, that probably doesn’t happen considering it’s likely a 1-match deal if anything. This could be the perfect time to have Ryback aligned with the authority and pushed to the moon. Goldberg hits the Spear and Jackhammer and clearly has Ryback beat, but Triple H, who has a history of real-life heat with Goldberg, and Randy Orton interfere and Ryback scoops Goldberg up for The Shellshock and the cheap but impactful win. Ryback becomes the Roman Reigns or Batista of The Authority. A guy with the body Vince and Hunter want in the top spot and a good foil for Daniel Bryan down the road.

Winner: Ryback

Bad Guys: 4 | Good Guys: 6

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt:

Bray Wyatt’s music begins to play, then as soon as the fans get a few claps in, it stops, the lights come back on, and it’s Eminem & Rihanna performing “Monster” as Bray Walks to the ring. No, no, that’s no good. Scratch that. Bray comes out to his traditional theme in the dark in Nawlins.

Before John Cena comes to the ring, they play a short video based on Kevin Garnett & Colin Kaepernick’s BEATS by Dre commercials

where Cena is listening to and reading about all of the people that hate him, then throws on the BEATS and makes his way to the arena. His Rise Above Hate slogan pops up, then his music hits and WWE’s Clark Kent / Superman makes his way to the ring to the joy of all of the women & children in the Big Easy.

Crowd would be hot and probably split for this match. Bray is detestable but a villain that is so good at being a villain that the smart marks will likely cheer for him over Cena. This match will feature Cena being the Superman / Hulk Hogan / Captain America clean-cut hero trying to win the right away against the despicable, disgusting, and morally brent Bray using any means necessary to humble the hero of WWE. Bray goes over in this match which cements him in history. Aside from The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, and The Rock, John Cena is the biggest possible win at WrestleMania for a new star. Don’t let this match run too long, Cena’s matches hit their weak points with long rest hold spots and / or repetitive sequences. This could also be an opportunity to have The Wyatt Family brutalizing Cena afterward only to have The Brotherhood, or just Cody, and Hulk Hogan come down and make a save for a feel-good Mania moment.

Winner: Bray Wyatt.


Bad Guys: 5 | Good Guys: 6

CM Punk vs Triple H (Authority):


I don’t know what kind of deal the WWE would have to make with Punk at this point to get him to come back, or if any deal is even possible … but if they COULD get him back, this could be one of the hottest matches in years in terms of crowd interaction & involvement. We’re talking Rock vs Hogan WM18-type of energy and heat. For those not up-to-date on why Punk left WWE in the first place, here’s a quick video:

CM Punk has had an on-again off-again rivalry with HHH for quite some time now. Even before they feuded air, Triple H was referring to CM Punk as The King Of The Indies, and it wasn’t meant as a compliment.


These are two of the best of all time at Mania, with a logical reason to fight. It will be good. This could be even better if the stipulation is that if Punk wins, then The Authority can’t interfere in Daniel Bryan’s title match or Brock will be DQ’ed and Bryan will win the title. Or, as a carrot to get Punk to come back to WWE, say that if he wins the match, he gets included in the World Title main event and it turns into a 3-way like HBK vs HHH vs Benoit at WrestleMania 20 (allowing for Punk to be in the title match, not get pinned, but still put the strap on Bryan, and close out with Punk & Bryan embracing like Eddie & Benoit at the end of WM20, only this time hopefully this moment would remain untarnished by future events).


It could be EVEN better than THAT if Vince McMahon and Randy Orton interfere, and Goldberg and Stone Cold Steve Austin make the save. Goldberg Spears Orton through the barricade.


Austin Stuns McMahon.

CM Punk hits Triple H with the GTS (or even better, the Pepsi Plunge – a top rope pedigree he used in the indies)


and wins. Huge after match celebration including Austin and Goldberg drinking beer


with Punk drinking Pepsi. Orton, Vince, and Triple H get soaked in these beverages. Major feel-good moment for all of the fans. I’d like to maybe re-tweak this go get Dolph Ziggler involved as well. Maybe he takes out Seth Rollins.

Winner: CM Punk

Bad Guys: 5 | Good Guys: 7

Sting vs Undertaker:

If I have to tell you why this would be awesome, you probably aren’t a wrestling fan. Sting is the biggest star to never wrestle for the WWE. Period. He was a huge star during the Monday Night Wars who sold merchandise, drew ratings, and increased buyrates (look at Starrcade 1997). Sting is closely associated with the NWA,


and TNA

brands. Undertaker is one of the biggest stars who didn’t switch sides during the Attitude Era (his early WCW run as Mean Mark doesn’t count) and is closely associated with the WWE brand. I’m a big fan of both stars. This could be Undertaker’s last WrestleMania. I like Sting better, but he’s not going to be around WWE for long, so an Undertaker loss could feel wasted on him. I say Undertaker retires with the streak intact.

Winner: Undertaker

No bad guys in this match. -> Bad Guys: 5 | Good Guys: 8

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs Brock Lesnar (Champion):

Brock Lesnar will surely be coming out to the ring wearing his intimidating Jimmy Johns shorts. I have to say, this is one of the weirdest athlete sponsorship deals I’ve ever seen. Has anyone ever watched a Brock Lesnar fight or match and thought, “Well damn, the whole time I was watching that big sweaty vanilla gorilla brutalize that other man, I couldn’t help but keep noticing that Jimmy Johns logo on his trunks. Right about now I could really go for a submarine sandwich that will come so fast it’ll freak me out.” I’m not sure they’re hitting their target market or getting their money’s worth with this deal. I think as a condition of the deal, Brock should have to name his moves after Jimmy Johns sandwiches. I’m sure the F-5 would get renamed the Ultimate Porker, but I’d be really interested to see what moves Brock could come up with for the Pepe and the Italian Night Club. Anyway, on to more important things.

This is when Brock really earns his 5 million dollar contract. This is the moment some fans have been waiting a year for, and some fans have been waiting 15 years for.

Daniel Bryan in the main event at WrestleMania. Bryan is going to take a massive and brutal beating in this match, but he will not stay down. He will get hit with the F5, he might feel the wrath of Brock’s multiple chain powerbombs, he’ll certainly be suplexed all over the ring and probably from the top turnbuckle. Brock is going to be using his submissions on Bryan, who will use his smaller size and his agility to reverse and escape from these holds. Bryan’s resilience will tire and frustrate the modern day Viking. Brock will be gassed and angry and make a mistake. Bryan will “Yes Up” (his version of Hulking Up) feeding off of the energy of the crowd in the Superdome. Paul Heyman will have an idea about interfering but he will be taken out by Bryan, or even better because it doesn’t make Brock look weak, intercepted by Mick Foley. Bryan runs for the flying knee, gets caught and picked up for an F5 but Bryan escapes and lands on his feet, falls rebounding into the ropes and then screams and runs and hits the flying knee to Brock’s massive red face. 1-2-3. Your winner, The New People’s Champion, and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion … the 5 foot 8 … 200 pound, determined dreamer who used to sleep in his car when wrestling couldn’t pay the bills, Daniel Bryan. With the energy he has left, Daniel Bryan does the “Yes” chant while hoisting both belts in the air and then doing a lap around ringside amongst his people. WrestleMania airs their recap video of the nights events, and the new WWE Network subscribers are happy and hooked.

Winner: Daniel Bryan and the internet

The End.

Bad Guys: 5 | Good Guys: 9 (14 matches, 2 short of the WrestleMania 4 record, though one would be Pre-show, so I guess 13, but whatever)

Joe McCaffrey (Ask Joe)

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