Happy Wednesday Everyone!
We finish off our rebooking jaunt in 1999 WWF, by rebooking what is widely regarded as one of the worst WrestleMania events in the form of 1999’s WrestleMania XV. Mania XV had quite a bit of bad wrestling on it and some of the booking made no logical sense as Vince Russo was so heck bent on things like swerves and wild shades of grey booking that he didn’t actually bother trying to make the show a satisfying payoff for months of storytelling.
We’ll see if I can put together a better “Showcase of the Immortals™” this week when I try rebooking WrestleMania XV.
If you’d like to see how we got here, then the previous two parts are in the archives.
The card for the real life event can be view by clicking below;
WWF Hardcore Title
Champ: Hardcore Holly Vs Al Snow Vs Road Dogg
Road Dogg had to forfeit the belt in February, which led to Holly defeating Snow in a match for the vacant belt. Road Dogg of course will want his belt back upon returning, whilst Snow will want another chance to win it after coming close on a few occasions, hence we get this match. In real life Billy Gunn ended up getting shunted into this one because Vince Russo liked to SWERVE the audience for no reason other than to SWERVE them. Snow can get the win here to finally end his long quest for the belt and we can move Road Dogg out of the division.
WWF Women’s Title
Champ: Sable Vs Tori
Tori had been doing the Mickie James obsessed fan gimmick with Sable, with Sable eventually turning on her. For want of anything better to do until we get the likes of Trish, Lita and Molly Holly into the promotion, we’ll keep this storyline in place with Tori eventually picking up the win by hitting her former idol with her own Sable Bomb finisher. I’m not going to bring Nicole Bass in because I’m not really sure what purpose she’d serve in a promotion where you already have Chyna as the resident beefy muscle lass.
The Big Show Vs Blue Meanie, Stevie Richards and Gilberg
This is just a squash win for Big Show in order to make him look big and scary. We’re not going to do the utterly bonkers thing the WWF did in real life by having him lose to Austin less than a month in to his run in the company. instead he’s going to do beat-downs, the occasional squash match, and mostly stand in the background looking imposing so we can get him over as a scary giant. He won’t be getting pinned or submitted in any fashion for a LONG time. Here he can destroy his opposition and stack them for the pin.
The Big Boss Man Vs Cactus Jack
Boss Man cost Mankind the WWF Title twice, so Mick Foley taps into one of his other Three Faces of Foley in order to gain vengeance here, by bringing Cactus Jack back to the WWF and annihilating poor Boss Man here at WrestleMania XV. We’ll keep it relatively short, with Boss Man getting a little bit of token offence before Cactus finishes him off in order to keep Cactus established as the most dangerous of Foley’s personalities.
WWF Tag Team Titles
Champs: Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra Vs Edge and Christian w/ Gangrel
Rather than a quick throwaway match against wacky mismatched tag partners in the form of D’Lo Brown and Test, we’ll give the Champs a proper match against an actual tag team. It does mean that we don’t get a Light Heavyweight Title match on the card due to Christian holding the belt, but it shouldn’t do the belt too much harm for the Champion to be involved in the mix for another Title. Owen and Jarrett will retain here but we’ll give E&C plenty of offence before losing so that they should hopefully gain something even in defeat.
WWF Intercontinental Title
Champ: Goldust w/ Ryan Shamrock Vs Val Venis Vs Ken Shamrock Vs Billy Gunn
For those who didn’t read parts one and two, this one all got started when Ken Shamrock was attacked by Val Venis at the Royal Rumble when defending the IC Title against Billy Gunn. Venis would start dating Ken’s sister Ryan in order to get under Ken’s skin, leading to Venis winning the belt at the February pay per view thanks to both help from Ryan and also as a result of Ken getting all up in guest referee Billy Gunn’s business. However, once Venis had the belt he showed his true colours by kicking Ryan to the curve, leading to her shacking up with former Venis foe Goldust and helping him to win the IC Title on Raw in the process.
Thusly we have this match, a four way feud where everyone wants the belt and Ryan is at the centre of all the commotion. In real life Vince Russo inexplicably took Gunn out of this and replaced him with Road Dogg, which made no sense and killed the storyline, thus meaning a heatless match when we finally got to Mania. Hopefully by keeping Gunn involved and turning this into a standard Fatal Four Way rather than the four corners match it was in real life, we’ll get a more engaged crowd and a better actual match here. Gunn will finally pay off the months of build by winning the IC Title, with Ryan sticking with Goldust for now when Gunn rebuffs her at the bouts conclusion.
Shane McMahon and Test w/ Chyna Vs Triple H and X-Pac
Chyna turned Heel on DX between Royal Rumble and the February pay per view, leading to Chyna and Kane defeating Triple H and X-Pac at that event thanks to Shane McMahon. Shane would then further angerise DX by defeating X-Pac for the European Title. This all builds to Shane and his protégé Test taking on HHH and X-Pac at WrestleMania XV, with Chyna in the corner of the Heels. Shane ended up doing pretty well in real life when he faced off with X-Pac, and Test was still learning his craft but he should be fine in a tag situation like this, so this match will hopefully feature reasonable work and good crowd heat. The finish sees Triple H turning on his poor buddy with a Pedigree, thus going Corporate and gifting his new stablemates the victory. The Corporation do the Heel beat down on X-Pac and The New Age Outlaws following this in order to cement Triple H’s turn.
Hell in a Cell
The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer Vs Kane
At least it’s not Undertaker Vs Boss Man eh? The story for this one is that Undertaker has been terrorising Vince McMahon since the turn of the year, so Vince has roped unwilling monster Kane into his plans by forcing The Big Red Machine to take his brother on in a Hell in a Cell match. Obviously this feud between the brothers had been beaten into the ground by this stage, but the Cell setting and the storyline of Kane fighting to appease his bullying boss would hopefully give it a bit of juice for one more pay per view outing. This is as close as I’ll get to the SHADES OF GREY BRO stuff that Russo did, as Kane is technically a Heel but he’s been put in a situation here where it’s designed for you to feel sympathy for him, whilst Undertaker is pure evil and just happens to be feuding with Vince amongst others. The finish will see Kane seemingly have things well in hand until Bearer passes Undertaker some brass knuckles through the holes in the cage, thus allowing Taker to clonk Kane and follow up with a Tombstone for the win.
Following the match Vince will sick The Corporation on Kane for the crime of failing him at Mania, which will lead to DX sprinting down to make the save, more for the fact of wanting revenge for earlier as opposed to any real desire to help Kane. However, all four now having a common enemy will allow them to co-exist somewhat, thus opening the door for Kane to team up with X-Pac.
Champ: The Rock Vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
The story here is that Austin was robbed of the WWF Title in September of 1998 and had been fighting to reclaim it ever since, whilst Rock has been Vince McMahon’s handpicked Corporate Champion. Rock has traded the belt with Mankind since December, whilst Austin had to win the Royal Rumble and then defeat Vince McMahon in a cage to make it to WrestleMania XV. Before the match starts, Vince McMahon will come down to the ring with The Big Show, saying that Show will be the special “guest enforcer” for the match and that the match itself will be No DQ. WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels will take umbrage with that though and will send Big Show to back under threat of suspension and will note that every Corporation member barring Vince will be banned from ringside tonight under pain of Rock losing the belt due to Austin defeating Vince back at the February pay per view.
With the odds essentially even and all the gaga dealt with, Rock and Austin can then focus on having a great match, which should be no issue for them. Vince will of course try and help his man, but he will inevitably be foiled and Austin will end up picking up the victory and the Title to pop the crowd and reignite the “Austin Era” in the WWF. However, Rock will be wanting a rematch and the likes of Undertaker, Triple H, Big Show and Mankind will all be looming on the horizon for the new Champion in one form or another.
Moving on from WrestleMania we’ll have Rock and Austin continuing to feud, with Rock stealing Austin’s “Smoking Skull” belt in order to keep things cooking. Vince McMahon can continue to be distracted by Undertaker, especially when Undertaker starts making unwanted advances on his daughter Stephanie, thus deepening the divide between him and his son Shane, leading to an eventual blow up between the two.
Triple H and Chyna will begin a feud with their fellow DX team mates, with Road Dogg also looking to win the European Title back for the DX group from Shane McMahon. Billy Gunn will continue in the singles ranks as the IC Champion, with Goldust still being in the mix in an effort to regain his Title. X-Pac and Kane will form an unlikely duo and end up in the Tag Title mix.
The Brood will split with Undertaker’s Ministry and go babyface, thus setting up matches there. Al Snow and Hardcore Holly will have unfinished business that will need to be addressed, thus setting up rematches between the two until it’s time to move them onto new storylines. Big Show and Shamrock can have some miscommunication between one another leading to them butting heads until they can hammer things out in the ring.
Based on all of that, a rough card for Backlash in April would be
Guest Referee: Shane McMahon
Champ: Stone Cold Steve Austin Vs The Rock
Triple H w/ Chyna Vs Road Dogg
#1 Contender Boiler Room Brawl
The Undertaker Vs Mankind
The Big Show Vs Ken Shamrock
WWF Intercontinental Title
Champ: Billy Gunn Vs Goldust w/ Ryan Shamrock
The Acolytes and Mideon w/ Viscera Vs The Brood
WWF Hardcore Title
Champ: Al Snow Vs Hardcore Holly
WWF Tag Team Titles
Champs: Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra Vs X-Pac and Kane
If you guys enjoyed this then we can always pick up the storyline thread again down the line at some point as I known roughly where I’d like to take things up until at least SummerSlam based on what has started here.
Let me know if you think this was a better build to WrestleMania XV and a better overall show, and please feel free to make your own suggestions as to what you would have done in the comments section!
Next week we’ll be going back to WCW, 1997 WCW to be exact, so hopefully I’ll see you all then!